Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My name’s Natalie and I’m a vintage-aholic. If I had a penny for every hour I’ve spent traversing Etsy, refreshing my eBay saved searches and treasure-hunting on Brick Lane, well, I’d be rich – and then spend it all on vintage, obvs. All that time trawling affords me some bragging rights, so I’ll list my favourite finds forthwith: a Chanel silk track jacket, red tweed Aquascutum coat (never spent 30 quid better), Miu Miu crystal sandals (which still elicit gasps of delight) and a non-brand denim jacket which is perfect in every way.

I’ve been going to Beyond Retro on Brick Lane for many years, its yellow flag calling me like a beacon of affordable vintage, so when they invited me and my pal Cleo to go try on dresses at the Dalston branch, we happily obliged. Their latest campaign is centre around find the perfect vintage dress – hence the hashtag #mydreamvintagedress – whether it’s a ‘50s prom frock, ‘60s shift or ‘70s midi.

Everything is ordered by decade and style, making a spree considerably less manic. Cleo and I filled no less that TWO of BR’s wheelie shopping baskets, cooing over a baby pink, crystal-embellished cheongsam and a marabous-sleeved maxi. With our yellow buckets overflowing with marabou and prints, we proceeded to the changing rooms, where a John Hughes-esque try-on montage ensued.

Cleo’s dream vintage dress materialised in white, semi-sheer lace form. ‘I never find dresses that fit perfectly on the high street’, she mused, having found a long-sleeved mini dress that could have been made for her. I, meanwhile, whittled it down to a ‘90s LBD, which, with my new bob (thank you Sassoon!) and chunky slides, seemed like something Charlotte would have worn in SATC first season – reason enough to invest, I think you’ll agree.

Only when I really, really love a purchase will I wear it out of the shop. On this sunny Friday, I shed my day’s garb and changed into the aforementioned dress, skipping down Stoke Newington Road – shiny yellow plastic bag in hand – to pose for some photos in front of Cleo’s trusty lens. ‘You might want to put the plastic bag down!’ a concerned onlooker shouted from a top floor window. ‘That’s the point – it’s an outfit post for my blog’, I replied, cringing. Oh, #fashionbloggerproblems.

Dress -  Beyond Retro (gifted)
Slides – Primark (similar here)
Name Necklace – Anna Lou of London
New Hurr - Safaa at Sassoon Covent Garden

Photography by Cleo Glover

Thank you to Beyond Retro for inviting me to choose my very own dream vintage dress at the Dalston store.


Monday, 3 August 2015

I bought Zara's ubiquitous denim skirt a few months ago. I popped it in my wardrobe and there it stayed, bearing its swing tags and remaining unworn - bar the occasional at-home dress-up session. Those Instagram girls make it look so easy, I mused, as I grimaced at the frumpy figure in my bedroom mirror.

Unless one wants to resemble a history teacher or member of the Plymouth Brethren, heels are compulsory and an untucked top an absolute no-no - realisations that dawned on me as I stood amidst the floordrobe I'd created.

First, heels. Being freelance, I tend to spend most of my days in flats (thank goodness for Adidas Superstars), but needs must, and I made an exception for these seriously comfortable mules, which elevate without the tottering. With the addition a lightweight silk blouse - tucked in, of course - and some seventies-inspired shades, I was just about ready to enter the Outside World. But not before casting aside any remote temptation to don dangly earrings (small hoops are ideal), tying up my hair and finishing with a sleekly structured bag - the Baraboux Noush is my new favourite, and the perfect partner to denim.

Blouse | Zara (similar here)
Denim Skirt | Zara (similar here)
Mules | Next (similar here)
Round Frame Sunglasses | The Row x Linda Farrow
Noush Bag | Baraboux
Hoop Earrings | Accessorize (similar here)

Photography by Zoe Gibbs
Follow her on Instagram @zoegibbsphoto

P.s. I wrote a feature on the ultra talented Charlie May over at Because Magazine. Check it out here!