Pin It
instagram archive oneofakind fashion
Penelope Cruz, Dior AW99@oneofakind.archive

The Instagram documenting 60 years of fashion

Gregory Chester of @oneofakind.archive has 5000 cult fashion pieces at his fingertips – this is @DazedFashion’s Instagram of the week

Gregory Chester is the man behind @oneofakind.archive, @dazedfashion’s Instagram of the week. Currently working as a fashion archivist, Chester is constantly researching or surrounded by rare garments at his place of work, the One of a Kind fashion archive on London’s Portobello Road. What started as a place to share One of a Kind’s sought-after wears is now a rich account of the fashion moments and images that go hand in hand with the physical archive, with the exception of an occasional impossible-to-get-hold-of iconic piece.

From John Galliano’s SS92 priest corset, Comme des Garçons’ AW07 glove suit, the corset from Vivienne Westwood’s AW89 ‘Voyage to Cythera’ collection and Jean Paul Gaultier’s AW84 velvet cone-boob dress, to Vivienne Westwood’s SS80 ‘Rocking Horse’ shoes and Gaultier’s SS93 extended football boots – you’ll find cult pieces aplenty. Chester is sure to document the obscure too. From the Icarius’ SS01 dress without any sleeves, to Markus Schinwald’s two-feet-in-one-shoe shoes, to Phillip Garner’s ’82 stiletto skates.

Something of an Aladdin’s Cave, One of a Kind’s private archive is tightly packed with over 5000 fashion relics. Since opening its doors 23 years ago, it’s provided inspiration for many of today’s top designers and contributed to fashion exhibitions at institutions from the Barbican Centre, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of a Kind’s team of in-house archivists can source looks for events, films, magazine editorials or simply for your personal wardrobe (if you’ve got the cash). And, if you’re lucky, you could end up on their wall of fame alongside the likes of Kate and Naomi.

Who are you?

@oneofakind.archive: I am a fashion archivist at One of a Kind, I spend my days sourcing rare garments, researching and travelling to meet interesting women with fabulous closets.

How would you describe your account?

@oneofakind.archive: It’s basically a fan account for the best fashion in the past 60 years which goes hand in hand with what we research, collect and sell at our physical archive.

What made you start @oneofakind.archive?

@oneofakind.archive: It began as a place to share our collection and interesting archive imagery which is relevant today, it shows vintage in a new light without all the horrible stereotypes and styles usually associated with ‘vintage’. 

And what’s the criteria for a @oneofakind.archive post?

@oneofakind.archive: I usually post pieces we have in the collection with the exception of the occasional iconic piece which is impossible to find which we all dream of owning.

Where do you source your images?

@oneofakind.archive: Apart from searching online, we have a small library of rare fashion books, magazines, lookbooks and significant show invites, I prefer to source images physically as you can always find something a Google search cannot offer. 

What are some of your favourite images you’ve ever posted?

@oneofakind.archive: Susanna Lewis’ 1978 'Knitted boots’, Reiko’s suede crayon gloves, and the SS88 John Galliano collection.

Tell us about @another___kind…

@oneofakind.archive: So @another___kind is a place where we post all the extra content we come across along the way of researching the garments in the collection which isn’t necessarily fashion related, we wanted to have an account which wasn’t restricted to just fashion posts and could feature art, films and our own projects. 

What might people not realise about the pictures you post?

@oneofakind.archive: Not a lot, the references reveal more about fashion today, I subtly highlight recurring styles and moods. We work with a lot of fashion houses who draw inspiration from our archive for the next season so we usually know what’s coming before anyone else.

“It began as a place to share our collection and interesting archive imagery which is relevant today, it shows vintage in a new light without all the horrible stereotypes and styles usually associated with ‘vintage’” – @oneofakind.archive

Who are your favourite artists?

@oneofakind.archive: There are too many, but right now I love Claudio Bravo, Duncan Grant and John Kirby.

What are your top three archive fashion moments?

@oneofakind.archive: Lucy and Jorge Orta’s ‘Identity and Refuge’ presentation in Salvation Army, Paris 1995; Fendi SS99 it’s rare that every single look in a collection is perfection, like in this one and Grace Jones dancing as Katrina in ‘Vamp’ wearing Azzedine Alaia SS86 with body paint by Keith Haring.

Who do you like to follow on Instagram?

@oneofakind.archive: @adarchives – I love seeing how companies tried to sell their products in the past as it tells us a lot about the times and how people were thinking.