Naomi Thompson, London’s Premier Vintage Expert

Having gained a reputation for sourcing superb quality clothes at reasonable prices, stylist Naomi Thompson is now recognized as London’s premier vintage personal shopper, with her advice and finds featured on the pages of Vogue, The Sunday Times’ Style magazine, The Telegraph, as well as on Channel 4. Here, the super cool stylist talks to Chic-Londres about her passion for vintage fashion and offers top tips on how to buy and wear vintage.

What is the best thing about vintage? I would say the fact that you can develop a look which is totally unique, as you don’t have to follow any rules or trends. Also, because old clothes tend to be very well made –often in beautiful cotton or silk- you can look very chic wearing them.

Do you have a favourite era? I really like the 50s because those clothes have the ability to make a curvy girl look in proportion and a slim girl look curvy. I also adore the 30s because they mark the beginning of power dressing for women: while still elegant, fashion stopped to be about looking like a wife or mother with the introduction of a more tailored silhouette, including trouser suits.

What are your favourite vintage shops in London? I love shopping for vintage in the East End, with my favourite places being The Vintage Emporium (14 Bacon Street, E1 6LF), The Shop (3 Cheshire Street E2 6ED) and Hunky Dory Vintage (226 Brick Lane E1 6SA).

Which labels do you collect? I particularly like Radley, Frank Usher, Suzy Perrette, Horrockses, Biba, Ossie Clarke and Alice Pollock. I would also advice to look out for old Laura Ashley clothes- those have labels without the blue circle on them. But most of all, I love the thrill of finding a one-off handmade dress: that really is vintage magic.

Which are the trendiest vintage styles at the moment? Jumpsuits are big, as are sermi-circled straw bags and baskets from the 70s. I always like 50s cotton dresses, which are very summery, and anything in cream silk, which gives a classic but cool look, especially if you can find items from the 30s.

Which eras would you advice your clients to buy according to body shapes? Generally speaking, the 1950s are very flattering for pear shaped, curvy women, while the 1960s are perfect for very petite, gamine girls, and the 1970s for those with a more athletic body and good shoulders.

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