Closet Stories: Anna Griffin’s Vintage Rifat Ozbek Dress

EcoSalon: Closet Stories: Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin, Editor-in-Chief of Coco Eco, found her favorite piece—this show-stopping vintage dress— while styling Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford for a magazine cover.

Anna Griffin is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Coco Eco Magazine, the first fashion glossy to go completely digital when it was launched in 2008. A native of London, Griffin now calls Los Angeles home and her style is the perfect mix of European sophistication and California-girl sassy. The most special piece in her wardrobe is a vintage 1980s Rifat Ozbek knit dress that has been worn by movie stars and featured on magazine covers.

“It’s a bit of a traffic-stopper being rainbow striped and somewhat figure hugging, and reminds me of my coming-of-age in the late eighties and early nineties,” Anna says. “I grew up on the outskirts of London, with a fashion designer sister who had a steady stream of Vogue and Elle magazines coming through the mailbox. It was the dawn of the supermodel-era, and Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour were its stars. A time of glamour and excess, it was played out by designers like Versace and Galliano in music videos by George Michael, and was a fabulously fun time in London and the fashion industry. Ozbek, Turkish born but London raised, was a revered British Designer of the Year in 1988 and 1992, and perfectly defined this era adding his own indelible imprint.”

Like a true style icon, Griffin views her closet as an extension of complement to her life.

EcoSalon: Closet Stories: Anna Griffin

Fast-forward to November 2009, and a wardrobe pull with Coco Eco’s Fashion Editor, Sarah Griffin Berns. “We were at Sielian’s Vintage Boutique on LA’s Melrose Avenue, for our Jan-Feb ’10 cover shoot with Kelly Rutherford,” Anna recalls. “As we scoured the racks, this spectacular dress jumped out at me, and although it wasn’t in keeping with Sarah’s storyline, she let me have my way. It ended up as our cover, with Kelly looking absolutely stunning and knowing exactly how to work it. After the shoot, it was impossible for me to let it go.”

Even though it was love at first sight, Griffin is well aware of the power of saving something for very special occasions.

“I have worn it only twice as it is an extremely memorable piece and you have to be in the right shape and frame of mind to wear it. Each time I have slipped into it I have felt like a million dollars, and being an iconic fashion statement, it draws attention and sparks conversation in any crowd. However, my favorite thing is being able to give it a much-deserved second showing, keeping it from the landfill, and bringing a unique element to my wardrobe.”

EcoSalon: Closet Stories: Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin wearing her vintage Rifat Ozbek dress. Here, with actress Daphne Zuniga.

Being so deeply involved in the world of sustainable style and upscale eco-fashion, Anna Griffin is not your typical fashionista. “When I make a purchase, it’s with longevity for both quality and cut in mind. Where it comes from, who’s been affected by its production, its impact on the earth, and where it’s going once I am done with it, are all considered. That might sound restrictive, but I actually feel more freedom to exercise my individual style now than ever before. And that includes a very modest yet delightful indulgence in vintage couture. To me, it’s the cherry on top of a very delicious and organic cake!”

Sometimes setting boundaries for yourself is the best way to truly find your style. But, if you do come across that show-stopping piece that makes your heart skip a beat, it may just be time to make an investment so you can have your own closet story.

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.