This photo was actually taken a while back to help out a blog reader who was working on a project illustrating how the trench coat is a timeless piece. I am wearing my vintage Burberry trench which I utterly love. Do you recognise the pose? I was reenacting the famous Meryl Streep pose in Kramer vs Kramer from 1979. The film was made 3 years before I was born so I think that proves the trench really is a keeper piece! The dress and boots are vintage finds too, but you can find similar chocolate brown boots in this Guess pair and I recommend ebay for finding vintage Burberry trenches.
Following way 2: Vintage 80s dress and belt, with vintage inspired Vivienne Westwood t-bar shoes, Chanel boucle jacket and brooch, Wendy Brandes Little Woolfe necklace and ONecklace name necklace.
Something I get asked quite a lot is how to wear vintage pieces and still look current and on trend. I had a think about how I wear my vintage and came up with three easy ways to wear vintage:
1. Just wear one vintage piece – the easiest way to work vintage into your wardrobe is to start small. Try adding a vintage necklace or blouse to one of your regular outfits.
2. Wear with modern pieces in vintage influenced styles – designer and the high street both are full of things inspired by past decades. You can use these as a guide to finding and wearing original vintage clothes. If you like the current 1920s influenced trends of drop waists, long necklaces and heavy beading; start looking at original 20s pieces and the styles should look familiar.
3. Look for vintage pieces which haven’t dated- there are some designs which can be decades old yet wouldn’t look out of place today. Think of classic trench coats, black pencil skirts and white button up shirts. These items may be tweaked with each seasons whims but the basic forms will stay the same.
Following way 3: Vintage Chanel jacket in a blazer style which isn’t recognisable to a specific date, with Topshop jeans, Stella McCartney blouse, Prada shoes
Following way 1: This Vintage Vivienne Westwood jacket is quite a 90′s statement so I wear it alone with modern pieces- Anglomania blouse and silk trousers, Gold Label shoes, Nichole Farhi sunglasses
Following way 3: Classic vintage Burberry trench coat’s never date, worn with Vivienne Westwood Red Label dress and Vivienne Westwood pink suede boots.
Before Xmas the fabulous Lakota organised a secret Santa for a bunch of us. I was paired up with darling Franca of ‘Oranges & Apples‘ which I was a bit relieved about as I have been blog buddies with her for a while so figured I could find something she would like. The swap theme was ‘Christmas Carol’s', I picked out a vintage pearl necklace and a snowflake brooch which I attached together – something I love doing to make more of a statement. I also choose a vintage Picasso print scarf which I got in Italy and threw in a bag of chocolate coins – retro I know! It didn’t really occur to me to take a photo of the gifts I was sending but Franca put some up on her blog. From the pearls which looked like little snowballs and the snowflake brooch I decided my gift fit with the carol ‘Let it Snow’.
For my gift I received a really cool book listing 99 – yes 99, different ways to wear a scarf! Who knew! Since I have a lot of scarves this was a great gift for me so I can play around with all the tips in the book. Franca is a lot more crafty than me and cleverly made two of my gifts the pom-pom necklace and beautiful heart brooch. She also made me the most delicious bag of star and moon shaped Vanillekipferl German biscuits but we ate those before I remembered I need to take a photo! We cheated a bit with Franca’s carol and decided on ‘Silent Night’, because erm the sky contains stars and the moon!
Big thank you to Franca for the gifts and Lakota for putting in all the effort to make the swap possible. You can check out all the other swaps on her blog ‘Faith, Hope and Charity Swapping‘, if you are nosy like me and want to know what everyone else got!
“Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put women’s beauty on a pedestal” – Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood’s 1990 ‘Portrait’ collection was all about stepping out of a painting. Vivienne was hugely inspired by the Wallace Collection taking inspiration from things she saw there. With prints taken from Andre Charles Boulle furniture transformed into black velvet dresses with gold leaf. Details from Francois Boucher paintings were made into waist cinching corsets, pearl chokers and drop earrings adding to the opulent look. The key to the collection however were the pedestal’s the models were put upon, the 6″ platform heels. My black suede platforms are from that first collection, though you can still have a pair custom made from Vivienne’s shop today. Due to the sturdy platform and chunky heel they aren’t as difficult to walk in as you might think. I would only wear them for a night out, however it makes me smile to think in my teens I used to wear a pair of boots with this heel daily! These days I am lucky if I can manage a night out, ah the joys of youth.
Portrait collection and cabinet from the Wallace Collection
Vivienne Wore a pair of patent platforms to collect her OBE, she also flashed the photographers too!
A few years later Vivienne created the Super Elevated Platform shoes, which Naomi famously fell on the runway wearing. Here she is with Kate moss in looks from the Anglomania 1993 collection, I adore this photo of them. How I would love Kate’s coat.
