INTERVIEW: LAN FROM POST CARD VINTAGE
Postcard Vintage is a luxury vintage collection, founded by seasoned traveller and vintage enthusiast, Lan Nguyen. With a keen eye for quality complimented by a unique personal style, Lan has hand selected each individual garment from suppliers, boutiques and personal archives around the globe.
Lan gave us an insight into her life of finding vintage pieces all over the world, the creation of Post Card Vintage and who her style icons are.
1: What inspired your love of Vintage and the creation of PCV?
I was lucky enough to be introduced to the idea of thrift shopping by my mum when I was just a wee one. I spent my early teen years waking up at ridiculous hours every Saturday and Sunday morning to go and hunt for treasures at markets all over Sydney. Most of the time, I’d come home empty handed, but when I was lucky enough to find something that I wanted to spend my hard earned dollars on, I felt like I had struck gold.
Finding treasure is one of the greatest feelings in the world and knowing that the chance of someone else having the same treasures as you is almost impossible, always made me feel on top of the world.
It wasn’t until I went travelling for the first time, that I realised how far behind the rest of the world Australia is with vintage… It’s understandable because we are a fairly young country with not much history and until now, we have never been massive consumers. So I decided that I was going to bring the beauty of the past home and show everyone the luxury that they were missing.
Also, as a woman, one of the most embarrassing things that can happen, is turning up somewhere wearing the same thing as someone else… vintage guarantees against this.
2: You travel to find your unique places to source your collections - how to your select the styles you bring back?
If god gave me one gift, it was the ability to visualise exactly what a dress is going to look like on, even if it's in a pile on the floor. I thoroughly inspect everything… make sure that there are no tears, faults, that zippers are fully functional and that any present stains are ones that can be removed. I try to buy only the highest quality and the best fabrics. I guess that's why our collection is very small (about 200 pieces in our collection at present), but I like that I know every piece from seam to seam. I only ever buy pieces that I would wear myself, and unlike a lot of other companies, I ensure that I hand pick everything straight from the source.
3. You are about to launch a showroom on William St - what will be different about this from the usual vintage stores?
Call me what you will, but my ideal way to shop is alone. I like being able to browse the racks, take my time, try everything on that I want without being hassled by shop assistants or feeling the need to fight a fellow shopper for a garment (true story!). Our showroom is by appointment only, so our clients don't feel the need to rush and get a very personal experience (champers and chocolates included!). You won't find any hawaiian shirts, ugly sweaters or flannel's in our showroom; we specialise in upmarket gowns, intricately beaded jackets and other pieces that need to be seen to be believed. My dream is to be the first place a woman calls when she needs something extraordinary.
4. Do you have muses in mind when you select styles?
Cher, Bianca Jagger & Ali McGraw.
5. What are the key labels you seek when selecting?
I love finding a vintage Kenzo, Dior, Moschino or Givenchy piece - they are probably the most popular with my customers. However, my personal favourites are vintage labels Jack Bryan (now defunct) and Lucie Ann who was a lingerie designer for the likes of Eva Gabor, however she also made some incredible resort wear that I snap up the second I see it.
6. You built the PCV website originially to sell your styles - why did you decide to compliment your online business with a space?
Prior to the space, I was working out of my home. I would stay in my PJ's all day, drink copious amounts of tea and get everything done without leaving my bed. Then, when PCV started getting recognition online, I would have so many clients wanting to come and see things in person and try them on, which is a little hard when you live in a mad house. So a showroom was a natural (and necessary) progression for the business.
7. Who do you feel wears vintage well?
Nicole Richie can do no wrong in my eyes. Antoinette Marie (Sydney Fashion Blogger) is fantastic at styling vintage with modern and always picks divine pieces.