My Vintage London - fine vintage dealer William Banks-Blaney
This week William Banks-Blaney, fine vintage dealer and interior designer, shares his passion for Sixties Oscar de la Renta and reveals his top vintage shopping destination in London.
The Vintage Guide to London: Who are you, and what do you do?
William Banks-Blaney: I am William Banks-Blaney, founder of WilliamVintage. WilliamVintage is a carefully edited collection of rare vintage and couture clothes including pieces by Courreges, Christian Dior, Jean Desses, Lanvin, Madame Gres, Ossie Clark, Oscar de la Renta, Stavropoulos, Tam and many others. In addition, I am also the founder of WilliamBanksBlaney, an interior design company that caries out projects internationally.
The Vintage Guide to London:What characterises your clients?
William Banks-Blaney: My clients tend to love strong silhouettes and a contemporary feel to their vintage pieces. They usually wear a WilliamVintage piece alongside contemporary collections…for example a WilliamVintage Ossie Clark dress with Louboutin Wedges or a couture Givenchy coat with a white T and a pair of great jeans.
My clients range from Oscar-winning actresses and previous winners of Business Women of the Year to any woman who wants to wear something a little different with style and aplomb.
The Vintage Guide to London: Why do you like vintage – or in other words, what does vintage mean to you?William Banks-Blaney: I love vintage because it is an opportunity to express a different taste and individuality, combined with a sense of history, for example, I have a classic black cocktail dress from 1962 by Simonette and Fabiani, two rival designers in New York who eventually met and married and this dress is one of the rare pieces from their joint venture after their marriage.
The dress is a classic, beautiful piece and forms a part of fashion history. Equally, I have a wonderful silk maxi dress made in 1960 by a little known designer in his early twenties – Oscar de la Renta – it’s fascinating seeing pieces survive and still feel sharp, relevant and wearable.
The Vintage Guide to London: What are your favourite London vintage shops?
William Banks-Blaney: I adore the Pimlico Road for vintage and antique pieces, Lamberty and Gallery 25 both being wonderful locations for fine 20th century pieces.
The Vintage Guide to London: Do you ever go to vintage events? If so, which ones would you recommend?
William Banks-Blaney: I love everything from the Bermondsey Antiques Market to the Grosvenor House Fair. It’s important to see the beauty in items whether they are £100 or £100,000.
The Vintage Guide to London: What’s the must do vintage thing one has to do in London?
William Banks-Blaney:I think if one is visiting London, a visit to the Portobello Road is vital. Hundreds of stalls selling everything from rare porcelain to Thirties jewellery to stunning objets d’art…and in addition the food stalls are fantastic!