Fashion & Beauty / In Pictures

The Ultimate Alliance of Two Fashion Archivists

We caught up with Gill Linton of Byronesque and Sarah Shikama of She Comes In Technicolor to discuss their new collaborative endeavour, sourcing and documenting the best vintage pieces in fashion

Pin It
plastic_06

The Insta-world of ready-to-wear and fast fashion seems to be continuously revolving around the omnipresence of throwaway e-commerce clicks. Naturally, this presents a real challenge in discovering ways to shop that are both ethical and innovative, with a sense of longevity. And it is due to this predicament, that the importance of maintaining a keen eye on the historical and cultural contexts that underpin the existence of the industry as we know it today, has perhaps never been quite so significant. 

Seeking a solution for the above quandaries, step forth the archival projects of AnOther favourites Gill Linton, C.E.O. of Byronesque (the vintage personal shopping app that allows for tailored requests of archival pieces, providing unprecedented access to rare CDG, Yohji and Margiela heaven) and Sarah Shikama a.k.a. @she_comes_in_technicolor (the ultimate fashion reference Instagram). Linton and Shikama have long been frustrated with the banality of fashion’s obsession with statistics and selfies over subculture and simply couldn’t think of a better way to challenge the frenzied pace of contemporary fashion tropes than by joining forces. “There’s a reason people are looking back. Not out of nostalgia, but out of necessity,” say the duo.

The alliance grew from common ground, when Linton – drawn to her fresh perspective on fashion history – entered into conversations with Shikama. The curatorial process began in 2015, with back and forth discussions over their shared inspirations, and the project developed in such a way that come 2016, Linton’s compendium of incredible garments and Shikama’s beautifully considered image archive became a perfect fit. Utilising Byronesque’s extensive network of contemporary-vintage boutiques and private sellers (the largest in the world) and the extensive collection of She Comes In Technicolor’s historical fashion imagery, they have certainly reached the pinnacle of principled, shoppable content.

This venture feels particularly fascinating due to a sharp focus put upon the relationship between archival image and object, creating an authentic sense of narrative woven through the fibres of what we buy. As the pair notes, “there’s a lot of talk about storytelling in fashion. But there’s only so much storytelling that contemporary fashion can do before it becomes repetitive compared to vintage fashion, which is inherently deep with stories from the designer, to the culture at the time.” And it’s clear to see that the aim of She Comes In Technicolor x Byronesque is to tell these stories without reducing them to a linear fashion history book; which according to Linton and Shikama “can so often become deeply dull”.

The selection process of choosing what would be available for purchase, was harmonious: “We gave Sarah a broad edit of high demand pieces, that people have come to know and trust us for, and left her to work her magic on a narrower edit,” says Linton. And this magic is clearly revealed in a few of the favourites from their sensitive selection of some of the most poignant fashion extracted from the last few decades.

Maison Martin Margiela’s oversized jeans…
“They have been brought back to life thanks to Vetements and Demna Gvasalia’s nod to a 90s aesthetic.”

 

The Comme des Garçons Brocade coat…
“From the personal collection of Irene Silvagni. A great example of Kawakubo’s alien-like shapes that work well with today’s pattern clash trend.”

Malcolm McLaren’s Seditionaries…
“Is particularly relevant from a cultural perspective today. If there was ever a time to ‘demand the impossible’, it’s now, not least against Joe Corré’s Burn Punk London manifesto.”

Nicolas Ghesquière’s ’00s pieces…
“They are in such high demand. His 2002 collection for Balenciaga is pre-sold before we get it.”

Margiela’s plastic gilet…
“This piece feels particularly special. An early example of his pioneering approach to recycling (we’re also trying to save the planet after all) and how he defined a fashion era. Who else is doing that today?”

Newsletter