Boho Moroccan Kaftans Back In Stock!

Here at The Stellar Boutique we are celebrating the beginning of summer and, of course, festival season by bringing in a touch of the exotic with our hot array of Moroccan kaftans that are now back in stock.

The perfect summer essential to add a touch of bohemian glam, these gorgeous kaftan dresses are the genuine article, sourced from deep within the souks of the enchanted city of Marrakech. Each one has a traditional Moroccan embroidered trim and with the distinctive Arabian design on the front and back these kaftans have a true authenticity that won’t be found in your average high street store.

Incredibly versatile, these kaftans are an essential ‘must-have’ in every individuals’ holiday wardrobe. Perfect for throwing over your sun-kissed bod on the beach, they provide ideal protection from the sun but are loose, airy and light enough to keep you cool whilst making a style statement at the same!

Alternatively, team them with a boho belt, some gladiator sandals and a tassel bag and ‘Rock the Kasbah’ for the ultimate festival look for summer 2014.

Or simply wear yours to potter about in at home or the garden on those lazy, bohemian afternoons!

Either way, these kaftans are perfect for that super stylish, exotic summer cool.

Because we purchase our kaftans directly from the artisans of Morocco, we are able to ensure a fair trade policy. Working together to bring you unique North African delights straight out of the souks and delivered directly to your door.

As always, these beautiful kaftans are exclusive to The Stellar Boutique, guaranteeing you stylish and original fashion that cannot be found anywhere else!

Moroccan Kaftans, Back In Stock!
Moroccan Kaftans, Back In Stock!

Nothing less than full victory

“Nothing is ever really new in fashion… As you go back in time you would gradually find the predecessors of every ‘New’ Look.”

Seventy years ago an estimated 160,000-allied troops crossed the English Channel in an initial D-Day assault on 6th June 1944 from Portsmouth, the preeminent departure point for troops bound for Sword Beach. An attack of which not only paved the way for the defeat of Nazi Germany, but evoked the loss of approximately 2,500 allied troops in the ensue of battle. As the anniversary of the D-Day landings are being commemorated by hundreds of last surviving veterans on both sides of the English channel this weekend, we wanted to take a look at the cumbersome affect of a nation devastated by chaos and mass destruction spanning over a grueling six years of war on the fashion industry.

D-Day Operation Neptune, Channel 4
D-Day Operation Neptune, Channel 4

In an era of desolation and ruin, communities grew to connect in abutment, the populace developing economical measures and thus demonstrating the upmost creativity and ingenuity as a result of the worldwide rationing of textiles imposed in 1940 thus forcing women to dress in a practical and versatile manner, using up as little material as possible and those of synthetic nature, like viscose and nylon. In Britain coupons were introduced where people could exchange clothes for food, with the Board of Trade controlling suppliers and fronting the campaign “Make do and Mend,” encouraging society to recycle clothes and produce makeshift clothing until 1943.  Coinciding with this, the utility scheme was introduced, providing minimum quality clothing for a highly unreasonable price.  Inspired by the term “old dress, new hat,” women began to make hats from newsprint as well as turbans in 1942, made from veiling, ribbons and other less-restricted materials resulting in the decrease in hat sales. A different story in Paris, women were infuriated by rationing, taking revenge by wearing the most enormous hats, piled with bizarre decoration! People made whatever use they could of materials they could maintain, consequently inventing the “peasant” skirt, a patchwork skirt made from an array of useful materials in terms of fabric and ribbon that was to be sewn together in patchwork squares.  A trend featured heavily on the Autumn Winter 2014/15 catwalks by the likes of Phillip Lim, who cartoon brights and whimsical inspiration as opposed to his harsher, streetwise influences. Parisian couturiers presented lines with suggestive titles like ‘False Alarm’ and ‘Attack,’ featuring military jackets and gas masks in the bag while Pierre Balmain presented evening gowns named ‘Occupation’ and ‘Underground,’ – a trend cropping up on the European catwalks this Fall with Fendi’s swish/grandeur combination of heavy duty, stiff wool parkas and army jackets and bomber jacket rendered dresses coinciding with Versace’s upright tailored jackets featuring fringed epaulettes and ceremonial buttons.

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Junya Watanabe Autumn Winter 2014/15
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Phillip Lim Autumn Winter 2014/15

Our absolute favourite look of Autumn Winter 2014/15 is that of Zadig & Voltaire, with creative director Cecilia Bönström describing the collection as a “A military winter with a bohemian feel,” encompassing androgynous masculine and feminine clashes of lace, sequins and utilitarian jackets.

