Monday, 14 December 2015

Vintage Girl Gang - Vintage Little Fairy

Welcome back to Girl Gang Monday which is all about highlighting the vintage lovelies that inspire me, catch my eye and influence Pigeon Vintage one way or another. 

This week's Girl Gang member is a girl I stumbled upon over on that there Instagram (AGAIN). Thanks to last week's recruit Retrospect Finds, I spotted some hot red lips, a cute ass brooch and a swanky as hell swagger that I couldn't help but have a "little" InstaStalk over. 


Laura Littlefair aka VintageLittleFairy.

After tentatively asking Laura to be a part of my gang (she's proper cool n stuff), she jumped at the chance and answered a few questions for me.
When were you first into vintage and what was your first ever vintage buy?  
As a child I remember wiling away the hours with my mum's vintage Cindy Dolls whilst at my grandmother's house, and I used to sew little outfits for them from the age of 8. I never really considered them to be vintage at the time, but in retrospect they were my first contact with the world of vintage I now inhabit and love! I have always gone against the grain in my clothing choices from an early age, yet my interest in vintage clothing developed from around age 14, and has grown and developed ever since! I now buy vintage as often as I can and sew my own clothes with vintage fabrics, as well as buying vintage homeware and jewellery to add to my ever-increasing collection!

I think my first dip into vintage was an Austrian ex-army jacket I picked up from my first vintage fair. I used to live in that jacket, day in day out, and I felt like the bees knees every time I wore it! Unfortunately, a couple of years after I bought the jacket it became incredibly fashionable to wear military style coats, and so I had to stop wearing it, for fear of becoming like a sheep! I still have the jacket as an ode to my first vintage purchase, however, I'd like to think I've refined my vintage tastes and my style since then!

Why do you make vintage/secondhand choices over "conventional" ones?

I struggled in my early teenage years to find clothes that fit properly, and through charity shopping with my mum and grandmother began to find that they were full of individual clothes; each with their own little part of history. I soon discovered the cut of vintage clothing was far superior to anything I found on the high street, and saw it as an opportunity to experiment with my clothing choices - in clothes that actually fit! I study History and History of Art at university, and through vintage and second hand clothing I can become almost a piece of artwork and history in how I dress. I view every day as an opportunity to hark back to the fashions of the past, which were so vibrant, colourful, and above all, extremely sophisticated; something that is hard to find just 'off the peg'. 

Do you have any "go to" references to inspire you and your vintage interests?

I adore the music of the twentieth century, from the 1940s all the way to the 1980s, with some blues, rock, jazz, classical and folk thrown into the mix too. With having such an eclectic mix of musical genres, my fashion takes inspiration from the various eras; mainly in the 1960s an 70s where I take most of my 'fashpiration.' In the world of film I am a sucker for classic musicals with the female powerhouses that were Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland, to name but a few. Their elegance and style still resonates today, and their Hollywood glamour never ceases to inspire how I dress!
So, every vintage lovers secrets get exposed here: where do you shop?
Predominantly I spend my time trawling charity shops whenever I get the chance, along with popping to the odd vintage fair and vintage shop every now and then. I think it's important to support charities throughout the year, not just as a one-off donation when there is a specific appeal, and by buying vintage from charity shops it's the best of both worlds! Recently I've started attending more vintage fairs, where there are a plethora of vintage sellers all under one roof, but the little bit of good I can do by purchasing from a charity shop will always be second to none when it comes to vintage gems! 

Do you think there is too much vintage, now it's so popular? 
There is a great wealth of vintage out there, if you know where to look, and I think it's popular within the community, but not generally when I'm out shopping, as far as I have discovered! For me one of the most important aspects of buying vintage, is that it is true vintage; as opposed to a modern reproduction. There are some great companies who produce fantastic 1950s and 1960s style dresses, which are true to cut and fabric choices, however, personally I prefer true vintage as I know it's unlikely there will be another one out there! I don't think it's become too popular just yet, although 1990s 'vintage' sportswear is more than a step too far - it isn't even vintage yet! 

What's your favourite vintage purchase and why?

Gosh, this is such a difficult question, because each item has its own memories for me; from the day out when I bought it, to the event I first wore it at, so to whittle it down to one standalone item is difficult! If I had to choose just one, it would have to be a paisley mustard and brown 1960s dress which I bought through Instagram from Retrospect Finds for £5 - it's been one of my most worn items and is perfect all year round because of the colour scheme, material and cut. It's been one of my best vintage clothing purchases and always looks amazing with a pair of Orla Kiely for Clarks shoes.

Finally, you're one of my vintage muses, who's yours and why?

I take a lot of my inspiration from the vintage community I have met through Instagram and at vintage events, but the timeless elegance of Coco Chanel makes her my ultimate style queen. The attention to detail in her garments and how she personally dressed, coupled with an acute understanding of the female form means that her designs are absolutely beautiful and reflected the beginnings of the changing status of women in the twentieth century. 
Similarly, I adore Mary Quant and her work, because the 1960s is my favourite vintage period and she is the epitome of female fashion of the decade. 

I totally agree that Mary Quant is a major babe and I'm glad that another Girl Gang member finds her an inspirational as I do!

For me, Laura is a badass vintage beauty, who styles vintage to totally suit her quirky vibe. She's doesn't overdo it which can often look a little fancy dress, she lives it and IS it. It's so great to hear that other creatives use vintage as inspiration for their creativity and vice versa. It shows integrity and belief in what you do as a creative being as well as a fashion star!

Laura Littlefair; welcome to the Gang. Get those Pigeon Vintage red lipstick stripes all over your smooshy moosh!

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