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

Gone Wild For A While

We’ve always loved a strident, wittily droll slogan and a vintage band t-shirt here at The Stellar Boutique and it looks as though we are not alone! Whether it be vintage, comprehensively notorious quotations or up and coming graphic printers the world has gone crazy for the latest in vogue obsession and we are no different! From our “Your Eyes Lie circle vest” to our “like a flash” t-shirt to our most favourite of all, the “gone wild fringed t-shirt,” at The Stellar Boutique we love to mix it up with diverse refrains and mantras printed on the highest quality materials whilst maintaining our fashion forward edge for our fashion conscious customers!

Your Eyes Lie Circle Vest
Like a Flash Tee
Gone Wild Fringed Tee

With specialist illustrative and watchword independents growing and the likes of Hype, The Ragged Priest and Catchpenny attracting us minions and celebrities alike, the trend that was once associated with grunge looks set to linger for a while. We’ve beheld in reverence at Fearne’s Siouxsie and the Banshees, Alexa’s Arctic Monkeys and Agyness’ The Clash. We’ve witnessed the humorous witticisms and quips of Praduh, Chanel’s Chicken Cottage and Yves vacant Laurent. Alas, who could forget the famous “We Love You Kate” tee Alexander McQueen wore during his catwalk bow in 2005 after Kate Moss’ “cocaine Kate” scandal resulting in the likes of H&M dropping her as the new face for their future campaigns and Chanel declaring that they will not be renewing their contract with her that was to be terminated in October, yet reassuring that it was nothing to do with recent drug claims.

Fearne Cotton's Siouxsie and the Banshees Tee
Homies Tee
Praduh Tee
Agyness Deyn's The Clash Tee

If there is one person alone we can rely on to catapult this trend into stellar space and beyond it is the deity Delevingne, with her “WTF,” “Ain’t No Wifey,” and “Last Clean T-Shirt,” tees spiraling this crazed inclination into oblivion. It’s not just us here at The Stellar Boutique who saw this one coming and branded Miss Delevingne as a fashion presumptuous, a known trend facilitator to fashion insiders back in February this year, Grazia created the in-house Black Score t-shirt with top illustrator Simeon Farrar nipping in to design a selection of tees exclusively for London Fashion Week.

Cara Delevingne at Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012
Cara Delevingne Ain't No Wifey Tee
Cara Delevingne by Terry Richardson for Boy London
Black Score Tee

Where did it start? You can thank the tourist souvenir industry for this one! T-shirt decoration was propelled into our existence in the early segment of the fifties with branded resort tees and Disney screen prints with the sixties seeing the emergence of tie-dyeing and screen printing countenancing the establishment wearable art we are still irksome today.

80s Vintage Mickey Mouse Tee
Vintage I Heart NY Tee
Ramones Tee
Vintage Led Zeppelin Tee