We have always had a strong affinity toward the beautiful textiles and silhouettes of the Victorian and Edwardian-eras and adore the juxtaposition of the extreme femme-details (lace, gauze, floral embroidery, flounce!) with contemporary silhouettes and fabrics like denim or black cigarette pants. The handwork of antique clothing also gives it an expensive, high fashion look when worn in a modern context--after all the cost to produce these kinds of textiles today is so high that only luxury brands can afford to create pieces with the same quality.
Fortunately, the influence of Victorian and Edwardian fashion pops up endlessly on runways and in stores. A relatively recent example is the bohemian designer Isabel Marant, who takes a direct approach by (beautifully, if expensively) replicating the light lawn cotton and gauze blouse of the 1910s. French design house, Jacquemus, in their SS17 collection takes the drama of the Victorian sleeve and the interesting silhouette of a tightly wrapped woolen shawl, creating something that feels simultaneous new and timeless.
When picking your own antique pieces--look for items that are soft and supple; cotton and wool from the era can be easily dried out from poor storage or harsh laundering. A few small flaws, which are hard to avoid in items of this age, can actually add to the charm and vibe of the piece, so don't dismiss something outright because it has a few little rust spots or scattered pinholes. We tend to look for items that have a silhouette that translates well to modern figures--sometimes shirts from this era can droop a bit in the front in a way that read "costume" versus fashion. There are so many different silhouettes and fabrics to explore from the early 1900s and items from this era are in some ways plentiful and reasonably priced compared to vintage of the 1920s or even the 30s. We consider these items staples of a well-rounded wardrobe--vintage worth investing in.