Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Fresh vintage insight – the Style Bubble e-interview

Beg, steal or borrow? Well I choose to steal a Mrs Fashion idea and conduct an e-interview with Susie Bubble aka Style Bubble. I need to be more helpful and informative to those of you who are dedicated to style via thrift or vintage. I'm a tad on the cynical style due to an over indulgence during my university years. Whereas Ms. Bubble is a coup de force when it comes to lovin' it all. Her fresh and free views on all matters is a joy (unencumbered by years of styling lots of personal clients and commercial work) and far better than me sticking my nose up.

Q.Do you think vintage shop over charity shop when it comes to choice or value for money?

A. It really depends because if I could spend the whole day scouring London's charity shops, then yes, it probably would be better value for money and would have a wide array of stuff (especially since charity shopping can mean picking up a brand new Topshop Unique dress sometimes for next to nothing...). However, it is still slightly more convenient and more of a safe bet to shop at a large vintage store like Beyond Retro or all the vintage places in Kingly Court as the picks are bound to be 'fashion-led' even if you are paying more money. If you bring eBay into the question, then it's definitely still the most bargainous option as well as having the wide variety.

Q. When browsing for thrift/vintage/second-hand pieces do you see colour or cut first?

A.I tend to look for detailing actually. If the fit isn't right, it can be altered but its things like unique embroidery, a different texture, the sort of materials that are used and other embellishments that catch my eye first.

Q. Is there a price point too far for a second hand designer item?

A. Beyond the £500 mark, and for me it's silly money. It may be a collector's item for some but I don't believe that vintage clothing will increase in value the way some people think. In any case, I couldn't justify it to myself when I have in the past found high quality vintage designer pieces for less than £100.

Q. Do you set out to find an item i.e. a dress or do you just stumble across them?

A. Definitely not. With vintage/charity shoping, the beauty of it is that you don't know what you might come across, which is why I like smaller vintage shops where the stock sells out quickly and is updated often.

Q. Do you have a good sense of smell and if so how do you filter out mustiness? How quickly does an item lose the smell of the shop? Do you prefer Comfort or Lenor?

A. I don't have a problem with fusty smells and most stores (even charity shops! are pretty good at removing any musty smells before putting it out. I do prefer Comfort though for their scents!

Q. How useful is ebay for designer items?

A. I fare very well on eBay because I'm a bit of an obsessive. As long as you don't get too caught up and end up paying more than you wanted to in the first place, it's still a very good place for buying designer items, that are a few seasons old. Obviously, pieces that are decades old tend to be very expensive still.

Q. How would you convert a cynic like me to be inspired by second-hand items again – how would they add to my wardrobe – what joy could they bring?

A. I'm not going to lie and say that vintage pieces are unique because some of them can be very samey and mass-produced too. However, I can only say that for me, it is essential, I have that mix and match element within my wardrobe because an outfit completely made up of high street pieces (ok, maybe add a few designer pieces if I'm lucky...) just doesn't make sense to me and seems rather one dimensional. With a lot of my vintage items, I hold them dearer to my heart because I simply couldn't replace them.

Q. Have you ever found a love letter or any item in vintage purchase?
A. Alas no! Found some very old bus tickets though...

Q. Have you ever worn an item and felt different perhaps because of the previous owner?

A. Hmm... no eerie spirits lurking in my closet. Maybe when I wore my grandmother's cheung sam dress but only because I was deliberately thinking about her.

Q. If you were to style someone who plays it safe like Kate Middleton(for example) completely top to toe in vintage what would she be wearing?

A. I don't think I'd take her to far out of her comfort zone. She's not completely middle of the road and I think she would actually fare very well in 1940's sharp tailoring. Something like a Schiaparelli suit to add sharpness in tailoring but also a quirkiness.


  1. That was a great interview. Thank you for taking the time to do it and post it.

  2. wonderful interview, suzy is fearless with her style!

  3. Good interview. Like the comfort question!

  4. Ooh good questions! I remember when I was little, every few months I'd rummage in my toybox and unearth the same old granny handbag time after time. However many times I rediscovered it, I was always convinced that THIS time I'd open it and find a long lost ten pound note!


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