With a penchant for 1950s felt hats and Victoriana blouses, London jeweller Jessica de Lotz's vintage style is a feminine mish-mash of contemporary and vintage, with lots of pops of colour and print.
Her wardrobe DNA? Bargain designer finds (like the pair of Balenciaga wide-legged trousers she snapped up in a Peterborough charity shop for £15) teamed with one-off vintage fair pieces and shoes and separates from the high street.
The finishing touch to any of Jessica's outfits? A funky handbag – she has ones shaped like a painted church, a strawberry-covered basket and a camera, just to name a few – and a statement headpiece like a gold feather headband or jewelled pillbox hat.
And no look is complete without one of her delicate and sentimental jewellery designs, inspired by old letters, curios and sepia photographs. Don't miss all of her vintage tips and tricks – not to mention her jaw-dropping clothing collection – below...
Where are your favourite places to source vintage items?
Largely vintage fairs like Clerkenwell and Hammersmith. You'll also see me wandering around Spitalfields on a Thursday morning when I have time and I'm on the lookout for something, particularly before a show. These places are all usually a guarantee of lots of beautiful pieces under one roof and a span of decades.
There are a couple of dealers at all of these who know my style and will save me pieces or at least have some lovely items that will steal my heart and the prices are good, too.
What are some of your tips for styling vintage outfits?
1. Don't wear it head-to-toe. No one wants to look like they've just walked out of a textbook.
2. I also avoid vintage shoes, I find the heels uncomfortable and they can also look a little frumpy, although I do own a divine pair of flat YSL winkle pickers. Buy good-quality heels, treat yourself and it'll update the look a lot.
3. I love a 1950s felt hat - the redder the better. I usually tie in my hats with another block of colour elsewhere in my outfit. My colour combos that I feel most confident in are monochrome with red, nautical and silver and pink for a dressier look. Knowing your colour palettes makes shopping a little easier as you're guaranteed to already have items that will match, or, at the very least, it means that you make fewer mistakes.
What are some of your top tips for scouring the best vintage pieces?
As obvious as it sounds, know what you're looking for, or at least have an overall 'umbrella' theme.
I find that trawling through a vintage fair when I don't have a goal means that I miss the real finds. The changing rooms are usually pretty cramped and everyone is scrambling over the mirrors, so bring a friend for an extra pair of eyes.Sometimes a little encouragement from the right people can have a lot of mileage. Plus, it's more fun! I actually love to shop with my mum of all people. She'll be the first to encourage me to wear more colour and prints. She's got real flair and energy.
How does vintage inspire your own designs?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my collecting - visiting flea markets, boot and antique fairs. I re-interpret my findings, be it old dusty letters, sepia photographs or random wee curios. I breathe new life into them in the form of my wearable jewellery. Like my style, my jewellery designs are very much a marriage of old and new influences. Take a look at my website and all will be revealed...
Jessica de Lotz's latest jewellery collection, "As Above, So Below" inspired by astrology and created in collaboration with tarot reader Louise Androlia, is available now at http://www.jessicadelotz.co.uk/
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