Vogue's Hamish Bowles Started Collecting Period Costumes When He Was Six

Vogue's Hamish Bowles Started Collecting Period Costumes When He Was Six
(Getty) Hamish Bowles at the 29th Annual FGI Night of Star

One of the fun-est people who works at American Vogue is Hamish Bowles, the magazine's International Editor at Large. This month, he sat down with legendary auction house Christie's to talk about his collecting past—and wow, Bowles was one precocious kid. Here are some of the best bits from the interview:

On when he started to collect: "I was collecting items of period costume as a very little boy—six or seven I believe—pieces such as Victorian guinea purses, for instance, or embroidered slippers, or 1920s dance shoes. I don't know where it came from, but I was captivated by the idea of fashion and costume, and how they could hold up a mirror to a moment in time."

On his first bought piece—a Balenciaga at age 11! "When I was about eleven I found a Cristobal Balenciaga suit in a charity jumble sale that was raising funds for the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company. This refocused my collection on fashion history, and coincided with a burgeoning interest in contemporary fashion, fed by the fashion spreads in British Vogue, and the excitement of the London fashion scene in the early and mid 1970s, and designers including Bill Gibb, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes, and Antony Price."

His dream piece: "Poiret's Sorbet lampshade dress would be a happy addition to my collection! Dior's 'Bar' suit. A Schiaparelli/Dali collaboration piece... the list is endless!"

Who he'd invite, "dead or alive," to his perfect dinner party: "Cecil Beaton, Charles James, Millicent Rogers, Elsa Schiaparelli, Frederick Worth, Mona Bismarck, Pauline de Rothschild, Christian Berard, Truman Capote, the Marchesa Casati, Diana Vreeland."


We're huge fans of Hamish Bowles and his amazing contributions to Vogue. Remember when he played one-on-one with Amare Stoudemire? And when he went on an outdoor survival course? Best stories ever. Are you a fan? Tell us in the comments. Also, geeeeez, he's been collecting since he was 6-years-old! We give up.
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