Everything Old is New Again: Michelene Auguste

Everything Old is New Again: A conversation series that explores the distinction between reinventing styles from the past instead of simply reproducing them (an endeavor near and dear to everything we design at Larkspur & Hawk), featuring inspiring women with different approaches to breathing new life into vintage and making it feel uniquely modern.

 

Next up in our series is Michelene Auguste, the founder and thoughtful curator behind Dem, a vintage shopping wonderland. Discover the origins of Michelene's relationship with vintage and shop her favorite colorful Larkspur & Hawk pieces below.

 

Tell us about your relationship with the world of vintage. 
Growing up, most of what I owned was vintage or used. Sometimes resources and money are scarce in Trinidad, so clothes are passed down — nothing goes to waste in my family. I think this made me appreciate secondhand clothes and objects, things with history. When I started traveling I really enjoyed searching for interesting and unique pieces. It’s very important for me to express myself, and I feel through vintage I can do that. I love digging through trunks of old clothes. It feels like you’re hunting for treasures and untold stories. I put in a lot of time into curating the clothing and objects in my shop Dem because I want people to find something that they know is rare and was really searched for. Also, through Dem, I want to promote a lifestyle that isn’t wasteful.

 

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What advice do you have for styling vintage (fashion and/or decor) in a way that makes it look uniquely fresh or modern, i.e. reinventing styles from the past as opposed to simply reproducing or mimicking them (which can feel more like a costume)? Any particular strategies or tips? 

I’d say mixing a bit of old with some new gives a fresh look. Really it’s about experimentation and expressing yourself — some looks work, some looks don’t, but for me it’s just about the process, the trial and error of putting things together

 

 

Tell us about the vintage wardrobe items you wore in our shoot. 

I wore Roberto Cavalli, who I’m very inspired by. I actually found this blouse and another one very similar but in green at a charity shop, and I of course kept one and sold the other. I love Roberto Cavallo’s mix of prints as well as the details in his garments — the charms hanging from the cuffs in this blouse are my favorite! I also paired them with some Roberto Cavalli jeans I found, and some vintage cowboy boots I found upstate. 

 

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Tell us about the Larkspur & Hawk pieces you chose and the way you styled them. 

I’m a Larkspur & Hawk kinda girl. The first thing that drew me in were the colors. Growing up in Trinidad, everything is filled with color — our people, our streets, our laughter, and our accents. We are a very resilient and joyful people, and we love to express ourselves. I express myself through my clothing, and though I’m a bit shy my outfit might say different. So for this shoot I chose to layer two necklaces, a beautiful pair of earrings, and then I couldn’t leave out the ringsss!  

 

What inspires your jewelry style in general? 

Jewelry has always been very precious to me. Most of my jewelry has come from either my mom or my grandmother or from very special people in my life. These pieces all have great memories attached to them. When I put jewelry on I feel connected to my family, and that makes me very happy. I love bold earrings, layers and layers of chains, and lots of rings, but some days I just love wearing one really special piece from a loved one. 

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