I have always looked at vintage fashion to help inspire contemporary collections. There is very often a uniqueness and difference in approach, in both construction and detailing, to what you find in contemporary clothing. When I worked at Temperley London our studio was in Notting Hill, right by Portobello road, so we often went to the vintage fashion market on a Friday morning or to stores like Rellik, looking for treasures. We were spoilt, it was a great place to be for vintage, and very inspiring.
Back in Devon the fashion scene is a little different, so I was thrilled to find a gorgeous vintage shop called ‘Willow Hilson’ in Exeter. It got me thinking about vintage again, which I hadn’t been because the direction of Mya Rose is much more contemporary. I was reminded how beautifully cut vintage clothes can be, and how when you look at some of the shapes and seaming details there is actually a lot of relevance to what I’m trying to achieve now.
I’ve never actually worn vintage myself. I’ve always wanted to, but never really found the right piece. It can be a tough look to pull off, some women look incredible in head-to-toe vintage, but I know it wouldn’t be right for me. So I’m looking to start with one piece that fits into my current wardrobe, something that compliments the way I already dress, but adds a bit of something special.
The way women are dressing now is becoming more and more casual, everything is paired back to jeans, while occasion and eveningwear is in steep decline. I understand why this is the case, our lifestyles are becoming much more informal and we are dressing for more than one event, sometimes going from work, to lunch and then into evening in the same outfit. But I love dressing up. Working in a fashion studio I was able to wear things on an average day that some would save for an evening out, and I loved that, it felt great.
I think vintage gives you that same feeling. Even a daywear piece has something a bit special, a bit ‘together’ which makes you feel good to be wearing it. This feeling is making its way into my collection along with some cutting techniques and details, so this return to the world of vintage has been very inspiring.
And I think I’ve found my first piece. It’s a beautifully delicate, strapless black lace dress which I’d style with a wide, waisted leather belt and red lipstick. Thank you vintage, you’ve been fabulous and I’ll be back again soon!