Monthly Archives: April 2019

Where to find vintage accessories

I’m an earring girl – and I’m not alone. Earrings are big business and no wonder, given their power to transform a person or outfit in seconds.

Have you had a mid-life piercing?

Women aged 16 to 60 are opting for multiple piercings to give themselves an edge, largely thanks to American jeweller and piercer Maria Tash who I wish had been around when I was in my teens. I had a navel piercing and a Helix (piercing on the outer, upper part of the ear, bloody painful) when I was sixteen and had about 5 ugly steel rings with balls on, to choose from. Had Maria Tash already hit the UK I would have been saving all the money from my part-time job at Richards Stores for a teeny weeny emerald and diamond drop or a platinum hoop.

Multiple piercings. Photo courtesy of Maria Tash

High street versus luxury earring brands

Nowadays, I tend to go for a bolder earring – if they brush my shoulder, so much the better. Price-wise, I am just as happy adorning my ears with giant plastic faces from H&M (£9.99) as I am with my Hermès lacquered buffalo horn earrings (£390) or antique diamond drops from Annina Vogel (add a nought to the end of the Hermès price tag) that put the finishing touch to everything from jeans to black tie.

Hermes horn earrings. The most wearable style ever.

New favourite earrings. £9.99 at H&M.

The best costume jewellery in London

I especially love vintage costume jewellery because of its originality and provenance. I’m not talking about precious antique jewels here (typically 100 years old or more) but rather the bold, colourful and often more affordable styles that were produced decades later.

If you do too, make a beeline to Alfie’s Antique Market in London’s Church Street.

Linda Bee Vintage

Linda Bee and me at her shop inside Alfie’s Antiques Market.

It’s an over-used description but Linda Bee‘s pink emporium is a chest of pure treasure, from earrings and handbags to powder compacts and ‘cat related items’. She’s a treasure, too – warm and friendly with a brilliant eye, so if you’re uncertain about what suits you I highly recommend leaving it to her to select something wonderfully appropriate and flattering. She tells me I need to wear bold colours, not pastels. She’s right.

Vintage red perspex earrings at Linda Bee.

The stylist’s secret

You’ll be there a wee while as she has many a story to tell about the things she has collected and sold over the years, to rock stars and stylists alike. Kate Moss is a fan and has appeared in Vogue wearing her pieces on several occasions.

Kate Moss wearing Linda Bee vintage accessories, Vogue 2011. Photographed by Mario Testino

Vogue Italia cover. Linda Bee vintage earrings.

Thanks to Linda, I am now the proud owner of one such piece (a hat, that appeared in a previous Vogue publication) for which I paid less than £100. Even if someone else happens to be wearing the same (new) dress to my friend’s wedding, I can safely assume they won’t be wearing it with the hat.

If you needed any more proof of how effective the right accessories can be, here’s Helen Hunt at the Academy Awards in 2013, wearing $700,000 of Martin Katz jewellery – and an H&M dress. It’s surely the greatest example of hi-low dressing ever seen.

Vintage accessories for every occasion

Whether it’s for a night at the Oscars or the bingo, or an interesting gift for someone special (hint), you’ll find something great at Linda Bee. I’ll leave you in her capable hands.