I met Lizzie through the Vintage Fashion Guild and have developed a deep respect for her knowledge and enthusiasm about vintage clothing, companies, designers, you name it. Some of my recent favorite posts from her blog are the Gantner Swimwear Company brochure with fascinating info and a 1920s Mermaid Bathing Bandeau.
Tell us a bit about your self.
I've loved history as long as I can remember, and majored in it in college. Along the way I also got a teaching certificate, so I ended up spending 28 years in the classroom, teaching history and writing to 5th graders. I used my growing vintage clothing collection a lot to show the kids how people dressed in the past, and I was always planning historic dress-up days so I could wear my treasures. After ebay came along in the late 1990s, I began to connect with other people who were buying and selling vintage clothing. Some of us eventually formed the Vintage Fashion Guild.
Originally I was just posting about museum exhibits I saw, but before long I was posting about my collection and about flea markets, and about trends in the vintage industry. I also like to connect with designers and companies from the past, or with family members who can tell the story of their family's part of fashion history. Many of these stories have been made into articles on my website, Fuzzylizzie.com
How did you become interested in vintage clothing?
In 1976 I discovered a book called Cheap Chic, which was written by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy. They had been publishing a magazine, or rather a newsletter, called Rags, which was focused on the growing vintage clothing scene. The book was a revelation to me, especially since my local cashmere company, Hadley, had just closed, and with it their factory outlet, my source of cheap cashmere sweaters. I read in Cheap Chic that one could find all kinds of wonderful old clothes in thrift stores and in a new kind of store, the vintage clothing store. There were no vintage stores in my area, but I started visiting thrifts, and discovered vintage cashmere. I was hooked.
I know you like swimwear and sportswear. What are some of your other interests?
I love all kinds of sportswear and travel clothing from the late 1910s through the mid 1970s. I basically collect for myself, as I would have been if I were an active woman in 1918 or 1943, or 1957. And it's not just about clothing. If I have a 1937 travel suit, then I want the appropriate hat and gloves and handbag and shoes...
I also collect print resources and photographs that tie in with the clothing collection. Vintage photos showing garments similar to the ones in my collection are of special interest. I like sales brochures from sportswear companies and material from travel companies telling women travelers how to pack. Lately I've also developed an interest in the textile industry in North Carolina. I love finding old material and photos from the many weaving and sewing mills in my area.
We love reading your blog. It seems like you get some interesting contact with living history. Can you tell us one such memorable event?
This upset my poor mother so
Years later, the internet is new, ebay
I'm assuming that the winds of fashion will eventually blow in a
Thanks so much Lizzie for spending time with us today! I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Lizzie just a wee bit more.