Meet our fantastic Vintage Queen no 132, the gorgeous Lori-Jade from London. Her flaming red hair and cool Forties and Fifties styling make her stand out for all the right reasons.

“I’m Lori-Jade Barker. I am 31 years old and I live in North London. By day I am a secretary for the NHS, and by, ahem, later that day, I am the owner of Greyhound Vintage boutique in Camden Stables Market (based in the basement, at Unit 454).

I have pretty much been dressing in and collecting vintage clothing since I was old enough to start dressing myself! Some of my earliest memories are of rummaging with my Mom at car boot and jumble sales in order to fill up my pretty impressive dressing-up box. There are hundreds of photos of me as a child running around in feather boas, Twenties floppy hats, felt circle skirts and vintage wigs.

Apart from an ill-advised period of trying to ‘fit in’ at around 12 or 13 (peer pressure), I have always enjoyed looking different and experimenting with fashion. At 14 I was a goth, at 15 a punk, 16 a mod (complete with the must-have-accessory of a mod boyfriend with yellow Vespa), at 17 a psychobilly, which happened to fit nicely into my era of choice, the Fifties.

I have always loved the Fifties as a decade – my father was a big fan of Fifties and Sixties Americana and used to collect classic American cars. He used to make me watch American Graffiti and The Outsiders and listen to rock and roll. I think he probably quite enjoys the fact that I do these things out of choice now, rather than under seeming duress. I love everything about the Fifties including the music (as I mentioned, I am a big fan of Rockabilly, although I also enjoy R&B, Jump Blues, Western Swing and Sixties Garage), the home decor and general aesthetic. I love modern life, I couldn’t live without my iPhone or my big TV, but I try and keep the visuals strictly vintage!

I started seriously collecting vintage Forties and Fifties clothing when I was about 18. After all the fashion ‘chameleonism’ of my youth, I really felt I had found my niche. The designs were stunning, the fit of the clothes lent itself well to my hourglass figure and, at the time, they were readily and cheaply available. Ten years ago, you could easily pick up an evening gown or cocktail dress for well under £50. Sadly this is not the case any more!

I like to shop overseas, usually online and usually from the USA. You can still find some bargains on eBay or Etsy if you know what you’re looking for. The trick is to find the sellers that don’t know the value of what they’re listing, and learning what to search for (and what not to search for). As I also own my own shop (buying clothes and calling it work? Yes please!) I often wear ‘stock’ items a couple of times before they go back out onto the shop floor. I don’t earn tons of money, so I tend to wear the more outrageous items only once, and then sell them on and replace them with something else. That’s the secret to my apparent bottomless pit of amazing vintage.

Whilst I would say I am a card-carrying member of the Rockin’ scene (i.e. I would call myself a ‘rockabilly’ if I were to be pressed) I seem to be travelling a little further back in time and appreciating the Forties style a little bit more. It’s a little bit more unusual, a little less mainstream now that ‘vintage’ has become quite a popular trend.

I am massively, obsessively into Forties and Fifties novelty prints and have an almost insane collection of circle skirts building up. My favourite is an original 1957 Lady & The Tramp print novelty skirt. I obviously love the style of the Hollywood actresses of old, but find I get a lot of style inspiration from other (living!) members of the vintage scene. There are a couple of girls who really know how to put an outfit together without it looking contrived. Whilst I usually wear head-to-ankle (I don’t do vintage shoes often as they never fit) Forties or Fifties, I do like to mix it up and not necessarily copy the looks of the era to a T.”

 

summer outfit

swimsuit

sarong dress

shorts

 

misstwinwood

 

mexicana

denim

circle skirt

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