When collecting vintage homeware there are a few areas that deserve a second look. Sometimes the best find is the unknown. Whether it’s a beautiful plate, a delicate glass or simply some cute cutlery the joy of finding something you like is immense.
Eastern European ceramics have a special vibe – it’s difficult to quantify. Like the Singing Ringing Tree, its clearly different and this is where the excitement begins. Sometimes its awful but it can be absolutely your thing. Taste is different for everyone- no one is telling you this is a good piece, a famous make- its down to you alone.
Ceramics by less famous makers can also be a complete bargain. Once in France we found a fabulous set of dishes at a vide grenier. We bought them at a reasonable price and later found out they were a known brand. Nonetheless we bought them because they were amazing and we loved them.
Vintage Homeware Glasses
Vintage glasses are a joy. They come in so many shapes and forms. With coloured designs or more delicate etched ones. With jugs, in sets or on their own. Many are so beautifully fragile it is quite scary to handle them! Should you cherish them in the safety of a cupboard or a box or enjoy them as they were designed to be used? Your choice – the really appealing thing about these items is that they are not priced out of usage.
Vintage Homeware Cutlery
Cutlery can be a great item- I’m not necessarily talking about traditional silverware. Vintage cutlery can take many forms and again it depends on your own particular taste. I was given some cute knives as a gift and am looking for some forks or spoons to use with them. This is a little side eddy it is very easy to fall into – I have so many condiment pots without their partner!
Finally ornaments, tiles and dishes are an area which is found readily at car boot sales, brocante and in all good vintage shops. They can be extremely good value and add a little individual spark to your home.
When we are finally allowed to get out there and have fun again keep your eye peeled for these little bargains. Once the mass produced for high streets all over, they have survived and as such deserve some love! In the meantime please browse our website.
So here we are again, contemplating a few more weeks/months of restrictions and wondering where it all went Schitts Creek! Now while pyjamas and sweatpants- anything elasticated really- may be the choice of many to accommodate that post-Christmas paunch and lockdown malaise, we must remember there are times we will definitely need to look our best. So here are some options to keep up with lockdown fashion.
Obviously, sweatpants, tops and sportswear are a really popular choice, practical as well as being cosy too. Most of us have them and have had them for many, many year- maybe it’s time for an update?
This pair of FRED PERRY Reverse Tricot Trackie Bottoms are slightly cropped, with a tapered leg and an elasticated ankle -perfect for wet walks. Also has elasticated waist with drawstring which will accommodate any amount of lounging around, and side pockets too. We also has a vintage ADIDAS sweatshirt which is a Ventex original circa 1970-80. This gorgeous top has pockets in the side seams- always a bonus! In very good used condition and retains shape and fab colour- a great item! For those who want to go full athlete this super cool, vintage UMBRO shell tracksuit from the early 90s is a stylish look. Logo shape panels across the centre feature shadow print branding in heat transferred print for extra detail. Similarly, really nice stand out white taping around the funnel neck, sleeves and outer side of the legs adds style. Also features classic 90s zip up ankles.
Vintage Inspired Dungarees
Have a look at our Vintage Inspired range of clothing, we stock some great items but for living in lockdown fashion surely a comfy pair of dungarees are the ultimate must have?!
We sell a range from Run & Fly. The designs are pretty cool- the more recent designs are a zebra print in stretch twill, leopard print cord and for the more cosmic among us an ‘Outta this World’ design of planets stars and rockets.
Lockdown Fashion Cosy Knits
Winter is the season of jumpers, cardigans and sweater vests. We stock a range of vintage and used knits- jumpers and cardigans, as well as a number of vintage inspired designs all worthy of the lockdown fashionista.
This 1990’s Adidas sweater vest is in 3 vibrant shades of blue horizontal stripes and a ecru block. From Mary Quant a women’s loose polo neck knit in a boxy style with dolman sleeves. Also featured is a great crew necked knit by FILA in navy blue with red and white striped trim. It has a ribbed neck, cuffs and waistband and the brand logo on the left arm. A shawl collared, zip up, Cowichan style, chunky knit cardigan in cream is a gorgeous and comforting addition to any lockdown fashion ensemble. Certainly vintage – the metal Lightening zip would suggest 50-60s. Features cartoon style vintage cars on the front, back and both sleeves. Two pockets- finishing flags- and ribbed cuffs and waistband.
