We love seeing how stylish ladies work our shoes into their wardrobes and make them all their own. This week, we’re profiling the fabulous Alexandra Cook, vintage enthusiast and shoe lover.
Vintage has been on the style radar in recent years, ever since Mad Men hit the TV screens and the rise of burlesque queen Dita von Teese. Alex is a long-time connoisseur of vintage clothing and here she chats with us about how she first discovered her love of glamour, her favourite shopping spots and how she’s styled her Shoes of Prey shoes to match her wardrobe.
When did you first discover your love of vintage clothing?
I have always been obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, old Hollywood films and glamour. I used to wear some of my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s clothes, but I only really embraced my love of vintage in the past seven or so years. People like Dita Von Teese really inspire me to love what I love and to embrace it and live it.
I love buying vintage mainly because it helps recycling, the clothes were made with better materials, and they tend to suit my body shape better. I like that I can put an outfit together myself. No shop is completing my look for me, or telling me what to wear, I create it my own outfit. I hunt for the perfect dress, the perfect shoes and the perfect bag.
Where do you shop for your clothes? What is your favourite item of clothing?
I shop online. Etsy is my fave place and I have my sellers that I am obsessed with, like Gogovintage
. I visit Vinnies and the Red Cross Store and most importantly my grandmother’s wardrobe. My grandmother is so stylish. Her clothes from the 50s and 60s are amazing, designed to last and she is so happy that I love them as much as she did. Her 80s clothes on the other hand, I don’t quite love them as much - I don’t really touch them!
The black dress (lead image) was my grandmother’s, which she hasn’t worn in 70 years. She bought it in America, where she lived between 1938 and 1939 with my grandfather, while he studied at Harvard.
I also shop at vintage reproduction stores that use the same patterns from the days of past, such as Stop Staring Clothing
, Tara Starlet
, Bettie Page Clothing
and 21st Century Foxy
. I like that they are made by small businesses and made properly - it is an easy way for me to buy fair trade items.
What is your favourite pair of shoes in your wardrobe?
I have a pair of turquoise heels that I bought them about 10 years ago, they are pointy and not too high. They go with every outfit and they’re comfy and bright and colourful. I wear them with polka dots, purple, leopard print, fishnets and seamed stockings. I absolutely love them.
Tell us about the Shoes of Prey shoes you wore in the shoot. What did you like about them?
What I noticed straight away with the shoes were they fitted perfectly. I am a half size, which really aren't made anymore, so it was great to have a shoe that wasn't too tight, or too big. I liked the aqua pair with the rose the best - they’re so pretty and comfortable. The idea of designing my own shoes really appeals to me because I like to control every part of my outfit - the dress, earrings, headpieces, etc - it means I’m not wearing a uniform I am wearing me, and that includes beautiful shoes!
Thanks Alex for inspiring us with your love of vintage styling and tips!