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By Chere Di Boscio
Fashion philanthropist, stylist, singer designer and author Cameron Silver wants you to dress up!
Tired of seeing people slouch around in faded sweats in LA, he opened his shop Decades in 1997 to encourage people to return to the glamour of classic Hollywood.
Since then, he has served as an official ambassador for Pringle and Boucheron, was a creative consultant to Azzaro, acted as creative consultant for the global launch of Samsonite’s iconic Fashionaire collection with Christina Ricci and curated the MOCA exhibition, The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt, and William Claxton, an exhibit that continues to tour.
In the fall of 2011, Silver showcased his flair for accessory design via the launch of The Haskell for Decades “Uptown/Downtown” collection, his collaboration with jewellery maven Miriam Haskell. Partnering with Modern Vintage, Silver designed a collection of statement footwear inspired by the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, which went on sale in March of 2012.
Quite rightly named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion” in 2002, Silver is a returning pundit on E! Entertainment, the Style Network and “Fashion File.” Selecting looks from Decades’ deep closets, he styles celebrities for major red carpet awards appearances like the Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards. He has also written about luxury and vintage fashion for a variety of magazines, including Harpers Bazaar, Departures, and Style.com, and also recently narrated the Versailles 1973 documentary about the restoration of the famed French palace.
Indeed, Silver’s passion for beautiful vintage design extends beyond the realm of fashion. He was among the first to recognize the disappearing architectural legacy of Los Angeles’ great modernist homes, and scooped up a crumbling hillside 1930 treasure by icon R.M. Schindler which he spent eight years meticulously restoring. The L.A. Conservancy awarded the efforts, the house was landmarked, and it has appeared on the covers of shelter magazines and in several books.
As one of the foremost vintage experts in the country and with more than a decade of curating Decades, Silver released a much anticipated coffee table book for Bloomsbury showcasing an unexpected compilation of the most significant 20th century fashions, as well as many of the celebrities he collaborated with over the years.
Recently, he was invited to Dubai as a guest of honour for Fashion Week Middle East. Here, he tells Eluxe about how to choose the vintage decade that’s right for you, and why disco still rules.
What initially attracted you to vintage?
I am a history junkie so vintage fashion is a wonderful visual and tactile barometer of the past.
Attitudes in the Middle East are still very much geared towards buying ‘new’. How do you think you could direct this market towards buying more vintage?
I always remind people that there is nothing “new” to do in fashion and clothing has become so ubiquitous that vintage is an ideal way to look distinctive. As for those who are concerned about buying something that is pre-loved, I promise my clients that the previous owners of our clothing wore the looks during their happiest moments in life. That’s a good energy to share between generations.
When you’re styling someone, how do you determine which decade suits their style?
Your body shape determines your decade. If you at curvy, I like the 1950s or lanky, the 1970s, as an example.
What’s your favourite decade for style and why?
I love the freedom of the 1970s and this was also the birth of American fashion on the international scene. Halston is one of my favourite designers so the disco look is a favourite.
What did you hope to accomplish during your visit to the Middle East?
I want to share ideas and make new friends and discover exciting regional talents. I may be the King of Vintage, but I am also the United Nations of Fashion, too!