As part of our Love Your Style campaign, we recently caught up with actress, voiceover artist and QVC Guest Presenter, Charlotte Avery, to discuss all things fashion and her love of vintage style.
Hi Charlotte! We know you have a keen interest in fashion, do you remember when you first fell in love with it?
“Yes, I’ve been fortunate to have a profession that started in the theatre. So, from quite an early age I was having interesting costumes made for me, things that would span from 1920s flapper dresses right the way through to 1950s couture outfits, or even to futuristic costumes like those in Starlight Express.
This really ignited my passion for vintage and got me very interested in the whole idea of how fashion evolves over time. From then, I went on a mad vintage rampage to try and find some of the bits that had been introduced to me through theatre and TV that I could incorporate into my own wardrobe.
I have a huge array of vintage scarves (about 100!!) as when I first went looking for vintage items, I found accessories were the easiest thing to start with. Whether you’re wearing it in your hair, around your neck or tying it on your handbag, a scarf can immediately change the look of an outfit and add a little flair of vintage style and colour. Handbags, belts and sunglasses are great too.”
Do you have any favourite fashion eras?
“I love the 70s, such a glamorous time, especially if I’m thinking of going out. But for me, the 40s and 50s in particular, because I love that elegant, tailored look.”
What is it that draws you to vintage fashion?
“I think it’s just the feeling. I remember when I did Lady Chatterley’s Lover, they made me this flapper dress and as soon I put it on, I was transported to a different era and immediately felt incredibly decadent and special. Now, I’ve got to a stage with fashion where I don’t necessarily follow the latest trends… I’m dressing for myself so it’s all about how it makes me feel.
Fashion is a very personal thing and if it makes you feel confident or glamorous or just a little bit different, then that’s something that is accessible to everyone.”
Do you think fashion can transform your mood?
“Definitely! Not only when you’re dressing up and going out, but in everyday life. Even it’s just sticking an orange scarf on when you’re heading out to the supermarket, fashion can change your mood and make you feel more confident, and it has nothing to do with age, or size, or race.
It’s also the association between fashion and emotion. A jumper can make you comforted, a zingy scarf can make you feel happy, a pair of high heels can make you feel sexy. And the beauty of it is, we can do this ourselves, we’re not relying on anyone else!”
Do you have any favourite go-to styles?
“As I’m getting older, I’ve started to get into wearing a trouser suit with trainers. It’s still a casual look, not necessarily tailored, but put together. I do change all the time but at the moment I’m definitely favouring a wide-leg trouser with a little jacket. But again, depending on what work I’m doing I will switch up what I’m wearing. One thing I do like is for an outfit to be relatively relaxed, I think it’s important to find something you’re comfortable in while still being stylish.
Oh, and I do love jumpsuits! They are the ultimate for going from day to night. You can wear the same outfit and all you need are a few different accessories.”
How would you create a vintage look with items from QVC?
“You can find many designs on QVC that lean towards a vintage style, whether it’s a dress that hangs in a swing style typical of the 60s, the elegant cut of a tailored jacket or a colourful 70s-like print. When you are wearing a style that is reminiscent of a certain era, it can still be quite nostalgic and have a comforting feeling. You might think, gosh I remember Aunty Jean wearing something like this and again, it ties into that connection with fashion and emotions and memories.”
As we start to look ahead to autumn, what will you be changing in your wardrobe?
“Whenever seasons change, I go towards colour. So, I’ll be looking in my wardrobe to see what I have and pick out those wonderful autumnal colours, such as burnt oranges and browns. I think if you match the shades of the season, it’s a great way to feel in tune with your surroundings. Fabrics as well, I’ll be turning to things that make me feel comfy and warm. I’ll probably also buy myself a new pair of boots!”
Lastly, if there’s one thing you could put on to make you feel instantly amazing, what would it be?
“My scarves! I probably wear a scarf most days. I think they’re hugely under-rated but there’s so much you can do with them. Yes, a scarf would be the one thing that would lighten my mood and is easy to pop on and put a spring in your step.”
Thank you Charlotte!
For more style inspiration and to ignite your own love of fashion, take a look at our Love Your Style collection and check back on Stories next month when we talk to Neom Guest Presenter, Grace Ricucci.