Vintage Fashion Clothing Blog | Beyond Retro
Posted on September 23, 2016
It's London Fashion Week baby!
If you live in the capital, it's pretty hard to escape the buzz that takes over when fashion royalty descend on the city to take in the latest trends. From Alexa Chung to Kendall Jenner and Anna Wintour, everyone wants to see first-hand what we're going to be wearing in six months time.
Regular readers of this blog will know that our product team have the exciting yet difficult task of identifying the key fashion trends from the shows and finding out how we can make these relevant to you - our vintage customers!
After careful consideration, the results are in!
Stripes-on-stripes-on-stripes have been all over the runway this season! To double-up on the season's trends, we suggest going for coppers or reds - another trend to watch for the coming months ahead!
This season, there's no such thing as too much denim. If we were to pick a signature garment for the season, we'd say the oversized denim jacket. These jackets have been used by designers throughout their collections to give a more relaxed feel. Minimal work wear styled jackets also remain on-trend. Why not try one of ours?
Taking inspiration from the Victorian style, ruffles are adding a theatrical element to the season's evening wear. Don't know about you, but we're loving the drama!
Try our suggestions!
This season it's all about embroidery. Think customized jackets with patches, beautiful and intricate stitching and shiny sequins. This trend is a winner as it can be worn from day-to-night and we're obsessed!
Try our suggestions!
Are you loving the fashion that's coming out of London Fashion Week? Try out these trends and get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, we always love hearing from you!
Til' next time,
BR HQ x
Words: Louis Staples
Posted on September 15, 2016
From Bonnie and Clyde to Clueless - style on the silver screen has become synonymous with iconic fashion trends. To celebrate the release of her new book, The Fashion of Film, we caught up with author Amber Butchart talk about her journey from Beyond Retro employee to famed fashion historian! Amber's new book draws inspiration from how film has influenced fashion for over a century, taking a closer look at how the silver screen has transformed the catwalk over the last 100 years.
If you enjoy the interview below, why not join us in celebrating Amber's newest project with a one-off talk in our archive space in Dalston?! The talk will focuss on films lesser known for their influence on fashion, hopefully giving you guys a rare insight into the more surprising links between the silver screen and high fashion. Amber’s fashion knowledge has led her to contribute to multiple fields across cultural heritage, broadcasting and academia. As an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion, she regularly speaks nationally and internationally, and specialising in the historical intersections between dress, politics and culture. This is an event not to be missed!
Tickets are FREE and there will be complimentary drinks - this is not a drill. FIND MORE DETAILS HERE!
So Amber, when did you begin your love affair with vintage clothing?
I’ve always loved second hand clothes. I grew up charity shopping and going to jumble sales with my mum. It’s been my favourite way of shopping since forever. As a child and as a teenager I carried on with that in my home town before venturing to London’s Camden Market. It really is a lifelong obsession.
What do you find inspiring about fashion film?
As with second hand clothes, cinema has been a huge inspiration for me. I loved watching old films as a child and it really influenced the way that I dressed. I watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla as an early teen, and I was obsessed with the idea of being a drag queen! I used to wish i’d been born a boy! I think it’s that love the idea of exaggeration and find the performance element of dressing interesting.
What's your favourite film for fashion inspiration?
I think The Gang's All Here (1943). I love anything with turbans and fruit!
What’s your favourite film genre?
I was keen to make the book not just about ‘Hollywood glamour’. I wanted to have different chapters for different genres such as horror and sci-fi. I watched Tron for the first time when I was writing the book and loved the aesthetic of it and how it foreshadowed the digital era. I really fell in love with the diversity of cinema when researching.
Do you enjoy the writing process?
It’s always a bit of both, isn’t it? I love researching. I researched at the British Institute and London College of Fashion libraries this time around which was great. It’s always difficult working to a deadline as there’s so much that you want to cram in. It’s a labour of love and it’s not easy but enjoyable.
What do you look for in a great vintage garment?
