Why I Ditched Fashion For Fifties

This post may come across quite lengthy and candid but I thought I would share with you how I came to find Vintage and how the Rockabilly scene has changed my life. I love hearing about other people’s stories and after meeting the lovely Nicola who featured on a channel 4 documentary about how Rockabilly has changed her life, it made me reflect on my own journey.

Since I began the trek back in time I have learnt a few things, one of most importance is that I feel I have found myself. Having felt lost for quite a while drifting somewhere between 80’s vampire and commercial wannabe, I continuously compared myself to other women on the commute to work or wanted that ridiculously over priced jumper in Topshop that I could never afford. I was drowning in my own style crisis.

After a stint at a rather high profile PR and Events agency I quickly (within 4 weeks) resented everything about it, being an intern needless to say I was treated poorly here and alongside the long hours and no pay, Tea Making and Dry Cleaner trips were also on my To Do list. A month later, after working at many fashion events and parties, I realised it’s just the same crappy so called celebrities these agencies keep churning out on guest lists, the same crappy catering, the same ‘DJ’s’ or in other words which ever fashion model had decided to add music to her bio that week…because that’s cool didn’t you know? The same PR people high as a kite on cocaine, oh but it’s OK, it’s only the Fashion Week diet!

So after having verbal abuse thrown at me, as well as a post it note (that was especially comedic), been asked to remove the Julien Macdonald dress I wore to work at a London Fashion Week event because ‘Julien would be very upset’ if he saw my then size 8 frame in one of his (diffusion line) designs and not to mention how belittled I felt on many occasions, I decided I would rather put pins in my eyes then kiss so called VIP arse for a living. I like to think I can generally hold my own and have good rapport with my colleagues however the fashion industry has been able to reduce me to a stuttering wreck of a person instead of a knowledgeable and hard working woman with a degree (let alone feelings).

So this is where my story ends…or sort of begins? I went from being a fashion student with an active interest in Designer Collections, Trends, Who wore what and spotted high street styles filtered straight from the catwalk in an instant…to who I am now. Slowly I began building on my existing vintage wardrobe and stopped stopped shopping in high street chains, instead I turned to eBay and Charity Shops. I moved to South End after I finished University and some how the laid back, time warped little area I lived in (mixed in with the sea air and the smell of fish n chips) seemed to give me a real sense of nostalgia and being away from the hustle of London gave me time to realise who I was and what person I wanted to be.

Starting off with some YouTube tutorials on Victory Rolling, then scouring the amazing charity shops for 50’s style clothing and tuning into the brilliant Rockabilly radio stations that are available, I took on a whole new lifestyle. I drank less when I went out to these Rock n Roll nights, the music made me so much happier and of course, I started to blog. It’s infectious.

IMG_3288

Until I started Social Networking I hadn’t realised that the Rockabilly scene had it’s own little community as I like to call it, and I have been so welcomed into this by many wonderful followers on Twitter, people who read my blog and more recently some lovely ladies I have actually met up with through Twitter. This is a lifestyle not just a trend and in so many ways the Rockabilly scene has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life and made me a much happier person. I think it’s the innocence of the scene and how everyone in it is just here to have a good time.

Rockabilly Ladies

Rockabilly Ladies

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

So there you have it, my story (in a nutshell) and why Rockabilly for me is so much more than a word, it’s a lifesaver.

RRx

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6 thoughts on “Why I Ditched Fashion For Fifties

  1. Excuse me but I had to read that ‘Julien would be very upset’ line again just to make sure I wasn’t imagining it … !
    I can’t begin to tell you how incensed I am at your treatment as an intern – I’m way older than you and would hate to have to navigate today’s job market as a young woman. I have teenage daughters just stumbling through finding their own style, and the ‘fash industry’ comes way down low on our window onto the world.
    Jeez.
    Good for you Ruby – I embraced rockabilly in the 80’s and still rock the look today cos it’s fun and all kinds of feisty – keep up the good work hun 😉

    • I could write a book on all my internship experiences but this was just one of the worst! As a teen I dreamed of studying fashion as I believed it was about being individual but found out quickly it’s ALL about conforming, even among peers. A shame. Thank you very much for your comment and Long Live Rockabilly! x

  2. Excellent post and the people you worked with sound like serious arsehol**s. I concur with the commenter above with being surprised at the Julien Macdonald comment – if he’d be offended then he should only make and sell clothes for catwalk models in very slender sizes. Greedy and the fools who pander to that attitude are shameful.

  3. This is such a thought provoking post! I’m currently a rockabilly loving fashion journalism student, wondering whether my gaping hole of disenchantment with what some would class as high-end and high-street fashion is eventually going to hinder what I want to do after my degree. There seems to be an unwritten and intimidating rule of looking after number one and arse kissing and I’ve only just finished my first year!!! I’m finding it difficult to decide which path to take in life and difficulty in truly finding myself and this post has given me hope that time will help me work this out!!!!
    Thank You!! xoxo

    • Ahh thanks so much for your for your comment 🙂 Times are changing however the fashion industry is not, and probably never will! Best thing I ever realised is your job doesnt define you. You dont have to chose one path, you can chose many just stay true to yourself and make time for the things you love! I have met some amazing people from the “vintage” scene who come from all walks of life and have “normal” jobs, try not to put so much pressure on yourself to find your dream job – that was my biggest mistake after uni and I just set myself up for failure as I still dont know what my dream job is! Good luck! RR xx

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