Repsycho also stocks various retro inspired items from Run & Fly. Examples below include a quirky Fox Head and T Rex design to the front. Also a very cute Run & Fly women’s cropped jumper with a vintage vibe. Black, crew neck, long sleeved jumper with a bold white and yellow daisy print to the front and arms. Also available as a cropped cardigan. It’s full of funky character!
Winter Coats and Jackets
Often the cold weather just makes everyone want to curl up on the sofa but don’t forget our only opportunity to get out of the house and be seen is the daily exercise hour. Its cold out there so depending on your activity choice we have a couple of ideas to make everyone’s head turn as you stroll/power walk/cycle/jog past.
Stay super toasty in this FILA Sport Legacy fully zipped, hooded puffer jacket in light sage green. With removable and sleeves for an optional gilet- ski inspired with super warm 80% feather down. Repsycho also have this women’s stylish wool winter coat in black. It has grey trim and four black toggle buttons. Also featured here is a classic double breasted Pea Coat with a deep collar, anchor buttons and two handwarmer pockets. Very smart! Don’t miss this Kappa fully zipped, fleece lined and insulated puffer jacket in black. In stock we also have several 70s vintage winter training cycling track jackets. This one by Campitello is in black acrylic blended fabric with red showerproof polyester on the front and shoulders. The last of the octet is an original Fjällräven Kodiak women’s black hooded padded parka will keep you warm in even the harshest winter weather.
Lockdown Fashion Occasional Occasions
Finally, let’s think about enjoying a few more formal occasions, it might be fun to make an occasion, maybe mark a birthday or just try dressing for dinner! In this event we can help with a range of cocktail dresses, suits or maybe just a groovy shirt.
Here is a fabulous original 1980s dress from Radley of London. Long sleeved with a high puff at the shoulder, a wrap over V-neck bodice. There is a tie belt and the skirt is gathered at the waist creating plenty of drape. The fabric is in crinkled, electric blue- quite stunning. Just the thing for a Dynasty evening! Also featured is a 1960s double-breasted men’s suit in the rarely found, regency-style. Also included is this amazing trouser suit designed by Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey. It consists of a tunic style top with a long pointed collar and flared trousers in ecru.
Whatever you do to get inspired about lockdown fashion, a new outfit can lift the spirit- hopefully Repsycho can help, check out our website! We will continue to list and supply while stock lasts, stay safe.
Those of us who grew up before designer denim was a thing would often form a loyalty to one label and stick with it. For many, denim was the clothing of the rebel and the rock star, as well as the cowboy. The three big US denim brands developed in different regions and this has, to some extent, defined their success and coolness!
The value of vintage denim is a phenomenon which has been illustrated by a recent Guardian story . It tells of a chap who ‘excavated old denim in abandoned silver mines in deserts across California, Nevada and Arizona. Used by old miners to lag pipes and block holes, these vintage denim pieces (some dating back to 1873) have been sold for up to $100,000’.
Levi’s is an iconic brand, maybe the coolest of the lot and as such, it is clearly the Californian brand. Best known for its jeans and jackets the company was founded in 1853 by Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco. They have since become one of the most recognised clothing items around the world.
Modern jeans were primarily confined to the working west, cowboys, lumberjacks and railroad workers. By WW2 hardwearing blue jeans with rivets were declared, in the US, an essential commodity for those in defence work. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Levi’s jeans and jackets became popular among a wide range of youth subcultures, including greasers, mods, rockers, and hippies.
Levi’s popular shrink-to-fit 501s were sold in a unique sizing arrangement; I can clearly remember myself and my siblings excitedly taking turns to sit in the bath to shrink our new Levi’s– closely overseen by our mother. The company still produces these unshrunk, uniquely sized jeans today although, thankfully, preshrunk ones are also available!
Aided by a popular TV ad campaign in the 80s, involving a launderette, a bag of stones and an attractive male model stripping down to his boxers, Levi jeans enjoyed a massive resurgence in popularity. For a long time, the only jeans to be seen were 501s. Levi’s range encompasses denim jeans, jackets, footwear, clothing and accessories – vintage versions of which are a collector’s heaven.
There are many, many online resources which explain the intricacies of selvedge seams, rivet placement, stamping and brand labels. If you think you have an old Levi item, it’s worth looking them up!
