You guessed it, it's a bin bag! custom takes you from Concept to cover inside our first issue!
All thanks to Nana
funky etsy artist got her inspiration from her nana
This item belongs to...
One mans trash is another mans treasure, custom takes a look at hand me down fashions ÂŁ3.95
Nokia debuts its mobile phone skirt... are we looking at the fashion of the future?
Let us introduce you to our editorial team...
Image courtesy of Kassidy Christensen
Sub/Photo Editor- As the sub editor, Shanize ensures all those I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. She also holds the role of photo editor and is the creative eye behind all our photos- whether they be edgy and editorial or playfully catalogue-esque. Drop Shanize a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag her on instagram @sbcustomag.
Production Editor- As the production editor, Beth makes sure all of us stick to our schedules, however hecktic they may be! She plans every deadline to make sure our readers don’t go a day without seeing our latest edition on shelves. Contact Beth sometime at b_anderson@custom. co.uk or tag her on instagram @bacustomag.
Editor- Grace is our go-to gal for everything custom! As the girl in charge, Grace sees that all content is new, fresh and exciting to make sure our readers keep their creative minds thinking about their favorite fashions.
Art Editor- As the art director, Kassidy is in charge of the overall look and feel of custom. All the content that comes in daily is placed and perfected so that our readers see the best of what custom has to offer.
See what Grace is up to at email@example.com or tag her on instagram @gccustomag.
Tell her your ideas at k_christensen@custom. co.uk or tag her on instagram @kccustomag.
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42 Images courtesy of Kassidy Christensen, rianna smith, sophie reynolds, grace clements, amy wild at mission pr
e r ' e W . . . g n i v o L Top trending and popular picks online
Name: Buzzfeed DIY: 23 awesome pieces of hip hop embroidery
Name: Kaley Rae Etsy Shop Owner Dover, New Hampshire USA
Blog: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ hnigatu/23-awesome-pieces-ofhip-hop-embroidery
Shop: http://www.etsy.com/uk/ shop/littlehoneypies
Turning the twee into something frankly brilliant, this list provides some inspiration for all embroiderers out there. Whether made as gifts or just as a curious hobby, I’d like to see my grandma stitching a Biggie Smalls expletive into a pair of shoes.
After looking through Etsy and the mass of shops available to me, I stumbled across Little Honey Pies. A shop dedicated to accessories – mainly headbands and other hair accessories. I love the flower garland headbands she makes – perfect for festivals in the summer! With a range of pastel and bright colours there is a headband for everyone.
Name: Carmen Fashion student 22 years old North London
Name: Daily Style Chick
Images courtesy of Kassidy Christensen
After browsing my instagram account, Carmen’s posts really caught my attention. Being highly interested in fashion myself, I really enjoy all of her outfits. Each photo has an interesting factor as well as being up to date. Not only does she include images of her unique style but also fun shots from her outings, which keeps me attracted as a viewer.
Blog: dailystylechick.tumblr.com Even though Tumblr is typically a site to share endless pictures, memes and gifs of anything from funny to just plain weird, I stumbled across this fashion tip website that is more than just scrolling through pictures. Daily Style Chick runs a Q&A style site where you can ask her any style question, whether it be what type of shoe would look best with a strapless LBD, or how to pull off sweats in public, she has the answers to all your burning style queries.
14 wardrobe essentials 8...
By Beth Anderson
Not just an item to be worn at the office, a blouse is the perfect top to dress up an outfit for cocktails or a late dinner date night.
inny, bootleg, and Light wash, dark, sk e so many different ar high waisted, there be stuck for a pair r ve ne options you’ll to wear.
Pair with the trouser
Similar to jeans, leggings go with pretty much everything so they’re great to have in the wardrobe. Patterned, wet look, disco pants – there are so many different types to choose from, whatever the occasion.
Images courtesy of beth anderson
Cigarette trousers are big for spring/ summer. The cold days are gone where you wanted thick jeans , it’s smart trousers and cami time for tops.
tfit for a y girls go-to ou The LBD – ever up or down, buy a mini, it night out. Dress tever it may be, there is ha w i, ax m or midi, . e for everyone a LBD out ther
A white top is th e perfect wardrob e staple. It goes w ith dress it up or do anything, you can wn to suit everybod and there is a style y.
