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British Retro: Embrace Your Individuality

Fitting in and looking the same Is something we’ve all been pressured to do at some point in our lives (mainly in our teenage years). It usually comes with time when you start embracing who you are as an individual, especially when it comes to style. More women are starting to look into pin-up style fashion and lifestyle because of the uniqueness and femininity of it that is hard to find in modern fashion these days - At least that's why David and Claire started their shop: British Retro. They wanted to end the redundancy of modern fashion and re-introduce the feminity and uniqueness of fashion from past eras - Such as the 1940s, 50s, and so on. I spoke to David (one of the co-owners of British retro) to learn more about their shop.

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Model: misspychocat
Q: How and why did you start British retro?
A: “Claire and I both came from the fashion industry, however, we were completely disenfranchised with everything about it. From the seriousness that brands took themselves through to the millions of tons of cheap throw away clothing that the industry was importing from the far east every year, leading to most girls looking like clones of each other and furthermore the fashion business becoming an environmental nightmare.  So, we set up British Retro with an ethos to make everything locally, using locally sourced materials and most importantly having fun doing it. I’ve always had a connection with alternative fashion and sub-cultures so choosing the ’50s was a natural selection. We all know that the draconian and bigoted values of the 1950s are something to be left in that era, but not their fashion with its sexually, femininity and style. Those iconic silhouettes stay in your head forever."

Q: Have stars from past eras (such as Marilyn Monroe For example) influenced any of your designs?
A: “Without a doubt, the overall idea of the Hollywood silver screen starlet has impacted what we do, but I don’t think there’s just one actress that has really influenced us. We love the elegance of Grace Kelly, the sass of Jayne Mansfield, the playfulness of Audrey Hepburn and the continuous reinvention of Marlene Dietrich. I guess the things we really took from them, is the importance of making an effort and wearing clothes with confidence. Probably our biggest influence would be the Christian Dior 1947, New Look collection.“

Q:  What influenced or started your love for vintage fashion?
A: "When I was a teenager, I went through a phase of flitting from one from sub-culture to another.  There was the rockabilly/psychobilly scene where music and clothing came together and caused lots of mischief. I always loved the way the girls in this period dressed in particular, they always made such an effort be different every time they went out. I guess those fond memories were the catalyst for British Retro."

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Model: misspsychocat

Q: What’s the most popular design and why do you think that is?
A: "We really don’t have one particular design that sells more than the others. We work differently to other clothing companies and for us, making money isn’t the priority. We don’t have timescales or sales target and we don’t have a massive collection either, our main objective is to be happy with as little impact on the environment as possible. We really love and have fun with what we do, and I think that reflects in our clothing.  Don’t get me wrong there’s been plenty of tears and this hasn’t always been the easiest of careers, but overall this formula is working fantastically well for us."

Q: How do you want women to Feel when they wear your designs?
A: "The importance of this question is one of the main reasons we do what we do. We often get emails from customers telling us how special our dresses have made them feel, giving them newly founded confidence and a desire to break away from the normality of the high street. Receiving those type of messages means everything to us, they drive us more than anything. Truthfully, and I hope this doesn’t sound too ostentatious, but our aim is for our customers feel like they’re the best dressed, most charismatic girls in the room, who are at total ease with standing out. "    
Q: In your opinion, what’s the best design so far?
A: "For grandiose and flamboyance, it would have to be one of Marie Antoinette’s 18th-century numbers. For style pretty much the whole 1947 Christian Dior collection. For a cultural movement, it would have to be 1976 Vivienne Westwood bondage suit from her Kings Road, London shop ‘Seditionaries’. Love it or hate it, Punk taught us all to think differently. For sheer genius dress designs, I would choose something from John Galliano or the late Alexander McQueen."

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Model: ava_elderwood

Q: Any new designs or projects that we can look forward to?
A: "We have so many exciting projects and ideas scribbled on note pads, but we don’t really reveal them until we bring them to fruition. But I can say we are currently in the process of making lots more snazzy separates, and fabulous dress designs. "


  1. Hello,
    you used three pictures of me without my permission.
    Please delete them or credit me.


    Daria Nelson.


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