Flower: One of the things that I loved most about the store since the first day I ever discovered Dechoes was the designer vintage selection and of course, Kerri. In the beginning, it was singlehandedly curated by her at the original College Park shop. Our ongoing discussions about vintage fashion are some of my most favorite conversations. It is my pleasure to spend a moment with her talking about how her love for fashion and vintage began.
Here is a Q&A with Kerri Colangelo.
When did your love for vintage begin and what were some of your favorite labels or pieces from then? In the 80’s, my favorite shop was Contempo Casuals. This was also when I started wearing vintage clothing. I didn’t learn to thrift until my first year of college in 1988.
You grew up along the coast and so I imagine that the beach played a big part in how you dressed. How did location influence what you wore? In 1987 I graduated high school and as my graduation present I was allowed to move to my parents beach condo free of charge with one of my friends for the summer. With my weekly meager paycheck from The Body Shop, a clothing store at the Merritt Square Mall, I would buy the cutest outfits. You would think since all of my boyfriends were surfers or skateboarders, I would dress like that but I never did. Peplum mini-dresses and Madonna-styling mixed with thrift store finds. I remember one of my favorite outfits was from Esprit. I called it my "Bumblebee Outfit". It was black and yellow polka dot leggings with a black and yellow striped shirt. Of course I had Converse to match -I owned them in every color!!
Is there anyone who influenced the way you dressed then? In high school, I was voted Best Dressed. My mom had a lot to do with that. She always updated me on what was “in style“. I was the first person in high school to wear a miniskirt. The principal actually called my mom and asked, “Do you realize that your child is wearing a very short skirt?“. My mom replied, ”Of course I do, don’t you read Vogue?”.
What were some songs that were your favorite if you have to create a playlist from the time (tell me why if you want)? As for music, I loved “New Wave .” I used to go to Visage Nightclub in Orlando every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night and loved all of that music! Some of my favorites: Depeche Mode, Book of Love, Gene Loves Jezebel, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths, The Cure, REM.
Is there a movie you love that reflects your style in the 80's? Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club. I loved both of those movies.
Images courtesy of Barbara Ford / Interview by Flower Ta.