Must Love Vintage: the stylish duo keeping Melbourne doyenne Mary Lipshut’s aesthetic alive

Sonia Audino knows fashion like the back of her well-manicured hand.

Since studying fashion design at Bentley Tafe in Perth, she began designer label ‘Su’ together with friend and business partner Silvana Cristillo, managing the label’s store and national distribution for 10 years.

Moving on from Perth to Melbourne, Audino has worked as fashion consultant to luxury label Aurelio Costarella and ideas-girl to contemporary accessories label Pigeonhole.

Currently, she acts as fashion director for hipper-than-thou outlet Madam Virtue & Co, which has earned a formidable reputation as one of Australia’s premier vintage fashion collectors and providers.

And vintage is what Audino knows best. One of her keenest projects is that with longtime friend and collaborator, creative director Philip Boon.

The two joined forces in 2013 to present ML Vintage: an expansive collection of vintage clothing left behind by the late Melbourne fashion doyenne Mary Lipshut – hence the ML in title.

With Boon having been a close friend of Mary’s, he and Audino were asked by the Lipshut family to curate the best of Mary’s collection and to sell this internationally – with one stipulation: the pieces must go to absolute connoisseurs of vintage clothing; folks who truly know their Gucci from their Pucci, down to the very last swirl of detail.

Packaged oh-so delicately and shipped across the Pacific have been unique pieces by the likes of Missoni, Versace, Callaghan, Complice, Genny, and Courreges among others.

Boutique connoisseurs include Doris Raymond’s legendary The Way We Wore in LA and New York Vintage Inc in NYC, whose celebrity clients include Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and Rihanna.

ML Vintage are now settled back in Australia to showcase a broader selection of the collection including a diverse amount of European clothing, accessories and footwear. And vintage dealers across the country are clamouring to take a peek.

Says Sonia: “Vintage encompasses many qualities that contemporary fashion cannot encompass. When you acquire a piece of vintage clothing, you are investing in a piece of fashion history.”

Sonia agrees that clothing of yesteryear held (and holds for those lucky enough to still possess pieces) a certain craftmanship that appears lacking in some of today’s fashion houses.

“There was a focus on design, workmanship and quality that is not evident in much of what contemporary fashion has to offer,” she says. “Archival fashion items promote longevity and, importantly, sustainability for the environment.”

So the next time you’re wearing vintage, feel confident in the knowledge it’s an eco statement that you’re making – along with a very stylish one.

Antonino Tati


To view the ML Vintage collection send a request via email to attentioned to Sonia Audino and Philip Boon.

Be kept in the loop of ML Vintage news and images through Etsy (MLVINTAGEshop) and Instagram (ml_vintage).

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