AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DEPOPS VINTAGE QUEEN @CATSEYESSHOP
How glamorous and on trend do you feel in thrifted, vintage garments?
‘I love wearing vintage pieces as I feel unique when I do. So, I guess I feel glamorous as my style stands out and to me that is glamorous whatever I'm wearing! I pick pieces for my Depop shop which reflect the current trends or re-style items I already have to bring them up to date.’
At what point was it that you changed your wardrobe from fast fashion to vintage?
‘I’ve been a second-hand/vintage clothing aficionado as long as I can remember. My first memory of this was aged 7, rummaging in a car boot and finding a purple paisley sweatshirt for 20p, which I paired with my clip on “statement” treble clef earrings and felt like a new (albeit little) woman. For me there is no bigger buzz than finding a unique vintage piece with which to create my own look. Increasingly, there is an awareness of the importance of shopping sustainably and buying secondhand where possible. I'm happy that something I've been doing naturally for years as a style choice is becoming more and more popular whilst also being something which is eco-friendly. Winner all round.’
What is the difference in the way you feel when you wear high-street clothes as oppose to vintage and thrifted?
‘When I wear high street clothing these days I feel a little guilty if I'm honest but I think it’s important to be realistic and to be kind to everyone including ones-self, regardless of where they choose to/are able to shop. When I wear vintage, I definitely feel better about my shopping choices. I know that I am not supporting demand for new garments which can put further strain on the environment. When I'm able to find and wear something that already exists, I have a sort of "beat the system" rebel type feeling inside. Like a modern day punk, haha.’
Why do you think vintage clothes have such a fashionable, strong look?
‘I think a lot of vintage pieces were ground-breaking trends. The first of their kind. Vintage fabrics are often really good quality and hold their shape, standing the test of time. It feels like there are only so many trends so every season a lot of the same stuff comes back around, just styled slightly differently. Thereby making vintage permanently relevant as we are often seeing iterations of the same stuff.’
You are a vintage queen on Depop, how does that feel?
‘Ahhh thank you! To be honest it’s just the best feeling having a job doing something that I absolutely love! It's so much fun selling on Depop and I have the cutest customers. I also feel like there is a good community feel amongst the sellers on there.’
How does wearing vintage clothes make you feel?
‘When I wear vintage and second hand I just feel like a confident ‘mamacita’ that knows her own style. I often think of Coco Chanel's famous words “fashion changes but style endures”, I feel like that sums up the vintage aesthetic for me. Wearing vintage clothes also makes me feel that I am contributing to the sustainability of our planet. I like the circularity of shopping vintage, of using something that already exists rather than calling for more. I do sometimes shop new but that feeling just can't top the triumph of a treasured vintage find.’
How can you style a basic vintage piece into a show stopping look?
‘I mean for me, even a ripped pair of vintage jeans can be styled into a stand-out look. I'd pair them with a silver metallic heel, a clean white t-shirt and a leopard print satin blazer. Add a slick hair style and a red lip… cos a red lip makes everything look well put together. I think generally go big on accessories, hair and makeup to elevate a basic vintage piece.’
What annoys you the most about fast fashion garments when it comes to quality?
‘SHRINKAGE! Gaaahh, I've bought a couple of cute dresses and jumpsuits that just shrunk as soon as I washed them and that drives me bonkers! With most vintage clothing you know where you stand as it already been cleaned so many times.’
Why do you think people still shop fast fashion when vintage garments hold so much more to them style and lifespan wise?
‘I know that on the occasions I've bought fast fashion, one factor has been time. For example, my last of these purchases was a top in the perfect silhouette and fabric I had been looking for, available in my size and it was right at my fingertips. I feel that vintage alternatives can be found, however it's not always readily available. Sometimes it takes a lot time to hunt for the perfect item in the perfect size, weeks even months. So I would say that for a lot of people time is a factor, particularly if they are shopping with a pressing occasion in mind. I think not knowing all the available places to look for good vintage is another factor. I also get a lot of people saying that they aren't sure how to wear the vintage pieces in a modern way. I think with the growing visibility of sites like Depop which are trend focussed, a wider variety of vintage and secondhand is more accessible than it's ever been.’
What is the most crucial thing to you when wearing vintage?
‘That it still feels relevant. That it fits and wears well. That it's a quality piece which is going to last and be in my wardrobe forever. For example, I have an amazing pair of 90’s oversized dungarees which are as hardwearing as it gets and always feel cool with lots of scope for styling and updating as trends change.
How do you know you’re going to love something before you’ve even tried it on?
‘I’ve been vintage hunting for so many years now that I can literally look at a rail and 9 times out of 10, can tell if its worth rummaging through! I look for fabrics and prints initially and then I look at the cut. When I'm shopping for myself I can tell how something is going to fit by looking at it and so its often love at first sight.’
What vintage trend are you loving right now?
‘Leather jackets! I'm loving wearing a super oversized leather bomber jacket with my jeans at the moment. I'm always sourcing leather blazers and trench coats for my shop, they fly out! 90’s grunge dresses are an all time fave of mine. They’re a staple I have on my shop, paired with a chunky boot. I just think that look is always relevant, the feel it invokes "a little bit pretty, a little bit hard" is what every girl I know wants to portray.’
What is your most loved vintage piece that you own?
‘A pink 80’s Laura Ashley midi dress with puffy statement sleeves and a full skirt. It’s just such stand out silhouette and it’s the perfect shade of candy pink. I feel unashamedly like an absolute princess when I wear it.’
What do you feel when you put on your favourite vintage outfit?
‘Some of my favourite pieces I've had for 10 years or more and they still feel so right. It's almost like they are my fashion "blankie" they are so familiar! When I wear my favourite vintage outfit I feel authentically like me.’