The Guardian – is vintage the most eco way to shop?

Totally delighted to have got my 2 pence worth in for an article on vintage & sustainability for The Guardian.

I’m thrilled to be part of such an important conversation in such a major publication.
Viva la Vintage!

See the full article here!

Like it or loathe it, when Kim Kardashian wears something, people take notice. With the reality TV star wearing secondhand Azzedine Alaïa to Paris fashion week, secondhand Jean Paul Gaultier to a party and a secondhand 1990s Thierry Mugler gown to an award ceremony, it suggests change is afoot. Who would have thought that Kardashian – a woman worth $350m (£270m), who usually wears Balmain and bodycon – would be making a case for sustainable fashion?

As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, they are looking for a more sustainable way to shop. Could buying secondhand be the answer?

Vintage, it seems, is increasingly in vogue across the board, from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who wore 1960s Dior to a christening, to its appearance in British Vogue (the May issue asks: “Does your dress look vintage?”), to high street stores H&M, Arket and & Other Stories announcing they would trial vintage and secondhand clothes sales on their websites. High-end boutique Browns has also just launched the label One Vintage, which uses antique textiles to create new garments. Octavia Bradford, the womenswear buyer for Browns, says: “Sustainability is the loudest conversation in fashion right now.”

A study shows that, last year, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016 – and it is thought that by 2028, 13% of the clothes in women’s wardrobes are likely to be secondhand. Fashion circularity, a new term referring to the recycled life of a garment, is projected to reach $51bn in five years, up from the current $24bn, according to ThredUp’s annual resale report.

The Stellar Boutique Press publicity image
 The Stellar Boutique Photograph: Publicity Image

Stella McClure, the founder of the online shop The Stellar Boutique, has noticed a shift. When she opened 20 years ago “there was still a stigma attached” – conjuring images of the yellow sweat patches and emotional baggage people often associate with used clothing. “But now (thankfully) it is not just acceptable – it’s cool and has completely captured the fashion zeitgeist,” she says.

Vintage has been venturing on to the high street in fits and starts – in 2000, Portobello Road’s Peekaboo Vintage was welcomed into Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship store. In 2010, Asos launched its Marketplace, which helped to bring vintage wares to a much wider – and crucially, online – audience.

If the trend has waned of late, this has been purely about aesthetics – minimalism replaced boho chic, and modernity was more in demand than 1970s florals. But fashion has shifted. Aside from an increased awareness of sustainability, vintage fashion fits neatly into the wider mood of the Instagram age, where authenticity and originality – not being seen in the same outfit as anyone else – are highly prized. What better way to stand out than to wear clothes few others are likely to own?

Fashion tends to mine the past. But many of today’s most exciting young designers, from punk-revivalist Charles Jeffrey to James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks of Rottingdean Bazaar, are looking to decades before they were born for inspiration. “High-end design teams are referencing past eras,” says Nicky Albrechtsen, the author of Vintage Fashion Complete. She refers to the prairie-style dresses of Erdem and Zimmermann, “reminiscent of the nostalgic fashions of the 70s”, as well as cult brands such as The Vampire’s Wife and Batsheva.

“Seeing such strong references on the catwalk gives confidence to fashionistas to embrace the original dresses and showcase original pieces in a modern way,” says Albrechtsen. According to Scarlet Eden, a vintage buyer at Beyond Retro, if the pieces the high street produces are based on vintage trends: “We’re able to offer customers the original looks.”

Vintage naysayers who may have been put off in the past by thoughts of rummaging around in jumble-sale-like basements may be persuaded by the ability to buy online. “The popularity of online vintage shops is great for those who don’t have access to everything a city such as New York has to offer,” says Gabriel Held, described by Vogue as “Instagram’s most celebrated vintage dealer”.

But it is not all rosy: opening up the market with numerous online shops has meant less quality control. Held sees “a lot of mediocre used clothing being marketed as vintage … Something doesn’t have to be 20 years old to be considered vintage, but, for me, if it’s not true vintage, then it should be something extraordinary.”

This is where the lines blur between secondhand and vintage. For Albrechtsen, vintage means any era up to the early 80s, while Eden and McClure consider it to be clothing that is more than 20 years old. Held says his definition “is not set in stone” – he even has some contemporary pieces in his own archive “that I know will be collectible in 10 years’ time”.

