A snoop inside The Stellar Boutique HQ

If you’re anything like me, having a nose behind the scenes and a peek into other peoples lives is somewhat of a guilty pleasure! So I decided to ‘open the doors’ into the heart of The Stellar Boutique and give you, my loyal customers, a perusal round the epicenter of the online fashion shop.

To call it simply ‘an office’ would be a slight injustice. Not just a stockroom, this little space of mine (converted from an old cow barn in my garden) provides me with the perfect place of focus and inspiration. A trove of vintage treasures and fashion finds, this little den is my ultimate ‘girl-cave’!

Welcome to where it all happens……

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No day at the office would be complete without some four-legged friends for company!!

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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

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.

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

Mas: The Notting Hill Carnival

The party has started. The festival season is well underway (and thankfully ongoing,) with the desolate demise of Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, BUT with that brings our favourite event of the solstice – yes, Notting Hill Carnival is commencing this bank holiday weekend with a prodigious fashion paroxysm and is set to be one of the most stylish and fashion accelerative yet. The largest street festival in Europe and once started in 1964 to celebrate the abolition of the slave trade it is now an alliance of social solidarity over colourful sights and sounds. Take note the fashion conscious, this is one you will not want to miss!

The Notting Hill Carnival Heritage
Behind the Mask...

Vibrant Days and Vibrant Nights
Inspirational Palette

Here at The Stellar Boutique we’ve been keeping an eye out this season and if our predictions are correct, (our eyes never deceive us,) it’s going to be a inequitable concoction of acid house and neon tropics showcasing the best of the best nineties grunge a la Cara Delevigne and Alexa Chung and combining it with a traditional vibrantly flamboyant and intensive carnival palette. The emphatic Caribbean festival sees the streets of West London come alive every year with over twenty miles of vibrant costumes and surreal fashions with this traditional aspect established from the very roots that brought the festival to life, with attendees dressing up in costumes that satirized the European fashions of their former masters. And what exactly do I wear? We hear you ask! Think the utmost sparkle, the brightest of colours and the most outlandish of the prints mixed with vintage denim for a hint of subtlety!

The Notting Hill Carnival Wrangler AfterParty 2012
Mario Testino for Vogue, December 2008
Fashion Fantasy in Harpers Bazaar, August 2009
Feel the Ora

Still stuck for inspiration? View The Stellar Collection here.

We've earned our Carnival stripes...
They call it mellow yellow...

All hail style from the streets

At The Stellar Boutique we bode a massive importance on our favourite street style images from the past and the present in regards to us sourcing the most innovative and on trend pieces from an array of novel and edgy up and coming brands and designers for our lovely customers. We love to watch our customers interpret key trends and make them their own to make sure we always get it right first time and play a huge part in this trickled transformation! With this we have decided to present to you an ode to street style, an online shine if you will, of collated images from the likes of Tumblr and Pinterest encapsulating our favourite trends of this season.

View our new fashion collection here at The Stellar Boutique.

Aztec a la Discotheque
Don't Look Back In Anger
XY Androgyny Forever
Neutral Ain't Boring
Ruffling Feathers
Vintage Nights
Smells Like Teen Spirit

New Moroccan Boho Belts

As we await summer’s arrival (a long wait by any means…) everything can seem dull until that period of hot daylight lounging and warm summer night barbeques. However, at The Stellar Boutique we have decided to try any means necessary to moderate that locational prolonged wait for you, by bringing you a new selection of exotic boho belts direct from the warm climates of Morocco! Each product is a genuine article, obtained profoundly within the souks of the magical city of Marrakech.

These boho belts are absorbed with Moroccan culture and ethnicity, ranging from Jim Morrison inspired 60s disc belts to the utilisation of excess fabric in the form of a tribal carpet belt with the implementation of leather, incorporated with traditional and authentic Moroccan carpet – a development of the renowned boho carpet bag!

Versatile and a “must-have” in the backpack, perfect that festival look by using the tan disc belt to cinche that lace vintage dress in at the waist. Alternatively, hook the boho carpet belt on a pair of cut off denims and combine with gladiator sandals, (a typical cardigan to accommodate the unpredictable weather) and a boho vintage tassle bag for the definitive bohemian Aztec festival look this season!

Because we purchase our belts 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 exquisite belts are exclusive to The Stellar Boutique, guaranteeing you stylish and original fashion that cannot be found anywhere else!