mary quant label

Vintage Fashion labels

What catches your eye when you go shopping?

Is it the colour, the pattern, the feel, the price?

I’m like a magpie, I get attracted to sequins, shiny things and bold patterns. When having a route through my wardrobe deciding what to wear for Vintage Festival at Wilderness I noticed this label:

Mary Quant

It made me think how each vintage item has a story, a label you may or may not have heard of and I wanted to share some of them with you.

CHELSEA GIRL

In the 60s Chelsea in London was a hub of music, fashion and popular culture.

A man called Bernard Lewis had started a chain of shops called Lewis Separates in 1948 and by the 60s it had grown to around 70 stores. The chain was re-branded as Chelsea Girl in 1965, chosen because of the buzz in that area at the time.

Like so many brands today fashion and music come hand and hand but Chelsea Girl really was at the forefront of this relationship and became the first UK fashion boutique chain.

In 1982 the group behind Chelsea Girl expanded into menswear with the launch of Concept Man. The two brands in time merged and become River Island in 1988. The brand has gone on to become an international player with shops in places such as Poland and Russia. Not a bad ending for what started as a London market stall!

My lovely mum (whose wardrobe I have raided far too many times!) was an avid Chelsea Girl shopper and passed on (well I took..) two beautiful Chelsea Girl wrap dresses. They both have busy and buzy patterns and I like that I can adapt them (without cutting them – eek..no!) to make them shorter.

Thanks Mum!

Chelsea Girl

ALBA FORNARI

Apart from knowing that this label is Italian  – I can’t find much information at all.

I bought this dress in Raider’s Vintage in Liverpool in the sale for a tenner!

It is very K-Mid and I do feel quite regal when I have it on…

Alba Fornari

ARA MODELL

I bought this in Resurrection in Liverpool. I feel like a hippy when I wear it and usually team it with a red belt, red shoes and my Mum’s 80s red clutch bag (again thank Mum!)

ara modell

LUNA

This dress takes florals to the extreme!

I wore this to a university ball a good few years back but have never found another occasion to wear it. I’m thinking Bestival in September might be the place!

Luna

RALPH CREATION

When I saw this jacket I thought I had nabbed myself a Chanel. It is a heavy woven gem and I usually dress it with jeans and a plain coloured top.

I would love to know who owned this before me and where they went in it, what type of person they was.

Alas, for now it is getting shown the sights and sounds of Oxford.


STENAY

All I know about Stenay is that they love sequins, they love shoulder pads (so its 80s) and it’s also a region in North East France.

I bought this from Flashback Boutique in Liverpool for a business awards ceremony I was heading to. As I said at the beginning of the post I’m a magpie so this was just up my street with all the sequins!

NO LABEL…

This little jacket doesn’t have a label but I just wanted to post a picture of it as it’s so beautiful. This is another Mother O’Connor steal…

I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at some of the labels. I suppose that is the joy of vintage and charity shop hunting – not knowing the label and coming up with your own story about who it used to belong to.

What are your favourite vintage labels – or what labels do you own and have no idea where they come from, I’d love to hear.

The Oxfam Fashion blog which I edit has loads of vintage posts which I am sure you would love – check it out:

www.oxfam.org.uk/fashion-blog

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