What I Know About Style

London dress designer, Zoe Vine

March
21

London dress designer, Zoe Vine, talks vintage inspiration & knowing her calling!

What was the inspiration behind your brand, Zoe Vine?

I could never find clothes that complimented my body shape, or that I liked the style of. As a child, I was always obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and other old Hollywood movie stars, but it was a look that didn’t translate to the high street.

What makes the dresses different from that of other vintage brands?

My pieces are perhaps more formal and contemporary, with a lot of desk to dinner styles. I am conscious that reproduction vintage often looks like fancy dress. I stay away from that look. My styles are classic but modern.

What is your favourite decade for vintage fashion and why?

Unquestionably the 1950’s. The style and glamour – I love absolutely everything mid-century!

Vintage clothing seems to be moving from the fringes of fashion into the spotlight in a bigger way than ever. What do you think it is that draws people to it?

Obviously, there is now an awareness of the need to reuse, but ultimately fashion is cyclical like most other things. Eventually, a style becomes popular again, and everyone loves nostalgia.

Your brand focuses on high quality, timeless pieces as opposed to throwaway fashion. Other than the environmental impact (which is reason enough!) why do you value this approach to building a wardrobe?

I think most people’s taste doesn’t change that much over the years. If you like classic pencil dresses, the chances are you will still love classic pencil dresses in 5 or 10 years’ time. My pieces are timeless, and they are also good quality which means you will very likely still want and be able to wear them in years to come.

In your opinion, what makes a good personal style?

There is really no good or bad personal style. Fashion is simply about creative expression and so your personal style should be exactly that – personal.

Which designers have inspired you over the years?

I love Christian Dior’s work, the ‘New Look’ which revolutionised fashion in 1947. Apart from that, I can say I have never taken any interest in designers. I was more inspired by old knitting and sewing patterns from the 40s and 50s. I began knitting at around 7 years old, using my grandmother’s knitting patterns.

If you hadn’t been a designer, what would you have done?

I have absolutely no idea. This is what I was meant to do, and I would be very miserable doing anything else.

What are you excited about for 2022?

I am using some new fabrics for SS22 which is exciting and always look forward to bringing out new summer and winter styles. But I am most excited about my first collaboration range for AW22, which I know my customers will love. It is an opportunity to offer something a little different as well as my own line, and hopefully the first of many. Beyond that, I am looking forward to my own range of vintage-inspired knitwear and fabrics.

www.zoevine.co.uk

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13

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Local novelist & travel writer, Lucy Lord

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