The Love List

est. 2006 // BY JESS GRAVES

The Parisian Vintage Trunk Show of Your Dreams

STYLE, OCT15, PEOPLEJess Graves
1980s Victor Costa bow-front, black silk evening gown, available at the debut Seeline Vintage trunk show on Thursday, October 22 from 5:30 - 8:00PM at 1630 Meeting St. (building three) in Charleston.

1980s Victor Costa bow-front, black silk evening gown, available at the debut Seeline Vintage trunk show on Thursday, October 22 from 5:30 - 8:00PM at 1630 Meeting St. (building three) in Charleston.

As told to Jess Graves

5 Questions and a playlist with Seeline Vintage's MK Quinlan, plus a preview of the vintage apparel available at her upcoming trunk show in Charleston.


We go way back with MKQ. The former senior style editor of Garden & Gun, she's now a freelance writer and creative consultant based out of South Carolina. A vintage clothing aficionado and collector, she wrote about designer Clay Reeves' vintage Hawaiian shirt obsession and collection for our July issue this year. In August, she took her skilled editorial eye to Paris, where she culled together an incredible array of vintage designer apparel - but she isn't keeping those treasures to herself. She brought it all back to Charleston, where she'll be debuting Seeline Vintage this Thursday evening at a trunk show hosted by Courtney Bishop Design. We're hoping it's the first of many such events under her tutelage. See the invitation below for details, and follow @seelinevintage on Instagram for first dibs and info on upcoming events. 

Jess Graves: So, Paris. That was probably awesome, yeah? 

Mary Katherine Quinlan: Paris is tops. I am a major francophile and had been to Paris twice before my recent trip this past August, but never with vintage on the brain. This time, in lieu of some of the more touristy excursions, I made a point of hitting as many vintage hot spots as I could, includings Les Puces de Saint Ouen and Vanves as well as vintage and consignment boutiques sprinkled all over town. My most jaw-dropping find was a black silk shift dress with fringe trim by Lanvin from the 1930s. It’s so old that the tag actually says “Jeanne Lanvin.” If I could fit into it (sigh), I’d keep it for myself. 

JG: How did you get so into vintage?

MKQ: I’ve always been into old things. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, my mom and I went antiquing almost every weekend, and as I got older, I started getting hooked on the handful of little hats and handbags that I’d find stuck in the corners of the dusty antique malls where we’d go exploring. I kept it up when I was in college in Washington, D.C., and found that as an adult, getting dressed with vintage clothing was a more fun, creative process for me than wearing new things. 

I recently went to a vintage pop-up in New York called A Current Affair and saw a handful of some of my favorite modern-day designers there on the hunt for inspiration. The truth is, silhouettes and materials from back-in-the-day are the inspiration for the best of what is being made today. If it’s affordable and in good condition, I’d rather have the original. 

1960s pale pink, dupioni silk evening gown by Seaton Enterprises, Ltd. with hand-beaded bodice, mandarin collar, and pockets.

1960s pale pink, dupioni silk evening gown by Seaton Enterprises, Ltd. with hand-beaded bodice, mandarin collar, and pockets.

JG: Tell me about Seeline.

MKQ: I got the name Seeline from my favorite Nina Simone song, "See-line Woman." I love pretty much everything by Nina, but there was something sort of sultry and strange about this song’s lyrics that got me interested. Turns out it’s an old folk song that some believe originated in the ports of Charleston or New Orleans that describes the call-girls that used to wait in line for sailors as their ships came in. I love the way it  describes the womens’ clothes: 

See-line woman/ Dressed in green/ Wears silk stockings/ With golden seams/ See-line woman
See-line woman/ Dressed in red/ Make a man lose his head/ See-line woman

JG: Do you think your background working in magazines helped train your eye?

MKQ: One of the most amazing things about working as a magazine editor is the constant exposure you have to new products and designers. I’m sure that was a big factor in the development of my own style. But to be honest, I think I’ve learned just as much from being a reader (and hoarder) of magazines as I have working for them. Next to travel, fashion, art, and design mags are my biggest source of inspiration, and I’m very protective of them. I have boxes and boxes filled with editions that go as far back as 1988. 

1960s brown jersey and caribou cuffed gown by Rizkallah for Malcolm Star from Seeline Vintage.

1960s brown jersey and caribou cuffed gown by Rizkallah for Malcolm Star from Seeline Vintage.

JG: Favorite spot for a stiff drink in Charleston, favorite spot to see a band, and favorite dish at a local restaurant. Go.

MKQ: If you’d asked me a year ago if I liked rum, I would have given you a definitive no. But I’ve gotten hooked on The Ordinary’s Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. It’s seasonless and not too sweet, and sitting at that bar makes me feel fancy. 

I’m not a big live music girl—something my jam-band loving husband is still trying to accept! I will say that one of my favorite performances in Charleston was by the jazz vocalist Gregory Porter at the College of Charleston’s Cistern Yard during 2013’s Spoleto festival. Jazz is my jam. 

I live in Wagener Terrace and am a big Park Cafe fan. On the weekends, I order their veggie mess and aebleskivers for brunch, farm egg soup for lunch during the week. 

1960s William Pearson white lace and gingham wedding dress from Seeline Vintage.

1960s William Pearson white lace and gingham wedding dress from Seeline Vintage.

01. Serge Gainsbourg - Couleur café

02. The Mamas & The Papas - Snowqueen of Texas

03. America - You Can Do Magic

04. Nina Simone - See-Line Woman 

05. Minnie Riperton - Inside My Love

06. Escort - Cocaine Blues

07. Al Stewart - Year of the Cat

08. The Supremes - You Keep Me Hangin' On

09. Stan Getz, João Gilberto - The Girl from Ipanema

10. Broken Bells - Holding on For Life

11. Erykah Badu - On & On

12. Eartha Kitt - C'est Si Bon

13. Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker - Daffodils

14. Thin Lizzy - Little Girl In Bloom

15. Nancy Wilson - Never Will I Marry

16. Danger Mouse - Season's Trees 

17. Natalie Cole - Pink Caddilac

18. Françoise Hardy - Comment te dire adieu 

19. Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

20. The B-52's - Love Shack