Friday, 20 February 2009

Vintage British style

I’m going to be a bit alternative during London Fashion Week by devoting this blog to vintage British style. Trends may come and go on the seasonal media merry-go-round, but vintage British style will never go out of fashion.

The key to this eccentric manner of dressing is to put together a rather eclectic selection of pieces to create an individual and distinctive look. Some consider such a curious mix to be totally over the top – they’re the sort of people who snigger at the merest hint of non-conformity (how dull). Others will observe such style with amusement, possibly even with subdued admiration – or most flattering of all, may seek to emulate some elements of an unusual ensemble.

Of course, one of the key advantages of mixing up vintage clothing with unique accessories and stylish modern fashion pieces is that it’s impossible to be copied - at least not exactly. However, it is still possible to create a similar look that is your own and will always be original if you select authentic items that are one-offs, are part of a limited edition, or are just a tad different from the mainstream ...

Take the curiously colourful-yet-timeless outfit I’m wearing in the picture above left (shot when sinking into the grass on a very windy day), which consists of an early 1900s opera cape with tassels and a marabou collar (purchased at a flea market), a vintage Voyage petticoat (mid-late ‘90s) underneath a handmade and beaded draped silk dress (from my former boutique around 2000-ish), vintage Dolce & Gabbana wooden wedge platforms (bought in London in the early noughties, with the addition of red rose corsages), a large feather hair accessory and an exotic Timmy Woods handpainted acacia wood handbag (a new addition to my wardrobe - and admittedly from a US designer) – plus a few old strings of beads from my jewellery box.

To put together something similar using items available at ShopCurious, you might choose the truly wonderful and very rare early 1900s embroidered velvet evening cape (pictured above), which has awesome gold thread embroidery and floral silk chenille jacquard lining that’s so beautiful you could even wear it inside out. Add a dress which picks out some of the colours – like this frilled swishy skirt evening dress with a glorious golden rose corsage, (as spotted by Style Bubble).

For a more classic vintage look, you might like these bargain priced Jimmy Choo shoes, which were handmade in the early 1990s by the man himself. There’s also a matching diamante trimmed gold satin bag with delicious kid lining by Anya Hindmarch.

Give it a twist with some slightly quirky jewellery like a handpainted antique mother of pearl pendant, or a collectable cameo choker.

Don’t get me wrong, I love London Fashion Week … but I simply adore vintage British style.

Do you?

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