Girl Crush: Jane Birkin

I’m resurrecting this ‘Girl Crush’ series, and found myself yesterday pouring over images of Jane Birkin and feeling very inspired.

Jane Birkin is a British-French actress, singer, songwriter and model. She gained notoriety for her decade-long romance and musical partnership with Serge Gainsbourg. And has had a prolific acting career in both British and French cinema.

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Raised in Chelsea, London, she described herself as a “shy, English girl”. She began her career as an actress with minor roles in Blow Up and Kaleidoscope (1966) And in 1969 she met Serge while they co-starred in the film Slogan. This was the start of a major romance that lasted years and the duo released their debut album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg in the same year.

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Like everyone, I adore looking at photographs of the two together, they always looked to be very much in love and having fun. But of course, these are just photographs and don’t capture what life was really like. But can you imagine how it would have felt to be In love and be inspired to create with your partner?

 

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Jane Birkin is the ultimate muse for holiday style, with her white cotton blouses, bare feet and sun dresses. Whenever I get a fringe I hope to look like her, but of course I never do!

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There is something so effortless in her style, she just threw this on, ruffled her hair and was good to go.

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And of course she is the patron saint of just jeans and a top cool girl vibes. Her look was always relaxed, never overly dressy and is something that is easily replicated. Hence her place in style history. I feel like she found her clothing at French flea markets and carried them in her trademark wicker basket.

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And of course we have to mention the basket, every summer the highstreet is flooded with copy cats. This is the ‘other Birkin bag’, not to be mistaken with the super Hermes Birkin Bag.

In 1981, Birkin happened to be seated on a flight with Hermes chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas. When she tried to place her straw basket bag in the overhead compartment, her belongings fell out all over the seats. This prompted a discussion around the difficulties of finding a bag that was both stylish, but also big enough to carry all of her things. They went on to design a bag, and of course, the rest is history.

Who should be my next Girl Crush?

 

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This Old Thing

Finally getting around to posting these! I met up with a uni friend a few weeks ago, and it was finally a warm day, and suddenly I had the urge to throw on this 1960’s maxi dress. It had been hanging in my wardrobe all winter, and it felt good to take it for a spin.

It’s a quirky style with the high neck and cut out detail, and I just adore the psychedelic pattern. It’s so unique and I know i will never see anyone else wearing something even remotely similar.


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I matched it with a 1960’s chain belt, chunky bangles and a 60’s bag found in a charity shop ages ago, I thought the blue elephant motif would match he blue in the dress, and then I thought, well how about blue eyeshadow too.

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The dress is a really comfortable fabric, and kept me surprisingly cool considering it’s polyester. I found it a couple of years ago in Bounce Vintage, Folkestone. I’m pretty sure it was only £10 too.

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1960’s maxi dress – Bounce Vintage

1960’s chain belt – ebay

1960’s leather handbag – £3.99 Barnardos

Sandals – Principles @ Debenhams (Sale)

Earrings – New Look (old)

Bangles – charity shops

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J x

Vintage Hunting In Bristol

I’ve just come back from a weekend away in Bristol. It was my first time visiting and we packed in loads of site seeing and I couldn’t resist a rummage through the many vintage shops.

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Uncle Sam’s was filled with retro Americana and had a great selection of Men’s vintage.

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The Vintage Thrift Store spanned across two floors. It offered mostly 1980’s and 90’s vintage with the odd scattering of 70’s. I enjoyed rummaging for my preferred decade (1970s) and found a great selection of dresses to try on.

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This 1970’s maxi fitted like a glove. Not that I needed another vintage maxi dress, but for £9 I could not leave it behind. Just look at the sleeves!

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After looking at Japanese prints at the Museum I was very drawn to this skirt. The Dragon pattern and stunning mix of purples and oranges really caught my eye. I was so pleased to find it fitted. It was £26.

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I didn’t end up getting this 70s maxi. But I had to take a picture in it. Sleeves for days!

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This 1960’s dress was lovely on, but with warmer weather coming around and the repairs needed, I couldn’t justify the purchase.

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BS8 Vintage was another huge space to explore. My boyfriend did well here.

There were plenty of other vintage shops to explore. So I am looking forward to my next trip.

J x

Week In Vintage

After having a cold for what felt like a lifetime, I finally started to feel well and inspired to get dressed up again. I don’t know about you, but when I’m ill I just have no desire to wear the clothes I usually love. But anyway, I suddenly had an urge to wear some of my favourite vintage items, and what better way to make sure i do it by setting myself a little challenge… I call it my #weekinvintage.

 

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Now that Spring is officially here, I’ve been obsessing over finding another prairie dress to add to my collection. I took to ebay and was so excited to win his 1970’s handmade beauty for just £10. The bib really does it for me.

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It’s not to everyone’s taste but it is everything I love in a vintage dress: unusual, beautiful, a bit crazy. I like that it is trendy, but without the short lifespan that new season clothing has. It’s timeless because it is true vintage.

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Next up is a dress I originally bought to sell, I found it at the Preloved Vintage Kilo sale, so it ended up costing me probably just £2! It’s an original 1960’s lurex midi dress. I love how it sparkles with the metallic mixed in with the pastel hues. I’ve teamed it with a 1960’s chain belt found for £2 in Hospice In The Weald.