...9 Rather combin than a skirt or e both a s nd buy horts why not a skort. this season. The Chunky, cut out boots are big warm weather cut out means theyâ€™re ideal former dress. and toughen up any girly sum
Goes with everything!
Every girl needs a pair of heels to style up any Saturday night LB D! The platform at th e front of this pair make th em easier to walk in too.
Whether youâ€™re wearing it out for cocktails with friends or wearing it shopping, a leather jacket can be worn through the seasons. you can wear A staple black flat that everyday. y da to work, out and all and get a Say bye to painful heels pair of stylish flats.
A statement necklace is the perfect an way to splash a bit of colour onto t. outfi ing bor e rwis othe
Add a bla z smarten u er to any outfit to instantly p your loo k!
Big enough to fit everything in but not too over bag to carry ar sized, find the ound all your da perfect sized ily essentials.
we went there
Custom asked Tabitha Sewer, designer of CheapButChic, some quirky fashion questions to keep things fun.
By Shanize Bonner
“Confidence is the best accessory. If you believe that you are beautiful, then the people around you will believe that you are beautiful.” CheapButChic Fashion Designer Tabitha Sewer shares her top secrets and fashion tips with us. After having a browse through her blog, website and YouTube videos, we knew we had to find out more. 1. How did you enter the world of Fashion Design? As a child, I grew up watching my mother sew clothes for several clients, and for me. Clients would give her a picture of something they would like her to make and she would create it from scratch. She is extremely talented. For high school dances, I was able to draw out my designs and she was able to make them come to life. I hope and pray that I’ll have her talent one day. She is beyond amazing! Anyhow, as for my journey, I started blogging in 2012. I mainly focused on vintage/
thrifted clothing. I love the fact that you can buy one-of-a-kind pieces in vintage shops and express your own individual style at a low cost. I was able
that lesson with my blog and YouTube followers. I wanted to make sure I took everyone on this journey with me. As time went on, I got pretty good at sewing and so this year, I decided to take it up a notch. In January, my mother taught me to design clothes without a pattern. I’m still in the learning process because it is a quite difficult process to learn. I have created quite a few things on my own so far that I’m extremely proud of. I have a lot of things in the works for the future that I’m excited about and I hope to continue to inspire others through my journey. 2. How long have you worked within this industry? As mentioned above, I started
you believe that you are beautiful, then the people around you will believe that you are beautiful. 5. What is the worst outfit you have ever worn? Ha! The worst outfit I have ever worn… So last year I did a maxi skirt refashion out of a skirt that I found in a vintage shop. I decided that I would turn it into a dress. When I look back at it, I must say that it looked terrible. I hated it! It was so bad that I had to delete it from my blog. I couldn’t stand to look at it. 6. We all have a pet peeves in fashion, what is yours? I hate when people don’t wear clothes that fit their body. Too big or too tight isn’t appealing to the eye. 7. Have your personally ever had an outfit malfunction? Not yet! 8. If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 items would you take with you? My bible, my phone and my favourite lip balm.
to teach people to step outside of the box and look at quirky pieces differently. In the Fall of 2012, I learned to sew. I started out making tote bags and clutches. In April of 2013, I taught myself how to read a dress pattern and was able to make my daughter a dress. I think it took me about a week. It was quite difficult at first but I kept practicing. Whenever I learned something new about sewing, I shared
in the Fall of 2012. So I would say about 1.5 years. 3. So, What is your favourite current trend? My current favourite trend is crop tops and full skirts; whether pleated or gathered. 4. What is your best tip to spruce up any outfit? It may sound cliché, but confidence is the best accessory. If
9. If money were not an issue, what item of clothing would you buy? I would have to have a Louis Vuitton Speedy Handbag. 10. What 3 essentials do you ALWAYS carry in your bag? 3 lipsticks: Nude, Pink, & a Red. You never know. LOL! 11. Lastly, what is your most embarrassing moment? Wow! Don’t think I’m brave enough to say.
Images courtesy of Kassidy Christensen;Tabitha Sewer
What Custom is wearing Grace Beth
My beige knit cardigan is from a YMCA charity shop in Southampton that was cheap but is still great quality. Both my playsuit and shoes are from ebay!
