The style mavens behind Stardust Vintage - an online boutique selling trend-driven vintage fashion - are Katie Clark and Polly Judge, who joined forces after finishing their fashion degrees. Wanting to combine their love of clothing and music they started scouring thrift stores from London to New York to style shoots for bands. This lead to work with major record labels, and artists as diverse as Iggy Pop, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Stereophonics, Kelis, Razorlight, Pixie Lott, Kasabian and Nero ….. to name but a few. Their work has also been featured in leading international style publications from Vogue UK, The Sunday times magazine, The Guardian, ID and Dazed and Confused, to Russian Elle, Japanese Screen, and The Sydney magazine. I’m very chuffed that they found some time in their busy schedules to have a chat about their work and their style:
How did you get started in the industry?
After finishing our respective fashion design degrees we wanted to do something that merged our love of fashion and music. We had both been interning at various fashion magazines but wanted to join forces, so on the spur of the moment we decided to get in touch with Virgin Records and ask them if they saw stylists. They did, every Thursday afternoon, and asked us to come in to show our book, which we obviously didn’t have! We spent the next six months testing, doing as many shoots as possible. When we had something resembling a styling book, we went to see Mercury Records and got our first job!
How did Stardust come about?
We have always had a love of vintage and often use pieces in our styling to give that slightly off kilter, one-of-a-kind uniqueness. Over the years we have amassed a wonderful collection of items that were threatening to take over our homes! That and the fabulous reaction we had from the fashion press for the vintage Rafael Lopez dress that Emma wore for the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows UK premiere, made us realise that the time was right to share those treasures.
How would you describe your personal style?
Polly: My style is constantly evolving but there are always certain pieces that I will be drawn to. White tuxedo shirts and vintage Edwardian lace shirts seem to have become a slight addiction recently. I will always try to combine high street and designer pieces with a touch of vintage to give a slightly undone, not too perfect mix of high and low, with a little 60s rock star wife thrown in for good measure. I feel it’s a quintessentially British look. I never like to look too polished, which is something I’m sure my friends would say I achieve easily!
Katie: I think my personal style will always have a nod to rock ‘n’ roll and my British heritage. I love the practicality of the British and I adore classic pieces like Burberry trench coats. My musical influences reference Mods for sharp shirts, Rockers for biker jackets and western shirts from Country… and anything leopard print, a reference not so much to Rod Stewart but more Jerry Hall circa 1970!
How would you advise a newbie to embrace vintage fashion?
You could start with some fabulous vintage accessories. There’s a wonderful array of 1950s-inspired jewelry in fashion this season, particularly at Prada and Miu Miu. Take inspiration from the current trends and then buy real deal vintage pieces. You will be totally unique, and as the “where did you get that from” comments start rolling in you will be sure to gain more confidence in your vintage purchases.
What is your go-to outfit in a crisis?
Polly: A vintage 1970s tuxedo worn with a bib-front shirt, sky-high Tabitha Simmons heels, and at the moment, a silk Chinoiserie clutch bag and various bangles… always including my Miansai screw cuff.
Katie: I have a fabulous Vivienne Westwood navy blue dress that buttons down the front with a wide skirt. I have worn this dress to birthday parties, weddings and most recently to a nautical themed party (teamed with sailor hat and collar!) However the stunning Westwood orb buttons have gone missing, taken off and lost by the dry cleaner! So I have a reward out, as without them I will no longer have a dress to turn to in a crisis!
Have you learnt any particular style lessons over the years?
No matter how much you may like the work of a designer, the pieces have to fit well to look good. Designers cut for different shapes so do your research and find the brands that work best for your body shape, whether they are high end or high street.
What are you coveting right now?
Polly: A Chanel 2.55 in navy blue; it’s a timeless classic.
Katie: The Mulberry Del Rey bag in Black Forest soft matte leather. I love the contrast of the retro style and modern luxury. I would wear it in the crook of my arm like a Hollywood starlet!
What’s the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
Polly:I love the Miu Miu shoes that I wore on my wedding day. I bought them before the dress!
Katie: I have the most exquisite vintage hand-embroidered chiffon tunic dress. It belonged to Roger Daltrey’s wife in the 1960s. I like to think it has had an exotic past floating round souks in Marrakech circa 1969 with Talitha Getty!
What’s your favourite shopping destination?
Polly: I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is a great neighborhood for independent boutiques and vintage finds, and best of all they are all on my doorstep! I particularly like Catbird, Beacon’s Closet, In God We Trust, Meg and the weekly Brooklyn Flea. When I am back in London I always make at least one trip to the area around Brick Lane as there are so many great shops there, and to Selfridges, my second home!
Katie: My favourite place to shop is in East London. I love the vintage shops on Cheshire Street, and Start, owned and curated by Brix E Smith on Rivington Street, which showcases all my favourite designers from Emma Cook and Jonathan Saunders to We Are Handsome’s quirky swimwear. And, Luna and Curious on Calvert Avenue is a wonderful shop featuring one-off, handcrafted accessories and clothing by new designers.
Have a little look at some stella pieces from Stardust Vintage below… or have a browse of their fab website Stardust-vintage.com.