Bold, bright and totally individual, Rag & Bow founder Hazel Holtham's vintage style is a mix of old and new, high street and designer, Thirties silhouettes and Seventies glam. And it's seriously amazing. Jen Barton has a rummage...
Hazel Holtham has a great eye for vintage. Like the time she was browsing in a charity shop in Salisbury a decade ago and stumbled upon a classic, cropped, Eighties-era grey wool Alaïa jacket - for a fiver. Luckily for us, we all have access to Hazel's handpicked vintage style thanks to her roving vintage boutique, Rag & Bow. The shop showcases a selection of funky and fresh retro pieces from the Fifties to the Nineties and is available online at Asos Marketplace.
We quizzed Hazel on her top styling tips, vintage history, favourite vintage pieces and more and got a tour of her envy-inspiring collection (the Alaïa jacket is just the beginning)...
1. Always bring yourself to your outfit. Unless you're a Forties/Fifties enthusiast who dresses head-to-toe. I never dress head-to-toe in vintage; I believe in embracing pieces into your own style.
2. Never be scared of it. You can get a Forties or an Eighties jacket and tweak a few things (like rolling the sleeves up to make it more modern). Tailor it to yourself - whether that's taking it up or getting the waist taken in.
3. Take a statement piece like a skirt or jacket and mix it with something really plain and modern. I've got a classic YSL tuxedo jacket that I'll team with separates from Zara and & Other Stories. Mix things up – you don't have to spend a lot of money, but it is nice to save up and get one classic item you can wear forever.
What's the most exciting piece you recently bought? And the most exciting piece you've EVER bought?For me, because I see so much of it, it's got to be a bit special. I especially like collecting Ossie Clark pieces. Bus Stop, designed by Lee Bender, is another favourite (it's one vintage person to another vintage person's collectible label). I found a lovely Seventies dress from the label – it's beautiful, the way it's cut, it's wearable and in immaculate condition. That is my favourite piece because I can actually wear it. Classic, it will never date and it looks like something you can buy now.
If you know you like a particular designer, do a little homework, a bit of research on labels (i.e. Ossie Clark will sell at different price points based on when it's from, whether it's from a diffusion line, etc). The Vintage Fashion Guild has every esoteric label you've never heard of on there.
Finally, it you like it, that's all that matters.
For more Hazel and Rag & Bow, check out her virtual visual inspirations on the Rag & Bow Instagram.
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See inside the best vintage wardrobes here.
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