Vintage Fashion: 90s Style Revived

Written by: Emma Stephenson // @emmastephenson 

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

My mum once told me that style never goes out of fashion, and most of the time she is right. Today, being a young and trendy girl raised in the nineties, I would look back and cringe at old photos of some of the outfits I was dressed up in. Those homemade waistcoats created from old curtains, shrunk t-shirts I pulled off as crop tops and slogan peddle-pushers all painted me as the ultimate 90’s girl. This season I have the chance to revisit my youth and pull out those gems hidden in my girl band inspired wardrobe.

Dungarees  // Sneakers  //  Leather Rucksack

At last the comic-loving, scrunchie-wearing, print-clashing style is reborn. With slogan tops inspired by pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, the trend of the nineties is now undergoing an update. Sweatshirts, dungarees, crop tops, oversized tees, sneakers and print leggings are all making a comeback and here are some second hand finds stashed away in the Oxfam Online Shop.

 Yellow T-Shirt     //  Monochrome Print Hoodie  //  Green Cropped Sweatshirt  //  Bead Necklace 

With style icons of this era including Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Spice Girls, creating this look should be fun and easy. Clashing prints, bright colours, slogans and baggy fits are key to this trend. Pair socks with trainers and roll tight fit joggers up at the leg and you’ve got the 90’s down to a tee. Blast out some pop, grunge or house music on your cassette player and it’ll be like stepping back in time.

Oxfam Online Shop: Designer Special

Christmas is a distant memory and we are left with only traces of glitter and some impossible resolutions to keep. My resolution involved a serious argument with my wardrobe.  Working at Oxfam means that I am surrounded by great second hand clothes everyday and I spend a lot of my free time in charity shops which has resulted in a bit of a messy wardrobe.  I have a very good selection of high street items and exciting vintage but, as I tearfully send some items back to my local Oxfam, I realise a gap in my newly neat wardrobe.  I have no designer clothes,
investment pieces or anything high end and, when I take a tea break and flick through the latest glossy magazine, I remember why I have no designer items – they cost more than I earn in a year! So, how am I going to afford pieces of fashion history without having to sell everything I own?

To the rescue is the Oxfam Online Shop

 

After spending 15 minutes entering some current designers from my fashion magazine, I found a wonderful selection of second hand, high end items. Here are my favourites –

 

 

 

  1.  Roberto Cavalli Silk Blouse This Cavalli silk blouse has gold snake buttons on and a pattern that will keep you occupied for hours. A bright, ornate item for only £60 – has a baggy fit, easy to wear such as with leggings
  2. Gucci Floral Silk Scarf A scarf – a fantastic way to have a high end designer item that never goes out of fashion.  For £85 an unusual Gucci floral yellow and pink silk scarf that is a multi-use piece of luxury:  headscarf, neck scarf, tied around bags.
  3. Zadig & Voltaire Cashmere Cardigan Cashmere is my favourite fabric but can be very expensive. For only £39.99 this is a really high quality cashmere cardigan – very soft and warm for the winter with beautiful details from Zadig & Voltaire
  4. Mulberry Ankle Boots Boots – for £150 (which is what you can pay in some high street stores) get some brand new suede boots from classic British luxury brand, Mulberry. These are beautiful with gold studding – much the same as some appearing in their current spring/ summer ads.
  5. Moschino Jeans Playsuit  Wow. I think this is my favourite – it is like nothing else (except 90s Madonna) I have ever seen. For £60 this playsuit from Moschino will definitely stand out from the crowd – not a high street copy in sight!

 

So those are my favourites on the Oxfam Online Shop at the moment – why not have a look and see if any of your favourite designer labels are on there.

Shwop Shop: Brix Smith-Start & Grace Woodward styling tips

We were lucky enough to have two esteemed fashion stylists in attendance to our Shwop Shop grand opening this week. Brix Smith-Start and Grace Woodward donated items from their own enviable wardrobes as well as styling some fantastic outfit ensembles from Shwopped stock and Oxfam fashion managed to grab them for a quick chat.

brix smith start and grace woodward

Fabulously flamboyant style guru Brix Smith-Start was a serial donator to this Shwop Shop offering a barrage of designer goodies. Grabbing vibrant cashmere sweaters from the left and colourful patterned midi skirts from the right, she was in her element exclaiming: “this Shwop Shop is beyond inspiring me, I keep looking at things thinking how many great outfits there are in here!”

As a stylist, charity shops are treasure troves for last minute or unique additions to a fashion story. To charity shop the Smith-Start way she advises to: “find a single item that you like and walk around the shop with it holding it up against things it would look good with. Sometimes you can go to charity shops and see something that just resonates with you straight away.”

Brix Smith Start

Brix is a firm Shwopping supporter and said: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and it’s as simple as that. It’s just human nature and it’s so positive.”

grace woodward

Sporting some fantastic sequin striped trousers, was former fashion stylist of the year, Grace Woodward. Having built her career on tending to the fashion needs of the famous and dressing the pages of the glossies, Grace champions individuality and the Shwop Shop has plenty of that!

“This is my heaven, everything here is really individual and special. The list of designer labels here is ridiculous too, there’s Magiela, Marni, Marc Jacobs and then there’s all the fantastic M&S dresses,” she said.