Wrangler jeans are one of the most recognisable names in denim jeans, jackets and casualwear. Its distinctive W stitched into the pockets makes it stand out from the crowd. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Wrangler clothing presents as workers clothing, maybe less hip than Levi’s but certainly stylish as well as being tough as old cowboy boots!
The Blue Bell Overall Company first made Wrangler Jeans. They employed Bernard Lichtenstein, a Polish tailor, who worked with cowboys, to help design jeans suitable for rodeo use. Subsequently several well-known rodeo riders were convinced to endorse the clothes. The story goes that the Blue Bell workers took part in a contest to give the jeans a brand name. As a result the winning name was Wrangler, synonymous with the name for a working cowboy.
Working Cowboy Denim
The Wrangler Jeans featured several innovations: strengthened seams, rear pockets positioned for comfort in the saddle, ‘no scratch’ rivet pocket reinforcement, a zipper fly, and use of a strong tack in the crotch instead of a metal rivet – that last one seems obvious! Future designs included creating jackets and shirts to suit the needs of working cowboys – to address performance, durability and comfort.
The functional design still plays a big part in Wrangler clothing designs today, which now also include t-shirts, shoes and accessories. However, they now are also stylish and modern to appeal to a wide variety of people – not just cowboys!
LeeJeans is a legendary American denim brand that has been creating genuinely iconic jeans, jackets and retro clothing for over 125 years—initially based in Kansas and prominent in the East and Midwest. Certainly Lee Jeans has a lower profile than the other brands; however, this very understatement makes them a more original choice – the brand of the individual.
The company was formed in 1889 by Henry David Lee producing dungarees and jackets. Later in the 1920s, Lee introduced a zipper fly and continued to expand. During the next two decades, the company became one of the leading manufacturers of work clothes in the US. In 1954, Lee expanded into casual wear – a development which continued into the 1970s, when Lee shifted focus from the workwear business and began catering to fashion cycles.
Lee designed the 101 Cowboy Pants in 1932, which evolved into Lee Riders, followed by their iconic 101J jean jacket and old blanket-lined, corduroy collared Storm Rider Jackets. The slimline 101J’s fit was short and attractive, giving Lee sex appeal!
Furthermore Lee was the denim of choice for many film stars – James Dean clearly wears Lee in Rebel Without a Cause, and many photos show Steve McQueen was a fan too.
An early example of product placement was evident in a 1963 critically acclaimed film called Hud, where the wearing of Lee clothing seems to have been a prerequisite!
Repsycho regularly stocks vintage and used denim items, when we first began as market traders, denim was our main line – indeed 501s have consistently been among our best-selling items for over 30 years.
Vintage denim clothing is adaptable, sustainable and just plain wearable; Levi’s, Wrangler’s and Lee vintage denim are all of this and cool, too – and worth its weight in gold!
Trends are continually rocking back and forth, and more often than not, previously forgotten styles return to the forefront of people’s minds with a vengeance.
The above point is just one of the many reasons why reusing, recycling and donating clothing is so important – there are endless opportunities to bring certain pieces back to life. In other words, that jacket you were about to chuck away could transform you into a trendsetting icon in the near future.
So then, what’s cool right now?
Well, to answer this question correctly, we at Repsycho have compiled a list of the most sought after trends and styles emerging in autumn/winter 2020. What’s more, you can get everything listed below via the Repsycho website.
The long leather coat
The long leather jacket trend has got to be one of my personal favourites. As soon as you put one on, you feel instantly cooler. It has Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes written all over it – what more do you need?
You could go for the minimalist, blazer-style option, the heavier classic coat jacket look or even the full-length, down to your toes statement piece. Or, better still, why not grab them all? (second-hand, of course).
It’s time to raid your dad’s wardrobe – sweater vests are now the coolest of the cool. Spice up any simple outfit by throwing a sweater vest over the top. The beauty is that they are an incredibly versatile piece, and go with just about anything, and come in just about any colour.
The fact that your old man’s golfing attire is now one of the trendiest looks out there shows how unpredictable the world of fashion truly is – and we are 100% here for it!
The baggy jeans trend is one the most notable of 2020, and the basic rule is as follows: the baggier, the better.
Baggy clothes became a massive thing in Manchester back in the 1980s, and the trend is undoubtedly making a comeback. Most notably, since the perfect match for your baggy jeans would be an oversized tee or sweatshirt.