This outfit is a favourite of mine to wear, effortlessly stylish. I love my converse because theyâ€™re so comfy and go with everything. This top is my perfect wardrobe staple as it goes with anything and itâ€™s super comfy.
Shanize Kassidy Today I am This red polkadot wearing highsleeveless top waisted boyfriend works well with fit jeans from anything and has a Topshop, a black great vintage look. cami top with black The high-waisted doctor martins. black cigarette I added a black pants are a staple and gold waist belt for my closet. as well as a black Paired with any top hat to complete heel or a brown the vintage/fun boot completes the look. look!
Fashion and technology have hit a crossroads By Shanize Bonner
The production of a ÂŁ68,000 mobile phone skirt highlights the blending of technology and fashion and its position for wearable technology
Images courtesy of Amy Wild at Mission PR
e don’t know what the future will bring, but by the look of it, the possibilities are endless. Fashion is always changing, it has the power to transform an image to a statement. For many people fashion is a priority, it is important to keep up with current trends, although for others this is in no way important. The one thing that stays the same with fashion is simply this- it’s always changing! Fashion changes purely because people change overtime, the new replaces the old, like in any situation. We are all eager to have the newest items on the high street! Receiving influences from designers such as Prada and Alexander Wang to celebrity icons like Victoria Beckham, it shows that upcoming must haves could go in any direction. People are influenced by new styles that come from popular celebrity culture. We seek the latest looks, leading us to imitate our favorite stars. Fashion influences are all around us, from TV shows, magazines to music and film, meaning it is always evolving. We desire to replicate our favorite stars in result to gain a similar experience from a piece of clothing they would. The future of fashion design is mobile, literally. London Fashion Week kicked off with a surprise that shocked everyone. After having to accept the major changes in fashion including twitter, instagram and the sudden appearance of bloggers, no one expected the need to adapt to anything else. Nokia and Fyodor Golan proved us wrong. The designer and mobile phone company joined forces, creating the most memorable item seen on the catwalk to date.
A mobile phone skirt, made from 75 phones all including the ’Spin colours app’ allows the skirt to change colour as the model moves. Annie Kearney, Nokia Brand Lab tells us, “Our tech partner Kin took the creative vision and design elegance of
The biggest challenge by far was finding a way to work synchronously with different technologies in a really tight timeline.” - Matt Wade
FG and matched it with the tech capabilities found in the Nokia Lumia 1520 and 1020 to create a really amazing piece of fashion. It is so much more than a skirt made of phones, it’s playing with the idea of how tech can influence and be influenced by the world around it.” The fashion industry has never been so determined to make clothing fit the digital age of today. Matt Wade from Kin Design shares the largest challenge in creating the skirt. “The biggest challenge by far was finding a way to work synchronously with different technologies in a really tight timeline. The development of a project and product unlike anything we have developed before has meant that all of this resulted in something we only imagined and pure hard work has resulted in being a reality.” This collaboration shows just how close the relationship between fashion
and technology is to this day, and that the possibilities in future fashion are undeterminable. Once asking Annie Kearney whether this skirt would seek commercial success in the future she shared, “The world of tech and fashion are colliding more than ever. True collaborations like this deliver ideas and content that we could only imagine. Innovation opens up many possibilities.” Lastly, Annie Kearney tells us, “Technology is in its first steps on the fashion side, but they all miss a fashion/design aspect. We are on the right track but there is defiantly some developments required to create products that people will actually want to wear.” “We actually have plans to work with Nokia again, we had an idea whilst working on this dress which we’re looking to work on for SS15!” There is more to technology than just computers and the Internet. In the world we live in today, technology has had an impact on all aspects of society. All parts of fashion are hugely led by innovations and developments in expertise.
Online technology has progressed the marketing within fashion. Most people today depend on visual communication; latest trends are easily viewed online through your mobile phone. This allows designers to create a larger awareness about a single
product just through using a social network. Ever since clothing was invented, it has been a huge way of expressing yourself. The use of high-end designers automatically can define who you are as a person.
Fashion is continuously active; it’s a never-ending cycle. No one can dictate what is next to come, from Faux Fur to black denim the ‘right now’ look, is never right now, its just a phase your about to miss! There is no such thing as current in fashion.
