A vintage-meets-modern dresser by day and a Seventies disco queen by night, Sarah Owen makes vintage wearing look totally effortless. Jen Barton learns how it's done...
Whether she's dressing for business meetings or a night on the red carpet, Sarah Owen's signature style is to mix vintage designer gems she's collected over the years with her favourite high-street buys.
As the woman behind Soho's sparkling vintage boutique, Lucy in Disguise, she's acquired some truly fabulous vintage pieces - especially from the second half of the 20th century - from designers such as Valentino and YSL, for her personal collection. Check out her wardrobe favourites below...
What got you interested in vintage fashion? Was there a specific person or item of clothing that got you hooked?
I grew up hanging out with my mum and her friends on Portobello Road, which has always been an epicentre for vintage fashion. I think I was subliminally conditioned into loving vintage fashion just from seeing all her bohemian and sometimes eccentric friends experiment with fashion.
It was also the only way as a teenager that I could afford to dress stylishly – Topshop and the high street in general were not what they are now back then, and there was very little available at cheap price points. Vintage was really the only way to go.
Where are your favourite places to source vintage items?
I love going to the States. I lived there between the ages of 17 and 21 and the scene there is much more developed than it is here. There is an absolute wealth of different styles from all different eras. The flea markets are amazing, the vintage stores are amazing, the warehouses are all amazing.
It's always best when you come across a haul that belonged to one person – you get a sense of that person's life and style, and you can sometimes get amazing stories passed on about the clothes themselves, which I find completely magical.
What are some of your tips for styling vintage outfits?
For me the key thing is to mix it with pieces from your contemporary wardrobe. Few of us want to look like we've stepped out of a BBC costume drama.
How would you describe your style?
My style by day is smart but relaxed. I have to run around a lot for buying appointments and meetings, so I need to be comfortable but I also have to be presentable for when I'm on the shop floor with customers.
I try to mix vintage with designer and high street so that the customers can get an idea of how to work retro styles into a contemporary wardrobe. I keep the accessories minimal, usually just one statement piece of jewellery or a couple of more elegant, discreet pieces.
By night, its a completely different story - I like to be as colourful and flamboyant as possible. Sequins, lurex, lamé, the lot. Basically, a walking homage to Studio 54.
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MORE! See inside the best vintage wardrobes here.