Thursday 30 March 2017

Don't think you can wear vintage? Dublin Vintage Fair organiser Irene O'Brien explains how

Head-to-toe vintage can look theatrical, so the trick is to mix it with contemporary pieces and achieve a chic look across the decades

Rare 1950s black and gold beaded cardigan, €185, Jean Cronin Vintage; black halter-neck cropped jumpsuit, €97, Warehouse; gold chain, €39, Jean Cronin Vintage; vintage black patent bag, €48, Om Diva; black lace-up boots, €325, Karen Millen
Rare 1950s black and gold beaded cardigan, €185, Jean Cronin Vintage; black halter-neck cropped jumpsuit, €97, Warehouse; gold chain, €39, Jean Cronin Vintage; vintage black patent bag, €48, Om Diva; black lace-up boots, €325, Karen Millen
Faux fur collar, €35, Jean Cronin Vintage; rust jumper, €45, Warehouse €45; vintage cream print wide-legged trousers, €55, Vintage Belle; silver pointed brogues, €140, Buffalo
Vintage Austrian wool cape, €140, Vintage Belle; vintage brown satchel, €42, Om Diva
Vintage silk scarf, €20, Jean Cronin Vintage; vintage hacking jacket, €35, Fussy Galore; vintage snakeskin clutch bag, €65, 3rd Policeman.
1960s silk kimono, €110, 1950s Chinese hand embroidered silk blouse, €65, antique gold compact, €42, all from Jean Cronin Vintage; jeans, €120, Karen Millen; wine patent brogues, €88, Buffalo
Vintage print navy blouse, €38, Om Diva; camel polo-neck, €31, Oasis; vintage brown belt, €10, Fussy Galore; high-waisted flares, €56, Oasis; 1970s snakeskin bag, €85, Jean Cronin Vintage
Vintage cream ruffled high-neck blouse, €42, Om Diva; wine faux leather skirt, €55, Warehouse; wine leather and suede bag, €35, Warehouse
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Women regularly complain that they can't 'do' vintage because they feel it is the reserve of someone braver, louder, cooler - someone who can get away with it. Irene O'Brien begs to differ. She is the new organiser of the bi-annual Dublin Vintage Fair which takes place on Sunday, November 22 at Dun Laoghaire's Royal Marine Hotel.

For anyone looking to dip their toe into the vintage world, Irene always recommends starting with accessories because not only are they a great way of introducing original pieces into your existing wardrobe, "They can often be the most stylish and timeless of investments and vintage accessories can make the most insipid of outfits look chic and unique. They also have the wonderful trait of fitting every body shape, and key pieces to look out for are sunglasses, scarves and handbags."

Another professional tip from Irene is, "Try it on. Perhaps it is because we live in a time of online shopping but most of us have become somewhat au fait with imagining how a piece will translate from hanger to body. Vintage clothes, however, were not designed to look good on a website or a hanger; they were designed to flatter and accentuate a body. Where we think our waist is and where our waist actually is (as illustrated on vintage clothing) can be two very different things.

"The older the piece of vintage, the better the care that has been taken with the garment to get it to this point. Some of the items you will come across have survived wars. The price will reflect this. Don't expect to buy a high-end vintage dress for a song. You are making an investment in a piece that will only ever become more rare and covetable. It is important to respect your vintage and treat it in a way that will ensure it remains in the best possible state for years to come. Treat kindly, launder appropriately and store well," Irene recommends.

The Vintage Fair takes place from 11.30am- 6.30pm on November 22. Tickets costing €7 are available at the door and those who pre-purchase tickets from eventbrite.ie will be entered into a draw for a makeover with the beauty team on the day. Parking is available on-site. Further info from 087 419 8228 or vintage@irene.ie

Photographer: Emily Quinn

Stylist: Irene O'Brien, assisted by Betty Corcoran

Hair: Claire Barry

Make-up: Amanda Hynes Johnson

Model: Gracie @ 1st Option

Shot on location at 12 Henrietta St, Dublin 1

VINTAGE STOCKISTS: Jean Cronin Vintage @ The Loft Market, Powerscourt, Dublin 2;

Om Diva's Vintage Basement, Drury St, Dublin 2; Fussy Galore, 19 Dublin St, Co Carlow;

3rd Policeman, 121 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6; Vintage Belle, 109 North Main St, Co Wexford; Molloy & Dowling, Crow St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Irish Independent

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