P R I D E

Pride. You were incredible 🌈 
What a fantastic few days, so proud to have been part of and supported such a beautiful cause. I met some amazing people and had an absolute ball. Huge thanks to my fabulous helper @localhotelparking 
I couldn’t have done without you chica 😘
#onelove @manchesterpride .

Prepping for Pride

Late night sessions have been the order of the week getting the last of these ‘loud & proud’ custom tees ready for Manchester Pride this weekend 🙌🏼🌈

So excited to be bringing my boutique to the heart of Manchester for the ultimate party in celebration of LOVE!  
All ready to go! Come and find me in the Gay Village for a bargain and a boogie, I’ll be there spreading the love with my vintage spangles and bangles ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Power To The Peaceful

Our original vintage military range, customised and reworked to promote love not war, are now back in stock and ready for some action!

Get yours here before they’re gone…

Reworked vintage military fashion

Ode to Woodstock

50 years ago this weekend saw the most monumental festival in history that defined a generation. Where nearly 500,000 ‘flower children’ came together for 3 epic days of peace, love and music.

Without violence, without fighting in spite of everything they were up against, proving to the world that peace and love wins!

The hippies were right. When I finally get my time machine Woodstock 1969 is my first destination, who’s coming with me? 

F*** You I do what i want

I had a lot of fun with my latest commissioned jacket! 😜

The brief was simple…

‘A feminist F-you vibe, with stars and some feminist patches’

so with a little discussion the slogan was chosen, the jacket was sourced and I set to work.

All finished and ready for battle ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

Personalised custom jackets made to order.

What would you have on yours???
Send me your requests and I’ll get it made 😘

Click here for the full details

10 years of indie biz life

Here’s me in my first HQ in Spain 10 years ago when I’d just launched

The Stellar Boutique. 

July 2009, back when the internet was still a bit of a mystery to me, I only really used it to book flights, I never shopped online and I didn’t even have Facebook! I know, I mean…wtf?

All I knew was I wanted a fashion & vintage shop. I’d originally intended to have an actual physical boutique but when it fell through at the last minute (after investing in and even decorating the shop) I was devastated. A friend suggested I opened an online shop instead 
‘it’s the way of the future’ she said, 
‘internet shopping? Surely it’ll never catch on’ I said! 
The thought of it just didn’t excite me as much and, as a total technophobe, I had no clue where to start. 
Thankfully I heeded her advice and set out on this arduous yet rewarding journey, learning as I went and making a string of mistakes along the way too. 
To say it’s been a challenge is an understatement, there have been highs and lows galore. Running a small business on your own (on a shoestring) is tough, it’s full of difficult decisions, obstacles, problems, long days & late nights and anyone with an indie biz will know that sometimes the business has to be juggled around an array of part-time jobs just to stay afloat! 
One summer my shop was one of 5 jobs I had on the go in order to buy stock and pay the bills! 

There are times when you lose faith in yourself and question your abilities and there have even been moments when I considered throwing in the towel and getting a regular ‘secure’ 9 to 5! 

But this is not a violin moment, on the contrary!

 
To anyone considering starting up their own business, my only advice is to just go for it. As long as you’re passionate about what you do and are prepared to dig deep and work hard, you will get there. I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to learn but I am loving every minute (most of the time) and to everyone who’s ever bought anything from me I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have made this whole journey possible 😘

Ok, enough of the Oscar-style speech, better get back to work 👩‍💻

 

We are 10!

Woohoo I made it

🙌🏼🎂🎈

The Stellar Boutique is 10 years old today!

To help me celebrate this milestone birthday and to say a massive thank you to all my lovely customers I’d love to give you 10% off storewide from now until Sunday.

So come and join the birthday party, fill your cart with all your favourite things and use code ‘happyten’ at the checkout to get 10% off everything

💋💋💋

TAKE ME SHOPPING HERE

Embracing Classic Design: A Guide

Classic design means a lot of different things. It means the Chanel tweed coat; it means the little black dress, it means the tan trench coat. In short, it means the styles that have withstood the test of time and continue to look exceptional when paired with more modern trends. 

To help you decide on which classic design pieces you should personally embrace, here is a rundown of all the garments that you need in your wardrobe today. 

Know Your History 

The first step to embracing classic design is to understand what makes a classic design. Spend a little time online or invest in a fashion book so that you can familiarize yourself with the most popular and timeless pieces that came out of every century. This way, you know what to look for, and which designs you like best before you start hunting for the perfect pieces to complete your wardrobe. 

The Pieces That Withstand the Test of Time 

When it comes to the classics, there are a few pieces that have not only withstood the test of time but are essential to any great wardrobe (capsule or otherwise). 

The Classic Trench Coat 

The classic trench coat can be worn in so many ways. It can be worn buttoned up with striking shoes for a noir look, or it could be kept open and paired with your Sunday jeans and a baggy sweater. Regardless of your sense of style, the trench coat will match it, and then elevate it. It’s lasting design means you should invest in the exceptional quality offered by trenchlondon.com so that it could be your faithful, beautiful companion for years on end. 

The White Buttoned Down Shirt

The white buttoned down shirt is a classic that can be hard to get right. When in doubt, choose a high quality piece that fits around your widest part, and then tailor it to perfection. 

The Little Black Dress 

Every woman should have a little black dress. This has been essential ever since Audrey Hepburn came on screen in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Though the exact style is up to you, your little black dress should be flattering to your shape. Consider getting it tailored if needs be. 


A Cashmere Knit 

High quality cashmere might be expensive, but when it comes to comfort and warmth, it cannot be beaten. Invest in one or two quality cashmere sweaters, and you’ll look exceptional and be cosy all winter long. 

The Slip Dress

The slip dress is the newest addition to this list, as before Calvin Klein popularised it, the slip dress was seen as an undergarment. It is a great, versatile piece that can be worn in winter and summer. 

When choosing classic pieces, you can invest in high quality, luxurious garments without worry. You will wear them again and again, year after year. In fact, it is in your best interest to invest now so that you can enjoy a beautiful, tailored-perfect look from the start and forevermore. 

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