(Other images courtesy Vivienne Westwood Ltd)
(Wearing: Vintage Burberry trench, vintage leather boots)
Apparently it’s summer, I’m not at all convinced! What exactly are you supposed to wear when it’s chucking it down but really muggy hot? One minute it’s boiling the next you are covered in goose-pimples! Ah yes I know so British moaning about the weather but as a Northerner I do feel cheated that the only nice day of summer I’ve had was when I was in London. Just one day I got to wear a summer dress and sandals, sigh. So I’ve given up, I give up on you selfish Summer!!
Ok, ok I’m really still hoping we will be blessed with an Indian Summer, at least when I am in London for Fashion Week because there are beautiful things hanging in my wardrobe which desperately need an outing. First and foremost this Elie Tahari beige suede jacket, oh yes BEIGE SUEDE, I know what kind of crazy buys such a high maintenance jacket, but look at it!! It’s got more tassels than an 80′s table lamp how could I resist? Who care’s if I an only wear it one a mildly warm and extra dry day, I freaking LOVE IT! It was one of those things where I saw it, touched it, tried it on, pretended not to see the price tag and ran to the check out, hugging the carrier bag all the way home, where I promptly spent the evening dancing around in front of my mirror it it! I’m thinking since it’s short sleeves now might be the time to admit weather defeat and try wearing it underneath anther coat like my trench. What I think will be perfect with this jacket are the Missoni shoes I got ages ago, oh yeah equally as impractical in multicolored crochet but oh so pretty!
Jacket Elie Tahari from TK Maxx, Shoes Missoni from Spartoo
You see the real problem I have is buying and wearing practical clothes. The above outfit for example, sure it follows all the ‘rules’ of classic, chic style. I am forever being told that a trench and tall leather boots are on the ‘ten items every woman should own’ list and all that but OMG I FEEL SO PLAIN!! Sorry I know, I know I should be embracing the stylist mantra but I really, really struggle to wear an outfit like that. Same goes for blue jeans and a white t-shirt, yes it is an easy base for an outfit, yes you can dress it up with shoes and jewellery but it just doesn’t feel right for me. Sometimes I flip through the pages of Vogue and see all the cool French fashion editors in their jeans and Breton tops and look at myself in the mirror and feel like a bit of an overdressed Peacock. Yet for some reason I just feel more comfortable rolling around in a vat of Vivienne Westwood. I find it quicker and easier to get dressed in some insane Westwood outfit in a rush in the morning that I do in a plain t-shirt and jeans. It doesn’t make much sense I know, in theory it should be the exact opposite. So yeah I could probably throw on the the Tahari jacket and Missoni shoes with a white tee and blue jeans, it would look great but it wouldn’t look like me. I could wear them with a little black dress and say the same but there is some tiny fashion-crazy inside my head screaming AZURE BLUE DRESS!
I think perhaps the problem I have with simple, classic, call-them-what-you-will, clothes is that you can’t really hide behind them. When you wear a plain white t-shirt you don’t really notice it, as opposed to when you wear one with a crazy print or slogan blazoned across the front. I guess I feel more ‘naked’ wearing something simple than I do wrapped up in some fantastical, OTT fashion, more vulnerable. My clothes are my armor. They also offer a form of escapism, you can be Dorothy of Oz in a red pair of heels or even the Wicked Witch in a long black gown. Life is more fun if you get dressed up. Clothes can be comforting too, I am sat writing this now in an appalling dark grey hoodie, yet it is fleecy soft inside, I can pull up the hood and snuggle into it, it is almost like wearing a hug. It is my ‘ill hoodie’, it just makes me feel that tiny bit better, comforted and secure as my body acts like a total jerk.
Thank you to everyone asking how I am doing on my new medication, it is too soon to say if it is having any positive effects and so far only minimal side-effects, however this week I have been plagued by so far unexplained muscle-cramps (like when you pull a muscle in sport but it doesn’t go away after hopping up and down for 5 minutes). So that has slowed me down a bit this week and involved the dreaded hospital but other that I’m ok.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday!
Do you have any strange fashion habits? Are you a simple or pile it all on kinda person?
This is a bit of a daft post I know, but I have something in mind which I want to wait and see if I get before I wear these in an outfit post, but I could resist sharing! Of course I like the style but it was the colour that really sold these shoes to me, it is the most enticing shade of aqua, just as inviting as the sea and since I won’t be seeing any of that this summer I may as well look at a pretty pair of shoes. This is my favourite colour right now, could I be getting into the summer spirit? I have a sudden longing for bright colours. I thought this might be a hard colour to find other shoes in but I actually found quite a few pairs, these Rupert Sanderson ‘Nissa‘ wedges are incredible, perfect for cocktails at a beach-side bar. Whilst for those of you who don’t want to defy gravity and prefer flat shoes might like these Robert Clergerie ‘Ayane‘ ballet pumps.
