“A love for the discarded, the recycled, and the nostalgic.” That’s the motivating force behind Natalie Joos’ book, Tales of Endearment: Modern Vintage Lovers and Their Extraordinary Wardrobes. Joos’ blog, one of our favorites, Tales of Endearment, makes vintage clothing a focal point; the book is no different, just more tangible. (The blog even feautured BUST’s own Laurie in 2013!)
In gathering together 58 vintage clothing lovers and their stories, Joos traveled to North London, the Bronx, Milan, Paris, Istanbul, Australia, Santa Monica, Santa Fe, and many other faraway places. From Paz Lechantin of the Pixies, to model Waris Ahluwalia, scarf connoisseur Emmanual Demuynck, and 17-year-old Isabel Musidora, each vintage junkie has a story, but, as Joos puts it, “It’s not about taste or money or age; it’s a lifestyle.”
Joos does something I wish more interviewers did: She takes her time. Fight the temptation to skim the words and skip to the pictures — she put time into each and every interview, and it shows. Joos has a knack for style and prose, and she’ll take you through her subjects’ closets, as well as their tea-making rituals, visits to grandma’s, and that one year they only wore Barbie bridal dresses.
Refreshingly, the book provides variety; it’s not just models like Stella Maxwell and Staz Lindes. There’s Damian Yee in a chic pair of Louis Vuitton slides and Wendy Henry with her love for blue jeans and white T-shirts (she’s lost track of how many pairs of jeans and tees she’s bought in her life), as she poses in a pair of her custom-made cowboy boots she sells to the likes of Tom Ford.
It’s nice that Joos lets the clothes speak for themselves, but the book, sadly, doesn’t provide much information on the individual pieces that Joos has photographed her subjects wearing (I’m dying to know the story behind a pair of feather epaulettes).
Fortunately, she doesn’t just capture the clothes; she captures the environment that they inhabit, an easily overlooked background that gives the reader just a bit more insight into the owner and their collection. Linda Ramone stands outside of her “Pepto-Bismol pink” house, Eleanor Wells perches in her colorfully painted convertible, stretch limousine, and Zoë Bleu Sidel sits atop a yellow ducky pool float on the front cover.
The book really is the “who’s who” of vintage. It’s part biography, part story, and part loving ode. In her interview, Catherine Baba reminds us, “Vintage has soul!” and this book is full of it too.
Tales of Endearment: Modern Vintage Lovers and Their Extraordinary Wardrobes is currently available for purchase.
All photos via Tales of Endearment, Natalie Joos, powerHouse Books.
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