When it comes to charity shopping, Grace defines two approaches: “Either shop for individuality or literally go for the trends. Think what is hot on the catwalk right now and you can have a designer looking wardrobe for next to no money. Go with your gut feeling.”

Having bargain hunted in charity shops for years, her stylist secret lies with her tailor: “the one thing you’re going to find in charity shops is individuality and just because something doesn’t fit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. If you like the fabric and the colour then the fit can be sorted out and you’d be amazed at what a tailor can do for less than £10.”

As the supporter of numerous sustainable fashion campaigns as well as Shwopping, Grace said: “being a stylish person is about being cool and considerate and not leaving a trail of destruction. It’s not just about what you’re wearing on the outside. To be a truly fabulous and stylish person, that comes from within.”

Thanks for Shwopping and talking to Oxfam fashion Grace and Brix!

Marks & Spencer and Oxfam Shwop Shop

The doors of the Marks & Spencer and Oxfam Shwop Shop opened to the public yesterday for a two -day extravaganza filled with hundreds of uniquely shwopped garments and celebrity donations.

The delicious array of items adorning the rails were handpicked by the festival shop team at Wastesaver, Oxfam’s recycling and sorting facility in Huddersfield.  Shwopped items from all over the country were included in the Shwop Shop, with an exciting selection of vintage M&S pieces. The pop-up shop also housed one-off donations from celebrities including Plan B, Gary Barlow, Gemma Cairney, Caroline Flack, Tali Lennox and Peaches Geldof.

The face of Shwopping, Joanna Lumley opened the event to press and headed the till for the first of the public purchases.  She also donated her own ‘absolutely fabulous’ jacket.

Super stylists Brix Smith-Start and Grace Woodward also attended the opening offering their fashion expertise and putting together a selection of top looks from the Shwop stock (more to come on this from team fash…)

Speaking to Joanna Lumley, Shwopping ambassador, she said: ‘Shwopping does nothing but good. It saves landfill sites from being filled with perfectly good clothes and it respects the clothes we’re dealing with made from cottons, silks, wools, nylons and many more. It does absolute immeasurable good through Oxfam for the people it supports in developing countries.’

She admitted to being a seasoned fan of charity shops herself, she said: ‘A lot of charity shops, particularly Oxfam, get the really, really good clothes which are then knocked down to a fraction of the price. I have no qualms about wearing other people’s clothes, it never troubles me!’

After a successful first day of Shwopping, it’s lucky the Oxfam stock room holds many more hidden treasures ready for the Friday sales!                                                                                                                        
                        

If you can’t make it to the Shwop Shop, the Oxfam Online Shop has plenty of vintage and fashion items for you to browse. 

Teresa Collenette Discovers Fashion with Passion!

Ever since Henrietta Ludgate opened her workshop there, Whiteleys, Bayswater, seems to have come to life and acquired a brand new buzz. I love to pass by there and see fabric strewn on tables and scissors in action! Imagine my excitement then to see that her workshop was hosting a sustainable sample sale…

When I went there to investigate, I not only found some wonderful clothes and accessories but also the designers themselves.  This was clearly going to be more than a shopping experience. How often does a shopper get to chat with the creators of the clothes and discover what inspires them!

I was immediately drawn to Lu Flux’s patterns and prints.  Lu up-cycles vintage textiles creating colourful one-off pieces imbued with a playful nostalgia. I couldn’t wait to try on the amazing dress made from vintage embroidered linen tablecloths.  Her toile de jouy print jacket featuring delicate drawings of herself and her boyfriend was both witty and whimsical. Patchwork featured prominently and I eventually succumbed and bought a stunning tulip shaped floral patchwork skirt.  I loved the pattern and the colours and the fact that she had used a towelling
fabric in the patchwork adding texture and a note of quirkiness!

Whereas Lu’s patchwork has a mathematical angle, Ada Zanditon’s inspiration has a more scientific perspective.  Ada’s clothes redefine luxury with their fabrics and structure but also reference nature and the environment. Ada uses her photography of elements of the natural world to create beautiful prints that reflect the environment.  Her waterfall dress was breathtaking to see.  The print, which visually mimics the ice-cold waters of the Antarctic is created from photos of penguin feathers and jellyfish, and the very structure of the dress with its front
cascading fabric panel creates a waterfall effect. Ada is also fascinated by seahorses, which are the inspiration for another of her prints.  Ada will be doing a sponsored swim for the Seahorse Trust at the end of May!

I had been hoping to find one of Henrietta Ludgate’s amazing quilted coats just my size in the sample sale but sadly that was not to be! However, it was a thrill to see one at close range, as well as her quilted skirt with its exaggerated A-line shape, satin dresses in jewel colours and her sculptural collars.  For Henrietta, structural design and minimalist form have architectural echoes, and I love that her clothes not only embody traditional skills, craft and luxury, but also have a really cool modern edge to them.

Accessories were represented at the sale in the form of bags designed by Sonya Kashmiri.  Her beautiful soft and colourful sculpted leather bags are made from chrome free vegetable- tanned leather.  I loved her Armadillo bags!

Looking around the workshop, it was so exciting to realise that sustainable fashion offers such a variety of options thanks to the diversity of the inspiration motivating these passionate designers.  I left Whiteleys inspired and with a beautiful unique skirt!