When Cameron Silver, founder of the vintage retailer Decades in Hollywood, Calif., in May sold off about 400 items from his avant-garde and vintage collection of more than 1,000 pieces, fashion and art institutions snapped up some of the rarest and most flamboyant styles.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired “quite a few hero pieces from [Silver’s] personal collection,” said a spokesman for the retailer. Among LACMA’s cache: a pink suit hand-designed by Yoko Ono for Opening Ceremony, a three-piece suit from Alexander McQueen’s final season, and a jacquard jacket with sculptural beaded flowers by Walter Van Beirendonck.
Silver, a fashion peacock, if ever there was one, strutted his prize sartorial possessions at events popular with the fashion crowd such as The Met Gala, Art Basel and every important runway show on both sides of the Atlantic.
A hot-pink Jil Sander suit by Raf Simons, priced at $1,775, that was worn by Silver in 2012 to the Dior couture show days before Simons was announced as the next creative director of Dior, was acquired by the Fashion Institute of Technology for its upcoming exhibition, “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color,” which opens on Sept. 7.
“I thought no one else was going to have this suit,” Silver said at the time of the sale. “Another guy at the Dior show was wearing it.”
Silver has spent nearly four decades buying and curating his wardrobe, which contained 300 to 400 pairs of shoes, 100 tuxedos and 100 pairs of jeans. Decades’ 21st year in business and Silver’s 50th birthday in 2019 prompted him to sell part of his assemblage. Another contributor was the fact that his sartorial needs have changed: as design director of H Halston, Silver has an on-air job at QVC, which calls for gray suits rather than the Mary Katrantzou-printed ones he favored.
Another institution, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, acquired a few pieces, including a fleece wool sari by Jean Paul Gaultier and black jacquard jacket with roses by Comme des Garçons. While Silver won’t be seen flaunting the garments, at least some of the pieces acquired by museums may find their way into exhibitions and on public view.