When you're Hannah Turner Voakes, there's a dress – and vintage era – for every mood and occasion. Jen Barton sneaks a peek at the Paper Dress Vintage owner's most beloved pieces...
With her blonde bob and penchant for colourful prints, vintage pro Hannah Turner Voakes channels a modern-day Twiggy – with a twist. The owner of hip London vintage boutique and bar Paper Dress Vintage features standout pieces from the Thirties to the Seventies. She gave us her top tips, revealed the must-have accessory every vintage fan needs and opened up her impressive wardrobe for us to gawk at...
Describe your style.
Pretty, comfortable, fun.
When did you first get hooked on vintage?
I was brought up in a house full of antiques and textiles so I learnt an appreciation for all things old at a very early age. Then, like a lot of art school students, I discovered vintage clothing as a way to express a unique image in an affordable way, often customising pieces (sometimes with success, often not).
Top tips for styling vintage wares?
1. Clothing is there to be enjoyed; experiment with the fashions of history. Although certain eras have shapes and styles that suit certain body shapes, I think it's crazy to limit yourself to just one time period, so mix and match to make it your own.
2. On the same line - try it on! Things can look soooooo different on the body as opposed to on the hanger. Disregard sizes - they change with every decade. Like Paper Dress, lots of good vintage shops now offer an alteration service, so you can get a bespoke fit for your unique outfit, so don't dismiss things that look too big/long/small.
3. If you like it, buy it! I have had many a bad night sleep-dreaming of the dress that got away. Vintage garments are old, so don't expect perfection, embrace the history of things and then enjoy making them your own.
4. A belt can hide a thousand ill-fitting bulges or stains, so invest in a few good ones.
What are your favourite vintage eras? Style icons past and present?
I don't really have a favourite era, I choose what I wear and who I fancy as an idol depending on my mood and on the day. If energetic and feeling happy/playful, I'd go for the classic Sixties Twiggy look, if feeling a little more mature and responsible I'd go for the more serious look of the Forties and when I'm feeling like I need to do business I'd go for a sexy-but-sophisticated Fifties wiggle dress, à la Elizabeth Taylor.
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MORE! See inside the best vintage wardrobes here.