Dress Diaries: Asia Society Benefit Dinner

“You must have a lot of nice party dresses for your job,” one man said to me at last night’s annual NYC Asia Society benefit dinner. “No, I just Rent the Runway,” I responded. 

Like many fashion fiends, I always want to rock the latest looks from my favorite designers, but it’s no secret that the industry doesn’t pay nearly enough to afford me that luxury. That’s where Rent the Runway comes in. To read the full story, visit Rent the Runway here. 

Meet the Muse: Stephanie LaCava

Writer Stephanie LaCava’s vintage education began at an early age. While tagging along with her parents on antique shopping trips in Paris as a child, she started looking for something that struck her interest more than lamps and chairs. After a Victorian lace blouse purchase, she was hooked, and she has since amassed an impressive collection that ranges from an Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo to faux furs to beetle pendants. But clothes and accessories aren’t the only thing she has accumulated over the years—the 27-year-old redhead has the historical knowledge to rival her meticulously curated collection. As Joos describes their photo shoot, “Stephanie is a waterfall of fashion references, elaborate vintage testimonials, and infectious giggles. She’s on some kind of lavish high, ferociously exposing me to all her treasure collections and obsessions, accurately dated histories and demonstrative anecdotes included.” Here, LaCava explains her vintage-bug bug and shares her other favorites to collect. 

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Stylist Natalie Joos recently relaunched her fabulous vintage blog, Tales of Endearment, and she has been featuring a host of inspiring muses, including Annabelle Dexter-Jones and her sister, Evelien. I had the chance to catch up Erin Fetherston, Joos’ latest darling, to learn her tricks for making vintage look modern and discuss her favorite vintage haunts. Here’s what she had to say:

When Erin Fetherston isn’t in something from her namesake collection, she’s almost always wearing vintage. “I love finding a piece that has been made at home, like sweaters that have been hand-knit,” the platinum blonde tells “I always want to know the story behind the clothes.” Now, in her latest Tales of Endearment story, Natalie Joos brings us the backstory behind the New York-based designer’s fantastical wardrobe, complete with separate closets for new clothes and vintage. “It’s like a magical cave,” Joos says of Fetherston’s walk-ins. “I imagine Erin in the middle of her princess’ wardrobe waving a wand that springs a new dress on her thin frame every morning. It’s an amusing thought. But not so far-fetched.” Erin spoke to about playing dress-up and her favorite vintage haunts around the globe.

—Kristin Studeman You always look really feminine. Is that how would you describe your style?
Yes, it’s definitely on the feminine side. I am totally a dress girl. My style is really a reflection of all the different influences I have had over my lifetime. I am from California and I have that California ease. However, I studied in Paris and I have always loved fantasy and had a vivid imagination.

How does vintage play into your look?
I grew up in the Bay Area and there was always an amazing vintage scene in Berkeley and San Francisco. Actually, vintage was more accessible than being able to go see high, directional fashion at the time. I love going to vintage stores because you can see so many different styles and ideas all at once—it has a great variety. If you are only shopping at a current clothing store, it’s dominated by a trend or a season.

What about your designs—how are those influenced by vintage?
At the beginning, I will play extensive dress-up games in my closet to see what I’m feeling. I will pull out new and old and vintage and it is a great tool to help try on ideas for size. To me, there’s something amazing about working in 3-D, rather than just 2-D. When it comes to making my own collection, I like to design from scratch. I’m not interested in making something that looks vintage. I don’t see the point.

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Photo: Natalie Joos