Resee is a word that is part of the working vocabulary of fashion weeks, referring to the less glamorous portion in-between shows, when you go and literally “resee” a collection in a showroom. If you were late for the show or couldn’t make it for some reason, then it’s often a see-see rather a resee. The word is therefore automatically associated with work.
During Paris Fashion Week though, I discovered a different side to the word through a new-ish vintage site Resee.com. Do we need another you might ask? On their About page, Resee.com describes itself as a “new concept website that fuses rare vintage and the best in second-hand clothing with unparalleled, high fashion editorial style.” Resee.com is a collaborative effort founded by Sofia Bernardin and Sabrina Marshall, who previously worked at Vogue and Self Service and are able to amass a selection of designer pieces that pick up on key moments of fashion post 1960 from their network of industry “sources”.
For better or for worse, it’s “curated” designer vintage, which has become something of a weak spot for me over the years. It’s an obsession that has progressed from trawling eBay, to scouring vintage and consignment stores all over the world (with particular attention to Tokyo) and now to persistently browsing sites like sites like TheRealReal, Vestiaire Collective (and a whole host of others). Or if I’m really looking for something special, Kerry Taylor Auctions and 1st Dibs comes calling too (although I do think the prices for the latter are grossly exorbitant). It’s the process of the unpredictable hunt in this kind of shopping, that I find the most rewarding, when you emerge with a garment that feels significant and doesn’t necessarily run concurrently with what’s on-trend and in-stores at the moment.
Wearing Chloe S/S 14 dress with vintage Chanel tights (both from Resee.com) and Maison Margiela boots at the Chanel x AnOther 15th Anniversary Birthday party
Resee.com follows the curated/edited path that many of the boutique vintage stores have gone online with editorial contextualisation, curated picks from industry folk and themed selections.
Their strength though is really in the selection and presentation of their pieces. Where possible, everything is dated by season, accompanied by a runway or editorial image and they come with descriptions that also place the pieces in a fashion historical context. You’re not just buying a Yves Saint Laurent piece but one that’s from the iconic Russian collection of 1976. The selection pre 2000 is tight, mainly focusing on Yves Saint Laurent, with some stand out pieces by Paco Rabanne and some hard-to-find Gucci by Tom Ford pieces.
Saint Laurent early 80s smoking jacket
Resee.com is not by any means comprehensive in its overview of fashion history of the latter half of the 20th century but it comes into its own post 2000. This is the period when my own interest in fashion, fuelled by obsessive message threads on The Fashion Spot and the rise of Style.com, really ramped up. In the early period of my blogging days when I wasn’t able to physically go to shows, obsessing about the images that emerged on the internet was something of a pastime. Its selection of Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiére pieces is particularly broad, with pieces spanning from the beginning of his tenure to his last few collections for the house. Scrolling through Resee.com’s selection makes me think about the days when I used to click refresh on my browser button on Style.come, waiting for the catwalk images to come through (normally about a 24-36 hour post-show turnaround).
Ditto goes for Prada and Miu Miu…
Resee.com also seems to also give you a refresher course on certain epochs that have emerged in the last fifteen years of fashion. Remember when Stella McCartney, Hannah McGibbon and Phoebe Philo were grouped up as arbiters of female-architected British minimalism?
The theatrical moments of Marc Jacobs, buttressing a season with both his own shows in New York and his collections for Louis Vuitton in Paris, also live on.
So often when hunting out vintage Chanel, you find a repetition of classic suits and non-descript blouses so it’s nice to see some of the more key catwalk moments on Resee.com.
Resee.com’s selection of Alexander Wang and Rodarte for instance buck the trend for proliferation of commercial pieces flooding online consignment stores. Together, these pieces crystallise that moment in time when Wang made his “downtown cool” stamp and when Rodarte became left-of-field fashion visionaries.
The most recent pieces on Resee.com are also future collectibles in their own right as seen in this Simone Rocha dress and Loewe t-shirt from Jonathan Anderson’s debut collection for the Spanish house. They’re moments that are still fresh on my memory having been to the show but look to stand the test of time further down the line.