“Something Old, Something New: How Modern Day Style Mavens Wear Vintage” featuring Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture
Something Old, Something New: Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
I covered Leanne’s fashion label, Vaute Couture, before I met her in real life. She is as cute in person as the adorable vegan coats she designs. We met at the Humane Society’s annual Cool Vs. Cruel Awards, held at The Bowery Hotel in New York City. I recognized her dress—go figure—before a mutual friend introduced us and we’ve been friends ever since.
She recently moved to New York City, actually she’s probably been here for a whole year but it’s hard to keep track since New York time is so whack. Sometimes I see my fashion friends every New York Fashion Week, which is twice a year, or sometimes it’s once a month, but every time it always feels like it was yesterday when we last saw each other. Anyways, enough about New York time. Here’s Leanne, a Brooklynite by way of Chicago, Illinois.
I originally restructured this piece for the public launch of my label, Vaute Couture, at Chicago’s only brick-and-mortar ethical fashion boutique Pivot, which is now closed, but I also wore it for a Time Out Chicago photo shoot in my Chicago office.
I love mini dresses and adding a little extra sultriness and skin to an otherwise elegant piece.
I love to shorten vintage dresses; I know this might be considered sacrilege, but I can’t help it! I shortened this 1960’s maxi to above the knee, tightened the velvet belt, and cut open the back into a deep “V” so it can be worn reversed as well. It’s made with velvet and satin and is curiously insulated, which I assume means it was originally intended to be worn for winter holiday parties. I found it on Etsy for $25.
It’s so important to make something your own and to make sure it works with your body type; it brings out the best in you.
This dress was the perfect choice for the Pivot launch: I wore it with a crimson lip and sky-high camel heels. The look was one of a kind, sophisticated, and sweet all at once.
I didn’t design dresses for my label at the time so my outfit of choice when doing a publicized event for Vaute Couture, was restructured 1950-60s dresses.
I also love over-sized sequined sweaters, anything with animal iconography, and 1920’s hats, which are shockingly cheap at Michigan flea markets.
You can find Vaute Couture, which offers high ethics-function-design outerwear, on Facebook, Twitter, or on our blog, On Our Sleeve.
Photo credit: Liz Sisson for Time Out Chicago
This post is part of an ongoing series, “Something Old, Something New,” that looks at how people with amazing personal style incorporate vintage and heirloom pieces into their everyday wardrobes. Through a series of personal anecdotes and images, I’ll show how when it comes to dressing there’s more than meets the eye and share the story — behind the outfit — with you here.
More Modern-Meets-Heirloom Style
Something Old, Something New: Sean Hotchkiss of Khaki Crusader
Something Old, Something New: Eliza Starbuck and Toshi Yano
Something Old, Something New: Liam Alexander
Something Old, Something New: Molly Grady
Copyright © 2011 Emma Grady. All rights reserved.