What did she say?
Maria Clerici answers a few of those burning questions...
he fashion industry is always eager to know what is the next big thing, NY fashion designer Maria Clerici from EmmeTrend team tells us her judgment. With plenty of years of experience Maria Clerici is one of fashions most recognised designers. With award winning blogs Maria has most certainly mastered Social Media in fashion. We find out exactly her take on the future of fashion. Q. What is your opinion on this subject? I think that in fashion you need a well defined style and mood. You can see many examples on the web or in magazines, but they are often really poor or not defined, you have to know everything but the most important thing is understanding why a product has a big success and then modify it or using it like only inspiration with your style.
Being fashionable means following your style, and not ashamed to show what you think, even if you go against the grain!” - Maria Clerici
Q. What is your idea of fashion? In fashion you must have a defined style, in way that if you are talking about a brand or a collection you immediately see an image or its style in your mind. For example if you are talking about Isabel Marant or Lanvin, high-fashion french brands, everyone imagines the style of their collection, even if
every time they are alternative and innovative with their creations. Q. What developments do you think are changing fashion today? Today we have a big change in our vision on fashion for the evolution of web, that gives us a complete knowledge of fashion, trend and brands, and everyone has the possibility to find his style without following what other people wear or use. Q. What effect is technology having on fashion? Technology gives the possibility to everyone to know fashion and become stylist or model using social networks, blogs or websites. For example today fashion blog is used very much and gives the possibility to every person to become a stylist icon.
I owe it to my nana Playful prints inspired this at-home designer
Images courtesy of SOphie reynolds
By Beth Anderson
hink about your bedroom at home and the basic furniture it has in it, a bed, a wardrobe and probably some sort of desk or vanity table. Now imagine a bookcase bulging with fabrics and patterns where your wardrobe is, a sewing machine and chair where your bed is and a table cluttered with pincushions, notepads and fabric tools. Instead of a mirror on the wall there is one photo frame, which holds possibly the most important picture of all, an old black and white print of two people on their wedding day. This may seem out of place to the unsuspecting eye but to Sophie Reynolds, a seamstress from London, there is a valid reason this picture belongs in this room and no other. The picture is of her grandparents and it belongs here because her Nana is the reason
she sews and the reason Sophie now has an Etsy shop which holds over 200 items and ships to a client base around the world. Etsy launched back
My Nana used to make tabards and aprons in crazy fabric patterns and I think that’s where I get my ideas from. - Sophie Reynolds
in 2005 and whilst Sophie didn’t create her shop until 2012, it’s gained an
impressive following in just under two years. The idea behind Etsy is that the site contains items that are entirely handmade or vintage (20 years or older) and it is this uniqueness that draws in the huge fan base of the site and its sellers. As of August 2013, the site has an impressive 30+ million users. Sophie’s own store - Sweetcheeks Stitches sells items in fabrics and styles you’re unlikely to be able to purchase in your local Topshop or H&M, and it’s for this reason that Sophie’s shop is doing so well. From superheroes to cupcakes it’s likely that you’ll find a fabric to suit you in her store and that’s before you’ve decided whether you want the fabric designed as a dress, skirt or even pyjama bottoms. When I asked Sophie what got her
into sewing in the first place to allow for the hobby to become her career she explained about her Nana. “She did a lot of sewing, she came into our school when we were little to teach us how to knit, and made all sorts of things, which she sold at craft fairs. I helped out at the craft fairs and she would help me with my sewing class.” Etsy follows the same style as a typical craft fair, allowing its sellers to have personal storefronts and communicate with buyers through forums and messaging systems. What makes Etsy so different to just walking into your local town centre and buying something from the highstreet though? What’s the appeal? Sophie says it enabled her to open a shop and sell her goods while still being able to stay home to take care of her sons. “You can get immediate worldwide audience, and it’s very user friendly.” Not only does this style of store work for Sophie’s lifestyle but also it’s a site that’s dedicated to selling something unique. “I’m proud to be part of the marketplace.” Whilst being unique compared to the
