My Vintage Wardrobe: Tara Scott, Designer, Tara Starlet

13/08/2014 12:07 | Updated 20 May 2015
With a vintage-loving mum who had her own stall at Portobello Market and was a freelance film and theatre wardrobe mistress, it's no surprise Tara Scott was wearing vintage before she learned to walk.

Sarah Lucy Brown

She inherited some amazing vintage pieces (like her grandmother's strapless printed green playsuit or the 1990s-era Moschino floral midi dress that was passed around her family until she fit into it), and can can grab one of the nip-waisted dresses or cute printed separates from the label she designs, Tara Starlet whenever she needs.

The 1940s and 1950s British nostalgia brand teams figure-flattering silhouettes with eye-catching prints (pretty florals, bold Hawaiian patterns, pastel ginghams), but Tara's desire to create her vintage-inspired line is about social consciousness and ethical design as much as making pretty, wearable clothing.

"I want to make clothes that do not have a use-by date like trend-driven fast fashion. I want my pieces to end up as valued members of a curated wardrobe, not in landfill," she explains.

From florals aplenty to a jaw-dropping gold sequinned 1960s evening gown, take a look through Tara's favourite vintage looks (along with pics of her pup, Kahlo) and don't miss any of her vintage shopping or styling tips below...

Sarah Lucy Brown

Three top tips for styling vintage wares?

Firstly, most vintage that is readily available these days is 1980s - gosh, there was a lot of crap made in that era! 1980s bits can easily look messy, mismatched and cheap - basically you could end up looking like a hot mess! I say invest in statement pieces and let them sing for themselves.

Secondly, things that are old and worn need to be paired with simple, crisp, clean, fresh and new pieces to really let them sing.

Thirdly, the really special thing about vintage clothes is the amazing colours they used; try to use contrasting or matching accessories to accentuate the vintage tones.

Sarah Lucy Brown

Any tips to tell if a vintage piece is worth investing in?

If it fits you like a glove and you love it, then it is worth it. I buy to keep, not to sell, so those are the only things that matter to me.

​It always feels like fate when you find something you love and it fits like a glove, like finding a soul-mate!

Sarah Lucy Brown

What are the best vintage-sourcing spots?

There are so many now! If you go to Brick Lane, where I spent most of my teen years (before it got trendy), every other shop is a vintage shop!

In a way it is great because there is so much in one place, it's like a vintage high street! The good thing about these sorts of shops is they have done most of the hard work for you. But if you're looking for rare gems, you need to go somewhere less popular: out-of-town flea markets and car boot sales are the best.

Sarah Lucy Brown

How does vintage inspire your designs?

I am really passionate about changing the way the fashion industry negatively impacts the environment. I use vintage styles to inspire my work because these are shapes and styles that have already stood the test of time.

I also find shapes from the 1940s and 1950s (the eras that most heavily influence my work) the most flattering for a normal woman's body. Too much of fashion is designed only to flatter a supermodel waif figure, mannequin or even a hanger! I want real women to feel empowered, beautiful and stylish in my designs and I think the vintage style is the best way to achieve that.

Sarah Lucy Brown

The Tara Starlet x Auria Swimwear pop-up shop is open until August 17 at 36 Marshall Street in London

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See inside the best vintage wardrobes here.

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