A focus on quality, detail and design. Blending history and incredible storytelling with a keen fashion-forward eye. This is Phantasmagoria Vintage.
Launching today, Phantasmagoria is the online vintage curation from stylist and former fashion editor of RUSSH Magazine, Bridie Gilbert. Gilbert’s love of clothing began with vintage, growing up near Newtown’s vibrant King Street strip provided her endless amounts of inspiration while spending hours sifting through racks of clothing and accessories.
Phantasmagoria is a place where you’ll find special pieces that were destined to make their way to you. Consisting of vintage garments sourced from Gilbert’s wonderous travels to Istanbul, Florence, Tel Aviv, Paris, Zurich, Marrakech, Cape Town and beyond. Each piece was carefully selected for their unique details, from intricate fabric textures, meticulous craftwork, hand-worked embroidery or rare artisanal processes. Gilbert also reworks and repairs pre-loved garments, using processes such as intricate darning and re-fabrication to breathe new life into the one-of-a-kind items she sources.
Phantasmagoria’s Spring 2020 collection features traditional garments and accessories from around the world, as well as hard-to-come-by materials and collaborations with creative friends. It’s no secret the fashion industry has an incredible waste problem, with Phantasmagoria offering a new approach to getting dressed, combining a love of fashion with a sustainable future.
Here we chat with Gilbert on the launch of Phantasmagoria, the debut Spring 2020 release, her creative collaborations and why it’s more important than ever to shop vintage in 2020. See the full interview and Spring 2020 shoot lensed by Gilbert herself below.
Tell us about Phantasmagoria, what inspired the creation of your vintage curation?
Phantasmagoria is a website and online shop with an overarching purpose to elevate vintage and create a conversation about consuming fashion ethically through collaborations with my colleagues and friends in the creative industries.
I’ve collected vintage since I was a teenager and it has always been my first love and something I imagined would be in my future, but with serious issues like climate change facing us, I believe it is an incredibly important time to reconsider and revise how we engage in buying clothing. Hence… Phantasmagoria.
What are some of the styles available in the debut Spring 2020 release?
Silk pyjama sets, hand-knitted fairisle vests, Japanese rayon, 70’s floral dresses, Chullo hats from Peru and the Phantasmagoria x Suzi Leenaars Capsule.
How has your experience as a stylist and former fashion editor aided you in sourcing incredible pieces?
Because of styling, I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself in some unbelievable places where I’ve been able to see and experience diverse cultures and the clothing and decoration that come with those cultures. Travel has always been an inspiration for me, with the added bonus being that I’ve been able to collect and add to my vintage along the way. Some of those pieces will be sold through Phantasmagoria, or have provided the inspiration for my sourcing.
Tell us about the creative collaborations conceived through Phantasmagoria?
For Spring ’20, I have collaborated with Suzi Leenaars on a capsule collection of pieces I have sourced and Suzi has repurposed through intricate dyeing processes.
Suzi and I have been friends since we lived together in London. We’ve travelled and worked together for what feels like forever and we’ve always both appreciated and bonded over vintage, so this capsule was a natural progression.
Georgia Graham has done a verbal interview with Suzi about the capsule, Kitty Callaghan will be contributing collages and Aleyna Fitzgerald and Alex Johnstone are contributing a photo project.
I’m working on the Summer and Autumn capsules now, and there are some exciting things lined up I’m looking forward to sharing in January.
Why is buying vintage more important than ever in 2020?
I think it’s vital for our future that we all reconsider and do what we can to change how we consume, promote, discuss and engage with fashion. Buying second-hand, recycled or vintage is one way, repurposing clothing to give it new life is another. If you’re buying something new make it one quality thing at a higher price point that you will love and keep, not five things that are poorly made in unethical factories that quickly become landfill. Obviously, it’s not always that simple, social and economic reasons need to be factored but I think it also comes down to education. If given the information most people will make ethical choices.
Creating conversations that give value to recycled and vintage clothing and educate the next generation of consumers is the first step towards that and I believe has huge potential to create positive, lasting change.
How do you stay creative and motivated during this time of global unrest?
Collaborations with my friends and like-minded creatives keeps me motivated and positive.
What do you appreciate the most right now?
Family, friends, Australia, my agent and my health.
You can shop the Spring 2020 Phantasmagoria collection via phantasmagoriavintage.com.
Looking for more vintage? Don't miss our interview with Oliva Lahood on her vintage store and guide to shopping second hand, or our list of the best online vintage stores to shop now.