Nuevo Culture

This 22-Year-Old Archivist’s Collection of Iconic Costumes Is a Must-See 

TikTok: Courtesy of @landonsarchive

Diehard fashion lovers often make the best collectors. Whether it’s a closet full of Balenciaga, archival Jean Paul Gaultier, or rare vintage items, serious fashion fans can take their personal tastes and turn it into a professional sport, tirelessly scouring the Internet or vintage stores to get their hands on pieces from their favorite labels. But on TikTok, Landon Annoni is taking the thrill of the hunt to an even more challenging level. He collects iconic, one-of-a-kind stage costumes worn by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Prince, Stevie Nicks, and many other artists. 

The 22-year-old college student, who is in his last semester at Penn State University studying business, uses TikTok to show his extensive archive of stage wear, including chiffon tops worn by Nicks in the 1970s, sunglasses worn by Prince in Purple Rain, and even the bracelet Lady Gaga wore with her infamous meat dress at the 2010 VMAs. (He only joined TikTok in December but already has over 14,000 followers.) “Music and fashion are my life,” Annoni says of his love for performance style. “I was always into older music when I was younger and my parents did not listen to it, so I do not know where my love for it came from. I was just drawn to it.”

As a lover of both music and fashion, Annoni started collecting in high school, and has since turned his hobby into a full-time gig. Sometimes he purchases pieces to collect them; other times, he is approached by stylists or designers, who pay him to archive and store costumes in his climate-controlled warehouses, which are located in both California and Pennsylvania. He estimates he’s archived over 15,000 pieces so far. “It takes up my time, day and night,” says Annoni. “The people I work with are always on different time schedules, with them being located all around the world.” 

TikTok: Courtesy of @landonsarchive

Below, Annoni explains how he grew his collection, what his favorite performance looks are, and what his rarest find of all time is. 

1. How did you start collecting?

I started collecting in my junior year of high school. I played baseball seven days a week, and one day I got home from playing and could not walk. I ended up having to have a biological knee replacement. I had to be homeschooled for the last two years of high school, because if my knee got bumped, it would ruin the surgery. During that time, I started making connections in the fashion industry and with musicians. I had a great mentor that I met during my surgery who showed me the ropes to archiving. She sadly passed, but I am forever grateful for what she taught me. If it was not for her, I would not be doing what I am doing. Designers and stylists have also taken me under their wing.

2. How do you secure these outfits, and where do you archive them? 

Most of the time I get contacted by people that have these pieces. A lot of pieces are entrusted to me to preserve. They will be in a safe place and kept for future generations to enjoy. I have a large climate-controlled warehouse, where we have racks of pieces all alphabetically organized. I have archived over 15,000 outfits so far; it might even be over that number at this point. 

TikTok: Courtesy of @landonsarchive

3. Is there an art form to preserving pieces? How do you do so? 

Each piece is unique and has its own special way of being preserved. For example, I have a latex outfit that Lady Gaga wore to the Robin Hood Gala that is stored in a dark box where no light can get in, as light can damage the latex and it can deteriorate. I also own a lot of vintage chiffon pieces that Stevie Nicks wore, which could literally disintegrate at any time because they are so fragile. Those pieces are kept in archival boxes with archival tissue paper. Most of the newer and sturdier pieces are kept in archival clothing bags. 

4. What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve ever come across? 

I own Stevie Nicks's chiffon top that she wore in 1975. It has horses on it and was worn when she first joined Fleetwood Mac. This was the first piece that I ever owned. It is so delicate, small, and fragile, and made out of very thin chiffon and vintage scarfs. The lady I obtained it from met Stevie in Hawaii in 1975. She was a designer and Stevie asked her to make a few pieces, which ended up on the inside cover of Rumours. It was also worn on the Buckingham Nicks tour and is probably the earliest Stevie stage wear to exist. You can see a full concert on YouTube of Stevie wearing it at the Capitol Center in 1975. 

The second piece would be Prince’s white ruffle shirt that he wore in Purple Rain. It was made by the 1980s powerhouses Vaughn Terry and Lewis Wells. [I also own] a Beyoncé On the Run II tour outfit. It is made out of a glitter fabric, so once you touch it and take it out of the garment bag, you are bombarded with glitter. LaQuan Smith did an amazing job on that look. 

TikTok: Courtesy of @landonsarchive

5. Who are your favorite artists?

Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, and The Struts. They all bring something different to the table and have unique voices. My favorite stage look of all time is David Bowie’s bodysuit with the hands from the last time he performed as Ziggy Stardust. Anything from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era I appreciate, because it was so outrageous for that time period. 

6. What made you want to start showing your collection on TikTok? 

I show pieces on my Instagram page, but all my friends were saying, “you should start posting on TikTok.” My content is always evolving. First, I have to decide what artist I am doing for the TikTok. My followers usually ask me to post a certain artist, so I try to give them what they want. I think it is really great to show the piece first and follow with videos and photos of the artist wearing it. When my followers see it on the artist, they can connect with it and say, “I remember that!” 

TikTok: Courtesy of @landonsarchive

7. Tell us about your own sense of style. 

Some days I feel like dressing sporty, and other days you might see me wearing a glam-rock get up. I have about four closets full of vintage outfits and I get them from the most amazing people. There is an amazing woman on Instagram that goes by the name “The Junk Fairy,” and she has some of the most amazing vintage pieces. I sometimes make my own clothing out of items I find at the thrift store. There is no reason for me to go to the mall and buy a brand-new shirt for $100 when I can make my own that will fit my personality and style better. 

8. What's the most special piece in your wardrobe? 

My lucky maroon hippie top. It was gifted to me by “The Junk Fairy,” who has also given lots of cool stuff to Miley Cyrus, that I love. I literally wear it everywhere. It is my good luck charm! I wore it when I first met Stevie Nicks and every time I wear it, something good happens to me. 

9. What's your favorite TikTok of all time? And which took the longest?

The two that stick out are the Miley Cyrus boot video and the Lizzo robe. I own Miley Cyrus’s boots that she wore to the Amazon Prime holiday concert, and she ended up keeping the outfit but gave back the boots. I had all my TikTokers tag her in it as she was promoting Plastic Hearts on TikTok. I think it is fun trying to get people to respond and getting their feedback. The second one was the Lizzo robe, which I am in love with. The robe was custom feathered for Lizzo’s Rolling Stone David LaChapelle photoshoot, and weighs about 20 pounds. 

The longest TikTok was definitely the Kesha one. I have been working with her and her team on archiving some outfits, and I have the heavy chain outfit that she wore in the music video “Crazy Kids.” Every time I would start to speak, the chains would start swinging and making so much noise. I had to keep on shooting it over and over again.