A couple of years ago I went through a phase of buying lots of high street fashion: so much variety at bargain prices and no difficult choices to be made – if in doubt buy all the colours! Like a sugar rush, it leaves you hungry again five minutes later. How many of those items are still in my wardrobe today? Not a single one.
It does not take a genius to conclude that this is not a sustainable model, either for one’s bank account or the planet. These days I’m more discerning: I shop to fill gaps or replace items; I spend on things I truly love; and I recycle regularly to charity, ideally on a “one-in-one-out” basis but this does take a level of discipline that I usually lack.
Increasingly I’m drawn to vintage fashion as a source of the exceptional and unique. Vintage need not mean antique or historic – some of today’s most collectible items have been made over the last decade. Finding these gems is not easy but that is all part of the appeal and the thrill of the chase certainly enhances the value I attach to my vintage finds. It is always fascinating too to know when an item comes with a story or unusual provenance.
Next month London will experience vintage fashion in an entirely new way. The Graceful Goddess promises a networking platform for women in the fashion business who care about sustainability, embodied in a series of pop-up shops and events. It is the brainchild of two visionary women – Wilma Mae Basta, founder of the Gathering Goddess vintage boutique, and Grace Woodward, stylist and founder of Graceland Boutique. They will be pooling their knowledge to support other women in the business and their formidable stock (think Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford for Gucci, couture Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace) to give us all an unforgettable vintage fashion experience.
The Graceful Goddess will pop-up at 199 Portobello Road, London W11 on Monday November 16th until Sunday November 29th. Vintage retailer, Buy My Wardrobe, will be there too and there will be in-store talks on vintage fashion, style and sustainability delivered by industry leaders.
London’s Portobello road is about to become an even hotter fashion destination. Whether you are already a vintage goddess or if you are just tired of fast-fashion and looking for something different, don’t miss this.