highstreet, each user must make their store different from the next link on Etsy as well. Sophie does this by using her own range of fabrics. “They can’t be found elsewhere, so you know you’re wearing something not many people will have.” It’s a similar appeal to vintage items, which can also be found, on Etsy, rather than walking down the street and seeing five other people in the same trousers that you’re wearing, you can buy something handmade and more than likely one of just a few produced. “My Nana used to make tabards and aprons in crazy fabric patterns and I think that’s where I get my ideas from. She used to make children’s ones in Winnie the Pooh fabric and I remember helping her make them.” This unique appeal is nothing without inspiration from its sellers to create interesting and innovative handmade products though. Sophie claims that it’s possible to find inspiration everywhere! “I’m always on the look out for new ideas. I have a notebook on me at all times to sketch my ideas when they come to me.” Of course running your own Etsy
shop isn’t always easy, and sellers have to remember that users are all over the world. Sophie counts this as the hardest part of having an Etsy shop, “It’s a worldwide marketplace, and so you will get messages at all hours, which need replies as soon as possible. Sometimes people don’t realise you aren’t based in their country, which can be confusing” Whilst handmade products aren’t for everyone and the idea of vintage isn’t something that appeals to a huge market in the same way that high fashion does there is no denying that people do love Etsy. The sites number of sellers is growing daily and there will always be a new product on there for users to find and purchase. It only takes a few more sellers to be inspired by their own Nana’s or to find a gap in a market and maybe one day Etsy will be as much a go-to store as those it competes with on the highstreet. One thing is for sure though, the next time you need something handmade or vintage, Etsy is the first place you should look – who knows, maybe you’ll find exactly what you were looking for, or something even better.
Images courtesy of SOphie reynolds
Boost your Etsy expertise Tips and tricks from Sophie herself - Engage with customers and fans of the shop (reply to emails promptly etc) - Detailed descriptions
- Be different, innovative and creative
- Get found in the search (SEO)
- Quality photogprahs
- Get involved with - Build your brand the site (Etsy community)
- Add more items (keep updating)
- List products properly
Images courtesy of shanize bonner
Sophistication in fashion is key, one must not only enjoy it but own it. ÂŠshanizebonner
Images courtesy of shanize bonner
Itâ€™s a new era in fashion, there are no limits. ÂŠshanizebonner
Images courtesy of shanize bonner
Images courtesy of rianna smith
Introducing: Ri Design
By Grace Clements
Rianna Smith talks to Custom about inspiration and starting up your own business
o tell us what inspired you to start up the Ri Design clothing line. Was it your intention to print your illustrations onto clothing from the beginning? I think it was my boyfriend who initially encouraged me to start my own clothing line. He pushed me to believe in myself a little bit. I did an art foundation course at UCA Farnham and always wanted to do something with art. I never thought my drawings were particularly good but he gave me a little self-belief and encouraged me to get them printed onto tee’s and just give it a go. His mum had started a lot of her own companies, and I think that helped me realise how easy it is to do and where you can get financial help. Absolutely love the Jonny cash illustration. You’ve also brought out a Tupac vest in the past. Does music influence your work in a big way? I listen to a lot of music, from hip-hop
to metal to country. I’m always listening to music when I’m just playing around with ideas when drawing, so it’s not surprising the things I listen to end up in my work! I’m always inspired by those
I love the bold style of tattoo’s and that definitely translates to my work” - Rianna Smith
around me, one of my housemates is studying Art Therapy at university, which I find fascinating, and my other housemate creates his own music so there is always something to draw inspiration from. Looking at your All Seeing Eye
shirt with the dot work design, it’s evident that you are into tattoos! A lot of your other designs have bold, clean lines too. Would you say that tattoos have an impact on your style? I have always been interested in tattoo’s, I always look religiously over tattooists’ tumblr accounts and instagram’s, etc, partly to look at what I want to get tattooed myself. I love the bold style of tattoo’s and that definitely translates to my work. Who do you draw inspiration from design-wise in that respect? Who would you recommend getting tattooed by? Tamara Lee’s dot work style definitely inspire me to create my All Seeing Eye design, would love to get tattooed by her some day! Joe Chatt who I recently got tattooed by has the most amazing quirky style when it comes to tattooing. You only started Ri Design about a year ago. Has it been easy to promote yourself and build an audience
