– 19 March 2005
Delectable Collectables: Preserving the Glories of
the Past through Inspired Modern Collections
By Edwina Ings-Chambers
Not content to rely on dealing with antiques, Kyra
Segal, co-owner of the Gallery of Costume & Textiles in London,
a veritable trove of special pieces, decided to make her own range
of clothes that paid homage to the best that’s gone before.
‘Over the last few years I’ve seen that the sources
of the really beautiful vintage pieces have been dwindling and
I wanted to try to keep them in existence’ says Segal. For
Segal, this has been a labour of love. It took her 18 months just
to perfect the cut of her coat: a motoring coat inspired mix of
Mary Poppins Victoriana with a dash of Marni-esque modernism.
Yet, in intricately smocked tunic tops in Irish linen, 1930s-inspired
bias-cut jersey dresses, and bead-encrusted silk tops, Segal has
not only taken inspiration from the past, but created pieces for
the present. And her work can be worn by anyone, from a Kate Moss
customer to a gardening grandmother – it just depends on
Karina Duebner founded Tamerlane’s Daughters
for similar reasons. A collector of 19th century Central Asian
textiles and jewellery, she decided she would like to ‘use
them in the way they were intended – to be worn by women.
I wanted to breath new life into them as opposed to their being
hung on a wall.’ Duebner used dressmaking skills acquired
during her East German childhood (‘if you wanted to wear
something nice you had to make it yourself’) to create her
bespoke range of garments that incorporates old swatches of material
or jewellery. So a gown may have a strip of antique embroidery
across the bust, or a halter-neck dress will flow from a necklace,
creating a modern way to look to the past.