When it comes to her day-to-day vintage style, actress, dancer and burlesque star Chelsea Dagger (aka Heather Donnelly) is more nice than naughty, with lots of lovely pastel frocks and prom dresses. Jen Barton falls head-over-heels for this modern-day glamour girl's wardrobe...
With her enviable collection of vintage dresses (everything from 1950s figure-hugging Marilyn Monroe frocks to 1970s flowing maxis), Glasgow burlesque queen Chelsea Dagger's vintage style is wonderfully feminine and all about having fun with fashion. The waist-cinching dresses and pretty pastels hang alongside her more risqué stage pieces – Swarovski-studded undergarments, vintage peignoirs and corsets – as well as statement accessories, like her beloved Christian Louboutin heels.
Check out some of her favourite pieces and top vintage styling tips below (and look out for her adorable cats, Oscar and Bridget, who love her rummaging through her vintage as much as we do)...
Tell us a bit about your style.
I love all things vintage! But I do like to mix authentic and repro vintage with modern pieces. I think fashion should be fun and playful. It's a great way to express your personality!
What are your favourite vintage eras and style icons, both current and past?
I like to take inspiration from all eras, both modern and vintage. I love old Hollywood glamour goddesses like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, historical characters like Marie Antoinette, fictional characters like Alabama Whitman (from the film True Romance), Dita Von Teese, Lady Gaga, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss, Laura Bailey... I love anyone with personality and individuality!
Where are your favourite places to source vintage items?
Online, vintage shops, charity shops, flea markets... I can't resist a rummage! In Glasgow, I love Circa Vintage, Mr. Ben Retro Clothing and Vintage Guru. Saratoga Trunk is great, too, and I've borrowed a few of their dresses for shows. I think America has the biggest and most varied selection of vintage stores and clothing. I would love to take an empty suitcase and tour the shops over there! eBay, Etsy and ASOS Marketplace are worth checking out, too.
What are some of your tips for styling vintage outfits?
Know what suits your shape and dress to flatter your figure. If you've got a small waist, cinch in dresses with belts. If you've got long, slim legs, show them off in a 1960s mini. Anything goes as long as you wear it with confidence.
What are some of your top tips for scouring the best vintage pieces?
Take your time and have a good look... there are lots of hidden gems waiting to be discovered! Don't be afraid to try something different. Clothes can look completely different once they're off the hanger and on you so experiment, and, above all else, enjoy yourself!
Does your stage style influence your day-to-day style?
I love any excuse to get dressed up but it's not always practical to wear pretty dresses and high heels when you're out and about during the day! So if I'm dressed down I like to inject a bit of glamour with accessories. Whether it's a handbag, headscarf or sparkly brooch, you can cheer up the dullest of outfits with vintage accessories!
For more of Chelsea's style and vintage inspiration, follow her on Twitter @Ms_Dagger and check out her Facebook and Pinterest pages. You can also catch her onstage at Glasgow's Club Noir.
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