Something that is truly unique and stands out. Something extravagant - an over-the-top pieceI wouldn’t go vintage shopping for basics.
In your wardrobe, what are your most treasured items?
I have an old BIBA dress that belonged to my mum in the early 70’s. It’s floor-length and bottle green with medieval sleeves. I also have a printed victorian bodice from the Beyond Retro archive that fits like a glove.
If you were to give any advice to anyone who wants to start writing, what would it be?
Just go for it. There’s so many platforms now so just get stuck in. I started writing a blog which is a great way to develop your own voice
Making a documentary for BBC radio 4 world service about second hand clothing. The history of British illustrations for the British Library
If you like what you read, join us at our event to celebrate the release of Amber's book. Alternatively, follow Amber on Twitter, Instagram or visit her website to stay up to date with all her latest news!
Words: Louis Staples
Posted on September 13, 2016
One of the most exciting parts of our business is working with stylists, bloggers, journalists and photographers from all corners of the creative world. The vast diversity of people that we work with constantly inspires us. Shaun James Grant is a London based photographer who we have had the pleasure of working with on numerous projects. We caught up with him to find out a little more about how he approaches his work.
When did you start taking photographs? How did that come about?
It was a bit of an accident to be honest, I never intended on becoming a fully fledged photographer. I come from a film background working as a director so I’ve always been interested in photography and composing a frame, however I never really took it seriously until earlier this year. I developed a keen interest in 35mm film for moving image however my understanding of it was minimal, and I decided using film stills cameras was a good place to start building my knowledge. I bought my first 35mm film camera in early 2016 and took it away when I went to South East Asia. I immediately fell in love with the texture and soul of film and began to shoot frequently, it became addictive and I’ve been shooting on film ever since.
Why fashion photography? Did your passion for photos start with fashion?
I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm a fashion photographer as such, although I believe artistic styling in both clothes and sets plays an important role in my work. I love shooting people and building looks and characters led to me being more considered in what people were wearing in my work.
What is it about photography that you think is so powerful?
For me there's a real depth and soul to photography where you can take in so much emotionally from a single frame, especially 35mm film. There’s a texture to film that can’t be replicated no matter how hard you manipulate a digital image.
What are some of your most exciting projects?
Photography is my artistic release, a lot of the stills shoots I do, I do for myself as opposed to my directing work which is primarily client based. So for me, every project is exciting. I love to build the scenes around my work that people can identify with both artistically and emotionally. I love shooting with new people and coming up with ways to push my work down a lane I feel represents my artistic style and influences. So in short I’m always excited with a camera in my hand.
Why do you like to use vintage clothes in shoots?
The same reason I love to shoot film, its the nostalgia, texture and soul of vintage that keeps me inspired. I’m a bit of a romantic so I often entertain the idea of vintage pieces having had their own story and journey before you meet them, I value that journey. Mainstream fashion as we know goes in cycles, you go into your average high street clothing store and you’ll find a lot of stuff in there is inspired by previous decades, however it’s never the same as the real deal.
What do you look for in a great vintage garment?
That story, something that tells you it’s lived its own life. It goes back to having character. I don’t put boundaries on it in terms of styles and era’s. I love everything from the 50’s to the 90’s
If you were to give any advice to anyone who wants to start taking photographs, what would it be?
Don't be afraid. Be confident, use whatever tools you have available and get out there. You don't need to spend loads of money on the best camera in the world but obtain something that gives you control over what you're shooting. You learn from your mistakes so make them early, then re-evaluate your work and push yourself to always be better.
Fashion doesn't have a great reputation for diversity both in front of and behind the lens, what do you think can be done to change this?
It depends on how you look at it. I think high fashion is quite elitist however it doesn’t interest me a great deal as its all a little lifeless so I don’t tend to over think it. I think we live in such a DIY culture today that opportunity is in our own hands. We no longer need to rely on old white men to give us opportunities, I believe if you stay positive, get out there and show what you can do it will be appreciated.
Check out some of Shaun's images with models wearing Beyond Retro garms!