I feel like a 60’s version of Cleopatra when i wear this outfit. It’s one I’m hoping to crack out again very soon.

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Here is another dress I was considering selling. I am SOOOOO glad I didn’t. It’s funny how you can go off things, and then suddenly fall straight back in love with them.

It’s a handmade 1960’s shift dress. I found it in a vintage shop in Maidstone, Kent for £28. I’ve teamed it with another 1960’s chain belt. I bought a bundle of 4 belts on ebay for £7.

 

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I even felt inspired with my makeup and used a green and blue eyeshadow. I love the way it gives you a true vintage feel. Some people shy away from coloured eyeshadows but I love them.

Anyway, these are just some of my favourite outfits from the week, I’m looking forward to wearing more of my vintage dresses as the summer comes around.

J

 

A Lifestyle Revolution

After years of it being on my ‘to-do’ list, I finally visited the Fashion & Textiles Museum in Bermondsey. It was a sunny weekend in London, the perfect day to visit ‘ Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution’ exploring pioneering designers from Terance Conran to Mary Quant.

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Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution presents the fashion, design and art of the Chelsea Set; a group of radical young architects, designers, photographers and artists who were redefining the concept of youth and challenging the established order in 1950s London. At the forefront of this group of young revolutionaries were Mary Quant and Terence Conran.

The exhibition spans the period from 1952 – 1977, showcasing fashion, textiles, furniture, lighting, homewares, ceramics and ephemera in an exhibition that explores not only the style but the socioeconomic importance of this transformative period of time.

The exhibition includes rare and early examples of designs by Conran and Quant, plus the avant-garde artists, designers and intellectuals who worked alongside them, such as designers Bernard and Laura Ashley, sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and artist and photographer Nigel Henderson.

I knew I would adore the exhibition, purely based on my love of design and fashion from the period, but entering the exhibition I was impressed by the mid century set dressing. How incredible is the sofa?! I could have made myself right at home.

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The costumes are not hidden behind glass, which allows you to get up close and really admire the craftsmanship of the clothing. The red dress above really caught my attention, can you imagine how jaw dropping and out there it would have been in the 60’s? 

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This corner particularly appealed to me, how stunning is the Quant tartan lurex dress? It glittered as you walked by. I am also now on the hunt for a pair of 70’s flares, and of course lusting after a peacock chair.

Every display felt like a true representation of the rime, rather than being overly kitch (which often exhibits of vintage fashion can be.)

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Since seeing the exhibition, my ‘wish list’ has definitely been influenced. I’ve been searching on eBay for 1960’s dresses and chain belts and being drawn to my 1960’s suede coat and mini dresses. I’ve even been wearing my blue eyeshadow.

The Fashion & Textile Museum doesn’t have a permanent display, instead it curates focused temporary exhibitions every three months which allows the Museum to display a diverse variety of contemporary fashion and textile items.

A Lifestyle Revolution runs from 8 February – 2 June 2019
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am–6pm
Thursdays until 8pm
Sundays, 11am–5pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
Closed Mondays

 

 

Hussar in India

I was recently lucky enough to travel to India and it gave me a much needed opportunity to wear some of my collection of 1970’s maxi dresses.

As soon as I stepped off the plane I threw on this old favourite; a 1970’s kaftan style dress with Austrian Hussar’s all over it. I love the cotton fabric and how it fits around the waist. The pattern is quite subtle because of the navy background, and then suddenly you spot the Hussars in the lime green and think ‘what is that!’. It’s a great conversation starter.

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I teamed it with some old sandals that have since fallen apart, a 70’s pendant and bangles all found in charity shops, the 70’s inspired sunglasses are from Primark.

The dress came from Basement Vintage on Bricklane and I bought it for my birthday for around £15 a few years ago. I remember my boyfriend pulling faces when I came out of the dressing room in it, I knew it was meant to be mine.

It’s one of those dresses that always gets compliments, I think because it is such a classic shape but also unusual at the same time.

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More soon!

J

Factory Girl

For well over a year I was coveting the gorgeous Edie Sedgewick inspired ‘Famous Butterfly Dangle Earring’ by Steve Sasco. When I finally treated myself to a pair, they were just a beautiful as I had always imagined and arrived within a matter of days from America where Sasco is based.

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These photos are from a while ago now, my hair is darker now and my tan has faded! But I loved how the earrings looked with this 1960’s dress. They arrived in a little velvet pouch to keep them from getting tangled.

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Steve Sasco’s website is full of incredible jewellery inspired by celebrities of past and present, there is a whole section for the Factory Girl Collection, with all of the designs being replicas or inspired by jewellery worn by Edie herself.

You can get the Butterfly earrings in silver or gold, and I can tell you, they are such good quality and comfortable to wear.

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Next on my wish list is the ‘Edie Superstar Earring’ in the screenshot below. I love the iconic design and know I would wear these all of the time.

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Shop the collection here

You can follow Steve Sasco on Instagram @steven_sasco_designs

J x