Collars are currently a big deal. But what exactly does that mean? Well, it’s all about sprucing up your t-shirts and sweatshirts with a shirt worn underneath, allowing for the collar to remain on display.
This trend is becoming increasingly popular as it allows you to add some edge to a simple outfit or a splash of colour to a monochrome look.
A trend that we can all get behind: placing style and comfort hand-in-hand. Sweatpants and tracksuits are now becoming stylish, and chilling on the sofa is no longer their only reason for existence.
So, get those sweats on and start styling. Pair with shirts, high-neck jumpers, long-line coats or even high heels – whatever takes your pick!
It is no secret that the desire, and need, to be more conscious of how we consume the planet’s resources is becoming more and more apparent across the globe.
If you need a little more convincing, switch on Netflix now and take a load of A Life on Our Planet (more importantly, if you haven’t watched it yet, where have you been?).
We simply need to do better. However, for many, things can get a little overwhelming. How can one person make a difference? Where do you even start?
Well, the truth is, you can help just by opening your wardrobe. Yep, that’s right. Throwaway fashion is a severe problem for the world around us, with around 300,000 tonnes of textiles ending up in landfill every year.
By making some simple changes to our shopping behaviours and the way we treat our clothes, we can help to reduce the dreadful impact that the fashion industry is currently having on the planet.
Here at Repsycho, we’ve decided to put together five simple tips on how you can be working to combat throwaway/fast fashion right now.
1. Respect and reuse
Always pining for new threads despite having three wardrobes stocked full of clothes and not even knowing what you own anymore? Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.
However, the first step towards living more sustainably when it comes to fashion is learning how to appreciate what you already have.
Fling open those wardrobe doors and rummage through the fabrics from a forgotten past. Don’t be surprised if you rediscover some misplaced gems along the way.
Items that you previously thought didn’t work, and therefore ended up at the back of the pile, may end up being a firm favourite after a bit of exploration.
Try things on, get styling, create new outfits – have fun with it!
So, now you have a redesigned relationship with your wardrobe and all your favourite pieces – new and old.
But, what about the clothes that genuinely don’t fit or don’t match your style anymore? Now, this is where recycling comes in.
With around 300,000 tonnes of textiles ending up in landfill every year, it is clear that more often than not, clothing ends up in the bin when it no longer serves its purpose despite still being entirely wearable – this is not the answer!
There are plenty of ways you can recycle old clothing – drop them off at clothing and textile banks, donate them to charity or sell them on yourself via sites such as eBay or Depop.
If for whatever reason, you have clothes that are unwearable or broken, fear not, as you can still recycle these at home! But there is something even better you could do instead.
3. Get fixing
Learn how to mend your clothes! A small rip? A little too big around the waste? No longer your sort of thing? That does not spell the end, my friends.
Learning some basic sewing techniques will transform your whole outlook on clothes. The power of being able to alter and repair will reduce the need to throw away clothes tenfold.
You could even start totally redesigning and transforming things – like making a skirt out of a dress or a bucket hat out of some jeans. Maybe even keep up with the trends and create a crop top out of some trainers. Why ever not?
4. Shop at secondhand and vintage stores
When you are in the market for some new clothes – shop old instead! Get down to your local charity shops and vintage stores for a whole host of beautiful secondhand gems just waiting to be rediscovered.
Shopping for secondhand fashion can really reap the benefits if done correctly. You can often find super expensive and trendy designs and labels for a fraction of the price, as well as vintage one-off pieces that nobody else will have!
It truly is one of the best ways to stay trendy, stand out and keep some extra money in your pocket along the way – not to mention that it is a far more sustainable way of doing things.
At Repsycho we have a soft spot for all things sportswear, after all, that’s how our online business began. So, you can be sure when buying any item of sportswear from us we have scrutinised it, admired it and described it with great interest and a little envy too because really, we’d like to keep most of it for ourselves!
Our very first online sales were of vintage football shirts. As a family with four football fanatics in it, they were always somehow appearing in the stock- it was but a short step to deciding to sell rather than hoard them. We now boast a large selection of football shirts, both club and international as well as great vintage ones, many from amateur clubs. Did you know that in the 60s and 70s many amateur players wore the same shirts as professional clubs? These shirts provide a fascinating sports history and are becoming very collectable.
