Monday, 27 February 2012

Chelsea Girl

Last week I did something very unusual for me. I went into a shop and paid full price for something new. I know, I know! £30 of my hard earned cash. Blimy. Mind you I don't regret it, because this is what Retro Chick wisely calls pyjama clothes. A dress which looks 'statement' but feels loungy. Plus, it's kind of repro-retro (well, no, it isn't, it's just from River Island- but it is part of their Chelsea Girl revival range). And anyway, as I always say, my style combines vintage/retro and modern- so why not repro and modern too?

River Island used to be known as Chelsea Girl, oh peeps younger than myself. It rebranded in the 1990s, after fading from its glory days in the 60s to 80s. (If you want to read up on the history this Telegraph article is a quick summary and an affectionate review may also be found in The Independent.) And now, I am happy to report, it has decided there's a demand for designs from its heyday to those of us who prefer our vintage psychedelic to cookie-cutter high street 50s prom dresses. And so it was, I was tempted away from the sale rail on my last visit! Well, lovely though all my real retro stuff is a couple of the original CG designs really caught my eye, especially a swirling paisley mini dress with incredibly vast collar and dangling gold ties. Oh yes please.

Sadly my enthusiasm did not shine through in the outfit photo, where I sport my patented angry stare and moon face. I tried to take advantage of the nice weather, but a sunbeam dazzled me. Gah.

I actually really like the dress.
Check the big floppy
collar and paisley.
Well, I am impressed with the dress - it's even slightly crimplene-ey (which RI could have shied away from, but it actually adds to the retro feel of the garment) - and very wearable. It's sleeveless so I'm layering it with a matching sweater and leggings at the moment, but in summer it will make a nice beach-to-bar dress with bare legs. Ha ha hark at me acting as if I have a beach-to-bar lifestyle.

The canny part of me is planning, during mid season sales, to raid River Island's website for left over Chelsea Girl designs. I strongly suspect these items aren't for everyone and that is to my thrifty advantage! Excellent, normal service is resumed.

I'll leave you with another picture of me, this time in 70s vintage and off to the Style Me Vintage launch. It was a wonderful evening but sadly I took hardly any photos (grr) however you can read all about it at Style High Club (which includes a photo of moi smiling- just to prove I can smile in photos!).

See. I can smile and my
face isn't a paper plate
with a scowl drawn on.


  1. I like it - great pattern. It looks good with the top underneath too. I bought a crochet type tunic top from that Chelsea Girl range recently - I don't usually find much in River Island usually.

    ***Faith Hope and Charity Shopping first blogiversary giveaway open now***

  2. really lovely! Hope you had fun schmoozing at the launch, you looked great

  3. I remember Chelsea Girl first time around!!!

    Personally I think River Island still has 'it' every now and then. They have some great print pencil skirts right now, not great for my pot belly as they are in stretch (aaaaaaargh) but on someone who didn't eat all the pies I am sure it would look just fab.

  4. Two fab outfits! I had a look at some of that Chelsea Girl stuff in the River island sale the other day and was pleasantly surprised by it. x

  5. Ooh! Lovely dress! X

  6. I love both but the second one is pretty fantastic with those puffy sleeves, I also love that is has some sheen to it. You do look better with a smile my dear, we all do!

  7. Oh I used to spend most of my pocket money in Chelsea Girl! I shall have to go and check the collection out.

  8. Lovely...I like Chelsea Girl and I liked it when I was younger tooo xx

  9. love the paisley dress so much. RI is one of my favourite shops and if price wasn't an issue then I'd wear the lot. I didn't know it used to be CG

  10. Coming for the perspective of a fashion design student sometimes i do feel that River Island does still have something about it. Although alot of clothes are things i wouldn't personally wear they do have excellent design content and rather than copy exactly high end designers i do find River Island puts more of their own stamp on clothes than other high street stores. Have to say LOVING the chelsea girl dress too! : )

  11. I love the gold curly outfit amor.
    You look great!
    River Island does have some great sales.


Let me know what you think!