Stepping into another era in Camden, with Collectif Vintage Clothing

100 dresses. No, it is not number I go through every morning before deciding what to wear, silly. It is the number of Collectif dresses donned by lovely ladies at the Collectif Big Camden Party, which lived up to its “night of style, sass and swing” tagline wonderfully.

Choosing from seven beautiful Collectif vintage inspired dresses, we were treated to a fabulous retro hair do as well as a few glasses of prosecco and an unlimited amount of fun at the Collectif shop at Stables Market, in the heart of Camden Town.

I am a huge vintage inspired clothing fan. I don’t make it a lifestyle and don’t really stick to an era, but I pepper it around my own style; and the 50s are by far favourite time.

I love pencil skirts, cinched waists and I think that’s the best shape for my body; I feel comfortable and of course, pretty!

After squeezing myself into the gorgeous Yvonne Hanna Check Trim pencil dress and with my head suitably adorned with Victory rolls (by Lucy’s Vintage Hair) we moved on to Solomon’s Yard for the party.

And what a party it was. We were promised live bands, DJs, burlesque, magic, hoola hooping and Unicorns (yes, UNICORNS) ad boy, did they deliver that and more.

Welcomed by a vintage car and motorbikes, the stage was always filled with the most amazing acts: the Victory Sisters, an impeccable wartime vocal trio wearing pretty Collectif Maria Woodland Bloom Swing dresses.

There was beyond sassy burlesque from stunners The Folly Mixtures, with two cute and sexy acts, music spanning the eras between performances, courtesy of DJ Gem Precious and Diana Thompson.

Fabulous in orange drag queen Meth killed the comedy lip-syncing and got us all singing and laughing, and I even got some bonus spanking from the hilarious Levitating Elvis, with his boxing glove hair, an act so weird that is wonderful.

I do have to single out the not only gorgeous but super talented The Tootsie Rollers.

All five of them wore sultry siren Ingrid Fishtail evening dresses and left me smiling throughout the whole performance of pop sons with a swing twist. Extraordinary.

Finally, the unicorns. They came all the way from The Fabulus of Unicorns, a group of horn wearing, glitter-spreading people whose sole purpose is to disseminate love and happiness among humans. I mean, I just felt so happy around them that it’s not even funny.

I was of course, “kissed” by a unicorn and can still find glitter all over my house.

And there was dancing. Laughing. Such a fabulous atmosphere, fantastic happy people, all supporting a great brand with glamour that keeps giving.

My dress (and all the others I tried – sorry guys, you were fabulous and so kind trying to accommodate me) has an excellent finish and detailing, amazing cut, fits well and made me feel a million dollars.

All their clothes are amazing, the designs are obviously, vintage inspired, but very wearable. I have my eyes on a few little numbers, I tell you!

You can browse the beautiful Collectif Vintage Clothing collection on their website, I highly recommend it.

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Retrospective fashion show – from the past to the next season

Gold lamé – yes, please!

Bourne and Hollingsworth, the creators of Retrospective: The history behind next season, kindly sent me an invitation to attend the event. The fashion show idea is rather simple, but ingenious – to showcase coming trends using vintage pieces. As a big fan of vintage I was very excited to attend – especially was there was a party afterwards!

The show started with a display of fashion and silver screen icons and consisted of showing trends that we are currently wearing via garments from the past, from various eras.

The trends explored were Gothic (so hot right now!), monochrome, wild, lingerie/night gowns and the finale was a showcase of known designer pieces in mixed styles.

It is everywhere. Black, lace, crosses… and it was here too. From the gothic trend I really liked a Gil Y Jacques lurex dress with a feather choker and a 90’s Oscar de la Renta forest green silk shirt.

I love monochromes, to me, black and white together never go out of fashion… so that was a tough call… it will have to be the Biba black acetate and rayon jumpsuit and sequin jacket from the 70’s and a tulle and cotton white dress worn with patent snakeskin gloves.

Needless to say, I am a massive fan of animal prints, and in my books, a bit of leopard is always welcome, so wild is just up my street. Faves were an 80’s Adele Simpson snakeskin print silk dress and an amazing 60’s raccoon fur coat.

For the nighties, I didn’t fancy that enough to pick a piece, it’s ok, but not my favourite… but from their showcase finale, I have to say I enjoyed most of it… the Givenchy black viscose and lace jumpsuit (80’s) was fabulous, the 20’s silk and faux-fur dress coat so feminine, the glam Loriz Azzaro gold lame dress from the 50’s was possibly my favourite piece of all.

I really enjoyed the concept, it shows that not only the recyclable nature of trends, but also the clothes themselves they are still edgy and most still wearable.

As for the party, there were, as expected, music from different eras; and dance performances… it was a lot of fun. There were thematic cocktails (I had Gatsbys). Not fun was to wait ages for drinks, though…

Still, I enjoyed myself. Hats off to the stylist Violet Naylor-Leyland, who picked through pieces from various past times to present them neatly and excitingly – I am full of ideas. Inspiration, for me, is the main point of fashion.