Best Designer of Retro Threads (2011)

Diane Brache

Three reasons to wear retro threads: (1) The crap you buy at Gap and Target falls apart in three weeks. (2) Today's dresses and tunics are designed for those who have never eaten a sandwich or endured puberty. (3) Almost everything nowadays is made out of cotton jersey, making your lady lumps look like smuggled ham hocks and cottage cheese. You could scour Miami's vintage shops for brocade bolero jackets worthy of Mad Men's secretaries, but they're bound to be overpriced for something that comes with pit stains. Instead, wrap yourself in the nouveau vintage designs of Miss Brache. The Miami designer offers sizes 0 to 24 in everything from hip-hugging leopard-print swimsuits (boyshort maillot, $115) to flouncy polka-dot dresses with sweetheart necklines (Dahlia dress, $155). And because they're all handmade to order, you can bet their seams will withstand a few repeat performances of "Y.M.C.A." We aren't the only ones enraptured with these throwback designs. Martha Stewart's wedding website featured Brache's reversible bridesmaid dresses with embroidered petticoats, and BUST Magazine praised her pinup-esque swimsuits, which have been worn by Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr. Brache, who refers to her retro threads as "rock-'n'-roll formal clothing that won't piss off your grandma," sells her collection online at


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