Also, in the ‘early days’ we often found US sportswear was popular, the college tees and sweats and also the mesh tops worn over padding by ice hockey & US football players. As with the football/soccer shirts, we have a love for vintage amateur and college sports tops as well as the big brand, big bucks NFL, NBA etc. tops as worn by the big stars. You can find all types on our site – well made, durable and kinda cool too!
Tracksuits were traditionally the domain of the sportsperson, but since the 1970s & ’80s, they have grown in popularity as a fashion garment. However, there is a whole debate around the subject. It is quite common to have track tops, less usual to have full suits. Yet, we have several club trackies, some fantastic 1970’s tracksuit tops, quite a lot of 1980’s-90’s shell suit tops and we even have a few more modern ones from the 21st century available.
If there is one sport that has a totally cool profile, it is tennis. Tennis clothes have been developed as a fashion commodity for many years – Rene Lacoste and Fred Perry in the 1920-30s began the trend. At Repsycho we sell vintage tennis clothes of all styles and brands for a snip. Our stock includes shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, vests and frilly knickers too. Most of our shorts are branded ones; for instance, Adidas, Lacoste, Fred Perry and Nike. We also sell gear which has been tennis star branded with their logos – e.g. Becker, Lendl and Edberg.
As well as the tennis variety, we also stock numerous types of pre-loved shorts: athletics/running, football, table tennis, boxing(sometimes) basketball or just general sporty shorts.
Brightly coloured sports branded t-shirts are popular at the moment, some of the graphics are great, and they are a bargain secondhand item!
Recently we have been stocking a range of racing sports brightly coloured clothing -bike and motor racing and particularly NASCAR has evolved into the most popular sports in the world and the associated clothing style is a growing fashion.
Cycling has become an extremely popular sport in the last few decades, and at Repsycho we have been lucky to obtain some really great, but rare, vintage acrylic cycling tops, and training jackets. Many (but not all) emblazoned with club names and sponsors. They in really great colours and the winter training jackets have a showerproof covering to the front and shoulders to combat road splash as well as rain!
We stock numerous other sports clothing including branded sweatshirts, trunks, sailing jackets and athletics vests- as and when available. However, the nature of the secondhand/vintage market means each item is usually a one-off, and we get frequent enquiries asking if we have an item in a different size. Generally, it’s a no, but it is worth keeping an eye on the site if you’re looking for something specific.
We seem to be at the time of year when we need to review our wardrobe- a great time to create some new looks and update our outlook. The nights are drawing in, Boris is still pathetic, and we are looking at six months of restrictions.
However, this could be just the time to move into a positive phase; don’t let the news/temperature/restrictions stop you from being the funkiest dresser in the queue.
So, whether you favour the biker vibe, bohemian chic or have a more classic taste this year’s trends have got you covered!
Until the end of the 20th century, fashion was dictated by the catwalks of Paris, rigid adherence to the styles of the design houses was required- if they said mini, everyone wore a mini regardless of chunky thighs!
Today fashion has a less dogged approach to the styles and trends, and we are able to dress to suit our own tastes- however, there is usually some conformity when it comes to ready to wear clothing- last winter the shops were full of animal print, tartan and tiers.
This year things to consider if you’re looking to impress as a fashionista include a few themes.
Fringing is back! Rihanna appeared on the cover of September’s Harper’s Bazaar spinning a fringe-embellished, margarine-yellow coat from Bottega Veneta with a fringed Daniel Lee dress beneath. Fringes on coats, dresses and jackets and obvs capes and ponchos. Fringing is good.
Actually, it does make you feel quite Elvis- give it a go!
Leather is not a material that really goes out of fashion, but oversized, structured coats were popular in collections this year- think The Matrix, develop a problem with authority and start glowering.
Several styles seemed to be hungover from last year, maybe the lockdown has encouraged frugalism in designers, but capes, wide belts and big bags all return for another season- I know capes again- woohoo!
Nerdy knitwear is a good thing! Cardigans and sweater vests are dropping its previous reputation this autumn, as many of the biggest labels included the preppy knit. Warm and cosy – a reassuring cuddle in an uncertain world.
Unrelenting black dresses have returned- hurrah, everyone likes a little black number! Moody and sexy, head to toe black were everywhere with some sequins (Valentino) and leather was thrown in, not forgetting thigh length boots (Alexander McQueen) if they take your fancy!
Now the only thing that can vaguely approach the black dress is, of course, the red dress. Popular amongst designers this autumn, whether its lace, vinyl or sequinned, is a bold splash of head to toe bright red, for those exuberant days!
