When she was a teenager and her friends were snapping up the latest fashion trends on the high street, Evelyn Taylor was on the hunt for one-off vintage pieces.
Inspired by her mum, the 27-year-old Limavady woman says what she has always loved about wearing vintage was how it allowed her to express her individuality and personality through clothes.
“Vintage is such a trend right now and it’s in style with all the top models who are tottering a round in their vintage clothes,” she says, wearing a button-front dress from the seventies she has re-worked and put her own twist on.
“I think it’s really interesting because the clothes have history; they’ve had a life before. They’re pre-loved and it’s interesting to think of where they came from and who owned them.”
After returning from her travels abroad with a collection of clothes, when Evelyn was out and about in Limavady, she would often be asked where she got her clothes, which prompted her to launch Shanti Vintage, based in the town.
Her collection spans the decades, from the 1940s right through to 1990s. Among the collection is luxury evening-wear, cute sixties shift dresses, glitzy maxi dresses, knit wear and accessories, and all at affordable prices.
“I think this is lovely,” she says, holding a short sleeved seventies pale blue, ditsy maxi dress with crochet trim against her. “I’d take the sleeves off and it would be would be lovely. That’s the thing about vintage clothes; you can make them work for you and it’s good for the environment and recycling because you’re using resources you already have!”
Co-ordinating her business at home, Evelyn wants to make vintage fashion accessible through a more relaxed, fun avenue via ‘frocks and cocktails’ events in homes.
In the meantime, she is on cloud nine after the ‘buzz’ around her pop-up shop at the hugely popular Belfast Fashion Week. Next week she is taking her collection to the Students Union at Queens University in Belfast.
“The great thing about vintage clothes is they are well made,” she says. “When I came back from travelling I noticed people wearing a lot of cheaper clothes and they just don’t last. The other thing about vintage clothes is they come in all shapes and sizes, not just the teeny sizes so there is something for everyone.”
Log on to Shanti Vintage on Facebook, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0785 1861 809.