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| BNE May/June 2015


velyn Wood’s love affair with vintage style began with a visit to

an antique store in the small country town where she grew up.

Rummaging in the back of the store, trying on the clothes, she

found the first object of her affection – an early 1960s brown fur coat. It

may not have been the most practical fashion buy in a climate that stays

warm year-round, but that wasn’t the point, it was love at first sight and it

triggered a desire for vintage that blossomed over the next decade.

Wood started making her own clothes in high school and by the time

she reached college to study fashion design she was making extra garments

to sell at markets – her career in fashion had begun. Like many designers

before her the markets were a stepping stone to launching her own label

and Wood has finally taken the big leap. After working her way through

the ranks of manufacturing and sales roles with an established bridal

business Wood launched her eponymous label, first on the go-to hand-

made marketplace

then at her own online store – a site she also

designed and built herself – six months ago.

Wood’s signature style is to recreate glamorous vintage designs of the

1930s, ’40s and ’50s, hand-made to look as authentic as the real thing

inside and out. Finding her inspiration in books, classic movies starring

the likes of Marlene Dietrich, and defining trends from the era such

as Dior’s New Look, she uses dressmaking techniques of the period

with attention to details such as metal zips, rayon hem tapes and seam

coverings, covered buttons and belts, and generous open seams.

Some of her favourite patterns are sourced from original copies of the

Australian Home Journal

, although the avid dressmaker says the old-style

patterns are not for the faint-hearted and often need some tweaking to

suit modern body shapes. Her designs are all made to order and, while

vintage fabrics in large quantities are hard to come by, Wood sources

modern equivalents of textiles that reflect the period aesthetic – that

means no stretchy cotton!

Her attention to detail is winning a legion of fans among like-

minded fashionistas and it’s the true vintage aficionado that Wood is

hoping to win over. “They’re the ones who really know their stuff,” says

Wood who is clearly delighted by the comments about her collection