Tag Archives: Urban Fashion

Queer Fashion | The Fringe of Vintage

Queer Fashion | You’ve heard the saying “everything old is new again.” The mantra is not only the title of everyone’s favorite show tune, but a spot-on fashion philosophy. Style is never unfashionable, but trends are cyclical. In 2014, runways were filled with a total onslaught of 1990s styles, as well as bits and pieces from other points in fashion’s long history. Of course, designer prices mean that only royalty, celebrities, and trust fund babies can snatch up the runway. That’s why the rest of us should look elsewhere.

More specifically, those of us on a budget can’t go wrong with a thrift store or consignment shop. Finding something that fits and won’t fall apart within days turns any thrift shop visit into a treasure hunt, but that’s what makes it all the more satisfying. Take fringe, for instance. Fringe was madly popular in the 1970s and 1990s, but in 2014, the bohemian texture is no longer just a small detail. Take a look at this Calvin Klein dress from Spring 2014 – it’s everywhere! So take an afternoon off to shuffle through those racks and find some fringe to accent your signature summer outfit.

If relying on clothing previously owned by strangers doesn’t appeal to you, no worries.  Try raiding your parents’ closets instead. They surely lived in the 1990s and, as the case may be, they might even have been young(ish) and cool(ish) once too. While you’re on the hunt through their belongings, keep an eye out for overalls, crop tops, and slip dresses. To cinch together your outfit with the ultimate ‘90s touch, find accessories such as platform shoes and choker necklaces.  In fact, you might be able to find those choker necklaces in your own childhood closet!

Last, let’s talk prints. Florals are certainly not new to 2014 (who can forget Miranda Priestly’s sarcastic, “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking,” in The Devil Wears Prada), but what sets this year’s florals apart are the ‘90s feel.  This year’s floral pieces are lightweight and without much structure, sitting loosely on the body. If you’d rather go for a solid color rather than a print, bold citrus colors from the ‘90s have also made their mark this year—spotting bright hues of tangerine, lemon, and lime shouldn’t be too difficult.

Besides runway show galleries, the best place to find summer 2014 fashion insights is in your photo albums from 20 years ago. When you’ve had a good dose of inspiration, save the overpriced runway and High Street pieces for the suckers, and do the smart thing—go vintage.

Queer Fashion | East End London Scene

If London were a quilt, its East End would be that offbeat patch stitched into its far side, made up of bright colours and multiple patterns. Strangely enough, this clash of differences works together harmoniously.  Both an array of immigrants and creative types call it home, and the area is constantly pulsating with their energy. The very best thing about East London, though, is how the locals’ style is both exciting and laid back. Does it sound like a contradiction? Perhaps, but let us explain. Clothing has been an intricate part of the East End’s economy since the rag trade began there in the 17th century. It’s certainly a part of London that knows its style. But unlike other parts of the city, the unspoken rules of fashion are much more relaxed, which makes it easier for East Enders to be inventive with their wardrobes.

So, if you walk through one of the East End’s many street markets, you’ll find everything from students with brightly coloured tights (and hair) to middle-aged artists in fur coats and combat boots. The ladies of the East End tend to follow this mantra: more is more (is more). More mixing prints, more septum-style nose rings, more metal embellishments, more butch boot buckles, more bright lip colours. Other cities might bemoan this style philosophy, but the East End embraces contrasts and creativity.

If you’d like to shop like an East Ender, markets are a must. At Brick Lane Market, you’ll find a real smorgasbord of assortments, but that’s pretty representative of the East End itself. Some shops are filled with unique pieces and secondhand stock, and others are prime locations for bargains if you’re up for a haggle.

The East End is also chock-full of independent designers. Take Illustrated People, for instance. Their collections are bold and distinctive, from the nineties-inspired art prints to a pattern they’ve named “shark polka.” Stop by Kate Sheridan’s shop for its offbeat accessories that just ooze cool or the East End Thrift Store off Mile End for some really satisfying vintage steals. If you’d rather take a note from the locals and put together your own outfit from scratch, go visit the Hand-weavers Studio for an array of resources, from yarns to dyes, fleeces to fibres. It’s probably pretty obvious by now: here at KitschMix, we love the East End. Fashion is all about freedom of expression, and there’s no better place to embrace your differences than the most engaging district in one of the world’s greatest cities.