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Friday, 28 November 2014

FOUND - It Booked A Place With Me

I found this big, gorgeous, fashion book - circa 1986 - at the West Ealing Antiques Fair in a stall hosted by the Cancer Research charity. If you read Huntress London regularly, you know how much I appreciate style inspiration between bound covers for the price of a glossy magazine. If you ONLY pop into charity shops in search of second-hand style bibles, I say bravo. This one features photography from famed snappers Horst P Horst, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Karen Radkai, Norman Parkinson and others. A fantastic find for a fiver. I'll let the pictures speak a 1000 words.


Find more fab fash photos
 at The V&A's Horst Exhibit 
until 4 January

Thursday, 27 November 2014

FOUND - Save-The-Date Chic in Chiswick

I found Chiswick Oxfam Boutique awash in sparkle and anticipation as its staff prepared for the shop's Late Night Shopping event scheduled for Thursday 4 December from 5 to 9pm. Huntress was given a sneak peak at the 2nd-hand holiday style finds that the Oxfam team have been holding back in preparation for this chic celebration. I was especially excited by a See by Chloe silk shift (£90) & vintage, Made in Hong Kong, sequin-encrusted sleeveless top (£60). Rachel, the shop manager, Renata, the shop social media expert and volunteers Mary and Lizzie were welcoming, friendly and helpful. This shop has a great vibe - I've been in repeatedly and it's lovely to see locals taking pleasure in pre-owned clothes for a good cause. 

Looking to do casual elegance over Christmas? Might I suggest Jimmy Choo flats? These studded stunners (£100) are just another of the spectacular 2nd-hand beauties available in a week's time. So MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Thursday 4 December, 5-9pm - Nibbles, Drinks, Smiles and Style. Oxfam Boutique Chiswick is very near the Turnham Green tube station. Out of the station go left and at the main road go right - you'll see the shop next to Whistles. Extra Christmas Cheer? Make a dapper donation - drop off last year's party dress (and more)!

Huntress London will feature more sneak peaks 
from this stylish sale in the coming days 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

FOUND - 2nd-Hand Hats Off To Top Girl

I find friends and colleagues brimming with stylish ideas and 2nd-hand daring. Emily, friend and colleague, is an aspiring writer, comedian and professional gadabout originally from the Canadian prairies. She moved to London three years ago, compelled by the misguided notion that her life would turn into a Richard Curtis film. She's stayed because it turned out far better. Emily, take it away -

After making an atypically pragmatic decision to chop off all my hair in preparation for a trip abroad, I found myself at a loose end in Kensington with a brand new visa in my passport and a brand new style on my head. I’ve always loved hats but as someone with big, curly hair, I’ve found it difficult to find toppers that don’t make me look like a newly-purchased Christmas tree that’s only had its bottom half unbound. However, with a lot less hair I was free to enter the great world of millinery and, when I saw this £10 hat in the Gloucester Road Oxfam, I fell in love. It's the work of Peter Bettley, a man who I gather has been designing for everyone from Selfridges to the royals for the past 39 years. I’m sure my hat is more high street than Her Majesty but I don’t think I could love it any more even if it had royal provenance. I wore it to a friend’s house the other day and she described it as ‘very Mary Poppins’ to which I replied, ‘I assume you mean practically perfect in every way?'

Mark Your Calendar: 
Oxfam Boutique Chiswick ** Merry Shopping Night
Nibbles, Drinks, 2nd-hand Style, 5-9pm Thur 4 Dec
Follow @OxfamBoutiqueW4

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

TRY THIS - I Can't Hear Your F**king Style

I find swearing in public a lot like red lipstick on your teeth. It trumps the thoughtful vibe of your cool, collected sartorial ensemble. Curse in a crowd and you're no longer that woman in the perfect pattern-clashing outfit with shiny hair and ballerina-esque posture. You're just the gal with the rotten potty mouth. Worse yet, for me, crowd swearing is as unimaginative as a twin-set & pearls. Don't get me wrong, I love f**king expletives. Cursing can be therapeutic and has its place, but its constant overuse in public has sadly dumbed it down, left it weak, w**ky and wanting. Weaving my way through a crowd recently I was struck by the loud, dull clunkers falling from people's lips -- " G*d d**n mum..." "...his suit was s**t..." "...she f**king said..." I love the city's sound track and real-life refrains but street-side swearing, like a plastic carrier bag, is common, unnecessary and impotent. Bad language should be like gorgeous silk satin panties, smooth and naughty, your secret, shared with only a select few. Whether whispered with punch or hissed through gritted teeth, swearing should almost always be an exclusive, artful affair. Don't curse creative cursing to a mass grave. Properly privatize your profanity. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

FOUND - A Skirt With Muscle and Bustle

I found this 'selvege' skirt by Lulu & Red at Fara on Bond Street in Ealing. Founded in 2003, the brand quickly set up a concession in Topshop and was a popular seller online. Interestingly Lulu & Red cut size 12 prototypes that were then sized up and down, rather than a tiny initial sample size that had to be sized up. And up. It's a shape-changing starting point that other designers might consider employing. This clever skirt looks as if the wearer has pulled suiting fabric off the shelf and expertly wrapped it round herself. From the hand printed pink front to its bustle-effect back, it feels at once haberdashingly masculine and whimsically feminine. A bit of research seems to indicate the brand is no more, so you'll only find it 2nd-hand, all the better in fact. This was once a pricey piece of kit, but I got it for a snip at just £20. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

FOUND - Sublime & Silvery Postcards

Last weekend I found Brugge wet, silvery and restful. With two friends, I walked the streets, stopping for lots of little cups of black coffee and a rehash of the day's 2nd-hand treasure hunting. I've heaped praise on her in the past, but Madam Mim - vintage supremo - remains the most intriguing, beautifully curated but inviting shop I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. Brugge is a perfect weekend get away - simply, go. In the meantime, enjoy the postcards.  

It's #SecondHandFirst Week @Traid
Why not drop a bag of unwanted clothes
     at your local charity shop? Go on!   

Thursday, 20 November 2014

FOUND - I Felt Like A Little Kid, Again

I found this oddly appealing brooch at Oxfam in Ealing. Its futuristic look typically leaves me peeved, but the funky felt feel enabled me to remember, as 2nd-hand fashions often do, a moment from childhood. When I was in 2nd grade we were required - with parental assistance - to cover a cigar box in felt, filling it with felt circles, squares and triangles. A hands-on way for us to understand basic shapes. I sat imaging the madly multi-coloured felt box I would make as me and Dad drove to Jo-Ann Fabrics. Once in the shop, Dad insisted my box be covered in black felt as a way of showing off the primary-coloured shapes he said we were going to cut out. I was immediately in tears, angry that he was dictating MY project. I wanted a sky blue box, darn it! I wanted shapes of all colours. The car-ride home was a silent protest and as I look back, I suspect my Dad was more than a little amused by my heart-felt fit. The thing is when we sat together assembling the black box, my sulking turned to a smile. What we made was the primary school equivalent of a Mondrian painting; I loved it and reveled in my classmates' subsequent envy. My father hasn't always been right about everything, but at an early age I learned he had a fine, reliably arty eye. This felt future/past brooch was only 99p. 

My brooch adorns a jacket lovingly made by
The Rose in West Sussex, one of the few places
Huntress shops for NEW fashions, CLICK HERE