Friday, 18 March 2011

A French (fashion) Invasion

I recently took a trip to Paris, and needless to say...

Paris + Eurostar + snow = STRANDED

tired and hungry passengers

Turns out it was worth all the waiting as Eurostar have since paid for us to go back! 

So, whilst in Paris, I stumbled across a few delights - in fact the whole of Paris is a delight in my opinion. The first, a Rock and Roll inspired fashion brand aptly named The Kooples which is parisian slang meaning 'couples'.

The brand has since hit London and word on the street is they are expanding across the UK and USA. I love the way they embrace the couple as a single identity, encouraging girls to steal their boyfriend/housemate/friend/brothers clothes - what a genius idea, and a saviour to my bank account! 

My second exciting find was a little vintage store called Losing Today. It's imaginative window display alone made me stop in my little parisian tracks. 

a pile of retro television sets create 
this innovative window display

"what's inside the bag?!" i hear you ask... well, it's something that ticks the SS11 floral trend perfectly.

Vintage, floral print tapestry bag with 
metal clasp opening - €19

Now, tapestry is a tricky debate, since the tote has been dubbed the "Grandma Bag". Nevertheless, I think the delicate detail of the fabric teamed with leather trims makes granny very chic. 

If you're thinking ooh la la and would like a bit of tapestry yourself then have a look at the lovely purse I spotted on the high street - a good replica, yes, but vintage just has that certain... je nais c'est quoi?

Tapestry print purse - £19.99 (River Island)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The 'brief case' of Oxfam...

Rickmansworth... a beautifully quiet part of the world (unless you've fallen victim to it's resident club Long Island?!) just north of London. Home to Martin Kemp... Tim Lovejoy... and not forgetting Geri Halliwell's mum! But, most favourably, it is the humble abode to several affluent British charity shops.

I used to live in the heart of it, on the High Street right above Cafe Nero and on the odd Saturday morning I would head down the charity shops to have a little shufty. I came across the odd neckscarf, vintage blazer... nothing overly exciting, until one morning when OXFAM delivered! Hanging amongst abundance of old, secondhand bags, a little treasure caught my eye. That moment, I think I found love. And here it is, my little dreamboat...

Brown Leather Contrast Briefcase Bag - £3.99 
(Oxfam, Rickmansworth)
In absolutely perfect condition, this leather briefcase bag has to be my favourite buy of 2010, and what’s more, a year later it is popping up everywhere on the highstreet! What can I say... I’m a fashion leader. Well, that's what I'd like to say - but as I’m not Alexa Chung, I regret to inform you that this is just pure coincidence.

To bag yourself a little dreamboat like this, take a look at my highstreet suggestions. I think the soft leather and green contrast of the Urban Outfitters bag is pretty fabulous for a cool preppy SS11 look, or perhaps you could just scour your local charity shop? You never know what's in there waiting for you!

Contrast Briefcase Bag - £40 (ASOS)

Two Tone Satchel - £48 (Urban Outfitters)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I'm no charity case!

Charity shops. They have that musty, old, never been cleaned aroma, full of ugly, nylon ensembles that someone else has already worn... who in their right mind would even step foot the place?!

Well me actually. Yep, this is where my obsession began. And it was this little poppet that caught my eye...

Small, brown, patchwork leather shoulder bag - £8 
(Oxfam Originals, Manchester).

The cute, ditsy print lining inside, simply embraces this bag's character.

As you can see, this bag is getting on a bit (pardon the safety pins!) but still looks divine. The Oxfam Originals store is located on Oldham St in Manchester's Northern Quarter. With it's crisp white walls and bright spotlights, highlighting an abundance of beautiful vintage pieces, this store really set's the bar for 'boutique' charity shopping.

Next to satisfy my vintage accessory obsession was a purchase from another well known charity shop - British Heart Foundation. This leather lovely hits all the right buttons; vintage, great condition and storming the SS11 boho craft trend. (Not to mention it's rather glorious price tag - all in the name of charity!)

Brown leather, plaited waist belt - £2.99 
(British Heart Foundation, Nottingham)

The Nottingham store is located on Bridlesmith Gate and, well, isn't at all vintage inspired, but like many charity shops, there are some lovely little treasures just waiting for the right eye to find them.

Charity shopping has seriously come of age and has even developed it's own slang term of "thrifting". The worn-out stereotype is fading like the old bric-a-brac occupying the shelves. 

Charity shops are back, with a vengeance.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

et Voila!

OK so, here I am, making my debut on the blogging scene, and all because I love a rummage. There, I've said it. My name is Olivia and I am addicted to rummaging for anything vintage. 

Wait. That sounds obscene, I would like to specify my addiction to bags and other accessories. I'll admit, I've tried to do the whole vintage dressing, but honestly, even if I was put into Doc's Delorean and dropped off in the 80's, it would STILL have been a fashion faux pas. So, after a period of trial and error and some triple denim disasters (say no more), I finally found my feet at the accessory stalls. I am now a great believer in the less is more approach to dressing in vintage... well, for me anyway!

I'll be sharing my love for all of my little finds... hunted down in fairs, markets, vintage stores, charity shops... you name it, if there is a treasure to be found, I'm on it like a car bonnet (figuratively speaking).