Zadig & Voltaire Autumn Winter 2014/15
Zadig & Voltaire Autumn Winter 2014/15

Whilst the likes of Lucien Lelong was petitioning against the abolishment of the industry all together in Paris during the Occupation, in Britain, British Vogue was still regularly inundated, though focusing on informing women how to get the “modern makeshift” look as opposed to the next buy, with photographers like Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) making the most out of war scenes in a light humoured, rebellious manner as a source of entertainment, as well as inspiration and respect for the men of Britain at war – as well as Lee Miller, a fashion photographer who focused on women after the war. Amongst a time of desperation and despair, women were still constantly under pressure to look their best at all times in case their husbands were to return from the battle fields, though still undertaking war work which was often incredibly strenuous and dangerous.  The Hollywood ‘Golden Age’ stars were therefore tremendously influential, those of which all women aspired to be – Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow and Jean Crawford to name but a few, were actresses turned models for women everywhere, who, before Vogue, drew all fashion inspiration from the Silver screen. Americans were buying haute couture from Paris, replicating and making tons of copies, leading the world into mass production and clothing in standardised sizes, introducing us to the world of ready-to-wear and as Paris lost its position as the epicentre of fashion towards the end of World War II, London and New York designers began to establish opportunities, with American Designers starting to gain confidence therefore putting their name on their designs.

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Cecil Beaton
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Cecil Beaton

In 1947, one of the most revolutionary lines in fashion history, the ‘Corelle’ line (named from a vision of huge skirts spreading like ‘petal cups’ from fitted bodices) was presented, revealing an entirely new image for women after the war, constituting of full blown hips, neat shoulders and slim waists and contradictory exceeding a vast amount of material and freeing the imagination from years of rationing.  Christian Dior was greatly disturbed at the new fashions women sported throughout the war, stating that “everything about their attire spelt misery, suffering and sham – clunky shoes with cork wedge-heels, a fake stocking seam drawn skilfully onto the leg, short skirts with a split, and on top of it all a harsh square-cut jacket.” He wanted to abolish the profound effect the war had on women, emphasising the beautiful femininity and elegance that had surrounding the female population pre-war.  Hemlines were dramatically dropped nine inches, made from contrasting, flimsy wartime materials in velvet, taffeta and satin and using hip padding and boned, bustier-style bodices, creating the ‘hourglass’ silhouette with the neat, sloped shoulders featuring in the first collection of Dior’s former colleague, Balmain in 1945. After achieving worldwide population in a very short period of time, this line was deemed the ‘New Look.’ However, such lavish and elegant style did not go opposed, on a visit to the states in 1947, Christian Dior came up against expressive play cards when arriving in Chicago, stating “Christian Dior, go home!” of which he joked “it was as if we had narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.” On another occasion, a Dior model was attacked by housewives on the Rue Lepic in Paris.  Not phased, Dior’s luxurious and elegant sculpture structures went on to influence countless designers and has since secured the continuation of Maison Dior. Combining Christian Dior’s classic ‘New Look’ and Cristobel Balenciaga’s 1950s ‘Sack,’ such monumental silhouettes have found themselves in the full front of fashion over past seasons, with Proenza Schouler paying homage with preppy crepe jackets and metallic midi’s for Spring Summer 2014.

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Christian Dior’s ‘New Look,’ 1947
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John Galliano’s interpretation of Christian Dior’s ‘Corelle’ line
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Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2014

View our full collection of 1940s vintage clothing here or at www.thestellarboutique.com.

1943 Vintage Original M43 Womens US Army Jacket
1943 Vintage Original M43 Womens US Army Jacket

Art and Suffering

“Tattoos detract attention away from the clothes in which you are modeling.” OLD NEWS! Thankfully it seems, the fashion industry has histrionically evolved from a time in which that was a collective actuality to pastures new, embracing the art form as a means of accentuating personality, something we here at The Stellar Boutique are tremendously appreciative of. Firm believers of suffering for our art (we have matching ink here at Stellar HQ,) we really think that the cultural shift toward tattoos is directive in concerning our desire to live in an incessant flow of art-directed personality, but is this a new age of professionalism, or is it strictly the acceptance of the creative industries?

