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Fashion is a cyclical thing, and in every new collection there are influences of bygone eras. This winter, it is the turn of the 80s, and with it, the revival of several different looks, from the biker chick to Parisian glam chic to a resurgence in 80s sportswear.
As Europe claws its way out of recession, another trend that was popular in the 80s is also making a comeback – buying second hand. Wading through the immense crowds at London’s famous Portobello and Camden markets confirms that today’s fashionistas are loving the 80s revival, and want to wear the original item.
Just like the forty-somethings today, who with their teenage pocket money chose second hand clothes to craft into the most gregarious punk and new romantic outfits, young people now, who want to look bang- up- to- date but also don’t want to be seen wearing the same outfit as the next person, are turning to second hand.
If there ever was a stigma to wearing second hand clothes, it certainly doesn’t exist now. Not only is it super cool to wear a unique original, people know a lot more about the value of recycling than they did in the 80s. Second hand can also be very cheap, depending on who designed it of course, and often the quality is better than the mass-produced clothing in abundance on our high streets.
Stella McClure, a former Top Shop fashion designer and stylist, who in later years sold vintage clothing to the likes of Kate Moss and Stella McCartney from her stall at Portobello market, is an advocate of all that is original.
Now operating from Barcelona, Stella has brought vintage clothing to Spain through her online shop, thestellarboutique.com. She said: “Vintage clothing is quite a new concept in Spain. The only place I have ever seen vintage clothing shops is in Barcelona and even here, there are only really a handful of them – nothing in comparison to London and the rest of the UK, which is a real shame.”
“I handpick my vintage clothes to relate to the current trends, and at the moment I have lots of snakeskin and mock croc chain bags, 80’s shoes, studded rock chick belts and classic wayfarer sunglasses in neon brights.”
“In our consumer society, where so much is wasted, it makes sense to make greater use of what we already have. Turning beautiful relics from the past into iconic fashion pieces enables people to dress creatively, individually and with the confidence of knowing they are the only person wearing that outfit. It’s recycling at its best.”
In some areas of Spain, online may be the only way to purchase that one-off vintage piece. But in other areas, particularly some coastal regions, charity shops are opening up, and rastrillos or car boot sales are also great places to hunt for a bargain.
Here are some tips provided by Stella McClure on the trends to look out for this winter:
Biker chick: Studded belts, biker jackets, studded high-heeled ‘gladiator’ shoes and leather biker boots with lots of buckles.
Boho chic: Loose Tshirts, sequined tops and jackets, leather boho tassel bags, ethnic boho belts with coins, and leather boots with tassels.
Punk: Sparkly leggings or stonewash skinny jeans with animal print tops, baggy Tshirts and denim jackets.
Easy luxe: a relaxed take on early 80s sportswear, soft tailoring and loose tops, and camel coats.
Parisian: Effortless glam chic, Breton stripped tops and skinny trousers, couture- like ruffles and draping, sequins and cashmere, and lots of bright red lipstick.
Anything with square studs, sparkly sequins, animal prints and tassels.
Jumpsuits and playsuits are still big, as are clutch bags and over-the-knee boots. Shoulder pads are back but are more pointed and sharp than the shoulder pads of the 80s.
Jewellery is big and bold, over sized necklaces and chunky jewels and fringing is hot this season. Shoes are either incredibly high or have a court heel.
Colours that are big this winter are luxurious tones of indigo, purples and blues and some opulent shades of green. Black is, as always, very big but also grey, and more neutral shades such as beige and taupe. Grey tweed and ‘dogtooth’ prints are also big news.
For online vintage clothing in Spain, go to thestellarboutique.com.