The fashion industry has become radically democratized in this Internet age. The world’s most prestigious labels instantaneously beam their runway collections to far-flung corners of the globe via live-stream technology. Aspiring tastemakers — armed with little more than a digital camera and an Instagram account — bill themselves as “curators” of the inevitable Main Street knock-offs. And at the semiannual fashion shows, long-established buyers and editors have had to forfeit their front-row seats to street-style darlings with model-thin resumes. Deafened and made dumb by this cacaphony of freshly minted (and self-anointed) style “experts,” you might rightly ask, How do I seek out a credible voice?
Enter Marlien Rentmeester and her blog, Le Catch. For veteran fashion fans, Rentmeester is the perfect ambassador to the new world order. A New York–native, Rentmeester earned her editorial bona fides under the hallowed fashion umbrella of Condé Nast, including an 11-year stint heading up the West Coast bureau of Lucky. Launched in late 2011, Le Catch has the discerning sensibility of a print magazine while incorporating a fluid, of-the-moment approach to sourcing new fashion finds.
Working from her Los Angeles home, Rentmeester publishes highly edited thematic posts with items sourced from her scouring of online retailers. Though the suntanned Rentmeester always looks camera-ready, she eschews photographs of herself in favor of spotlighting the fashion items themselves and underscoring the versatility and wearability of her choices. Her taste in clothing and accessories reflects a high-low ethos that gives equal merit to impulse and investment purchases, seamlessly integrating vintage Chanel and Hermès with fast-fashion steals. Tastefulness is not sacrificed for trendiness, and vice versa.
Rentmeester contextualizes each post with a brief note describing her initial inspiration and light descriptions of the different pieces. A trip to Greece with her girlfriends materializes as a beach-ready look incorporating embroidered tunics, flat leather sandals and mirrored sunglasses. A photograph of an off-duty model in a denim skirt spurs an exploration of how to update that all-American staple with a tailored blazer, Breton stripes and lace-up heels.
Rentmeester spoke to 1stdibs’ Kate Klobe about her favorite trends for fall, the best vintage investment piece and the key to mixing old and new fashion finds, selecting 1stdibs items to illustrate all of the above.
What are some of your favorite trends for fall?
I’m loving moto-inspired looks, especially when they’re juxtaposed with something like chandelier earrings. I love that contrast of tough and feminine.
Also love a midi-length skirt. The newness of the silhouette is refreshing. It can be tough to pull off, but it has such beautifully feminine lines.
Who are you favorite designers in the vintage market?
Best vintage investment purchase?
An Hermès Constance bag. It’s a classic, forever-chic, enduringly beautiful bag. You can love it every day and then pass it down. It’s a foolproof purchase.
Your home has been featured on several blogs as well as the online magazine Lonny. For you, how do fashion and interior design interact?
My fashion style dictates my design style, which is evident in my own home. The palettes are the same. They both use pattern mixing. Some rooms are relaxed and others are formal. Interior design is not at all dissimilar to outfitting yourself — it’s another extension of personal style.
Any tips for bringing vintage up to date and making it relevant?
The key to wearing it is in the balance: You’ve got to mix old and new to keep the vintage up to date.
In terms of mixing high and low: It’s a cliché, but I believe in investing in the timeless classics that you’ll wear season after season: cashmere sweaters, an amazing coat, a beautiful pair of Christian Louboutin pumps. For the trendier items, stores like Zara and Topshop really nail it and give customers the opportunity to indulge in a fad for a single season.
Who are your style and design icons?
My twin sister, Coliena Rentmeester. I also love the street-style girls, like Taylor Tomasi Hill and Giovanna Battaglia. They take risks, they’re trailblazers. As far as designers go, I love Phoebe Philo — each of her collections has her fingerprint, but it’s always new and inspiring. Stella McCartney is great because she’s cheeky and makes fashion fun, which I really value. And of course, J. Crew’s creative director Jenna Lyons. She’s a genius at styling, and has an uncanny ability to elevate the basics. Everything she does looks fresh and appealing.