since then? I’ve found it hard to try and promote myself, as there are many clothing companies with similar products. I think it is just being persistent through social networking sites and handing out fliers etc. Success always takes time. Independent clothing companies are forever popping up and disappearing, how have you managed to keep it up and maintain the interest? I think Ri Design represents people who like slightly quirky designs, people who want to wear something a bit different at an affordable price. For me, I found that the market for more unique tees is huge for guys, but there isn’t so much out there for girls. I wanted to create something I could wear and other girls could wear to be a bit different. I think that people don’t always want to wear what others are wearing from Topshop and River Island etc. So would you say that DIY ethics play a big role in how you run
Images courtesy of rianna smith
your business? It’s very important to be hands on in whatever it is you are selling, which is the beauty of smaller clothing labels. That all gets lost in big corporate clothing companies. You posted on facebook about a stall in Camden last year. Would
you like to open a shop at some point in the future? My ultimate goal is to have my own store, but we’ll have to see where it all goes. I have started doing arts and craft fairs and going to Camden Market about once a month and trading there. It’s all quite small at the moment but hopefully with some time and handiwork I will be able to open my own Ri Design store one day. What advice can you give those just starting out in creating their own independent companies? Don’t get disheartened if your company doesn’t get huge over night. It all depends on the effort you are willing to put in and all these things take time. It’s all about getting the name out there and becoming a stronger brand. You can pick up some Rianna’s products from www.ridesigns. bigcartel.com, and keep informed through www.facebook.com/ Ri.Design.Clothing. Take a look!
The Criss-Cross Headband
By Kassidy Christensen
fter finding this DIY headband on Pinterest, we had to give it a shot. This type of headband is very versatile and has never seemed to go out of style. It can be worn with your hair up or down, and even provides some ear coverage, perfect for the spring weather!
To get started, collect the necessary items needed in order to make your own headband. This includes scissors, a ruler, a needle and coloured thread (which must be changed based on the colour of farbic youâ€™re using) and your fabric of choice. For best results, ensure the fabric you choose has a good amount of stretch to it so that it will fit your head no matter what. Cut the fabric into two strips measuring 4 inches by 20 inches. Fold in half so that the wrong side is facing out.
Images courtesy of Kassidy Christensen
3. Sew along the open edges, but leave one end open, youâ€™ll have to turn the newly sewn tube inside out.
Once both tubes are sewn and turned right-side-out, cross one middle over the other. Then, grab the edges of the bottom tube and met the ends together. Do the same with the other piece, but in the opposite direction.
Meet all the ends together and sew across to finish the headband. Make sure to sew the edge so that it sits on the inside of the headband, that way it wonâ€™t be seen when worn.
Images courtesy of Imani Evans. Blog: Fashionandtingz.blogspot.com; ANNAO. APPAREL DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT AND FREELANCE WARDROVE STYLIST IN LA.; AIMEE SANTOS. DESIGNER AT LOVERS + FRIENDS. DIY BLOOGER
What our readers are weari n g. . Send us your instagram fashions - tag us @customag
Pretty in pink
An inside look...
ll of us at Custom wanted to show our true talents in fashion and design so we took to the drawing board hoping to get the creative juices flowing. A fellow fashion designer had recently been telling Custom about her latest catwalk concept idea, which was a dress that had strong resemblance to a bin bag. At that moment the idea was already formulating in our minds, why not create our own bin bag dress!
Images courtesy of Kassidy Christensen, Shanize bonner and grace clements
from Concept to cover
ithout a pattern in front of us, we had to rely on our design skills to come up with a dress that was wearable. Starting with a waistband, we took strips of the bin bags and slung
them over the waist band, creating a knee-length, roughly a-line skirt. We then scrunched up the hanging bin bags to give the skirt some volume, texture and depth. We left the hem raw so that we could alter it once we put it on our model.
n the day of the shoot, we still had to build half the dress as we didn’t know our model Lauren’s dimensions prior to the day. This was no trouble, armed with scissors, bin bags, and tape, we fashioned a one-shoulder top to finish off our creation. We then accented the dark, shiny look of the bin bags with a few accessories. We
chose gold since it has a richer look than silver, and accented Lauren’s features much nicer. A belt, rings, a necklace, and a pair of chunky black heels were added to complete the look. Our idea behind the shoot was to show our DIY style, but also keep the look edgy. In the end, we were very pleased with how our at-home creation turned out!