Virginia Bates, whose Notting Hill vintage emporium attracted the likes of Naomi Campbell and Donatella Versace before it closed in 2012, used to stock items from the end of the 19th century. Her definition of vintage runs “up to the 1920s, 30s, a bit of 40s, occasionally 50s … I don’t consider 60s vintage. I would never have sold that because I was there, I was wearing it.” But, as she says: “With another generation coming up, the 60s is the equivalent of what I thought of as antique when I opened my shop.”

Vintage 1970s Brown Tooled Floral Leather Shoulder Bag from Peekaboo Vintage
Vintage 1970s Brown Tooled Floral Leather Shoulder Bag from Peekaboo Vintage
Photograph: Asos Marketplace

Albrechtsen says: “Many professionals now include any [era]-defining garments – by which I mean iconic or clever designs.” This is where the resurgence and reverence of certain 90s styles comes in, arguably spearheaded by cult Peckham shop Wavey Garms. “Nineties sportswear is,” according to Albrechtsen, “very clever in terms of design … so it still works now.” Little surprise, then, that it has filtered down to more mainstream vintage outlets – Beyond Retro, for example, is always well-stocked with Champion sweatshirts.

The flames of this “less vintage vintage” are also being fanned by the rise of resale sites. According to the ThredUp 2019 resale report, resale has grown 21 times faster than apparel retail in the past three years. These luxury sites offer a glimmer of hope to those seeking a more affordable way to buy into designer fashion.

Not content to sit back and watch others profit from their vintage items, some luxury labels are relaunching decades-old designs from their own archives. Last year, for instance, Dior brought back its saddle bag because of the attention it was getting in the vintage fashion market. In February, Fendi brought back its Carrie Bradshaw-approved baguette bag from 1999 – luxury resale website Vestiaire Collective had seen a 558% increase in sales of the bag since January last year. “Every brand is currently developing a point-of-view on how to coexist with secondhand,” ThredUp cofounder and chief executive James Reinhart recently told the Business of Fashion.

Of course, for some, buying vintage will never feel quite right. “It’s really not my bag,” says Bates. There are obvious pitfalls – sizing isn’t uniform, and, she says: “You have to be so careful to look for holes and moths and rips.”

But being able to call a 90s hoodie, a Dior bag from the 00s, or a dress first worn by Naomi Campbell in 1996 “vintage”, might just help to keep the appeal going. As Bates puts it: “At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter … the most important thing is that it’s recycled – it encourages people not to go out and buy more.”

Summer trends 2019

Guest post by Hafsa Hussain

The time for long days and long dresses is finally here, the summer wardrobe is back and we cannot wait to slip into this years latest trends

Here’s a look at street style inspiration and trends for Summer 2019

Pleated Skirts 

This Spring, pleated skirts are clearly a new found fave and have become more sought after than ever with a 60% increased search on Google. These trending skirts fall just above the ankle and have a super-defined pleat. Pair with jumpers and t-shirts for a great way to amp your summer wardrobe.

                             

Jewels from the sea 

Dreaming about a holiday by the beach? Well if you’re not able to get there this year then you can bring the beach to you with this new jewellery trend! Sea jewellery is the latest craze for Summer 2019, from pearl hair slides, shell pendants and oyster earrings. Kylie Jenner kickstarted this trend with seashell accessories attached to her hair for her Easter service and now we can’t get enough!

Natural jewellery business, Selkie Sheffield focuses on using organic and natural materials to create gold, exquisite and pure items creating a beachy atmosphere.

Tie-dye 

This iconic 60s hippie print is back with a vengeance and we are all for it!

It resurfaced for last season on Prada, Stella McCartney, R13 and Proenza Schouler and has returned chicer and even more versatile, making an appearance on matching two-pieces, jumpers, and blazers. There’s no stopping what you can tie-dye, with colours the bolder the better.

Tie-dye is a symbol of individualism and has a long history with a sense of freedom and creative expression. Tie-dye can be seen as a defiant yet peaceful protest. There’s no right way to wear tie-dye, just make it loud and proud!

Shop our tie-dye handbag here!

Guest post by @hafsahussainphotography

The changing face of fashion photography

Guest post by Hafsa Hussain

In the fashion industry today, big changes have gradually occurred with the acceptance of all skin colours, body shapes and religions. No matter your background, the fashion industry is opening up to all possibilities and with the help of Edward Enninful, since becoming editor-in-chief of British Vogue at the end of 2017, he has pathed the way for creators of all genres to be part of the industry.

