Cameron Silver of Decades Shares (Candid) Vintage Shopping Tips & More!

  His impeccable taste is world-renowned, and he’s one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion. He’s a Bravo television star, regularly dresses A-list celebs, and he’s coming to Dallas next week. He’s Cameron Silver, founder of Los Angeles vintage emporium Decades, and today he’ll share shopping tips, reality show dish, and more, with DFW Style Daily!  

  Founded in 1997, Decades has become a Mecca to those seeking the very best in designer vintage. Cameron Silver and co-owner Christos Garkinos scour the globe for the likes of Hermès, Dior, Chanel, and more, with an eye on timeless glamour and wear-it-now appeal. Available online and in real life on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, Decades boasts a fan base that reads like a who’s-who of international trendsetters. And, in addition to dressing red carpet darlings, Silver himself is in high demand as a creative consultant and on-camera commentator, and he co-stars in Bravo’s Dukes of Melrose. On Thursday, April 10, a special reception presented by Fashion Group International of Dallas at the NYLO Dallas South Side Hotel will honor Cameron Silver. Silver will sign copies of his book Decades: A Century of Fashion, in celebration of the 46th Annual FGI Dallas Career Day and NYLO Hotel’s Theatre/Artwear Scholarship. As the big night approaches, we jumped at the opportunity to question this outspoken authority on a few fashionable topics. His responses are informative and beyond entertaining (ex: “Even Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior made ugly clothes."). Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Cameron Silver, and click here for more information on next week’s event.  

  DFW Style Daily: Hello, Cameron! We are honored to welcome you to Dallas as a keynote speaker for Fashion Group International’s Career Day 2014, as well as the FGI Dallas book signing event on April 10.  Why is it important to you to support Fashion Group International? Cameron Silver: “I love the idea of having a fashion community, and have often described myself as the Kofi Annan of fashion. Fashion Group International is like the United Nations of Style.”   In your book Decades: A Century of Fashion, you detail key looks and legends from iconic fashion decades. Do you have a personal favorite era in fashion? “Oh, I am very much a 1970’s fan. It’s such a wonderful decade, when American fashion reached a global audience. And, it’s really sexy.”   Speaking of designs from the past, you are unmatched in your vintage fashion expertise. What attracted you to this specialty? “I am ‘old fashioned,’ and love that clothing can be a barometer of historical periods.  I also love to shop, so I have the perfect job, but I am sure many people know much more about historic fashion than I do. I just have a distinctive point of view, and look for the modernity in vintage.”   Many shoppers are apprehensive about vintage, preferring to stick with new retailers and the latest trends. What would you say to someone who might be reluctant to venture into his or her local vintage shop? “Come see me and visit Decades! Truthfully, it is intimidating, which is why I opened Decades. Too many people wore vintage and looked like they were attending a Halloween party. If you ask yourself, Does this look modern?, when shopping for something from the past, you can easily avoid that pitfall.”  

  More specifically, though it would be hard to narrow down your body of knowledge, could you share a couple of quick vintage shopping tips with our readers? “Don’t get seduced by the label. Even Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior made ugly clothes. Also, don’t be afraid of minor alterations. It isn’t blasphemous to give the garment longevity through a nip and tuck. Truthfully, clients of couture often had their clothes adjusted throughout their lifetimes and body changes. A hem of a skirt or sleeve is smart! “Also, make sure you really investigate your purchase, and choose things that aren’t too damaged. It’s easy to change a zipper or tighten a seam, but yellow armpit stains aren’t going to go away, unfortunately.”   With the premier of Bravo’s Dukes of Melrose, you added reality star to your impressive résumé. Why do you believe the fashion world makes for such fascinating viewing? “I was happy that the highest-rated episodes of Dukes of Melrose were really fashion-centric, such as the episode in Paris. The viewer really wants to experience fashion, and get an insider’s point-of-view of a rarified world. However, reality television gets polluted by drama (faux and real), so I would like to do a show [more like] the Anthony Bourdain of Fashion!”   Care to share a fun story from the set? “The best part of filming was getting free meals and grooming. The rest was all so disruptive. That being said, I put on something like 15 pounds over the nearly eight months we filmed!”   Finally, do you visit Dallas often? What activities or destinations are on your list when you come to Big D? “I love Dallas, and visited last in December for the Chanel Métiers d’Art show. I always visit Forty Five Ten, and have Tex-Mex at Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village. My favorite part of Decades is the beautiful friends I have made since opening in 1997. I am such a wanna-be cowboy!”  


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