Images courtesy of KAssidy Christensen
Standing the test of time
By Kassidy Christensen
With vintage fairs popping up all over the country, how long will the historic look last?
acks upon racks of thin, sun-faded finds filled the Southampton Guildhall Apr. 12 as Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair graced the city with its presence yet again, treating giddy vintage die-hards to a new treasure or two. Walking into the grand hall, visitors could feel as though they travelled back in time. Poodle skirts and beehive bouffants filled the room as eager customers flipped through racks of vintage clothing, stirring up the all too familiar stale smell of our Nana’s closet. Before becoming too overwhelmed by the oddly nostalgic scent of the clothes we used to play dress-up in, the sweet smell of hot tea and sweet cakes sent the senses whirling, wondering where the source could be found, all the while hoping to sample a piece. In the distance showgirls done up to the nines, pointed bras and
everything, sang tunes from days gone by, gleefully singing do-wop jingles and historic classics. Long rows of tables showcased anything from the classic to the practical, to simply odd trinkets, each containing a special story.
There’s always somebody somewhere that loves things that are old and are beautiful and have a history.” - Ruth Stillman
What about this slice of days gone by drew the many visitors to flip through items that should really only appeal to our mothers or grandmothers? Gemma Fairlie, operator of Marjorie May Vintage, said that vintage gets its appeal from the nostalgia, but also because it’s something different. “You’ve got wearers who are 40’s and 50’s and dress completely from that era and just love everything about that but I think you’ve got a lot of people picking up pieces from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, even the 80’s. “There’s a little bit of nostalgia but it’s something fun and something different and you’re generally bound to get a compliment on a vintage outfit because it’s different,” Fairlie said. Fairlie finds that vintage enables people to show their personality, and that, “we strive to have some-
thing about us that is unique and something about us that says classy and fun at the same time.” For Susan Baxter, operator of Mabel’s Customized & Vintage Clothing, she too finds that the vintage charm comes from a strong sense of nostalgia. “It was a time when ladies were ladies and men were men. A lady would never go out without her hat and her glove,” Baxter said. “There was someone (earlier) looking at a pair of matching shoes and bags and they can remember their mother never going out unless she had her shoes matching her bag.” The quality and history behind the items is what Ruth Stillman sees as the appeal of vintage, who stood quietly in the back of her booth, selling mostly home wares, toys and jewelry. “There’s always somebody somewhere that loves things that are old and are beautiful and have a history, jewelry for instance, and all the more mundane items like the cameras, they all have a place,” Stillman said. Lined up neatly beneath rolling racks of clothes sat peep toe and kitten heels, each with a slight scuff to them, but the shoes are far from too tarnished to deter any vintage collector. The trained shop-
“I think vintage’s life is getting stronger and stronger as we become more ethically aware of not using clothing companies that use workers in third world countries that collapse,” Fairlie said. “We’re talking about massive great big corporations that have had problems with their relationships with workers. The stuff is so cheap and you wonder why it’s so cheap, who in this food chain is suffering and being exploited. “I think vintage enables us to get clothes of a higher quality, generally most of them are hand made and I think this sense of reusing and recycling is such a strong vibe, and getting stronger all the time as we realize many resources are limited then we go from strength to strength,” Fairlie said. per can tell that the items that look dated Finding the truth as to where vintage are really in excellent shape, considerwill go can only be told by waiting out ing they’ve managed to last the test of the next 20 years, but with the increastime. But, since vintage has been able ing prevalence of fairs and traders, to stand through decades of wear until vintage will hold a life of its own for now, what does the future hold? Will the years to come. items 21st century goers are wearing “I think it will carry on being as popular have the same appeal in 20 years? as it is. I don’t think it will ever stop beThe primped crowd sporting the same ing popular,” Baxter said. done-up style Baxter explained supported her idea behind why vintage has become so popular, or rather has stayed so popular. “I don’t think vintage has ever not been popular. When I was a student, and that’s going back to the late 70’s, early 80’s, all I ever wore were 1920’s clothes,” Baxter said. The only change she sees in the next 20 years is how easy it will be to come by certain clothing eras. “It was a lot easier to find older clothes (back) then. Whereas now, it’s starting to get hard, the 20’s clothes are hard to find, as are the 30s and the 40s,” she said. Fairlie takes a slightly different stand on where vintage will go in the future, and finds that it will maintain its vitality the more ethically aware society becomes.