Check it! Be it tartan, plaid, gingham or houndstooth, checks have featured on every autumn catwalk forever, but this autumn, they were punchier than usual. Layer checks to add more impact.
Voluminous sleeves add structure and poise- ok for the catwalk but for an everyday look puffed sleeves do the same job and are totally in!
Patchwork clothing figured quite prominently in several collections (Tom Ford, Marni, Tod’s). Patchwork is a bold look and looks best with monochromatic pieces to ensure it stands out. It’s fun, it’s adaptable, and it’s a little kooky, win, win, win!
The most important theme, of course, should be the eco value of your clothing, Oxfam has repeated their Second Hand September campaign this year, and the talk of eco-solutions in the fashion industry is continuing to gain momentum.
New clothes, even those made from sustainable sources can lose their eco value depending on labour conditions, worldwide distribution and the obscene cost of advertisements. Vintage is a fantastic green alternative to the moral conundrums of keeping up with the trends.
Just a few of the many trends for the Autumn/Winter season 2020-21. Most of the pictured clothes were available in-store at Repsycho, Bristol or online at Repsycho.co.uk at the time of writing. We have a varied and everchanging stock- before you buy give eco vintage a try!
There is an old saying about fashion being cyclical – well, of course, it’s true, and it’s brilliant too! It means we can find all sorts of true-vintage items that have endured the mean streets of yesteryear and are ready to rock again!
Many true-vintage items are well-made ones – they have made it through without bursting at the seams, stretching out of shape or fading to a pale memory of former glory. They are the survivors – treat them with respect!
True-vintage fashion can include the unbranded, the handmade and the high street – now the sought after as they become increasingly unique with every passing year.
It also consists of the upper crust vintage designer pieces which are often well documented, photographed and equally sought after. Is it just as exciting to find an old St Michaels label as an Ossie Clark labelled item? Hell no, but it is still quite a buzz to a true-vintage fashion detective!
Black and white 1980s-90s Adidas zip-up track topVintage clothing is a continually changing phenomena; 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s – which decades are vintage, which only second hand?
Who decides the delineation of such things – the retailer, the buyer or the great hipster in the sky? It is a very subjective notion; the best advice is: if it’s cool and you want it, buy it!
The development of fabrics, sizing and manufacturing styles can all help to identify and age true vintage clothing.
Older fabrics can be more sumptuous and substantial than modern counterparts, well cut and assembled. Sizing can be an issue with preloved clothing, improved nutrition and exercise regimes mean we are generally bigger – taller and wider.
Changes in fashion and the move toward more comfortable clothing means we no longer require tiny waists and pointed busts. Sizing has developed, and a medium in 1960 could well be a small or extra small today. At Repsycho, we try to measure each older vintage item carefully and include the information in our listing.
Labels from retro brands can be really great too – some are pretty; some are small works of art, and some are simply nostalgic reminders of the past!
The great thing about modern fashion is there is no specific ‘in thing’ – wear what you like! Fashion through the ages has been used to denote your status and wealth.
Today it is more about how you feel, how you want to be seen, who do you like? We have the freedom to express ourselves – with preloved clothing we also have the affordability, well we do at Repsycho!
Many of the gorgeous vintage fashion items we see at Repsycho have an interesting label – research has proved that many also have an amazing history!
The British fashion industry certainly produced some cracking designs in the post-war era! Sadly, some of these design labels have left little information about either the designer or the label.
Anne and Max Bruh, refugees from Nazi Germany, started the Frank Usher label in 1946. Due to restrictions at the time, the couple bought an existing company and repurposed it- hence the totally unrelated name Frank Usher.
Known as a brand that notes fresh, high-end details on the catwalk and used them to create affordable, ready to wear designs. Although the fashion world at the time sneered at the brand, Frank Usher clothes were popular, well made and flattering and they also stand the test of time.
Rhona Roy Fashion
Rhona Roy was a very nice brand but we know little about it. It traded during the ’50s until the ’70s, making really pretty cotton dresses very well! Dress patterns were also available. There was a mainline labelled simply Rhona Roy and a line for teenage girls too.
Britain has produced some divine design since WW2 and some of its fashion designers are the most respected. Their creations have become extremely sought after and in terms of vintage fashion at Repsycho over the years we have picked up a few gems!
