Monday, 22 August 2011
HAS VINTAGE LOST IT'S TOUCH
I arrived at my destination, which can only be described as some sort of private estate of four storey flats scattered in the centre of Stratford. I pressed the buzzer anxiously and was answered with an uneasy yet excitable voice who sounded eager to get things under way it seemed. I walked heavily up a couple of flights of stairs where I was greeted by a tall stylish brunette, hair pinned back neatly with scarf holding the rest of the hair together. An old Cramps t-shirt with short denim shorts with black tights with seam, she was a natural beauty and you can see from her conscious body language she wasn’t aware of this. She warmed me with a quick friendly hug and ushered me in through to the living room.
Kirstie’s work was scattered all over the floor with drawings and loose bits of materials everywhere and this seemed to have put her on edge “ Sorry about the mess, I have deadlines in the next couple of weeks and have just finished my internship with Omar Kashoura for London Fashion Week, so I am a bit behind.”
To me it looked like an artist at work, but I sat down on the singular chair, basically the only free piece of furniture in the room and helped myself to the readymade coffee and chocolate fingers. Kirstie took a sip of her coffee in delight it appeared a weight had been lifted of her shoulders by me being here as it was good distraction for her to get away from her work.
Kirstie didn’t waste any time in telling me that the vintage name has been damaged over the last couple of years and how the term has turned into a cliché. “People wanted to spend money on one of a kind piece, it was something that was nice and all the trendy kids wore it and it would be classed as different. But now people who shop in ‘TopShop’ for example think they can go to the vintage section and be completely different to anyone else.”
Kirstie goes further to admit it annoys her at times as certain trends have been destroyed and everything has become so expensive; Kirstie seemed to show an inkling of disappointment “1950’s has been killed, slightly ruined.”
In her first year at University of East London studying fashion design, Kirstie is a girl who really knows what she wants. Only 20 she has completed a foundation year and has worked with the likes of Luella, Country Casuals and of course Omar Kashoura. You can see the determination coming across from the way she talks and her knowledge is endless on the subject. She mentioned she would like to use these skills by doing her Masters in the future, but doesn’t see herself setting out on her own just yet.
“ I would like to do my Masters in men’s wear and after this I would like to work for a brand initially as it is impossible to work on your own successfully. You need to work for a company or alongside a designer with big responsibilities before you set out on your own, but if I fell in love with the company, I would probably stay longer before pursuing my own brand.”
You could see she struggled in describing her style icon, dazing into space at one point with a hesitant pause, I began to feel she might of not heard my question properly. “ I used to look at Madonna a lot – Desperately Seeking Susan, three years ago I was really into Betty Page, 50s style, but as for now, I don’t really have one. But I have a friend at the moment who is doing men’s wear in Paris for Givenchy as she is really influential.”
Kirstie typical style at the moment would be described as late 80s early 90s casual wear but her favourite piece of clothing is coats she said, “ I have a lovely fur coat that was my mum’s back in the day, it’s a trench swing coat with leopard print collars and cuffs.
Revealing she is particularly fond of her Stelf 80s jeans, even though the button has nearly ripped off and the zip is broken. Kirstie still brings out her first purchase of vintage clothing, a knitted rose jumper which has made it through many winters.
She revealed her secrets and tips on how to get the best deals on vintage clothing these days, “EBay is the place to go to get things cheap and the most expensive thing I brought is a sailors trunk for only £60.”
All depending on what her mood is Kirstie fashion style can be any look however something that never changes is her love for vintage jewellery. Being her most treasured possessions, from second hand stalls to family air looms, Kirstie is always seen in her trinkets. But her obsession of 45 head scarf’s that hardly get worn anymore has got a bit out of control.
Being so unaware of her trendsetter looks, she is first to admit her disastrous outfits. “I have a cringe when I look back at myself, my ‘emo ages’, wearing hair extensions down to my waist and heavy eyeliner, overly sewn jeans with saggy crotch and urgh something left in the past.”