Vintage Fashion Clothing Blog | Beyond Retro
Posted on December 1, 2015
Let’s be honest. Christmas isn’t just about the tree and the turkey anymore. It's all about the Christmas jumper. It’s the perfect excuse to find the most insane, outrageous, ugly yet glorious woolly warmer out there to show off your festive style. And year we’ve partnered with St Mungo’s Broadway to make this season extra special. Enter: ‘You Buy, We Give’
With temperatures dropping and homelessness on the rise, there has never been a more important time to help. So, for every Christmas jumper you buy from today until the 18th, we’ll donate an item of clothing to the St Mungo’s Broadway to help homeless people across the country stay warm this Winter.
Rough sleeping in London is on the rise with a total over 7,500 sleeping rough throughout 2014-15, and by donating much-needed Winter clothing as part of their support we aim to support those that the charity helps on their road to recovery.
Whether you’re a fan of chic Nordic styles, or prefer sporting a novelty knit, we here at Beyond Retro have definitely got the one for you. Choose from over 10,000 unique festive styles in our stores or online, to spread the festive cheer whilst helping those in need this Christmas.
Shop Christmas Jumpers
Posted on November 13, 2015
Following the fun we had with the Dalston Darlings, in the latest instalment in our Meet the Team series we catch-up with vintage aficionado Roberta (check our her blog Roberta the Rimbaud), from our Dalston store. For all you vintage virgins read on to get the low-down on how to shop for your one-of-a-kind show stoppers and Roberta's top styling tips for the party season!
So Roberta, tell us a bit more about your love affair with vintage; how and where did it start? And most importantly, what was the first item you bought!?
I've always dressed very differently. I didn't want to look like the other kids at school, and I was bullied because I liked different things. I first started to dress up when I was about 12/13. As soon as I discovered Patti Smith's Horses I started wearing suits and blazers. Then when I was about 16, I grew to love tailored, complicated dresses. In Slovakia I could never find proper vintage garments, but then I moved to Mississippi for a year and things changed. I used to find little antiques in the local shop on the way back home from school. I bought my first 1950s baby blue lace frock, with cute ribbon detail all over it, in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. It reminded me of the beloved June Carter and the baby blue dress she wore when she married Johnny Cash. I still have this piece in my wardrobe now! I started wearing true vintage as I have always loved designer clothes but could never afford them. I used to dream (and still do!) about wearing Vivienne Westwood, and try to recreate her beautiful silhouettes by wearing vintage 1950s pieces.
Who is your style icon?
I have many style icons from past and present, and they are always strong, independent women. I am obsessed with Ulyana Sergeenko, one day I would love to own a dress of hers. I also love Dita Von Teese, whom I met when I saw her show last year in NYC. All the ladies from The Advanced Style blog are also amazing. I hope in 40 years that I too will be featured on there! There are no boundaries and rules in fashion and I don't want to look young, I want to look great. I get inspired by Vivienne Westwood, Charlotte Olympia and Lulu Guinness. I also love Lauren Bacall and Veronika Lake. And Elsa Schiaparelli is my ultimate favourite of course! She was one of the most innovative women in fashion, and her ideas and designs are all legendary. It's a shame I never had the chance to meet her, I think we would have so much to talk about. Her surreal ideas gave me my obsession with hands and manicures!
What do you love most about shopping/wearing vintage clothing?
I love finding one-of-a-kind pieces in our stores. Every human being is special and unique and I believe your overall appearance reveals something within. Although you should never judge a book by its cover, I love wearing a dress knowing that no-one else owns it. I also love being inspired by other people's ideas - even though they may not dress in my style, they chose it because it's special to them - that’s what I love about vintage!
What’s your favourite Beyond Retro piece?
I have far too many favourite Beyond Retro pieces, and there are always more to find. I started working in Beyond Retro about 2 years ago, before this I used to spend hundreds, maybe thousands of hours in there rummaging through the rails! Obviously, my favourite garments are dresses. I am obsessed with floral rose prints, and managed to find a gorgeous taffeta dress with roses on it in store. Recently I had some luck and managed to get some hand-painted skirts, as well as novelty and border printed skirts which I only used to dream about while browsing through Pinterest! I also found nice opera length gloves with diamonds... This conversation could go on forever as I have so many favourite pieces. I love them all as each item is very unique, highly collectable and a good investment.
What vintage piece should every girl have in her wardrobe?
Every girl should own a little black dress - you can never go wrong! I think about one third of my wardrobe is filled with LBDs from the 1950s. I have far too many, but they’re always current and look very chic. A proper dressing gown is another must for every girl‘s wardrobe. I collect them and love dancing around in my bedroom in them! All that silky satin, brocades, feathers and sparkly rhinestones...
And finally… What are top 5 tips for anyone looking to find true vintage pieces?
1. Never buy anything without trying on. Most of the time I usually know if it´s going to fit and how it might look, but I always need to see myself in the garment before buying. Always.
2. Unfortunately if it has moth holes, or I know that the fabric is too delicate and falling apart just from holding it, I leave the piece - but I still take photo for my personal use and as a swatch idea, as I design clothes for myself as well.
3. My biggest problem is that I am endlessly creative and always have so many ideas from every item that catches my eye! I have a million sewing projects on the go at the moment, so I’m always careful to think about whether it‘s worth investing the time or money to alter and re-create certain pieces. Still, it’s important bare in mind that you can tailor or customise each piece to suit your own personal style if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for.
4. If something has stains under the armpits or at the front I leave the piece as well. I have driven my local dry-cleaners crazy with all kind of stains in the past! But if the stain is in the right place you can always cover it or embellish it.
5. Make sure you think about the look as a whole, and remember - everyone suits something different. It took me years to find out what suits me and what doesn't! But there are no strict rules in fashion anyway, so be sure to embrace your own style and personal preferences.
Take on Roberta's style advice and have a flick through our vintage frocks online or check out our selection in store.
Posted on November 6, 2015
Last night we spruced up our party-wear section, cracked open the vino and laid out a delectable spread (courtesy of the lovely Foxcroft and Ginger) in our Dalston store to welcome some very special guests, The Dalston Darlings.
The Darlings sent us a request a few weeks earlier to ask if they could hold their next monthly meeting at our store and possibly have a chat with one of our vintage stylists, and well, we got a little over excited (we love the Darlings!) and decided to put on the works.
Not one, but two of our amazing vintage experts, Roberta (not only our vintage aficionado, but a fantastic blogger - see her blog, Gowns by Roberta here) and Nicholas, a brilliant Fashion Designer (our staff really are superstars hey!) gave a talk about fashion through the decades, whilst showcasing some of their favourite pieces currently available in our Dalston Store.
Next the Darlings were challenged to put together the perfect party-wear outfit, and with a £50 voucher up for grabs the stakes were high!
We saw some amazing outfits, but our stylists were both in agreement with who should win the challenge! We all loved this lacey number.
The Darlings then made their way to the fabulous Fontaine's, some even in their newly purchased glad-rags, to sup on some delicious cocktails and party on into the night!
What an evening! We absolutely can't wait to see these lovely ladies again soon!
Words: Francesca Wright