One young African American fashion photographer is making big strides in his career, in September last year Tyler Mitchell photographed Beyoncé at her most natural for American Vogue and has just premiered his first solo exhibition in Amsterdam at Foam. Tyler Mitchell is a talented man whose work is exploring his community and capturing people of colour. His photography style of inclusivity, vulnerability, natural and soft has many people adoring his images, including myself! Growing up I never thought the day would come when models wearing the hijab would be accepted in the top fashion magazines – globally. Tyler is already shaking the industry and I’m sure he has more to come! The exhibition will run until 5 June 2019 at  Foam Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam.

  

  

Tyler Mitchell @tylersphotos 

 

Brooklyn based fashion photographer, Renell Medrano gained popularity online showcasing raw and intimate images with Instagram icons and celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and is responsible for ASAP Ferg’s album covers. Starting off with film cameras, her touch of colour and impulsivity has attracted a lot of admiration on Instagram and the fashion industry alike. The March 2019 issue of Office Magazine shot Solange for their  maggazine cover and had all her followers celebrating her body of work. Renell’s style of photography has a way of capturing the youth beautifully in motion for future generations to see.

Renell Medrano @renellaice

 

Anastasiya Lisitsyna, from Russia, is a fashion photographer whose photos are wonderfully cinematographic, romantic and tender. She creates a moment in time playing with the natural light and sensuality on the skin of the model with a warm soft tone. Anastasiya’s work has been inspired a little by the French New Wave film movement and creates a beautiful and strong body of work. She allows the viewers to experience the closeness and tranquillity in her chosen women who have something to say.

 Anastasiya Lisitsyna @anastasia.lisitsyna

Furthermore, as we are talking about fashion photography the icons must be included. The British fashion photographer Nick Knight has always been powerful when pushing the boundaries and creating beautiful and innovative imagery. He has worked with an endless stream of A-listers and models globally including Kate Moss and Rihanna. Not limiting himself, Nick founded SHOWStudio which explores moving imagery and has revolutionised the industry pathing the way for new generations to take inspiration. His most recent work includes models Gigi Hadid and FieFie Sun on the first cover issue of Vogue Hong Kong in March, which was phenomenal and ground-breaking.

 

Nick Knight @nick_knight @showstudio 

Follow Hafsa on Instagram @hafsahussainphotography

La Bella Coachella

The fashion tribes gathered once again this Easter, in their glitter and glory, turning the festival fields of Coachella into a  colourful catwalk, to see and be seen. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was as spectacular as ever this year and kicks off the start of festival season with an almighty fashion bang! With a musical lineup as eclectic as the outfits,  Coachella is a real feast for the senses. This year’s artists included Tame Impala, Weezer, The 1975, Aphex Twin, Billie Eilish, South Korean girl group BLACKPINK, Kanye West and his sunday service, Donald Glover, Deep dish, Christine and the Queens, Maggie Rogers, Jaden Smith (with an appearance from his dad Will) and headliner Ariana Grande who also brought out special guests to the stage including the return of Justin Bieber! But of course, Coachella is more than just the music and we’re all just as interested in what they wore as much as what they listened to!

From bohemian babes to latex lovers, Hipsters, glamsters, punk and grunge…

Here are some of the best Coachella 2019 outfits

 

A little love from the Evening Standard!

Totally delighed to be featured in the Evening Standard’s choice of best online vintage shop! Thanks Evening Standard you’ve always been my favourite too 😉 And here’s the article…

Alongside this boutique’s vintage offering that comprises of bohemian clothing, jewellery, bags and belts, there is also the added option to have your jacket customised, choosing your own style, slogan and effect.

 

See the full article here

 

 

International Women’s Day and the Feminist Collection

Happy International Women’s Day you gorgeous lot! Today is one of our favourite days of the year, let’s face it… any excuse to shout out to the sisterhood and celebrate the incredible power of the woman is pretty special in our book!

The theme set for this year’s International woman’s day is ‘Balance For Better’, to enhance more gender-balanced opportunities from the media coverage, to employees and the workplace, the government and the fashion industry. Whilst continuing to celebrate the social, cultural and political achievements that have been obtained by women over the years, the day is also grounds for accelerating a gender balanced world

In honour of this badass day, we are releasing some fab new pieces so that you, our customers, can celebrate loud and proud alongside us.

Our new collection of feminist-inspired pieces includes a range of ethically sourced and eco-friendly, organic cotton slogan t-shirts;  ‘A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants’ – the only rules a girl should live by, in the words of the legendary & awesome Coco Chanel and ‘Girl Code’ because behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back! Both in store now and to be worn with lashings of feminine pride.

