Vintage party with Amanda Lee Shirreffs

This post originally appeared on Vinted in July 2016.

You can’t spell Vinted without Vintage (actually you can, but just go with it), and so we enlisted help from the coolest girl on the vintage scene, Amanda Lee Shirreffs. Read on for her tips to make vintage shopping (and selling!) a fun walk down memory lane.

How did you get into vintage? My mother and my aunt really inspired my love of vintage with their love of music and aesthetics. My mom always pushed for me to be an individual and to always stand out from the crowd.

Can you tell us about your career path? I attended the London College of Fashion. While I was there, I threw myself into any opportunity that I came across, which led me to assist the D&G and Burberry Buying and Merchandising teams. At D&G I was encouraged to take on a stylist role during their buying season, which really propelled me down this path. They were the catalysts to me finding my way in fashion.

I was always so inspired by British style, how they are able to mix vintage to amplify their look and how much fun they have with it. Men also really commit to a look. That’s what I miss! Give me a Northern boy in Cuban heels.

Afterwards, I started styling singer Ren Harvieu, which snowballed into working with musicians on the rise for publications like The New Yorker, New York Magazine and i-D.

What are your rules when shopping for vintage?
- Go in with an open mind! I always find my best pieces when I least expect it.  
- Don’t buy anything that needs a lot of repairs. Take it from someone who has a bin worth of ‘repair’ items. You’ll never come around to it!
- Check armpits. I find fabrics like 70s polyester really absorb the smells and sweat stains.
- Know your brands, but don’t let them lead you. Last year I was really taken by a full length, sequin dress that the thrift store wanted to chuck. I decided to just take it off their hands – both completely unaware that it is a high priced Malcolm Starr gown.
- My online vintage shopping is geared towards finding curated, high-end pieces. I always assume it’s most likely final sale, so it’s important to know your measurements.

What are your styling tips to create outfits that won't look costume-y? I never like my look to be too polished or strictly married to one era: maintain contemporary hair and makeup and add some modern accessories.

What’s your advice for sellers? When I started to have a real distinct vision of the direction I wanted my career to go, an artist friend gave me the best advice: ‘Curate your account as if it were a gallery. Make it recognizable.’ So, art direction is important if you want to attract like-minded people who will purchase your pieces.


Good lighting is important, as well. I tend to shoot my vintage pieces in natural light, at the brightest time of day – because unless you’re a trained photographer, lighting can be tricky! Make sure to include a few off-figure images so the buyer can see the details.

All pictures Amanda Lee Shirreffs for Shrimpton Couture.


Festival packing with Years & Years stylist Coline Bach

This post originally appeared on Vinted in July 2016.

Coline Bach

Festival season is now in full swing, but if you’re still looking for THE piece that’ll make you stand out in the crowd, look no further! We managed to catch up with Coline Bach, the in-demand stylist coming up with the looks worn by Years & Years, the British band shaking up the pop scene.

 

What do you do? I’m a fashion and wardrobe stylist.

 

How do you divide your time between celeb styling and editorial? It depends how busy my clients are, my main clients are Years & Years and for the past ten months they have been really busy so it has taken most of my time as they are always my main priority, but if it gets quieter with them like it has been for the past two months then I get to do more editorial, so it’s always a good balance.

 

How did you get into styling? I assisted A LOT of more senior stylists, but mainly I was Robbie Spencer’s first assistant at Dazed & Confused for a while. Then I went freelance and started doing my own thing, I met the Years & Years boys on an editorial shoot for Modzik magazine, which is a French music focused magazine, and we just clicked! I was also shooting for Schön! quite a bit as a freelance and the editor in chief asked me to become fashion editor for the magazine.

 

What's the process like when you're styling a band like Years & Years for a festival? I would first talk to Olly about what he would like to do and what direction he would like to take. For Coachella I worked with graduates who sent sketches and fabric swatches for tour outfits ideas for Olly, according to a general brief I sent them. We picked the favourites with Olly and commissioned five of them. For Glastonbury, I asked Olly if he had a specific idea of what he would like to wear, and he said that he wanted something rainbow coloured with wings. We worked on this idea with my friend Lara Jensen who is a great accessories and costume maker, and she designed and realised the full outfit for him. The vest, the shorts and the cape. This was a very special outfit because it was Pride weekend and after the terrible events that happened in Orlando, Olly, as a spokesperson for the LGBT community was able to send a strong message to the Glasto crowd, both with his incredible emotional speech, and the outfit.

Olly Years & Years

Do you have special tips and tricks when packing for a festival? It depends on the festival, for Coachella it was sunblock and bandanas, because it’s in the middle of the Palm Spring desert and such a dusty festival that people walk around with bandanas across their faces to avoid breathing in dust. For Glastonbury you can’t go without wellies, it’s just a mud bath there! And a good raincoat or rain poncho.


Ethical Fashion in London with Sarah Ditty

This post originally appeared on Vinted in July 2016.

 

At Vinted, we make it our mission to make second-hand shopping the first choice you can think of. It can be an entirely selfish choice, like when you managed to track down that amazing sold out bag, or that time you just had to have these vintage pumps… but if it can also be an ethical option you feel good about, what’s not to love? We talked vintage and all things ethical with Sarah Ditty from Fashion Revolution.

 

What do you do, Sarah? I am the head of policy at Fashion Revolution, the global movement calling for a more transparent, safer, cleaner and more sustainable fashion industry. We began in 2013 as a response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 garment workers, mainly young women. We are powered primarily by volunteers, and we now have teams in 92 countries working to raise awareness about the broken, exploitative clothing industry. In my policy role, I work with the European Parliament, the UK and German government, and international unions and NGOs to look at ways to improve responsibility and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Every year on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24th April, Fashion Revolution takes to social media, the streets, the halls of government, schools and other places both online and offline to remember the people who have died in the process of making the clothes we wear every day. All of our actions are centred around the question ‘who made my clothes?’ Online we encourage people to take a selfie of their favourite clothes and tag the brand #whomademyclothes as a way to encourage more transparency from the companies we shop from.

 

When did you first become aware of ethical fashion? Oxfam did a very clever campaign in 2004 in which they covered Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in chocolate and it said “how delicious is it to know that sweet taste in your mouth is one of slavery?” That really struck a chord with me and it sort of made me question everything I consumed from food to clothes to electronics. I had never really thought much about how the products I bought were made, by whom, under what conditions. I have been campaigning on these issues ever since then, starting when I was in university and challenged my school to take a stance against sweatshop apparel.

 

How do I make sure that my shopping habits become as clean and ethical as possible? Look at the label when you’re shopping and be curious about what it tells you. Ask the brands you shop from for more information about where and how it’s been made. Ask, ask, ask.

Look for things labeled organic or fair trade as this ensures it’s been made in an ethical way both for the environment and the people who made it.

Always look for good quality, will it last for a long time? Don’t buy something unless you are certain you are going to wear it more than 30 times. Look for natural fibres and try to avoid polyester and nylon as they will stay in the landfill for hundreds of years.

You can find independent brands, designers and craftspeople online much easier than on the high street. If not, can you find a second-hand alternative? Scoring that amazing vintage find is such an amazing feeling!