A sign of the times...
Vintage lace and tattoo inspiration
Tattoo design

We’re not so sure, but in accordance to The Guardians online article “The Rise and Rise of the Tattoo” in 2010, one in five Britons are tattooed with those figures on the increase, precipitously. It’s almost 2014 and we’re pretty sure that art expression isn’t just a tendency but a way of life. Something that dates back 5000 years ago and once an art form of sailors, bikers and assorted deviants, this is a trend (if you can possibly call it a trend) that has quintessentially stepped up to the mainstream on a whole new and incomprehensible level.

Gang inspired tattoos
Navel tattoo
Sailor Jerry tattooist
Jean Paul Gaultier "Le Male' Ad Campaign with tattooed sailor

Ink is everywhere and has been for a pretty long time – in the 18th century, prominently historical explorers such as James Cook brought back drawings and told tales of Polynesian islanders’ spectacular inks with the intentions of warding off evil spirits. Ultimately, as time has progressed, tattoos have moved from symbolism of great cultural importance to that of artistic forms of self-expression. Like a sewing machine without the thread, the modern twin coil electromagnetic tattoo needle was patented in 1891 and was the catalyst of something beautiful. No longer a partition of class, displays of creativity and eccentricity are present on the streets and in the palaces alike – They are not dissident; they are not contravened and they are not a mark of the outlaw. A slave to the art of individualism, even Winston Churchill’s mother had a discreet snake tattoo on her wrist.

Kat Von D tattoo needles
Tattooed Maori family
Tattoo gun

Nowadays, they have personal meanings of original symbolism alongside a historically perceived meaning – Scarlett Johansson never discloses the meaning of the sunset tattoo discernibly extant on her forearm and why should she? And in regards to inspirational artistic phenomena, we read an article about Marc Jacobs’ views on tattoos in the industry in New York Magazine in which he expresses that his tattoos are a diary of his creative life – of his interests and his relationship to the world. “In what is perhaps the greatest fashion shift of a generation, tattoos are now as desired and admired as a Céline bag, a Prada shoe, or one of those long mountain-man beards.” He speaks the truth! Tattoos are distinguishable and expresses diversity and disposition, with Kate Moss’ bird tattoos drawn unambiguously for her by Lucian Freud and Chanel’s ad campaigns conspicuously featuring Freya Beha Erichsen’s ‘breathe’ tatt in synchronization of the release of their very own transfer tattoos in 2010 for the less inclined of fortitude.

Kate Moss, Lucien Freud tattoo
Chanel transfer tattoos on the S/S 2011 catwalk
Freja Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011
Freya Beha Erichsen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel S/S 2011

Alongside this we’ve seen the current Valentino ad, a brand renowned for their modest femininity and contemporary glamour, feature not a pure, fresh-faced model but the big, hairy tattooed arm of photographer Terry Richardson, clutching heels and handbags for the female form. And to finish with a real insight into the future of the self-expressive nature of tattooing we’ve seen the House of Holland take a “trip to balmy Mexico City by way of the tattoo parlours of Venice beach,” with the designers Spring Summer 2014 collection showcased at London Fashion Week yesterday, capturing an existing and new generation with dazing ink printed luxury in a sugar skull, antiquated floral and love heart frenzy.

Terry Richardson for Valentino A/W 2013
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014
Henry Holland for House of Holland S/S 2014

Excuse us while we suffer for our art! View the full Stellar Collection here.

Vintage rose and crucifix
Dream catch me

No One Is Innocent

It’s officially “bedtime for democracy” (excuse the pun,) mind control is no more and the nostalgia of youth culture domination has overwhelmed the world! The Stellar Boutique loves punk and in merriment of the Met Museums up and coming punk exhibition, Punk: Chaos to Couture, we have seen the art of punk celebrated through an array of exhibitions such as Southbank’s Someday All The Adults Will Die: Punk Graphics 1971-1984 and most prominent, the University of the Arts London’s LCC campus’ accolade to the iconic punk graphics style in The Art of Punk in order to celebrate the unveiling of their significantly influential graphic design lecturer, Russell Bestley’s new book of the same title. Offering an assortment of punk designs and illustrated art from album art covers to ephemera, the reserve represents an interesting indication of, in the words of the author, “an ugly and brutal side that can’t be appropriated,” from artists like Jamie Reid and Peter Saville  expressive of bands of The Sex Pistols and The Damned. Combining this with the rebellion of anarchy we saw on the Autumn Winter catwalks from Versace’s “vunk” collection of safety pinned understatement (no sarcasm…,) it’s no wonder we have seen the likes of luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi prospectively launch a collection deliberated by renowned designers from Balmain to Vivienne Westwood and Givenchy to Moschino paying homage to punk with exclusive pieces as a means of providing women with the opportunity to encapsulate the spirit of punk through a combination of high fashion and rebellion.