My shoes come from the Vivienne Westwood ‘Tied to te Mast’ collection S/S1998. The bent heel is characteristic of the collection and was used on sandals with diamontie encrusted heels, buckled court shoes and even pirate boots. Check out this Flame pair I saw at the Vivienne Westwood shoe exhibition. So amazing!
I had the pleasure of visiting One Of A Kind vintage, Portobello Road, London and being invited to see the fabled ‘secret room’. OOAK is a jam packed shop, with rooms that twist and turn everywhere you look. The rails reach the rafters, no space is left bare, the motto seems to be if there is a space, fill it! The stock ranges from all eras and all styles, you name it and I guess you could find it in there. The thing which makes the shop so special however is the room closed to the public, viewable by appointment only, which holds the collection of rare and designer vintage goods. This was the main reason we decided to take a day trip down to London, having spoken to the shops enthusiastic manager and discovered not only did he stock vintage Vivienne Westwood but that he was a collector himself. As I had been so excited to see a collection of vintage VW, I knew Rich and Jen (fellow VW collectors) would feel the same so they joined Lawrence and I for the venture.
Unfortunately the manager Jeff couldn’t make our appointment for some reason, which was disappointing as even though his sweet assistant showed us around, it was Jeff who really had the knowledge of the collection. Even so we delved right in and as soon as we stepped through the back door, it was like entering Narnia. Even more crushed for space than the main shop, this little room held so much treasure, a real Aladdin’s cave. One foot through the door and I stepped into a mountain of Westwood shoes, a real mixture of styles from different collections. It was like being in a museum crossed with your best-friends closet as we sat trying on shoes which we had only seen in history books. There were many pieces we would have liked to have taken home, but things were not priced to sell. Rather the shop seems to make it’s livelihood from renting out items to celebrities and stylists.
The two stand out pieces for me were the mint green Witches trainers, the style was often worn by Vivienne herself during the 80′s. I had often wondered how they worked with the 3 tongue system so it was interesting to examine a pair. Jen tried them on with her jeans and they looked so modern, perhaps they will get a reissue soon. By far my favourite piece was a ‘Buffalo girl’ skirt from Vivienne’s Nostalgia of Mud collection. The sales assistant didn’t know what it was and so I discovered it by change as we went to leave hung on the back of the door. I hadn’t see quite how much detail went into these skirts, the embroidered leaves impossible to see from photo’s and the Peruvian inspired print full of character.
It was a fun chance to see pieces up close and personal, thank you OOAK for letting me take photo’s to share on here with you all.
Update: Since you asked approx prices: Vivienne Westwood shoes £2,000-3,000; Chanel handbag £3,000; 80′s gilt Westwood and Chanel jewellery £1,000. Many things were not for sale only rental so I think the prices reflected this, as I already said things weren’t really priced to sell. You can view some pieces for sale on the OneKind Online Shop.
Wearing: Vintage dress, River Island necklace, Vintage sequin jacket, Vintage clutch, Primark socks and earrings, LK Bennett shoes and All Saints sunglasses both from TK Maxx.
After the popularity of my post ‘Trends: Some Ideas on How To Wear Pastels‘ I decided to practice what I preach and put together a series of outfits wearing pastels. I have to admit embracing pastels has really got me in the mood for summer, they feel really fresh and exciting to wear after months of dark winter colours. For the first look I went full on with the pastels in this look but rather than add more pastel colours I choose white and cream with metallic shoes. You get the same look but without having to worry about matching / clashing colours. For me it was also an easier way to get the look without having to go out and buy more clothes, since pastels don’t feature much in my wardrobe. If you wanted to dive in with more pastels it would be easy to go for a complimentary pastel shade bag and shoes. Sorbet pinks and mints would be ideal with baby blue.
I really love this dress I found it in the midst of winter at Cow vintage, my jacket is from there too, I think my frock was £6 a real bargain! In fact my whole outfit is bargainous my jacket was around £30 a year or so ago. My necklace is new season River Island on the pricey side at £28 but I have worn it so many times already since buying it in February. My clutch was only a few pounds from Retro Rehab vintage and my socks £1.50 from Primark – they do the best socks! My LK Bennett shoes I am sure you are sick of seeing by now but they are so comfy for a pointed heel. Another cut price bargain from my beloved TK Maxx £50 with the RRP around £200. The cat-eye sunglasses also from TK Maxx and a snip at £15.
As I am sat here writing this we have snow forecast tonight and it is blowing a gale, a far cry from the sunshine last week! Might have to put the summer clothes on hold.
Day two of London fashion week and the heavens opened in a grand manner, torrential down pours do not a happy fashionista make. We braved the rain but I would much rather have had a pair of wellies with this outfit. My stunning designer shoes from TK Maxx (£64.99 / RRP £200) were seriously soggy but are now drying off, as am I with a hot drink! The rest of my outfit is all vintage, luckily I chose to wear my trench coat today which kept the top half of my dry at least.