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...
Describe your style.
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...
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.