One of our regular traders, Jarvis and Janis, talk to us about their outlook on vintage and the ideas behind their beautiful shop, be it their look book photography or the stalls they take to our fairs. You can find J&J at their website or on ASOS Marketplace and of course, at our Vintage Fairs!
What makes Jarvis & Janis different from all the other vintage shops?
At the heart of everything we do is a desire to make vintage, pre-loved and recycled clothing desirable, because we want our nation's wardrobes to be more sustainable. Of course there's a place for the high street but we feel strongly that a garment shouldn't just be worn a few times then thrown into the bin.
Environmental concerns aside, we think wearing vintage and second-hand items forces people to think more creatively about their style and cultivate a more unique and individual look. Everyone should have a few pre-owned but much-loved garments in their wardrobes!
We make this type of clothing desirable by putting a lot of time into our photoshoots, product information tags and stock preparation. Our brand image is really important. We try to be fun but also carry a serious message too. And our website, particularly our blog, hopefully reflects this.
What are your current favourite pieces in your collection?
At the moment we've got in a few killer polka dot numbers which are simply classic. When I first started out, it was really difficult not to hang onto pieces that I liked myself. I still fondly remember stunning items like a floor-length crepe forties gown in pristine condition and a 60's black lace babydoll, but alas, I have to make a living!
Who or what inspires your Look-Book collection concepts?
Part of what makes vintage and second hand clothing appealing is that it allows you to use your imagination a little bit, delve into a fantasy world. So things like fairy tales and folklore inspire us at the moment. We're also inspired by locations. For our Autumn photo shoot we were lucky enough to snag a disused pub in the centre of Hoxton which was decaying so beautifully. It was the perfect place to let our imaginations run wild. The photographer Chris Brock and I drew on the works of photographer Tim Walker and director Tim Burton, fairytale authors like Hans Christian Anderson and stories like Alice in Wonderland to create some ethereal and hopefully fantastical images. Sadly, the pub we used is about to be demolished but we feel very lucky to have been able to capture it beforehand.
Who are your vintage style icons, past or present?
Ooh, what a fab question! It really depends on my mood. I love the fifties hourglass (wiggle) shapes and think Elizabeth Taylor wore this style particularly well (and we share a birthday!) I also love the hippie style stars of the seventies like Anita Pallenberg and Jim Morrison's Pam but my true vintage style icons, being a pixie crop gal myself, are the likes of Mia Farrow, Edie Sedgewick and an early Goldie Hawn.