Images courtesy of KAssidy Christensen
Dates back to the victorian era!
Utalitarian Sci-Fi Street WearThe Domenico Cioffi AW13
Images courtesy of grace clements
A Family heirloom
By Grace Clements
The sentiment behind hand-me-down items: why our fascination with clothing and accessories succeeds the ages
ith high street shops funnelling out copy after copy, this generation of young people, possibly more than ever, are desperately seeking to find an individual identity among the rails of Urban Outfitters and Primarks nationwide. Film cameras, shoddy photo filters, recycled clothes and bargain buys are in high demand as a kickback to the high tech, squeaky clean world of electronic books and other bizarre (yet annoyingly convenient) contraptions. People want authenticity, to seek an item of worth – not a run of the mill white polymix shirt - but a shirt worn before, probably by a sweaty uncle in the 80s. People want cheap charity shop buys, skirts made from grans curtains, anything with a story behind it and cheaper than Topshop ‘vintage’. Many of us need not look further than our own home. Hand-me-downs may conjure up visions of a distant cousin’s PE shorts and your brothers too-small socks, but they can be much more elegant than that. Jewellery and accessories are often passed through generations of families, used to preserve the memory of the original owner and the story behind them. Custom spoke to three readers, each with a staple accessory that they can’t be seen without. Lauren Collins, 19, wears a plain golden ring that once belonged to her Nan. “It was my Nan’s wedding band,” Lauren told Custom. “She gave it to my Dad when she passed away to give to me when I was eighteen. I never take it off. I wear it on my right index finger so when I look down at my hand I think of her.” Lauren also owns some of her mother’s rings. “I have four of hers, and when they become too small for me I will pass them down to my own children.” What is it that makes such a small possession so meaningful? Though jewellery can hold a lot of financial worth, it is more
representative of the sentiment in treasuring the person it once belonged to. “I think it’s important to keep hold of family jewellery to remember all the key people who shaped who I am today, and to look down and know they are still loved and thought about,” Lauren said. Though a photograph essentially offers the same kind of comfort, there is
I never take it off. I wear it on my right index finger so when I look down at my hand I think of her. - Lauren Collins
something closer and more personal to be able to physically hold and wear an item of clothing or jewellery, and feel safe in the knowledge that it can be forever preserved. Francesca Comparone, 20, owns one of her mother’s rings, and a necklace that was her Nan’s. “I have my nan’s necklace that my Granddad bought her on their last Christmas together. She left it for me to inherit on my eighteenth birthday.” Though usually a form of remembrance, family heirlooms do well in honouring the living as well as the dead. Felicity Tocher, 19, also owns a gold ring that belonged to her mother. “My mum got it as a present from her brother for her 10th birthday, and I’ve not taken it off in three years since she gave it to me. I feel safe when I have it on, like she’s with me when I need her. She’s a wonderful woman!” In a world where money and ownership of goods is so prevalent in defining supposed success, perhaps placing an
emotional meaning on these items is how we justify our desire for them. We are constantly in search of validation for our possessions so as not to feel materialistic and vapid. Perhaps it’s to do with our own sense of worth in possessing something unique and irreplaceable that makes us feel distinctive and unique in our own right. Maybe that is what it boils down to regarding vintage and antiques: the sense of individuality and worth beyond a brand or price tag. To own a ring that was cared for so much to be preserved and handed down through a family blood line is humbling and to be respected. It is of course not the item itself that is necessarily important, but why the item is to be kept and not binned along with those too-small socks. The idea that these items have been specially maintained and kept safe for future use, intentionally or not, is ultimately appealing. Re-using and recycling is no longer limited to juice cartons or looked upon with a raised eyebrow by kids in designer labels. Whether a trendy Shoreditch type or not, if your wool cardigan or watch strap is vintage it embellishes your outfit with a story, which is undoubtedly more appealing than a mumbled ‘it’s from Primark.’ If your necklace or toe ring belonged to great aunt Tabitha…even better.
Stella Jeans- SS14
Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening - Coco Chanel
Images courtesy ofKassidy Christensen