Krysta Anderson, Lifestyle Writer
Fashion is a cyclical affair - one minute, this is in, then it's out, and then it's back in once again. To keep up with the trends, many move with the tide and go along with this cycle, saving their favourite pieces and hoping that they will be trendy again.
But for vintage shopper-turned-redesigner Thalia Dinnall, she has made an art and part-time career out of making the old and forgotten glamorous and new. "Fashion and creativity was always a part of me, and the fashion industry is one that I always wanted to be a part of, but didn't know exactly how to," she told Outook.
After seeing how pleased she was with her new threads from one of her vintage shopping trips, her brother decided to have a little sit-down with her about pursuing her passions and going after her dreams. It was there that she decided to explore these pieces that were so different. "In Christmas of 2012, I realised that vintage is exactly what Jamaica was missing. I had to capitalise on that market and do what I love - fashion."
Last year, she launched her website, shopwhitefur.com, that connect with people who share her passion and love one-of-a-kind pieces.
"I find so much value in wearing beautifully made vintage clothing that I decided to share this opportunity with people who have the same style, taste, and preference in clothing as I do. I decided to develop the concept into a business, coining the term 'modern-day vintage'. I love the idea of giving birth and a 'new' and 'fresh' look to something that persons would be hesitant to buy in its original form," she said.
Outlook that her love for vintage clothing was
inspired by her mother. "As a teenager, I would rummage through my
mother's closet to find her old pieces and add my own touch to them."
That was during the time when she was a diehard fan of Aaliyah, Mya, and
TLC and their fashion. She and her friends would mimic their mode of
dress down to the Kangol caps, Jersey dresses and baggy Tommy Hilfiger
jeans they wore. As she matured, so did her style, understanding and
appreciating both art and design. "These days, I look up to designers
such as Victoria Beckham, Peter Pilotto, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Michael
Kors, as well as musician Kelis," she revealed.
Dinnall does is all about restoring the old while keeping up with the
new. She purchases vintage pieces and then modifies them. Whenever she
sees a frumpy or 'granny frock', she immediately envisions what it would
look like with some reworking and gets to work from
She then draws on those visions of the end
product for inspiration, saying, "The end product keeps me excited and
inspired. Seeing the before and after makes me even more eager to stay
ahead and always be on the lookout for new ideas, trends, and designs to
enhance the hand-picked vintage pieces," she explains, adding,
"Everything from magazines and books, websites and social media, to just
being aware of my surroundings, gives me fresh ideas," the redesigner
Vintage wear is a niche market in Jamaica, and
Dinall confessed that persons are sometimes hesitant about trying new
things when it comes to tweaking their personal
What makes White Fur's pieces unique is the
fact that they are reworked and juxtaposed with today's high-fashion
trends. All items offered are usually sexy, glamorous, bold, and risqué.
With their vintage feel, they make a fashion statement because they are
original, eliminating the whole 'copied look' category often unveiled
at popular events.
If you think balancing a 9-5 job
with a 5-9 passion is rough, try throwing in family and social life into
the mix. She is, however, determined to live a wholesome life, despite
the struggles, making it all work, emphasising that time management is a
She is grateful for her family, who has
been instrumental in making the dream of White Fur a reality. Her first
fashion show was held at her home, with her mother transforming the
patio into a runway, her father donning a chef's hat, and her friends
modelling pieces from her line. "The show was such a success, all the
pieces were sold and that is how I got my start-up money. I am forever
grateful for the people around me who gave me the great big push I
needed," she said.
Dinnall's professional goal is to
add another facet to the Jamaica fashion scene, i.e. vintage, in a
beautiful and well-crafted way. "My next move is to collaborate with
Caribbean designers and offer vintage as well as designer pieces. It is
also a goal of mine to see White Fur expand beyond the realms of Jamaica
and be recognised regionally and