Interview with Cameron Silver
The philanthropist and owner of the Decades showroom divulges on the fascination of vintage threads and finding your perfect style era.
“The most famous icons have always repeated pieces and mastered the art of re-styling.”
1. When styling in vintage clothing, what do you think are the most important rules to consider?
I have several rules when it comes to styling with vintage clothing. First and foremost, it must look modern! That seems ironic, but I don’t want someone wearing a 20s dress from Decades and looking like they’re in a Halloween costume. Rather, I always suggest that there be only one conversation piece in your ensemble which tends to be the vintage choice.
The most famous icons have always repeated pieces and mastered the art of re-styling. Everyone who has a fashion retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has re-worn treasures through their lifetime and made their personal vintage look modern through intelligent repurposing with recent acquisitions.
2. Vintage clothing comes in different decades; how would you recommend people find their most suitable decade?
If you’re curvy, the 1950s look amazing. If you’re lanky, the 1970s are super complementary. For those that are petite, many of the 1960s silhouettes are incredible. As for the 1980s, there’s something for everyone. I’m a big proponent of mixing designer vintage with current designer as well as luxury pieces with more accessible pieces.
3. What is it in vintage clothes (beyond appearances) that make it stand out and feel special? Does a piece of clothing change over time if it’s been loved and worn?
I always tell clients that the items from Decades were worn in the most joyous moments. I don’t really sell basic or boring things since my focus is on special and often glamorous items. Procuring a vintage Christian Dior gown that may have been worn at a gala with royalty is extremely special. Furthermore, carrying a rare Hermès bag that is no longer in production makes the fashionista the fashion forecaster and not the follower.
4. How would you switch up your outfit from work to night? Does that influence the way you relate to others and move through the world?
Fashion is extremely visceral. I always say we’re in various forms of “drag.” Personally, sometimes I dress very NYC Upper East Side in a suit and tie in the daytime, but at night I throw on a pair of skinny jeans and a motorcycle jacket for an edgier look. I am the same person, but people will see me differently through my clothes. I was recently in Nashville and wore cowboy boots, a western embroidered shirt, and a Stetson hat. Suddenly, people thought I was a famous country singer. It is fun to express oneself through a well-curated wardrobe.