A dAY oUT WiTH dINo 

Join our contributor as he takes his favourite KOIBIRD vintage items for a spin

Words by Dino Bonačić 

I don’t usually believe in magic, except for when we’re talking about vintage fashion. I find it impossible to describe the feeling of finding the one, the ultimate piece you never knew you absolutely needed, without using words that end up referring back to the mystical world. Supernatural, enchanting, a miracle… To be fair, there is plenty of scientific evidence that can relay this feeling of euphoria back to hormonal releases of endorphins and dopamine caused by the tap of a credit card. But I’ve always been more interested in the emotional connection only a vintage garment can bring. Whether it’s yearning for the one that got away or being surprised by stumbling upon something completely unexpected, shopping for vintage pieces can be an absolute rollercoaster of feelings and that’s exactly why I can never get enough of it.

My love affair started back when I was a teenager with a limited budget and an unlimited appetite for power suiting. Seeking out late 1980s blazers with structured shoulders and wide lapels became a hobby, as I made my bid to become the premier Peter Byrne impersonator in my hometown of Zagreb, Croatia. Most people simply cocked their heads to one side and questioned my style choices, but I remained unphased and taught myself how to trace a jacket’s linings back to a specific tailor or brand even if the label was missing. Exploring my love of vintage clothes made me learn about design and truly understand its real value. This connection evolved over the years as I discovered how and where to shop, therefore leaning into the never-ending search for the next best piece that is unique, special and owned by only me. 

So you can imagine the excitement when KOIBIRD generously asked me to immerse myself into their rails and rails of wonderful objects that made me go ‘oooh’, ‘ahhh’ and ‘OMG I NEED THIS’. Join me on this journey of discovery as I share six of my favourite pieces you can currently shop via KOIBIRD’s newly launched vintage edit. As all of the pieces are one-offs, consider this your final warning: buy now or regret later.

Tennis-printed Silk Twinset by Escada

A thing I regularly do when shopping for vintage pieces is imagining the original owner of this item. Who was this person? What did they do? Where did they go? What did they drink? I imagine this Escada was once upon a time owned by a wealthy Swiss aristocrat who liked to go for tennis retreats every spring. But instead of actually playing the sport, she schmoozed around the court with a dirty martini in hand – throwing naughty comments in an attempt to throw off the players’ focus. This is the kind of person I aspire to be: spending days in the softest of silks and eventually waking up the next morning in the same outfit, acting like they are pyjamas.

Yellow Candy-Stripe Textured Cardigan

You know those slo-mo videos of fluffy dogs running towards the camera? This banana yellow cardigan is the fashion equivalent, with its luscious mohair-like texture and comforting loose silhouette. Its style riffs on classic 1950s menswear codes and you can easily imagine someone iconic like Buddy Holly rocking it on his Hawaiian holiday. I can already taste the piña coladas…

Smiley Crochet Cardi by Moschino Cheap’n’Chic 

If this one doesn’t put a smile on your face… well, there must be something wrong with you! This crochet cardi, which makes reference to Moschino’s mainline collection for SS91, is rarer than the Loch Ness monster and will get collectors jumping up and down in a frenzy. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a serious collector to appreciate its beauty. The contrasting colours, the scalloped hem, the semi-loose knit – it’s all of the best things about 1990s fashion encapsulated into one piece of absolute fashion joy. 

Floral Patchwork Shirt by K.G.S ORIGINAL

Sometimes, the ultimate vintage race is not about finding the golden egg in the form of a rare branded piece. Another way to experience the sense of euphoria is discovering an item that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before, with a semi-anonymous label to match. This floral patchwork shirt is exactly that – an uncut gem [*please pronounce in a Julia Fox voice*] that captures ideas of a time and place without giving away too much. You’re in the Californian desert in 1973 and someone hands you this crisp blouse that was just handmade by a local artisan. Honestly, I don’t have a clue whether this is the story – but my hippy West Coast fantasy is alive and kicking.

Cropped Tweed Jacket by Moschino (sold as part of a two-piece)

Harking back to my original love for strong-shouldered power suits, this jacket is the perfect example of why shopping vintage can be the only way to shop. The thick bouclé fabric is outlined by a scalloped black strip, playing with tradition while bringing in elements of the tongue-in-cheek fun that the late Franco Moschino was known for. It’s a 1980s-does-1960s kind of situation, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re embodying your inner Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 (me) or imagining yourself as one of the fallen angels in Valley of the Dolls (also me). This is a suit for all occasions, eras, ages and genders – one for all, all for Moschino! 

Crochet Cream Midi Dress

If I was to rank my favourites, Top-Of-The-Pops-style, this crochet wonder would have its own live performance slot at the end of the show, followed by a 1:1 interview and a raving applause from the audience. This dress is one of those pieces you dream of wearing, layered over nothing but a bikini and your salty, sunkissed skin. Or perhaps you’re a city raver who wants to see these hand-knitted flowers dancing to the beat of heavy beats? I’m not here to tell you how or where to wear this piece – just that you simply must wear it. That is, unless, I beat you to it…

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