VINTAGE AND THE MUSE
In conversation with Marlene Wetherell
In honor of our partnership at our SoHo store with Marlene Wetherell, LES founder Lauren Sands sat down with Marlene to candidly discuss her remarkable journey into the world of luxury-curated vintage clothing and accessories.
Marlene's voyage into the world of vintage fashion can be traced back to her early admiration for the iconic French New Wave Cinema. The works of Truffaut and Godard and the stylish French actresses who starred in their films left an indelible mark on her. A Francophile at heart, she recalls,
During the vibrant 1970s, Marlene Wetherell embarked on her journey of collecting and adorning herself in unique clothing pieces from illustrious French brands. These exquisite ensembles were a direct homage to the French muse actresses who had captured her heart and imagination. Marlene's enduring appreciation for their allure was evident in her choice of clothing, from dainty printed Liberty blouses to other timeless garments that embodied the spirit of Parisian style. Her admiration for these fashion icons would go on to shape her remarkable career in the world of vintage fashion and design.
In the 1980s, Marlene took her passion for vintage fashion a step further, opening her first vintage boutique. The shop featured a treasure trove of styles from earlier eras, such as Edwardian and early 19th-century garments and vintage flapper dresses from the 1920s.
As the 1990s unfolded, Marlene Wetherell's expertise in styling became her primary focus. Specializing in editorial and advertising work, she became a sought-after fashion stylist. Her keen eye for aesthetics and intimate knowledge of vintage fashion were invaluable assets in bringing editorial concepts to life.
In the early 2000s, Marlene opened her current namesake boutique, nestled in the vibrant Showplace. For nearly two decades, this location has been a stalwart in the world of vintage fashion, with an exquisite selection of clothing and accessories that encapsulate Weatherall's unwavering passion for timeless elegance.
Marlene Wetherell boasts an impeccable collection and one of their standout treasures is the selection of Yves Saint Laurent pieces. Saint Laurent, renowned for his exceptional vision and innovative approach to fashion, holds a special place in Marlene's heart. About Saint Laurent, Marlene notes, "He loved women. He had an extraordinary sense of color, using sensitive and unexpected tones. Saint Laurent put women in masculine clothes like smoking jackets and tuxedos, but they were sexy and feminine. He was the pioneer of that look that still works today." Marlene's store showcases the enduring relevance of Saint Laurent, a true treasure trove for those who appreciate his iconic style.
She is a fervent advocate of tradition, understanding that many garments represent a specific era and embody the skills and artistry of bygone generations.
Quality is paramount in her selection process, and she strongly emphasizes the design and structure of each piece. Discerning this quality has become second nature. With years of experience in vintage fashion, Marlene's ability to evaluate the craftsmanship and construction of a garment is nothing short of remarkable. She has an intuitive knack for recognizing the hallmarks of a quality piece, often turning the garment inside out to inspect its seams, stitching, and materials closely. Marlene's expertise allows her to distinguish between an authentic, timeless gem and a mere vintage imitation, making her a trusted authority when curating the finest pieces for her boutique.
Furthermore, Marlene is a connoisseur of the signature styles of renowned designers, as she firmly believes in investing in timeless and iconic pieces. Unique design is equally significant, with each piece carefully chosen to reflect the designer's distinctive perspective and artistic vision, ensuring that her boutique offers a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience that transcends the boundaries of time and trend.
For Marlene Wetherell, the wellspring of inspiration lies within the realm of cinema, a place she revisits time and time again, with a particular penchant for esoteric films that possess the remarkable ability to stir deep emotions. These cinematic gems are not only beautifully acted but also masterfully captured, revealing the profound artistry that resonates in every frame. Yet, Marlene's appreciation for creativity extends beyond the past, as she also finds inspiration in the contemporary. She looks to figures like Sofia Coppola, who shares her knack for aesthetics and storytelling, or Miuccia Prada, whose intellect and personality shine through her designs—all sources of inspiration for Marlene's creative endeavors.
Marlene Wetherell's expert curation showcases a profound connection to the art of storytelling through fashion, where past elegance and contemporary innovation harmoniously intersect. Her dedication to preserving the timeless allure of vintage pieces resonates deeply with our values and vision at LES. We are thrilled to have Marlene as a partner at our Soho location, as her journey through the world of fashion mirrors our commitment to celebrating the enduring beauty and craftsmanship in every artful object. Together, we look forward to offering our patrons an exquisite experience that transcends eras and fashion trends, rooted in a shared passion for the artistry of clothing and the narratives it weaves, where the stories of the past meet the creativity of the present, resonating with a love for quality, timeless style, and individuality.