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Bairbre Power on vintage inspirations and other adventures


Vintage feel: Biba tassel dress, €325, houseoffraser.co.uk

Vintage feel: Biba tassel dress, €325, houseoffraser.co.uk

Vintage feel: Biba tassel dress, €325, houseoffraser.co.uk

Nostalgia rules at this time of the year and while the new SS15 collections are just around the corner, it makes sense to pause for a nod at our fashion past as the style calender moves forward.

Our respect and appreciation for vintage has expanded well beyond a niche market of specialist buyers hunting down the eras which suit both their personality and body shape.

Having watched aghast as my very expensive Spanish vintage lace skirt ripped in front of my eyes (while it was on me!) I’m now on a mission to find modern pieces inspired by the past. If they are too high maintenance, they are not for me.

If you were smitten by the stunningly beautiful effect of the gold tassel dress in which Caroline Flack won Strictly Come Dancing, then I recommend you check out the 1920s-inspired Biba range at House of Fraser in Dundrum and online. My ‘collectables’ shopping   has centred, of late, on rigid framed handbags but vintage gloves can be so difficult because the ladies seem to have had incredibly small fingers and hands. Let me instead suggest some sales shopping with an elegant vintage-feel. Peter O’Brien’s ladylike gloves  are reduced from €120 to €72 in the Arnotts sale. The deep gold hue and shapes of the Lele Sadoughi jewellery, available at Knightsbridge, carry a delicious whiff of yesteryear.

My latest fetish is for beaded, embellished cardigans, handcrafted on cashmere and wool in Hong Kong in the 1940s and ’50s. I found some examples  in beautiful condition at Jenny Vander on Dublin’s Drury Street. Don’t think Florida hostess with Martini glass but more 2015 girl giving her Saturday jeans and heels a lovely vintage spin. There are several incredible cream ones with burnished gold and ivory bugle beading at Jenny Vander and they certainly have the ability to totally lift an outfit.

The Strictly Come Dancing gals all wore professional dance shoes and I found some gems at the Dance Centre on Talbot Street in lovely shades of silver, gold and rose gold at €50-€70, but if you want a more vertiginous heel, let me point you in the direction of the ‘Heath’ shoe by Jimmy Choo  at Brown Thomas. They are beautifully finished in a vintage mirrored leather, ideal to dance your way  into a New Year of fashion.

Weekend Magazine