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Lasting Memories

Tips for Preserving your Couture

Owning couture is comparable to owning a prized work of art. Both are lovely to look at and add a touch of elegance to our lives. We become the easel or surface on which these creations are displayed for clothing and accessories. As with all highly treasured items, special care must be taken to retain their beauty and quality. Buying couture and other high-end clothing and accessories is an investment meant to last for many years and are commodities you’ll be able to wear to many grand events and special occasions. They’re not objects to be put away haphazardly in a closet or tossed in a pile in a drawer.

Here, we consulted a specialist from Hindman. This internationally recognized fine art auction house recently celebrated 40 years in business, on the proper way to wear, preserve and enjoy these wearable pieces of art.

“We all live busy lives, but I always advise those who are fortunate to collect or use luxury goods to take extra care with them,” says Tim Long, Hindman’s director and senior specialist for couture and luxury accessories. “When wearing high-end clothing, try to keep lotions, sunscreen, and make-up away from textiles or leather as they can soil and even permanently stain clothing. If an item does become dirty, try to clean it as soon as possible.”

Some simple measures can also help these special garments last longer. “For example, wearing a scarf not only brings attention to the wearer but also goes a long way in protecting a collar,” he says.

When storing these items, especially for long periods, don’t use hangers as they increase the negative effects of gravity. “To avoid ‘hanger dimples’ around the shoulders, consider alternative storage for heavier items or knitwear that can stretch over time while hanging,” says Tim. “Also, avoid sunlight that fades textiles and place as many items into separate dust bags as possible.”

Some fashion brands and stores, he says, offer services to assist in alterations or repair. “If this service is available to you, it is best to rely on the same company who made it to fix it. If that is impossible, consult a local cleaner specializing in high-end clothing and accessories.”

“When you’re out and about, be mindful to avoid placing handbags on the ground or dirty surfaces,” says Tim. “Also, store cosmetics or other products in a sealed pouch inside your handbag, or use a handbag liner. Always try to handle your bag with dry and clean hands and clean it with a soft, dry cloth or soft brush.”

Stuff purses to be stored with ink-free paper, tissue, or fabric, which helps retain their original shape and prevents creasing. “Bags should also be kept upright or in a box without applied pressure,” he says.
For shoes, keep them in their original boxes or wrap them in dust bags. “It’s also a good idea to either use shoe trees, if originally provided, or stuff the toe of shoes and the leg of boots, so the items retain their shape. Clean shoes when they become dirty.”

Hindman specializes in vintage clothing, textiles, and luxury accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. Its auctions offer an extraordinary range of contemporary and vintage fashion, haute couture, luxury accessories, and museum-quality items.

“Our team of specialists thoughtfully curate and carefully inspect every piece we offer at auction so that our national and international buying audience can confidently participate in our sales,” says Pam Iacobelli, Hindman’s business development director in Michigan.

At Hindman, she explains, every piece received is carefully examined to authenticate it before offering it at auction. “Our team is meticulous at reviewing each item. As a leader in offering couture at auction, we’ve been excited to work with several renowned collectors.”

She adds, “With the number of counterfeit luxury items manufactured and sold each year, it is important to trust the buyer and seller in such transactions. At Hindman, we will not offer items at auction that we cannot authenticate.”

For more information, contact Pam Iacobelli: 313-774-0900,,

“While a homemade remedy may seem a tempting and quick solution, different materials can react differently to cleaning agents, so it is often not worth the risk.”

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