Keeping it sustainable is our upcycled vintage ‘REBEL GIRL – PUSSY POWER’ customised military shirts, with Rebel Girl in bold on the back and some of our favourite feminist patches on the front, for girls with ethics and attitude.

To celebrate this day and don’t hold back, express yourself with our new sassy and feminist accessories. We’ve got quirky iron-on patches with slogans such as ‘Tough as nails’, ‘Sweet and strong’, ‘Pussypower’ and ‘Rebel Girl’, to pin badges such as ‘Fight like a girl’, ‘Feminist’, ‘Fuck you I do what I want’ and two of our favourite female artist, Frida Kahlo.

We are super proud to be celebrating the 108th International Woman’s Day with all of you beauties and encourage as many of you to join in and spread the sister love!

Enjoy your day babes xx

The iconic Karl Lagerfeld

Guest post by Hannah Littler

An instantly recognisable name and face has sadly left the fashion industry today. Karl Lagerfeld, famously known for his triumphant take over of Chanel and Fendi, whilst simultaneously running his own brand ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ has passed away at the age of 85.

Thousands have taken to social media to remember the icon, from those who admired him as a role model, to those closest to him, including Naomi Campbell, Winnie Harlow, Elton John, Victoria Beckham and Anna Wintour.

This post is a tribute and reflection upon the life that the famous German designer lived, whilst discovering some interesting facts you may not have known about Karl.

To begin, his signature ponytail, which has been with him a long period of time, since 1976 to be exact. After growing tired of long, curly hair Karl pulled it back into a ponytail where it has remained an iconic look ever since.

Many may have noticed his favourite companion, who accompanied him everywhere, his cat, Choupette Lagerfeld. Possibly one of the most pampered felines, Lagerfeld was truly devoted to her, providing her with not just one, but, two personal maids to dote over her every need! If you have yet to have the opportunity to see his furry friend, you can still admire her from her own personal Instagram account @choupettesdiary

True to form when Living an extravagant busy lifestyle, Lagerfeld had houses across the globe from New York to Paris. However, the designer took extra living to another level by having TWO homes a short distance from one another. One is provided purely for Karl to regain his beauty sleep and sketch new designs when he’s ‘in town’, whilst the other is for entertaining visitors and arranging meetings. Although only a short distance from each other, Karl ensured the house in which he only sleeps in, does not have a kitchen of any sort. Instead, his food is brought to him as if he is staying in a hotel.

With the power to have anything he wanted, you’ll find it surprising to discover that his favourite drink was, in fact, Pepsi. However being Karl, whilst attending parties and events he would have a personal butler following him around to ensure his favourite drink was always close to hand in a moment of thirst.

Finally, Lagerfeld took great pride in his appearance and skin care routine, keeping his small collection of products in a separate fridge in his bathroom. The designer additionally avoided the sun and wore gloves to protect his hands to ‘exude his natural glow’.

Karl Lagerfeld, thank you for your contribution and immense success within the fashion industry, you will truly be missed and remembered for many years to come.

Fast-Fashion: resisting the Temptation to Buy More in a Consumerist Society

Guest post by Ffion Lovelock

I think you will agree when I say that Instagram has certainly changed the world of fashion. It provides somewhat regular but largely followed Instagram users the opportunity to work with brands to promote products to their following and in doing so, has created the role of the influencer. A role that is now completely embedded within our culture and motivating our consumption. This contemporary method of marketing via social media allows influencers and brands to really work their magic to increase our retail purchases. On Instagram for example, you can swipe-up to purchase an item in seconds, come across links to a brand on almost every profile and find exactly where they bought that amazing skirt just at the tap of a finger. However, it is wise to consider if this is only adding to the detrimental consequences that fast-fashion has on our environment?

Browsing the likes of Instagram makes it incredibly hard to not be encouraged to buy more and more, especially when our society is so consumer orientated. Instagram is a digital space where we can be constantly exposed to an endless amount of branded content and we are all guilty of scrolling through its feeds tirelessly, so it is no surprise that we take such an interest in buying so much new clothing when the fashion influencers we follow wear it so well.  It is this temptation that can sometimes convince us that we need the item as much as their sponsored posts say we do.

