“Vintage comes from vin, which means wine in French,” explains an impassioned Blanchet. “Vintage is the best years; it is those moments in fashion that were important; the definitive shows, the definitive pieces; a change of line, a change of cut; a pop-culture [sensation]. Vintage is always linked with a story, an emotion.” While heritage is certainly important, Blanchet is interested in why vintage is relevant today – hence Bennifer, the Y2K phenomenon giving us all the nostalgic feels – and a previously inexplicable yearning for trucker hats, mega hoop earrings and rhinestones – at the moment. The Selfridges edit – which comprises a Versace couture jungle print top, a John Galliano-era Dior patchwork denim skirt and a Britney tee – ticks off this yearning for feel-good pieces we all remember, but will hold their value after the ’00s craze passes.
“Mon Vintage is about curation; specifically, telling the stories beyond the pieces,” Blanchet continues. “I don’t sell vintage pieces, I sell a vision of fashion; a proposition that has its place alongside contemporary fashion.” She won’t spill the details of her exceptionally private service – available via word of mouth or, if you’re lucky, Instagram – because, quite simply, “it’s like giving out my tricks as a magician”. But Blanchet promises that her team of experts will treat each Selfridges request with the same veracity as one from a regular client. “Whatever you want, in 24 hours we’ll say whether we can find it or not,” she says of going “hunting” for the department store.
As well as those Jenny from the Block-worthy pieces, there’s enough in the initial Selfridges line-up – which Blanchet’s team has been quietly “editing and editing” throughout the pandemic – to tempt shoppers to start building their own archive. A Chloé by Stella McCartney spring/summer 2001 banana motif top and some of Phoebe Philo’s classic deconstructed Céline tailoring will likely fly off the racks, and Selfridges might as well expect a bun fight for the Chanel pieces, including a couture autumn/winter 2004 brushed silver box bag with chain tassels dripping down the double C logo. Did anything not make the final line-up because it was too rare a jewel to part with? “Alexander McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis boots,” she admits. “But they were not my size”.
Shop the Selfridges X Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet Noughties capsule from 15 August, and expect other exclusive edits to drop in the coming months.