It's easy to fall in love with vintage fashion, particularly the 1940's-1950's and the reason is simple. The designers seemed to want of all shapes, sizes, and ages to look and feel their best. The cuts were done in a way to flatter a women's figure, not distort it, hide it, or camouflage it. The women's curves were meant to be seen as a thing of beauty.
It is what seems to be missing from most modern fashion today. Today we have very unflattering low waisted jeans, skinny pants, tops cut too long, cut too short, and don't even get me started on the quality of fabric. None of it is flattering unless you have a specific type of figure so really modern fashion just wants to perpetuate that cookie cutter image. Granted, reproduction clothing can produce the same end result but its all in the way you accessorize and wear it. At least that's my opinion on the matter.
You all know by now I like to blend my fashion up; a dash of repro, a smidgen of vintage, and a pinch of modern to get my desired look. It works for me because it suits my aesthetics, my figure, my lifestyle. I also like it because it gives me more room to make a look my own. Vintage style doesn't always mean that the piece has to be vintage, but I think the aesthetic needs to be there if you are trying to achieve a vintage look. There are all sorts of vintage reproduction companies out there today. Some better than others.
Vivien of Holloway is the epitome of classic, well-made vintage reproduction clothing. During my trip to London this past Fall I had the pleasure of visiting the Vivien of Holloway shop. I plan to share my experiences on my trip on a later date but I can share this now, it was a beautiful experience.
Sandy, the manager at Vivien of Holloway took the time to help me select pieces that would compliment me and make me feel amazing. Honestly there isn't a lot of repro brands that make me feel like I am old Hollywood starlet but VOH did just that. With every piece I tried on I felt more and more beautiful. It's hard to explain but being in the shop and trying on the clothes was truly a magical moment for me. I felt dazzling.
One of the pieces that is now a part of my wardrobe is this one that you see HERE. I choose it for two reasons; I thought it would be perfect for the holiday season and because it was a style that I normally wouldn't gravitate to. The wonder of trying on reproduction clothing like this dress is that although you may not think style or pattern may suit you, but once you try it on its a whole other experience. I cannot recommend this practice enough. I know it is a challenge to be able to find a reproduction shop near you but if you can visit one, especially Vivien of Holloway, it will be amazing. I guarantee it.
Tips before you shop at Vivien of Holloway:
1. Go into it with an open mind. Don't let the thoughts of, "It won't fit me", or "I won't look good in it" cloud your mind.
2. Ignore the sizing you are accustomed to. VOH bases their sizing on vintage measurements so if you are a size 12 like I am you may end up wearing a size 18 or 20 dress.
3. Their dresses contain boning so no need to wear a bra. I was hesitant that my girls wouldn't look as good without wearing one but I think they did alright.
4. Allow yourself to embrace your beauty. Once that dress or blouse or skirt is on, look at yourself and notice how amazing you look because I promise you, you will look and feel incredible.
Celebrating the Holidays with this extraordinary Vivien of Holloway dress made this special time of the year extra special for me. I feel lucky to have been able to go to their shop and experience first hand the process of discovering the beauty of vintage reproduction clothing.
I'd like to thank everyone at VOH for the kindness and patience, especially Sandy who made me feel comfortable and at ease while selecting my pieces.