However, some influencers are using their status to provide awareness of what a difference sustainable fashion can make to our planet. Even Emma Watson had her say through creating the Instagram account, ‘@the_press_tour’, to raise awareness of the designers who are dedicating their time to producing clothing from organic and recycled fabrics. Proving that those with a large number of followers do not only have the power to increase our consumption, but the power to convince us to limit it. They are influences after all, and we do often take on board what they have to say. So, go follow some vintage enthusiasts or an influencer who encourages sustainability and you will be surprised how much your outlook can change. Then through turning your attention towards how you could provide a more sustainable fashion footprint with the industries levels of environmental harm could be lessened.

       

Then why not make an active start by investing that temptation into vintage clothing through considering an independent vintage retailer like The Stellar Boutique, and making that conscious decision to re-wear, re-buy and re-sell?

We are all guilty of buying for the sake of it, I know I certainly am. Whether it be for a one time occasion or just because I thought it looked great on the 6-foot-and-tiny model on the website, we always give in to the prospect of something brand spanking new. Vintage clothing, however, allows you to still add something new to your wardrobe and get that exciting feeling that we all crave when we do make a new purchase, but you are contributing to sourcing that fashion ethically and sustainably. You can still shop to your heart’s content but at least you can be a small part towards solving a much wider matter; that being the fashion industries harmful effects on the environment. Not to mention that vintage clothing can also provide you with something that no one else has – a one of a kind item that people can wow over. Investing in something other than mainstream retail is always hugely beneficial and through learning to love what you have or what is already out there, the threat of irreversible climate change could be put to a halt.

The Stellar Boutique’s latest collection of eco-friendly slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts is another perfect example of how retail can eventually become far more sustainable. Through the use of organic cotton, the entire collection is free from any artificial growing processes and sets an example of how natural textiles can cater to our ever-growing retail consumption without our ecosystem having to suffer. So, whether it be vintage or made from sustained and natural materials, our societies love of fashion and constant desire for more of it could eventually be made less problematic in the future.

Read more from Ffion here Lifeandlovelock.com

 

New and exclusive customisation service

Have an old piece of clothing that needs revamping? The Stellar Boutique is offering an exclusive customisation service, designed to the uniqueness of customers to let them strut their stuff on a daily basis.

Whether this is an unloved sweatshirt or tee. A favourite jacket or anything customers think requires a little bit of creative ‘TLC’. The Stellar Boutique offers a new lease of life to customers loved or unloved garments.

This service is quick and easy.

All it takes is to pick the garment they have decided to revive, followed by a design from The Stellar Boutiques pre-made jacket and tee selection. Or, if none of these suits their style they are welcome to share their own ideas, whether this is a name, message, slogan or lyric that fits them perfectly.

Once both sides have had a chat and everything has been finalised, all there’s left to do is send over the chosen garment and The Stellar Boutique puts their creative skills to work.

Prices for the customisation service will begin from £10 depending on production time, this can vary between from 1-2 weeks, and costs of the materials.

Once everyone is happy payments can be made via PayPal. With a service completed in such little steps it would be crazy to not take part, so start rummaging and selecting a garment to customise.

If customers have any questions, do not hesitate to ask at info@thestellarboutique.com or contact via WhatsApp at 07495 58575

The Stellar Boutique – Exclusive customisation service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Stellar Boutique – Exclusive customisation service

Have an old piece of clothing that needs vamping? The Stellar Boutique is offering an exclusive customisation service, designed to the uniqueness of customers to let them strut their stuff on a daily basis.

Whether this is an unloved sweatshirt or tee. A favourite jacket or anything customers think requires a little bit of creative ‘TLC’. The Stellar Boutique offers a new lease of life to customers loved or unloved garments.

This service is quick and easy.

All it takes is to pick the garment they have decided to revive, followed by a design from The Stellar Boutiques pre-made jacket and tee selection. Or, if none of these suits their style they are welcome to share their own ideas, whether this is a name, message, slogan or lyric that fits them perfectly.

Once both sides have had a chat and everything has been finalised, all there’s left to do is send over the chosen garment and The Stellar Boutique puts their creative skills to work.

Prices for the customisation service will begin from £10 depending on production time, this can vary between from 1-2 weeks, and costs of the materials.

Once everyone is happy payments can be made via PayPal. With a service completed in such little steps it would be crazy to not take part, so start rummaging and selecting a garment to customise.

If customers have any questions, do not hesitate to ask at info@thestellarboutique.com or contact via WhatsApp at 07495 58575

Note to the editor:

The Stellar Boutique is an online fashion and vintage store for bohemian babes, eco-fashionistas and vintage junkies.