Rowena Farrugia is a collector of vintage clothes, the brains behind the Lady Kitt Vintage pop-up sales, and had recently launched a joint venture with il-lokal for the vintage by Lady Kitt section. She shares her most prized possession, a blouse that’s been in the family since the 1920s.
I collect: Vintage clothes and accessories that predate the 1990s. I’m especially fond of pieces representative of specific cultural movements that marked a bygone era: mid-60s shift dresses that call to mind the Quant-inspired Youthquake in fashion, late 60s Space-Age garments, 1970s women’s trouser suits that recall the growing sense of female emancipation in the workplace… That being said, there’s something so enticing about owning a piece that possesses its own personal narrative, or one that’s just an oddity; that strikes you because it’s different, irregular, almost alien.
My most prized possession: A genuine 1920s blouse handed down to me by my uncle. The garment belonged to his grandmother, who’s believed to have acquired it in Paris. (The Made in France label lends credence to this theory).
What attracted me to it: Its exquisite shoulder buckles, intricate sequin detail, and that enticing ‘Made in France’ label instantly attracted me. Of course, I was then filled with excitement about possessing an item that could possibly embody the glamour and decadence of the Roaring 20s took over – I was 19 and going through a Fitzgerald phase. But once the clichéd, romanticised visions subsided, I began to look at the piece as a channel or conduit to a relative I knew so little about. It was as though this absent, shadowy figure that sometimes came up in my uncle’s vague childhood recollections suddenly acquired shape or, at very least, some semblance of tangibility. I’d like to think that the garment accumulated the marks of her lived experience.
Something else I’d like to get my hands on: Too many to mention! But if I really had to pick, I’d go for an Elsa Schiaparelli (or Schiaparelli-inspired) surrealist piece/ accessory like her infamous shoe hat if I’m allowed to look beyond the realms of possibility. And, while I’m still dreaming, an original Yamamoto worn by David Bowie in the 1970s would be nice!