Interview by Irma Gunadi
Photography by Jesus Manongdo
As assistant manager of our Q.V store in Melbourne, Lize Vasiliou puts to use an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion history acquired from years of collecting vintage clothing. We caught up with Lize to rummage through her personal archive and find out why imperfection isn’t such a bad thing.
Someone once said, “Style is the perfection of a point of view”. How would you describe your personal style?
Intuitive, informal, comfortable and unrehearsed.
Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
I would say I’m discerning – I know what I like.
How did you get into thrifting?
Visiting markets and op shops from a very early age. I’ve always been incredibly attracted to making my own discoveries and the process of gleaning discarded items and seeing the potential for reinterpretation.
Tell us about three of your favourite pieces and what makes them special.
1. A Prue Acton Emu dress from the ’80s. It’s a real statement piece representing ideas of Australiana in the form of a playful collage.
2. A loose-fitting cotton dress by Kenzo Paris from the early ’80s that captures a lovely investigation into the subtleties of volume, structure and proportion.
3. A collection of hand-knitted sweaters by unknown, self-instructed artists – these are probably my most treasured.
What are your thoughts on the imperfections that these pieces might have, especially when they’re quite old or very pre-loved?
Vintage can sometimes overemphasise the importance of categorising pieces and condition reporting to ascertain their value. But so much can be learned from the flaws. To me, they create an enriching narrative.
Do you think one needs to regularly cull to maintain a perfect wardrobe?
I like the idea of working with existing pieces and complementing these with new purchases. It’s less extreme and wasteful than discarding entire pieces.
Is there a “dream find” you’re hoping to one day come across?
Not at the moment. But coming into possession of Issey Miyake’s Plantation line is always of interest.
Can you conjure up one perfect moment in your life?
I’m not sure that I can ... But I still live in hope that one day I will be able to execute a free-standing headstand!