A Vow to Sustainability Leads to a Trip (Up) and Down
the Aisle at Eons Fashion Antique.
By Reese Randall
October 20, 2020
The wedding dress is an extension of individuality and personal style. It can represent the joy we have for our partner and for the commitment we have to love. Finding the perfect dress to don on the Big Day is a big deal, especially when the world around us is experiencing big changes. Changes in the economy, the climate and the distance from which we socialize. One thing that hasn’t changed is the growing demand for sustainable style — in everyday wardrobe and in classic bridal wear. With no shortage of vintage frocks, revisiting eras past has always been a well sourced option for classic and eco-friendly opulence. And, one thing is certain in this uncertain time: Vintage bridal is definitely having a moment.
A commitment to sustainability and saying, ‘I do’ begins at Eons Fashion Antique, a classic vintage clothing store in Shadyside that buys and sells vintage clothing and accessories for women and men from the 1880s through the 1990s. “I love the ’30s and ’40s era of bridal wear,” says Richard Parsakian, owner of Eons. “The bias cut of the fabrics create a beautiful silhouette for the female form; and the lightness of this look is borrowed from the romance of Shakespearean plays.” The classic long and sometimes beaded trains are among Parsakian’s favorite details.He has approximately three dozen classic wedding dresses dating from the 1920s through the 1980s, ranging from $45-$100 (as shown here) to others in stock ranging up to $250.Eons’ merchandise is sourced locally from the public who have items for resale. “I curate my stock from these resources which include fashions that create head-to-toe looks.Many items have never been used,” says Parsakian.
‘Slow-fashion’ as the industry is calling it, defines fashion as having a longer style life that ignores the short lived trendy styles, explains Parsakian. “Buying local reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and brings life to fashions that exist or could be restyled or upcycled.” Eons has been a green store for 35-years and continues to redefine an industry that creates waste and redefines a public's consumption for a throw-away society.“Eco-friendly fashion should rethink fabric contents, reduction of plastics, polyester and other ingredients that are not biodegradable,” says Parsakian. “If not, what will become of landfills in the future?”
The upcycled fashion retailer works beyond his local and international customers within the movie and TV industry for productions filmed in Pittsburgh. “Recently I’ve been added as a resource for the 3rd season of "Pose" and the newest season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, explains Parsakian. He also partners with The Andy Warhol Museum for special fashion theatre events; while some items from his Eons archives are currently included in the "Femme Touch" exhibit accessorizing Candy Darling's dresses.
Eons was closed for three months during the onset of the Coronavirus quarantine. “Customers have returned and I see a willingness for new shoppers to discover the importance of buying vintage. I love the hunt and discovery of past lives through fashion — I explain history through pop culture of our wearable world,” says Parsakian. Bridal fashion is made for all individuals and Eons is not only a resource for vintage fashions, but a social center for artists and his LGBTQIA+ community.
As an upcycled, slow-fashion bridal resource for those who commit to sustainability and style Parsakian says, “I’ve created a safe space where a bride — or anyone can explore non-binary and gender fluid personal expression.”