19/11/2014 07:37 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

My Vintage Wardrobe: Rosie Alia, Accessories Designer

If you're a vintage queen, chances are you have a hair accessory to match your fab retro style by the talented Rosie Alia, who creates vintage-inspired hair flowers, headbands and fruit and blossom adorned clips, often inspired by vintage pieces.

Sarah Lucy Brown

Her personal style is "colourful, fun and coordinated" – think Carmen Miranda with a pink barnet and septum piercing – and made up of fabulous 1940s and 1950s pieces (novelty prints, waist-cinching tea dresses and amazing accessories like her envy-inspiring original 1940s blue and white telephone cord clutch bag).

A pro at sniffing out a vintage bargain (a £1 1930s princess coat, a 10p retro belt), Rosie teams her authentic vintage with repro pieces from brands like Lady K Loves, Collectif and Bow & Crossbones, rounding out her looks with modern finishes (Clarks grey platform wedges teamed with a pastel 1940s cheongsam, anyone?)

Needless to say, we're obsessed. Don't miss Rosie's top tips on making vintage work on a budget, her favourite brands and best buys, as well as all of the pics from her fabulous vintage wardrobe below...

Sarah Lucy Brown

Any tips to tell if a vintage piece is worth investing in?

Inspect it with a keen eye! In the past I have been so excited to find something that I haven't spent enough time really inspecting it, and have gotten it home to discover tears or holes I hadn't seen before. But really, if you love it and you'll regret not buying it, then I say go for it!

​To me, vintage clothing's real value is what it's worth to me... what I'd be happy to pay and how much I will treasure it.

Sarah Lucy Brown

Three top tips for styling vintage wares?

1. Accessories are always a big part of an outfit and can do a lot to really tie a look together. I love the beautiful 1940s Bakelite and Lucite pieces but as yet haven't discovered any true original pieces in my price range. Instead I often treat myself to things from Luxulite and Bow & Crossbones, who do some wonderful vintage-inspired items. I have developed a bit of an obsession for matching my accessories to my outfits.

Sarah Lucy Brown

2. Don't be scared to mix vintage, modern and repro.

​I used to be afraid of mixing my eras and wearing too much reproduction as I felt a bit like a 'vintage fraud', but nowadays I enjoy having the option to pick and choose the best elements of each era and will wear pencil skirts from repro brands like Lady K Loves with a vintage cardi and a high street peasant top without a care!

3. Do what makes you happy! I think a lot of girls on the vintage scene have got there via a few different subcultures (e.g. Goth or punk) on the way, and I think it's nice to embrace all of these elements of yourself and just feel comfortable and confident in what you wear!

Pink hair and a septum piercing isn't authentic to my preferred eras but it makes me happy so I shrug off the odd comment about it 'not being very vintage' and embrace the compliments!

Sarah Lucy Brown

How does vintage inspire your designs?

I started making hair accessories because I couldn't find what I wanted to go with my true vintage clothing. I wanted delicate seasonal pieces that would be the perfect accent to an outfit rather than distract away from it.

I spend a lot of time trawling the internet and old books, studying pictures of golden-era starlets and this influences my work greatly! I will often create myself hair accessories inspired by a specific item of clothing I own, and have been known to do it for customers too, working from a picture of a vintage item they have.

What are the best vintage-sourcing spots?

I try not to frequent vintage shops too often, for fear of bankrupting myself (I fall in love with vintage clothes far too often). I tend to spend a lot of time trawling eBay as well as charity shops, and I still visit car boot sales with my family when I head back to Norwich of a weekend.

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