What we are keen on about Gizzi Erskine, apart from her brilliant cookbooks and TV shows, is her distinctive style. Part rock ‘n’ roll retro, part rockabilly, it is all her own – no stylist for this former pro body piercer.
‘My look is the rock ‘n’ roll side of the 1960s,’ says Gizzi. ‘It’s not about sexy, rather it’s cute, space-age, functional. Believe me, I look weird in jeans and a T-shirt. And I don’t stand out among my friends – they all dress like this. I’d say 90 per cent of my wardrobe is vintage. I buy it because of my look, firstly, but it’s also a quality thing. You get better fabrics for the money, and cuts are better than those of mass-produced clothing. There’s a certain logic to getting vintage finds altered to fit, too. These are my top five London stores for vintage, where I always find something amazing.’
Radio Days, Waterloo
87 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AB (020 7928 0800; www.radiodaysvintage.co.uk)
Not only do I buy clothes here, but I also get loads of stuff for the house. The owner, going strong for 19 years now, has a fantastic eye, and the stock is all truly authentic, with a focus on the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike some vintage stores, where it’s like rifling through a jumble sale, with too much stuff from the 1980s, Radio Days is orderly and well-kept, and the stock is hand-picked.
8 Golborne Road, London W10 5NW (020 8962 0089; www.relliklondon.co.uk)
This famous boutique is one of the best vintage stores in the world: their hand-picked stock is in really good condition, and there’s often some Ossie Clark alongside the Westwood and Comme Des Garçons. You can just tell it’s a place where Kate Moss buys clothes; there’s something Bowiesque and romantic about it, and you feel as though lots of the clothes have stories to tell. I tend to buy bags and coats here. The staff are really helpful.
2 Marylebone Street, London W1G 8JQ (020 7487 4322; By appointment only @williamvintage, www.williamvintage.com)
This is where I buy all my evening clothes. Vogue call William Banks-Blaney the king of vintage, and he also dresses Nigella, Gillian Anderson, Lana Del Rey… His stock is all couture from the 1950s to the 1970s, and he only does the best of the best. I go to him for Courrèges, Pierre Cardin, Givenchy and Balenciaga.
Lucy in Disguise, Soho
48 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LR (020 7434 4086; @lucyin_disguise)
This place is owned by Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen. It’s full of really great stuff, from the 1920s to the 1990s, from everyday wear to red-carpet pieces, so there’s something for everyone. They also do amazing replica vintage that they design themselves. The shop is beautiful, very slick, and there’s a salon at the back where you can have your hair and make-up done for the full girlie experience.
Blackout II, Covent Garden
51 Endell St, COV G WC2H 9AJ (020 7240 5006; www.blackout2.com)
A lot of my key pieces, things I’ve been wearing for years, come from here. It’s run by an amazing rockabilly lady called Scarlett with an amazing eye, who focuses on the 1950s and 1960s. You’re very much buying into the rockabilly lifestyle: her stuff is heavily retro, with lots of classic tops, polonecks, and so on. My boyfriend shops here a lot, too.