Vintage Fashion Finds

It seems an age since I brought you a post looking at my vintage fashion finds, but lately, I find myself wearing more and more vintage pieces. I don’t have a favourite era when it comes to vintage finds, and I tend not to wear them in a particularly retro style, preferring to mix the vintage and the modern to create looks that could work anywhere, at any time.

Vintage is still relatively easy to find if you know what you are looking for and where to look. Charity shops often have vintage sections now, or the stuff is just nestling on the rails, in particular labels like M&S (look for those St Michael labels) and Dorothy Perkins (this is a store that has been going for years and years.) 1980s fashions are not always classed as vintage, but as 1980 is now almost 40 years ago I think they definitely pass, and these are easy to find – so many large shoulder pads, elasticated waists and belts and large prints to be picked up really cheaply.

I find most of my best finds in charity shops, this month alone I have found a Burberrys (not Burberry until quite recently) classic mackintosh and a pair of lotus brown leather platforms from the 1970s. The Burberrys Mac was £15 and is an amazing buy, whilst the shoes were £4. (You can see both below). My favourite town for real bargains is West Bromwich, where £1 seems to be the average price paid. I once got an Escada polo neck jumper for £1 and almost ran out the shop as I felt I should’ve been wearing a stripy top and a mask, it was that much of a steal.

There are so many preconceptions about vintage. One is that you can only buy vintage if you are size 8. This is frankly untrue, there are some amazing plus size pieces out there, and, as you can see from my piccies, I haven’t been a size 10 in years. Another preconception is that the clothes smell. I find that most of the stuff I find in charity shops has been laundered, and if not, it is worth a dry clean for the saving you are making, and the feel of buying something original, that no-one else will be wearing,

Featured here are some of the vintage buys I have picked up in shops. My fave vintage shop is Ego, based in Lincoln. It’s where I found the lovely Edith Flagg blue dress from the 1960s that is just so lovely. I teamed it with Mary Portas for Clarks shoes (another charity shop find) and a modern Topshop clutch from this season – proof you can mix and match your eras with ease.

Do you ever shop vintage?

Charity shop finds, a vintage blouse (1970s) and a pleated, school style skirt. (1980s?)

Early 1960s Edith Flagg dress from Ego (£14) worn with Mary Portas for Clarks shoes (charity Shop) and Topshop Clutch bag.

Modern outfit from H&M and Day Birger et Mikkelsen worn with 1970s Italian leather vintage shoes.

1970s day dress, £1 from West Bromwich charity shop.

Early 1980s pleated skirt, £1 from charity shop, worn with Carvela 1980s shoes (£1.99).

1970s Bettina of London dress from Charity Shop (£4.00)

More Vintage Finds

Skirt £1.00. 1970s.

Vintage Jaeger Knitwear

Lotus brown leather 1970s platforms £4.00

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Phase Eight Press day

There are bigger press days than the Phase Eight press event, but you would have to look long and hard to find one that is more beautiful, more elegant, more decedently glamorous and more romantic. All of these words would aptly describe the beauty of the collection for Spring/Summer 2014 that Phase Eight unveiled in it’s James Street store last week.

The whole collection just made my swoon. Made up of 1950s style floral prints that seemed to have been inspired by Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, these are the dresses that will take you to every Summer wedding, every Ladies Day or Regatta. Grosgrain ribbon belts just added to the prettiness of the collection.For those who wanted a pencil skirt rather than a full skirt, there was a stunning black and white ribbon effect dress that again had echoes of Audrey, this time in her Cecil Beaton designed Ascot outfit in ‘My Fair Lady’.

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Phase Eight also has an amazing bridal range, dresses for those who want something sleek and sophisticated that avoids the meringue. The latest collection has biased cut, 1930s style designs that have intricate bead work of great beauty.There are still echoes of Gatsby in the 1920s fringing that one gown featured.

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And then, of course, there is the Collection 8 range. And if the regular collection has echoes of the 1950s and Grace and Audrey, Collection 8 harks back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, the 1930s and 40s, of Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins.  Totally showstopping, I adored this collection, particularly the Art Deco evening dress pictured below.

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Christmas Gift ideas from Phase Eight

Twist Faux Fur Snood £35.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Twist Faux Fur Snood
£35.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Hamilton Necklace £20.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Hamilton Necklace
£20.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Albertina Necklace £30.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Albertina Necklace
£30.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Anika Peter Pan Collar £35.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Anika Peter Pan Collar
£35.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Yasmin Clutch Bag £49.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Yasmin Clutch Bag
£49.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Adele Clutch Bag £49.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Adele Clutch Bag
£49.00 click to visit Phase Eight

Click here to view all Christmas gift ideas from Phase Eight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Flashbacks – Celia Birtwell and Barbara Hulanicki

Sometimes it feels as if fashion time isn’t moving forwards, but is instead moving backwards. A case in point is that this last week has seen two new High Street collections launched by ladies who can only be described as legends of the 1960s and 1970s, Biba’s Barbara Hulanicki and Celia Birtwell.

Now both grande Dames of fashion, and particularly fashion heroines of anyone who adores print, both Barbara and Celia and their designs remain as relevant as ever.

Celia’s latest prints are emblazoning a fabulous new collection of dresses and separates for cool Japanese brand Uniqlo. Shirtwaister dresses, elegant, masculine cut shirts and cute, versatile long sleeved t-shirts are all included in this collection, perfect for the transitional period we will soon be moving into. In addition, the stole/Scarves that have proved to be popular sell outs from other collections for Uniqlo, including the Orla Kiely collection, also make an appearance here, in a range of kitsch, retro prints.

Here a are few of my faves from the Celia Birtwell collection.

WOMEN Celia Birtwell Silk Long Sleeve Blouse £39.90 click to visit Uniqlo

WOMEN Silk Long Sleeve Dress (Celia Birtwell)D £69.90 click to visit Uniqlo

WOMEN Silk Long Sleeve Dress (Celia Birtwell)A £69.90 click to visit Uniqlo

WOMEN Celia Birtwell Silk Stole £19.90 click to visit Uniqlo

WOMEN Celia Birtwell T Long Sleeve F+E £12.90 click to visit Uniqlo

WOMEN Celia Birtwell HEATTECH Boat Neck T (Printed)A £12.90 click to visit Uniqlo

To view all the Celia Birtwell Fall/Winter 2013 collection, click here. You can also view some seasonal reductions.

Barbara Hulanicki is also treating her fans to something special with her latest collaboration with supermarket brand George at Asda. Yes, the signature retro prints are back, but the palette is a strict monochrome. And there are also a couple of pieces that evoke all the extravagance of Big Biba, the amazing Art Deco palace of fashion that lasted for such a short time, yet still suggests exotic and decadent beauty and style. The pieces I’m thinking of have chiffon capes and could’ve been created for Marianne Faithfull or Julie Driscoll, such are their power.

Barbara Hulanicki Chiffon Cape Dress £18.00 click to visit George at Asda

Barbara Hulanicki Monochrome Swirl Dress £18.00 click to visit George at Asda

Barbara Hulanicki Floral Print Tie Waist Dress £16.00 click to visit George at Asda

Barbara Hulanicki Chiffon Cape Top £14.00 click to visit George at Asda

Barbara Hulanicki Peter Pan Collar Top £12.00 click to visit George at Asda

Click here to view the complete Barbara Hulanicki collection for George, including some seasonal reductions.