To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
N.B. This is a reposting of the previous post as times of the clothing auction end changed and two items were sold.
I’ve been thinking about the Spring (probably far too much) as I look out of the window whilst I work. I’ve been Spring cleaning: cleaning up my things, cleaning up my files, cleaning up my accounts at the end of winter. And then cleaning up my thoughts, polishing off new dreams and goals, refining my priorities.
It got me thinking about fashion. I photograph fashion for a living and I have followed British Vogue for about 12 years from hungry teen to university experimenter, to now a more clued up photographer. And what have I learnt? Fashion is fickle, it comes around and goes around and it is absolutely fabulous.
I’m sure many people and articles could have told me that and I maybe then I wouldn’t have needed that 12 year subscription but there is nothing like living through and witnessing fashion movements for yourself.
When I began to follow fashion everything was new and I would try to pick out favourite looks and dresses and then find that same colour, or shape in my very re-used wardrobe. Truth was, as we weren’t the most well-off of families, I’d be wearing the same clothes month in month out, but I swapped them joyfully around, wore different makeup, paired different things and I truly did feel like I was wearing different clothes every time. Recreating what I saw with what I had. Fast forward to now and we have seen trends repeat themselves and in that time I started making my own money and scouring all the places I visited and coming back with many (mainly vintage) clothes. Of course I realised having more of what I want is not necessarily more fulfilling, (although I love my archive of finds). In fact, I soon began to search in more detail for my own voice and started to look for meaning behind what I wear and a reason for it to make sense. I often think back to that time when I had those few clothes and my imagination and wonder if I used my imagination more.
I read somewhere about Caroline Roitfeld talking about leather gloves looking ‘worn’ and how the only way to get them to look like that was to wear them. A seemingly obvious statement, but it highlights that it isn’t just the clothes you choose but the character that you give to your clothes. I always think the things you experienced in them like first kisses, a certain city, time spent in a place are the most special. A few pieces that you absolutely love and wear again and again. Creating your own trend, because if you think about how trends are created and defined it is about repetition. The mini skirt worn on the catwalk would never have become synonymous with the 1960s if a lot people hadn’t worn the trend over and over again in that decade. I’m all for experimenting, hell, those who know me know I’m all for hunting for beautiful things, but style isn’t a quantity game. It’s staying true to yourself and using your imagination.
So combining my passion for vintage clothing and of course photography, Spring Cleaning was born. Vintage pieces I have found all photographed.
I’m also very excited to say that you can get your hands on these vintage clothes, wear them this Spring and make some memories! I have picked out a few statement vintage pieces I have picked up on my travels and shot them against a white wall. Making every photograph as present as a painting in the National Portrait Gallery.
I hope you enjoy the photographs and a few lucky ones the vintage clothing. I’m excited to know where the dresses and two-pieces will lead you: back to Paris perhaps, to the first day of a new job or maybe I hope they’ll be loved and just worn all summer long…
I will give the eBay link at the bottom of each picture so you own these vintage pieces!
I was born in the 80s
A full on 1980s dress with a little froufrou (obvious since I found it in Paris). Usually 1980s designs are quite hard to wear but this one has gorgeous tight ruffles on the bodice which figure-cling nicely. I would take this out for a walk down the boulevard with a notebook or to a dinner party.
‘To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’
Swashbuckling pirate or 1970s hippy here is a blank canvas of a shirt where you can just be you.
Buy True White Blouse here
I wear flowers to work
A two piece buttercup on mint green floral suit with an A-line skirt and gathered sleeves. Neon mint buttons and built-in peplum. Be known as the girl who wears a floral two-piece to work this summer…
Be the change you want to see in the world
Powerful dressing for powerful people. Floor length deep-brown maxi dress. Multi purpose hood and flattering upward V-cut around bodice. Great for a lazy day, changing the world or backpacking on a bike ;))
Diamonds are a girl’s best friends
Tight. Sparkly. This is your new armor for going out in London. I own one in gold and black and I wear it for everything. Keep your makeup simple for a glitzy tomboy look.
Powder blue, long 1960s dress. If a moonlit dance in a garden full of magnolia and tuberose you fit right in with the lattice front and gathered-petal like sleeves all tied up around the waist. This simple dress is as romantic as a 16-year-old but carries the timeless glamour from whence it came.
Buy the romantic moonlight, pale blue maxi here.
The clothes will be on sale for the whole of this weekend and the eBay bidding will end on Saturday just before midnight (very Cinderella). Be sure to check the times carefully so that you don’t miss out! May the best vintage lover win. If you have any questions contact me through eBay or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
So I hope this exercise has inspired you all. It definitely inspired me and a little Spring Clean really helped me to evaluate what is important in my life: what I was proud of, curious about, what I wanted to keep and love and build on for years to come.
Roll on those carefree summer days…
All images copyright of Diana Patient 2013.