I’ll make my confession right away. I’m a collector. Sometimes, I buy things just because I think they are special. Some clothing or accessories are just too amazing to wear. That’s because they have a value beyond a price tag.
While there isn’t much that I buy and refuse to wear, there are exceptions. Everything I own by Antonio Castillo falls into this category. I think he was a genius, and forever in my mind he will be on a fashion pedestal. He was the only exception, until I found shirt designed by Vera yesterday.
“One day, we just decided we ought to work together in some way.” (Source: The Self-Made Man: Success and Stress – American Style, p. 300)
The couple started making small silk-screen machines in their studio. In 1946, they founded this operation as a business, calling it Printex. After WWII, Printex started purchasing surplus army silk that had been used for parachutes. The surplus silk was extremely cheap, and allowed Vera to start designing fashion scarves.
I own 3 scarves by Vera. What I love about them is that they were clearly paintings before being printed on silk. She signed everything, too. Vera herself even stated:
“I start everything as a painting first.” (Source: The Self-Made Man: Success and Stress – American Style, p. 300)
I’ve come across lots of scarves designed by Vera, but never any clothing. The first time I had seen a Vera shirt was back in May. My friend Emma had an apple print shirt by the designer. Lizzie Bramlett wrote a great summary of the clothing brand:
In the 1960s a clothing line was added to the scarves and household linens. Blouses and dresses were made from the Vera textile designs. These garments are quite interesting, as the fabric was engineered, or designed with the idea of the finished garment in mind. The starting place for each design was always the 36″ scarf. The earliest Vera clothing was made with either 100% cotton or 100% silk. Later, items were made from nylon and polyester.
But I was never able to fine one that I could purchase myself until yesterday. I vowed I’d never wear it, because it was just too special! How could I risk ruining a shirt with such a great history? Plus, it didn’t seem to fit into my own personal style. Well, that idea sort of changed after I tried it on . . .
So cute! So I have to ask: should this be for the collection? Or should I wear it? Decisions, decisions. . .