February 13, 2011

A Q&A With Library: Archives Of Fashion's Lauren Lail

You asked for it, and today Lauren Lail is visiting and spilling the vintage shopping goods.  As the owner of Library: Archives of Fashion, Lauren knows a thing or two about vintage frocks.  You may recall that she was just named one of Coastal Living's Best Online Boutiques, along with some other amazing sites like Net-A-Porter, Piperlime, and Shopbop.  You keep good company, Lauren.  And it's easy to see why, girl has style.

And she's seriously just as sweet & warm as she is gorgeous.

Lauren took the time to answer a short set of Q&A, here goes...

LLL: When did your apprecation for vintage fashion begin?
Lauren:  I have always had a certain appreciation for clothing beyond just the fit and fabric...I love the memories that the pieces evoke.  I have literally saved everything I have worn that is meaningful.  I have dresses, hats, purses, jewelry, etc that can immediately take me back in time!  I want to make sure that the appreciation for vintage is kept up in my family, so I've made my mom swear to vacuum seal her clothing and mark years on the boxes so my children can root through them one day!!  My mom is super stylish :)  

Lauren and her mom at the Ferdinand Ball during the Kentucky Derby weekend.
Lauren's wearing vintage Halston and Chanel.  Her mother is wearing Katy Rodriquez, Tony Hoge, & Chanel.
LLL: What did you do before you took the plunge and started up Library?
Lauren: Before I started Library I worked at contemporary boutique here in Charleston.  Fashion has also been an interest and working there fueled my idea to start selling vintage clothing because lots of the shoppers were seeking unique and one-of-a-kind looks.  


LLL: Which 3 vintage pieces in your own closet are personal favorites? 
Lauren: My three favorite pieces of vintage clothing I have in my closet are this turquoise lace dress, patent Chanel bag & Halston dress.


LLL: Where do you find most of the pieces you sell in your shop?
Lauren: I find the pieces I sell in my shop everywhere...I literally scour the US to find pieces to add to the collection.  Anywhere I visit, I am always on the look out for vintage and many times a year I schedule buying trips to California and New York.  Also, I am a Kentucky girl, so what I can find in small towns is many times a treasure trove for me!  I love to dig; I'm literally addicted!


LLL: Many of your vintage pieces are like art. Have you ever framed a garment as decor in your historic Charleston home?
Lauren: I don't have any vintage clothing pieces framed as art in my home, but I have saved all of the fabric remnants from every alteration I've made on the pieces from my vintage collection and one day (when I find the time) I want to go through them and frame them in some form or fashion.  I do have a wall of photos in my home dating back to 1909 from both mine & my husband's families.

{LLL butting in here- Sounds like a lovely (and big) project. Would love to see that piece when you complete it.}


Lauren was also gracious enough to share some of her top tips for shopping vintage smart. 
  • I think it's important when wearing vintage to mix it up with something modern.  Never wear a head to toe vintage look, it can appear too costumey.  
  • When looking for vintage clothing - always try on.  Vintage clothing fits significantly different than modern clothing and many times a dress marked size 14 will actually fit like a size 4.  Don't rule something out that you like simply from the size you read on the tag.  Put it on...you'll most likely be pleasantly surprised!
  • Vintage boots and belts are items you should add to your warbrobe.  A belt is such an easy way to incorporate vintage into your ensemble and make it unique.  Also, vintage boots are so cool...the more worn in they are, the better they look!  

And there you have it.  Thanks so much for stopping by, Lauren.  Your insights, like much of your collection, are invaluable.  Be sure to visit Library regularly, as she gets in new pieces often. 

Images via Lauren Lail and David Sullivan Photography.

13 comments:

Allison {Live Love Small} said...

her style is amazing and i'm totally in love with that lace dress she has. this makes me want to go shopping for some vintage pieces! thanks for sharing!

Nuha said...

I am a vintage addict too! I'll have to check her boutique out :)

Morgan said...

The yellow dress in the last photo is amazing!!

Amber @ imagine.create.play said...

Another fellow Kentucky girl!!! We should start a club- it would be a very fashionable one! Lauren, your style is just perfect and I can't wait to check out your store! Anytime you're in Kentucky, I would be more than happy to go shopping with you! Chassity, another great q&a for a Sunday morning! Have a great day both of you xoxo

Sara Mueller said...

I love this series! Thank you for introducing me to this online shop. I will check it out.

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

Oh this was so fabulous. I am a huge fan of Lauren's shop and loved learning more about her gorgeous style. Great interview Chassity!! Xo

Natalie said...

Great interview! I really ebjoyed learning more about the stylish Lauren! xoxo

Kelly Krugh said...

Great interview! Heading to her online shop now!!!

Simply LKJ said...

Great interview! That chocolate Halston dress is beautiful...so classy!!

Amy R. said...

Please put me on the list for the "Kentucky Club" that Amber mentioned in her comment. I do not love Lauren just because she is a Kentucky girl, I love Lauren because she is the whole package. Great style and really cool.

emily said...

She has gorgeous style! I will have to go check out her shop.

salwar said...

Gorgeous designer dress.. Loved it..

marysia reeves said...

So happy to have introduced you two! Great Q&A...my secret vintage shop is out! hurry ladies!!!