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Dolling up in Dalston

Shop: Vintage Secret, Dalston, London

Written by Katie Antoniou

Naomi Thompson set up Vintage Secret in response to the increasing demand for good quality, reasonably priced vintage clothing. Running the venture from her little boudoir in Dalston, the site has gone from strength to strength, with Vintage Secret styling fashionistas like Mademoiselle Robot, artists and DJs Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton (pictured here as styled by Naomi), and singers Catherine AD and Tallulah Rendall. Vintage Secret’s events page and blog have become part of every London vintage fan’s bible, with the site’s newsletter offering competition winners tickets to the best parties that give you a chance to air your best gladrags! We had a chat with Naomi as she launches Vintage Secret homeware…


Have you always had a passion for all things vintage?

As far back as I can remember I have loved the shape of classic vintage
dresses. I haven’t always had the guts to do the full on 50′s look but
that was when I was much younger. Then I just decided to embrace it. Life
is too short to follow the crowd.

When did you decide to set up your own company?

I had a bit of a eureka! moment when I saw a rubbish M&S dress on sale for
£30 on a vintage website a few years ago. I had got the same one from a
jumble sale in Portsmouth for 50p. I thought ‘my dresses at home are much
nicer and better quality’ so why not start a site selling beautiful good
quality items instead of al the rubbish that is passed of as vintage.

Where do you find your stock?

Well that’s would be telling! I do buying trips out of London. Tip – head
to the seaside towns. It’s morbid but the best vintage has been lovingly
looked after by little old ladies who have moved to the beach.


We hear you’re expanding into vintage home-ware- is this true?

Yes I have found some amazing crockery sets and lots of fabulous tea cups
and cake stands. I now have over 400 items of vintage crockery, including
50′s toast racks! They are perfect for a tea party or even a small
wedding. I have a full 80 piece baby pink 50′s dinner set that can be
hired for a special occasion. We also have the most beautiful hand
embroidered vintage table clothes, linen napkins and bunting. We can even
come and set it all up for you. If you are looking for gifts I also have a
huge collection of 30′s bevelled mirrors and 30′s dressing table sets but
those are by appointment only.


Any tips on how to keep vintage clothes in good condition?

Keep them out of light and away from moths. Don’t put them on metal
hangers and always clean items before you put them away.


You’ve styled lots of fans like vintage blogger Mademoiselle Robot- can
you share your vintage style Dos and Don’t with us?

Dress according to your shape. I don’t wear 60′s clothes as much as I love
them, as they just don’t look right. That’s the great thing about vintage,
you can pick an era depending on your figure and if you stick to it you
can instantly know what will fit and suit you in the future. I would also
say, push your boundaries. The amount of times I have had to cajole
someone into a frock which hanging up is their idea of hell, only for them
to fall in love with it when it is on.

Photographs by Matt Kent
Make up by Bella Cruickshank


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