Vintage Treasure Trove Love James Makes Its Glamorous Debut

Elevate your outings with 1940s tea dresses, crisp-cut pantsuits and wedding gowns


A 1940s tea dress is one of the offerings from Love James. Photo / Kate Battersby

Stepping inside Lizzie Langridge's Freeman's Bay apartment, you're immediately greeted by two full racks of vintage finds — one curated by a rainbow assortment of colours, the other a gradient of creams and whites destined for future brides-to-be.

Having worked in New York in wholesale showrooms and at brands such as Rosie Assoulin and Roksanda, Lizzie has been able to put her degree in Bachelor of Design majoring in fashion design and business to good use by focusing her attention to her passionate side hustle, a vintage curation housed under the name Love James, all while balancing a day job in e-commerce and digital marketing.

Lizzie's love of vintage finds from all over the world is a welcome addition to our vintage scene, with a particular preference for well-kept garments with a touch of glamour.

With a focus on occasion-wear and bridal-wear options, Lizzie's pop-up opens this weekend as a by-appointment soft launch into what will hopefully become an established local vintage go-to destination and a chance for people to view her edit of around 100 unique pieces.

Lizzie wearing a vintage treasure in Paris at Centre Pompidou. Photo / Supplied

Located at 312D Karangahape Road and open from Sunday 10 July (fully booked) and Monday 11 July, Lizzie is excited about sharing with people her distinctive curation of vintage fashion.

"Love James is all about celebration! Every piece has been handpicked with a party or special occasion in mind. I have collected with a focus on statement vintage, bold colour and pieces with a nod to modern silhouettes," Lizzie says.

READ: The Best Places To Shop For Vintage & Pre-Loved Clothes

"The full collection will be available to view and shop by appointment in a relaxed and intimate environment. I love to host people and create an experience, so in that way, Love James is an extension of what I love doing most and I’m so excited to finally share these incredible pieces."

A preview of some of these special pieces also feature in our current quarterly magazine on sale now with cover star Roxie Mohebbi.

Even special is Lizzie's curation of vintage bridal-wear options, from luxurious trouser suits to 60s-inspired shift dresses, although legitimate vintage pieces from the past, these finds also offer a welcome alternative for the modern bride looking for something unique and special.

"Weddings are an amazing opportunity to embrace dressing up and going all out, so about half of the Love James collection is bridal," she says.

"Getting dressed up should be relished at every moment so I've sourced pieces for every occasion from an engagement party, to the wedding day and even the after-party. I am always looking for pieces that have a feeling of modernity, and uniqueness to them. They also need to be in amazing condition, which is often a challenge with white."

Vintage 60s tinsel dress from Love James. Photo / Kate Battersby

"I love collecting pieces that break the traditional wedding dress mould. Think colourful gowns, unusual prints, sequin jackets and pantsuits. Who says you have to wear white? I love the drama of vintage pieces but never want a bride to look like she is wearing a dated costume, so I keep my edit of actual vintage wedding dresses tight."

"While most of my pieces meet a made-before-2000 criteria, I also collect a handful of newer designer pieces that I think are special and unique. There is no one formula to it, but I am buying for a fashion-conscious modern bride, who is looking for something a little bit different."

Ma Cherie Couture beaded mini dress from Love James. Photo / Kate Battersby

"Shopping for bridal can be very daunting for brides who wouldn’t traditionally shop with all eyes on them. I want them to have fun, explore a range of pieces from so many decades, and discover the thrill only vintage can truly offer."

One special option in particular is a 1940s tea dress. "I found this beautiful piece in the South Island. It was owned by a lady whose great aunt had made it by hand in the 40s."

"I love the way the extra fabric has been made into a shawl, which can be worn as a veil-like headpiece. Fabric would have been expensive, and so nothing would have gone to waste."

"I haven’t come across another one like it, and it’s in beautiful condition for its age. It captures the timeless spirit of vintage clothing I love so much."

To make an appointment to view visit Lovejames.co.nz and contact lizzie@lovejames.co.nz

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