Lisa Perry: Blast from the Past

The fashion designer discusses her personal vintage collection.


While fashion designer Lisa Perry is most often seen wearing her own playful, retro-chic creations, she also possesses an impressive collection of real vintage pieces from the ‘60s and ‘70s. I recently took a tour of her vast wardrobe—in search of fodder for my #30daysofvintage Insta-series—and was overwhelmed by her collection. As she allowed me to play dress up (and take photos in front of her Warhols and Lichtensteins), I grilled her about the collection. Here, Perry explains it all.

What was the first vintage piece you purchased? A red sequined Arnold Scaasi gown from the ‘60s. I bought it for a very special birthday I was about to celebrate. I found it at Lily et Cie in Los Angeles. Lily was the first vintage collector I met; Lisa Eisner introduced us. I thought her store was like a museum! She exposed me to the best vintage designers. I don’t really shop for vintage as much now; people send me things that they think I would like.

What nice friends you have! Which designer do you own the most of? I probably own more Courrèges than any other designer.

Do you have a favorite piece? I love them all, but I particularly loved what Rudi Gernreich was doing.

Did your love of vintage inspire you to start your own label? My love of ‘60s design does, in general. Seeing the Courrèges store in Paris sparked my interest, then Rita Watnick exposed me to the best vintage designers. But I’m always drawing inspiration for new designs from my own vintage pieces—Pierre Cardin’s shifts, Rudi’s tunics and pants.

What is the most surprisingly valuable piece you’ve purchased? The Campbell’s soup can paper dress. I believe it was Warhol-inspired, but it was made by the soup company. They called it the “SOUPER Dress”

So corny! Do you feel different when you wear vintage? I like the feeling of having something that is one of a kind, and that’s how vintage makes me feel.

Do you have any advice for how to best store vintage pieces? Keep them away from light. I have no scientific evidence, though. It’s just my personal opinion.