When it comes to vintage dressing, Folie A Deux London founders Katie Sangers and Halimah Haque mix authentic, repro and modern pieces to create mix-and-match ensembles with pops of colour, kitschy prints and Gothic influences. Jen Barton goes for a rummage in their wild wardrobes...
Design duo Katie Sangers and Halimah Haque, founders of newly founded, vintage-inspired womenswear label Folie A Deux London, love to inject a bit of Old Hollywood glamour into their everyday looks - with a twist. It's no surprise that their wardrobes are packed with curve-hugging silhouettes, boldly patterned designs and eye-catching accessories.
With a background in the beauty biz, Katie and Halimah also know about the importance of adding a statement lip or vintage brow to finish off any ensemble. The ladies love to experiment with their style - Halimah might add a Tim Burton-inspired accessory to a 1940s wiggle dress, while Katie likes to shake up tailored silhouettes with bold 1980s prints. Don't miss their amazing clothes and top vintage beauty and buying tips below...
What got you interested in vintage fashion?
Halimah: Old films, exuding that old Hollywood glamour, had me mesmerised from childhood. The colours and prints worn are always more fun and the care taken over the patterns and cuts and fabrics just isn't there these days.
Katie: Escaping into bygone eras that seem so full of adventure and romance has always been a bit of an obsession. Growing up, I was really influenced by old TV shows like The Avengers, Dynasty, and Moonlighting - they exude such a sense of style and fun. I like the thought of owning pieces of the past, whether it be a vintage dress, pair of gloves or a cocktail saucer - they all have a little story.
Three top tips for styling vintage outfits?
Halimah: 1. Accessories will help individualise your outfit and help you put your own mark on it. I like wearing a clashing shoe and a couple of Gothic or childish Japanese-style accessories.
Always have a good face - if your face looks good, your outfit will just look better!
If you're short of time, stick to a bit of concealer to even the skin, darken your brows, rouge up your cheeks and pop on a gorgeous matte lip colour (preferably in the red/berry category - Illamasqua red in Box is my absolute favourite for intense colour that doesn't budge).
3. I would avoid worrying about what matches this dress or 'goes with' that bag. If you have amazing pieces, have fun mixing it up.
Katie: 1. Mix it up! Colour and era. Don't keep anything for best - dress up every day.
Hosiery. I'm obsessed with tights. Use them to totally change up an outfit.
3. Always add nail varnish. It's such a quick colour fix and never worry about clashing colours, just go with what suits your character that day.
Where are your favourite places to source vintage items?
Halimah: I often rummage around family members' wardrobes and jewellery boxes. I'll always scour around charity shops when I visit friends or families in other towns - Bromsgrove has a few really nice vintage furniture shops and the prices are so much cheaper than London.
Katie: I live near Brick Lane and love to go hunting in the shops around there and to the antique market at Spitalfields on a Thursday. Further afield, New York's Buffalo Exchange and Beacon's Closet are good for late 20th century bargains, and Stella Dallas is great for vintage designer stuff. But my most reliable source is my sister, who always finds the most unusual things - my Domino clutch and Scottie dog belt both came from her.
Do you have a favourite vintage beauty look?
Halimah: A red statement lip is my most trusted beauty look - it works when you have no time for the rest of your face as well as with a full-on vintage-glam look. I also love the drama of the 1920s eye with a claret lip if I have a bit more time. I love experimenting with glitter and sparkles around the eye.
Katie: Halimah and I met while working in the product development team of beauty brand Illamasqua, so we both love experimenting with make-up looks. My favourites are always changing but a big flick of eyeliner is pretty constant. I'm also always lusting after curly hair.
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