Trends and hot picks may move in a circular fashion, but nothing compares to generational antiques. For some, besides nostalgia, investing in luxury vintage fashion is essentially a lifestyle. And in the current era of quiet luxury, the idea of investment dressing is key to winning at slow and responsible fashion. Oscillating between peculiar Emmanuelle Khanh picks and one-of-a-kind Gaultier jackets, we navigate the inventive world of Bodements.
Started during the pandemic and now an appointment- only brick-and-mortar studio, Bodements is the go-to space for handpicked luxury vintage fashion. Underlining its ethos, Saini says, “As a brand that preaches conscious consumption, I feel it is imperative to propagate the mentality of responsible and ethical consumer practices. We educate our customers about the pieces they purchase and only encourage thoughtful shopping.”
Identifying the authentics
Shopping for investment pieces can often be overwhelming, akin to any other investment practices. One must take the time to mindfully select and purchase a piece that truly personifies their sense of style and serves the purpose of wardrobe longevity. Maximising cost per wear without compromising on critical values of craftsmanship and style is what it’s all about.”The process is fairly simple,” Saini breaks it down for us. “If it looks phoney, feels phoney, it is phoney!” She gathers her expertise from innumerable sourcing trips across the world, spanning years.
For beginners, though, the internet is an astute mentor. Minuscule details pertaining to stitch, logo design, fabric hand and labels are critical elements to identifying a genuine. Another crucial aspect of thrifting vintage fashion is sticking with bona fide sellers. “Nowadays, many sellers provide authenticity certificates which is an added advantage. In lieu of arbitrarily shopping from appealing websites, do your homework”, Saini advises. “Different brands have different guidelines to follow to identify authentic pieces.” A keen eye for detail goes a long way when shopping for vintage luxury.
From sourcing to upcycling
When selecting pieces for Bodements, Saini is on the lookout for classic and timeless pieces. The duration of its relevance and eccentricity are primary checklist elements. “The kinds India hasn’t seen before! Something that is truly unique, beautifully constructed, and often pieces from smaller boutiques and designers that do not exist anymore,” Saini says. From branded vintage pieces to passed-down saris, upcycling garments is at the core of Bodements. For instance, the making of slightly damaged vintage pieces into co-ord sets saves beautiful fabrics from ruin. With Saini, saris, in particular, have seen a plethora of redesign processes. “I believe we fail to realise and understand the number of saris that India, as a country, holds. In the West, there are vintage clothes. In India, there are vintage saris!”.
The Bodements team sources saris from all over the country but mainly from the south, “We have converted 20- to 30-year-old saris into stunning trench coats and dresses,” Saini tells us excitedly. Her enthusiasm was clearly shared by her patrons, as the first collection sold out almost instantly. Bodements continues to redefine silhouettes, turning saris into a series of collections that signify honouring legacies in everyday life.
A Palatial portal
An exceptionally well-curated, quaint boutique in the maximum city, the Bodements store is an ode to Saini’s travels. I ask her to describe the space in her own words, and it’s a moment before she says, “It’s a little spot that almost feels like a speakeasy in Khar, and when you enter and close the door behind you, you are teleported to a different country!”
While the store may be heavily inspired by French minutiae, there are multiple sightings of Indian royalty. “We have Raja Ravi Varma’s original artwork in the bathroom and a photo frame of the Maharaja of Jodhpur from many years ago,” Saini walks us through. The walls are thronged with vintage artworks and relevant newspaper articles to honour India’s culture and heritage. Handpicked vintage pieces from Chor Bazaar, artefacts from around the world, candle stands from Paris and illuminations from Prague are all elements that apprise tales of a thoughtfully curated space for art and fashion aesthetes.
If you’re just venturing into the exciting space of pre- loved fashion, stepping outside your comfort zone is highly recommended. “Celebrating vintage and one-off pieces is not only a sustainable choice but also allows you to truly express the essence of your style via fashion. Saini makes a case for experimenting and staying away from trends. “Since it’s a reflection of your own personality, you can freely experiment, with no other person having styled it the way you would. The reason you pick up a unique piece should be because you identify with it, and to be able to do that, you need to be open to buying pre-loved pieces.”
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