Vintage Fashion Clothing Blog | Beyond Retro
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
Posted on November 3, 2015
Updating your seasonal wardrobe can feel like a costly task. A set of cosy knits, some wet weather boots and the all important winter coat can take down your bank balance in one fell swoop. But it doesn't have to be that way, even the most dedicated follower of fashion can get a totally on trend look without taking out a second mortgage. How, I hear you cry? Savvy shoppers will know that setting your shopping radar to vintage can be the perfect way to get quality trend-led items without the eye watering price tag. So step away from the high street and take a look at our list of the top on-trend vintage coats for under £60:
1. The £60 Suede
We've said it before and we'll say it again, long live the 70s trend! It's here to stay for another season and we couldn't be happier, so we're starting our list with this gorgeous longline 70s suede coat.
Shop Suede Coats
2. The £60 Belted Wool Trench
Nude, belted, wool. This coat is like an autumn trend tick list. Check it out.
Shop Wool Coats
3. The £55 Navajo Print
A print that often rears its head as soon as Autumn appears, the Navajo print jacket is cool as it is cosy.
Shop Navajo Coats
Shop Navajo Jackets
4. The £55 Animal Print
Let your animalistic side run wild this winter cause leopard print is going strong. Check out these bad boys...
Shop Animal Print
5. The £60 70s Plaid Print
The 70s trend really has got a hold of our hearts this season, and we have plenty of original 70s numbers at our fingertips! This perfect plaid print and faux fur collar combo is a winner.
Shop 70s Coats
6. The £35 Cape
Don't let super heroes have all the fun, capes are a must-have item for any fashionista this season. Up, up and away! See our selection...
7. The £32 Team Jacket
Cheer on the season in a vintage team jacket. The sports trend reigns supreme and throwing on a varsity jacket will put you at the top of the fashion league table...
Shop Team Jackets
8. The £45 Corduroy Coat
Thanks to the explosion of the 70s trend, corduroy is stepping out on its own as a trend and having a moment this season. Take a look at our selection!
9. The £45 Borg collar
Your denim obsession doesn't need to be put to rest in the winter, a cosy borg collared denim jacket is a perfect year-round item.
Shop Borg Collars
10. The £45 Faux Fur
Faux fur is hot for winter. The seriously stylish know that donning a faux fur coat adds instant glamour to any outfit.
Shop Faux Fur