Moda Operandi, May 22 2013
Versace Autumn Winter 2013/14
Peter And The Test Tube Babies Artwork

Where did it come from? The most revolutionary event of the 1970’s was the notable youth movement that happened presently late in the decade. A state of mind, punk was built in on Kings Road by The Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010) and one of the most influential designers to date, Vivienne Westwood with their ability to transform youths into extremists and anarchists, just by the way in which they wore and styled their clothes. Much to the public’s dismay, the profligate identity of the Punk movement referred to that of political and sexual bad taste and down-right filth with the deployment of anything set to irritate those worth rebelling against – t-shirts were sold audaciously at Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop displaying distasteful phrases, like “Paedophilia” and “Cambridge Rapist” as well as indecent displays of exhibitionists, of which they were arrested for. We can only imagine such manifesto led to a larger number of congresses, in a time where rebellion against politics and the undertaking of “anarchy in the UK” was the way forward!

Vivienne Westwood Swastika Tee
Vivienne Westwood in the shop that she and Malcolm McLaren owned in the 1970's

Punk style created imagery of lost adolescence and the anguish and pain of losing their childhood, through destructive, asexual clothing centring on self-mutilation.  Au natural was demolished, making way shocking deployment of decorative elements and attire.  Political bad taste was addressed and teenagers ran free wearing Swastikas’ teamed with cheap taste bin bags and safety pins and filthy lavatory chains seen this season by the likes of Givenchy and Moschino. The metamorphic “Queen of Punk” became revolutionised by her creation of aggressive, pornographic looking accessories and everyday attire for hers and Malcolm McLaren’s band The Sex Pistols.  Her unconventional readiness to take risks and fascination for different cultures still assists in her ability to push the boundaries, displaying liveliness and eroticism teamed with elegance and potency in her works, encouraging wearers to be individual and non-conformist, an attitude that has been adopted by designers such as the late Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier in more recent years. Phenomenally and most monumental, the “Pirates” collection, inspired by 17th century theatrical and historical dress of Pirates, buccaneers, dandies and highwaymen of which she explained style as “just putting things together that aren’t anything to do with fashion.”

Vivienne Westwood photo shoot
Punk fashion circa late 1970's

With fashion comes art and with art comes music. Idols of the time saw bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols rise to fame with bassist Sid Vicious originating the most offensive and inventive punk fashions of that time – he was only in the band for the way he looked and his anarchist insurgence after all. Their 1977 hit record “God Save the Queen” was released at the same time as the Queen’s silver jubilee, with Artist Jamie Reid causing major offence after defacing the original Cecil Beaton royal portrait, and in his ransom notes styled lettering, writing “You too can be a punk.” Loves young dream, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen became the talk, with teenagers idolising Sid’s dirty and somewhat unkempt look compared with Nancy’s “heroin-chic.”  Sadly, living fast and dying young was taken literally, with both dying under tragic circumstances – Sid’s suicide note reading “We made a death pact, and I have to accomplish my part of the deal. Please bury me next to my baby. Please bury me with my leather jacket, jeans and motorcycle boots. Goodbye. With love, Sid.”

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen
Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry, 1977
The Damned
Siouxsie Sioux

Bringing punk back to the future, it’s all about the fabric! Think heavy duty with leather and studded embellishment spikes, dominatrix patent and bondage slashes to reveal flashes of flesh, leaving it all to the imagination. Unassuming is no longer standard with traditional tartans, oversized furs and dishevelled leopard prints. An inconspicuous fall? Chances are “pretty vacant!”

Agyness Deyn in punk editorial feature
Street style
Agyness Deyn Chinese Vogue editorial feature 2011
Street style

View The Stellar Boutique fashion collection here.

New Vintage Jewellery

With Christmas just around the corner we all need a little help and inspiration when it comes to gift ideas.

The Stellar Boutique‘s new collection of vintage jewellery provides you with just the thing to keep Christmas gifts exciting and unique! We have just added a gorgeous new range of collectable vintage jewels, gems, trinkets and charms perfect for any Christmas stocking!

Choose from quirky & kitch 50s bakelite earrings, 60s boho necklaces and hippie rings or glamorous jewelled 70s brooches to surprise that someone special. Or simply treat yourself and add that touch of originality and sparkle to your party outfit.

Shop the vintage jewellery collection now !