LCF FirstOutfit_of ThreeIt’s only been a month since the effortlessly cool Paper Dress Vintage shop in East London hit the QueensOf headlines, celebrating their second birthday, yet Managing Director Hannah Turner Voakes and her team have done it again. This time they have been encouraging fashionistas to transform their wardrobes the make do and mend way by teaming up with the London College of Fashion. Eleanor Claire Hilton Domm went along to find out more.

I much prefer to use a little initiative when it comes to creating an outfit and am forever sourcing unique ways to revive my vintage finds with a keen emphasis on tradition. After exhausting the flower corsage trend somewhat, I started looking for inspiration that wouldn’t involve breaking the bank, and was thrilled to hear about Paper Dress Vintage’s collaboration with the fashion talent of tomorrow from London College of Fashion (LCF).

In randomly selected teams, the up-and-coming LCF seamstresses were given old Paper Dress Vintage stock to then recycle and transform into treasured ensembles ready for a vintage catwalk – all in the space of two weeks! I couldn’t wait to see the results and eagerly went to the fashion show on Friday 16 October with pen, camera, two friends and clip purse at the ready.

When we arrived at the shop, Hannah and team were putting the finishing touches to the customised runway; within minutes I had mentally filled my bags with fabulous vintage purchases. The Art Deco floor itself is more than enough to entice any trend-conscious individual into the shop and inside it’s an absolute treasure trove filled with undiscovered vintage wonder. I was quite ashamed that I had never been there before.

Having sidelined the humiliation, it wasn’t long before the models started lining up outside ready to strut their stuff down the catwalk; I perched on the rather retro couch in the corner of the shop and watched the oh-so-stylish crowd pour in. Each LCF team was made up of womenswear, textile and jewellery designers, and I have to admit the teams that stood out for me had students from all three specialisms.

Some garments were finished beautifully and, in most cases, it was very difficult to see what they started off as – there were sparks of brilliance. An edgy, cloak jacket with a draped collar once was an over-sized pair of jeans and a plain zipper magically transformed into a stunning wrist-cuff that I just must get a hold of.

After such a successful event, the Paper Dress Vintage team now have to decide which five outfits are the best and then announce a winner. The outfits are currently on display in the window and my Paper Dress Vintage source has said there will be a secret auction – to end on Wednesday 28 October. 

Before the actual winner is revealed, here are some of my favourites with a little background behind them:

A cute Fifties inspired look (see above)
Created by Katya, Rima, Debbie, Lucy, Holly and Katie.This vibrant floral top with detailed shoulder pads and geometric detail went perfectly with a layered, two-tone skirt.
Some quirky accessories – cute floral socks, peep-toe heels and chunky beads – finished the look
Mainly inspired by the Fifties  – fitted bodice and fuller skirts, architecture, construction and steps
What were the pieces initially?
Top – Sixties pink , buttoned shirtdress
Skirt – pashmina throw.
Verdict: A beautifully styled and very wearable outfit

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