Lithuanian born, Giedre “Gigi” Kose, is the designer and maker of Anchovy, a gorgeous line of linen clothing and raw pearl jewelry that embraces the magic of imperfect beauty. I met Gigi in 2021 when we were both selling at Fog City Flea, a well curated popup in San Francisco.
I discovered that like myself, she is an avid collector of vintage fashion. She too obsesses over iconic design, craftsmanship and use of high quality fabrics made from natural fibers that endure the test of time. So when Gigi offered LaliSimone exclusive access to her covetable vintage wardrobe that she’d collected across continents, I couldn’t have been more honored.
I visited Gigi at her Berkeley hills home the other day. We laughed and were inspired by our shared stories of discovering rare gems like an authentic Pierre Cardin coat from his 1960s space age collections. We both love his designs from that era. And there were so many special vintage pieces from other designers like Yoji Yamamoto, the late Issey Miyake, and lesser-known American wearable art designers like Joan McGee. I couldn’t help but drop my jaw in awe.
I had to find out what Gigi looks for in design and vintage that lead to such an impressive collection of vintage fashion. Here’s what she told me.
LS: How long have you been a wearer and collector of vintage fashion?
GG: I've been into vintage clothing since I was a kid. I remember going to thrift stores every weekend, hunting for pieces made from unique, high-quality fabrics. Interestingly, it was always the fabric that mattered most to me, with the style coming in second. No one taught me about textiles; it just seemed to be in my DNA. Fashion has always been my primary source of inspiration and self-expression.
Back in my childhood, the fashion scene in Lithuania was quite limited and uninspiring. Thrifting was the fantastic way to discover something truly special. As I grew older, vintage fashion evolved into more than just a means of expressing my personal style. I began educating myself about different designers, developing a more refined taste, and collecting vintage pieces not only to wear but also as investments.
Photo courtesy: Giedre Kose, Anchovy
LS: Who are some of your favorite designers and why?
GG: I have a genuine passion for Japanese designers, particularly Kansai Yamamoto, who created outfits for David Bowie. My all-time favorite is Issey Miyake, and I both collect and wear his vintage pieces. I especially adore his vintage designs crafted from wool, cotton, and linen. Surprisingly, he's the only designer who makes me appreciate and wear polyester, especially with his Pleats Please collection, which I consider a true work of art.
Kenzo Takada is another gem in the fashion world. I admire his journey, starting with creating clothing by combining different fabrics due to limited resources. Eventually, this innovative approach became his signature style, and his ability to pair various fabrics together is nothing short of phenomenal.
The French vintage fashion scene, particularly the Space Age era with masterful designers like Pierre Cardin, Courrèges, and Paco Rabanne, is another fascination of mine. The 1960s, the Space Age era, was a time of numerous innovations in the fashion world. Today, designers focus on optimizing clothing production by simplifying designs, but vintage fashion designers treated each piece as a work of art. They aimed to create something unique, even if it took them weeks or months to achieve. Every time I hold a vintage piece in my hands, I'm filled with respect for the people who created it, pouring their thought, effort, and love into making a wardrobe piece that stands the test of time.
LS: Where did you find some of your most iconic vintage pieces?
GG: I'd like to share that I found some of the most amazing vintage pieces while I was living in London. London is filled with incredible vintage fashion, and you can stumble upon a vintage treasure in probably every other thrift store you visit.
Another source of iconic vintage pieces for me was French eBay, where I discovered some stunning Pierre Cardin and Courrèges items. I don't speak French, and it's true that French people aren't always comfortable speaking English, so I had to rely on Google Translate to communicate with them. I believe that when you're highly motivated, you can overcome any barriers to achieve your goals and satisfy your vintage fashion cravings.
LS: What makes vintage special to you?
GG: The most wonderful thing about vintage pieces is that they make you feel and look unique. I truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the element of surprise when you never quite know what you'll discover. When you finally find that special piece, you develop a unique bond with it, treating it as more than just clothing – it becomes your lucky find.
And then there's the quality of the material and craftsmanship. There's something truly satisfying about wearing a piece that was hand-sewn or hand-loomed, one that required countless hours of work and significant investment. It's a piece that remains unchanged after washing, and it rekindles your appreciation for fashion.
LS: Why are you parting with your vintage now?
For many years, I couldn't bear to part with my vintage collection. It traveled with me everywhere, from London to Lithuania, and finally to California. However, recently, I had an epiphany. Instead of keeping my vintage treasures boxed up, I realized I could share the joy with others. Vintage clothing is like a group of wanderers, destined to journey from one place to another. I believe it's time for me to allow a part of my vintage collection to find new owners and bring them that "wow" moment – to be worn, touched, and cherished just as they were by me and their previous owners. It's a chance for their stories to continue evolving.
Today, I am exhilarated to bring you an exclusive and first-of-its-kind collaboration for LaliSimone: A covetable vintage collection direct from Anchovy’s founder's closet.
#vintage #pierrecardin #kenzotakada #isseymiyake #Courrèges #pacorabbane #anchovy #lalisimone #closetcleanout #nonewclothes #kansaiyamamoto #spaceagefashion #1960sfashion #japanesedesginers #frenchdesigners
In the post, photos courtesy of Giedre Kose
Photos in the gallery shot, styled and modeled by Judith Soto, curator and creative director at LaliSimone. Hazel blonde color AI assisted. Just for fun.