Probably the most iconic fashion designer of the 1960s. With an original take on design, Quant created modern, fun fashion, bright, colourful and bold. She popularised the mini skirt, hot pants, the skinny rib jumper and brightly coloured tights– her designs are iconic. Mary Quant was central to the development of London fashion – simply put she dressed the ‘Swinging Sixties’.
In 1963 Mary Quant launched the Ginger Group Line to deliver cheaper, mass-produced goods to the populace. She also marketed cosmetics and underwear using the famous Quant daisy design. At the end of the decade, Mary Quant was the leading UK fashion designer.
Ossie Clark & Celia Birtwell
Ossie Clark was a British fashion designer who became popular in the 1960s-70s. The fabric designs of Celia Birtwell complemented many of his best creations. Together they became a creative and productive partnership during this era.
In 1971, shortly after their marriage, their friend David Hockney painted Birtwell and Clark in Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy which is on display at Tate Britain. They had many famous clients, including Mick Jagger, the Beatles and Liza Minelli. Peter Gabriel used a Clark creation for the cover of the Genesis album Foxtrot.
Glamour influenced Clark’s designs; often romantic, free-flowing dresses. He liked to use printed silk chiffon and crepes, famously designing almost transparent pieces for his ‘Nude Look’. Menswear included ruffled shirts, silk scarves and snakeskin jackets.
Although traditional handicrafts and Victorian patterns were the initial inspiration, Laura Ashley’s quintessentially English designs became very popular after Audrey Hepburn wore an early scarf design in the film Roman Holiday. Founded in 1953, the company moved from Kent to Wales in 1961 and clothing bearing labels from this era are particularly sought after.
During the sixties, Laura Ashley developed its designs and was well known for its dreamy, floaty maxi skirts and dresses and the stylised Prairie dresses which are particularly associated with the brand. In the the early 80’s the brand began to incorporate the frills and pin tucks of the ‘Sloane Ranger’ – an altogether crisper, posher look that Lady Diana Spencer popularised.
Ashley’s designs are easier to find than many other designers and maybe more affordable. But are nonetheless indicative of several decades of British design.
Marion Donaldson Design
During the early 1960’s, Marion Donaldson began designing and making dresses at her own home for resale in local shops. Specialising in mini skirts and dresses in the early years, her creations were flamboyant, modern, bright and pretty cool too! Initially selling to shops in Glasgow, the popularity of her designs grew, and she designed for the London market. At one point working with Liberty’s of London using their fabric- these designs became some of Marion Donaldson’s most successful.
Marion and her husband/partner David decided to remain designers/manufacturers- never having their own retail outlets like other famous designers, maybe partly explaining some lack of recognition for the brand and also some of the commercial rewards too.
An oval mirror which the Donaldson’s bought at an auction inspired the brand’s iconic art nouveau label.
The Marion Donaldson brand has been credited with bringing ‘Swinging London’ to Glasgow, and she herself is sometimes referred to as ‘the Scottish Barbara Hulanicki‘ (Biba). Marion Donaldson Ltd traded from 1966 until 1999, her quality designs and remain sought after today.
Janice Wainwright Design
Janice Wainwright studied at Wimbledon School of Art, Kingston School of Art and The Royal College of Art in London. During the late 60s she worked as a designer for Simon Massey, in 1968 she began to work as a freelance designer. Her work during this period was bright, youthful and simple. Wainwright was one of the few designers to use Celia Birtwell textile designs- a real sign of respect from the Clark/Birtwell partnership.
In 1970 she started her own label, Janice Wainwright at Forty Seven Poland Street. Her designs were longline, flattering creations and often used jersey, crepe and chiffon. From 1974 she began to drop the cumbersome label name for just her own. A feature of her work was the different decorative techniques used.
Jean Muir Design
In the ’50s Jean Muir worked as a fashion sketcher and seller for Liberty’s in London. She was later employed as a self-taught designer at Jaeger. At the beginning of the ’60s, she established the firm Jane and Jane. In 1966 Muir started her own business with her husband, selling clothes to selected shops worldwide. Jean Muir’s clothes have fluid lines and elegance. She particularly liked working with dark, plain colours in jersey, crepe and suede.
Although the fashion industry adored Muir and she counted many stars and celebrities as her clients and friends, she considered herself a dressmaker! She was a hard-working, stickler for perfection. Qualities which helped earn her a reputation for precise tailoring and exquisite design.