Imagine if you could place every delicate piece of clothing from every dreamy vintage store you’ve been to or have yet to discover in one room?
Welcome to A Current Affair.
A curated selection of 60 vendors from across the country located in a warehouse on the waterfront of Brooklyn. If you were looking for Donna Karen’s personal collection of hand painted Mexican inspired jackets, treasures that have been passed down for decades or discovered in nooks throughout the country, this is where you’d find them!
As I came to the back of the space, I spotted a rack of garments that were unmistakably unique — gorgeous patterns, detailed beading, and earthy colors. I soon became enchanted by, owner and designer, Chilli, who began her brand, Dream Tribe 6 years ago when she quit her job in the fashion industry and left for India. Refreshed and inspired there, she found herself collecting beautiful antique hand embroidered textiles.
When she returned home to Amsterdam, she began to design and transform these treasures into wearable art by customizing sweaters and tank tops. Eventually she expanded into vintage, gathering her collections from major cities like New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, Bangkok and Amsterdam.
Chilli is literally weaving stories together. Her journeys alone are worth hearing, but the way that she merges vintage clothing with antique textiles from around the world gives life to each garment.
Chilli gave me a peek into this world when she said, “I work with the materials with my hands, like creating a collage or a painting. I want to keep my collection small, unique and close to my heart”. Chilli is also inspired by the customers who find her work and wear her designs. “Fashion designers and stylists, a knit designer, painters and yoga teachers or a spiritual coach are all people I want to keep meeting, people who are special and unique souls.”
Chili's vintage clothing from around the world and others here in this warehouse created a new awareness in me of the stories these garments hold and how they travel through time and carry special people and places with them.
This curiosity inspired me to ask others how they feel about this genre of clothing. Here are a few of my favorite answers from my question, “What makes clothing from the past timeless?”
"Vintage is an important styling component for me, because it evokes a sense of boldness, craftsmanship, and nostalgia. Vintage takes time to find, time to choose, time to fit. It essentially connects us to ideas, feelings, and moments of the past in a time when everything is so quick and immediate. Vintage is more than fashion history, it's become part of our everyday lives. It's become new again."
"Vintage pieces are important because fashion changes every day. To have a piece of clothing from the past shows that evolution. I personally buy vintage, because I like the story. Finding a garment that’s older and has a previous life adds so much character to your wardrobe, and I think that’s special."
"I find that rather than getting caught up in the trend circus randomly wanting velvet shoes I would wear once or twice, finding a classic vintage piece is always worthwhile. Vintage clothing is well-made and often there is intricate detailing that is hard to replicate. Beautiful things remain timeless. A quality, one-of-a-kind piece that Audrey Hepburn might have worn is always a good idea. For styling, mixing vintage pieces with current designs adds character and unique flare to a look."
Stylist and Art Director for Tapered Magazine
Megan Perry Fisher
About Robyn Mitchell:
Robyn is is currently studying Fashion Design at Parsons in New York and loves the slow fashion movement for it’s focus on being mindful of those who are affected by consumerism and exploitation around the world.