Models Direct Loves: Boxie T-Shirts

If you’re fed up of seeing the same logos and slogans on t-shirts and want something more personal, you’ll love the concept of the I Love Boxie t-shirts.

I Love Boxie, a London-based t-shirt design company, rebels against using clothing as a way of advertising brands. Instead they want the clothing to represent the wearer themselves. You could say they are providing a way to advertise yourself.

They make T Spoke (bespoke) t-shirts for which you can email them a story from your life and from that one line will be taken and printed onto the t-shirt. It really could be anything. The result: a t-shirt that actually means something.

The founder of the company is a writer called Moxie. She says “Everyone has a story, and everyone should have it put on a t-shirt. You look at a person and judge them in two seconds, the t-shirt says, ‘there’s more to me than what I’m wearing’.” She understands that in its own way the company is acting a bit like a self-help group. She’s also planning to make a film featuring the stories of some of the t-shirt’s creators.

Models Direct think they’re great, what better way to express your happiness, sadness or anger than having it printed across your chest! They’re pretty affordable, £32 or $43 (and this is coming from me, someone who refuses to pay more than a tenner for a t-shirt).

Now I just have to think of my story…

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Models Direct’s Top Tips for Vintage Shopping

The Affordable Vintage Fair - currently touring the UK

The problem with high street fashion? Everyone ends up wearing the same thing! The Models Direct team love vintage style, but it can be a hard look to get right, especially if you’re trying to find a real bargain! Here, we give you some ideas for the best places to go to get your vintage wardrobe staples.

Vintage fairs. Dedicated vintage clothing fairs and markets are a great place to start, and you might get to learn a bit about the history of what you’re buying. Models Direct recommend The Affordable Vintage Fair, which has just started a tour of the UK.

Charity shops. If you like a bit of a challenge, scour your local charity shops. Charity shop shopping is also a great way to create something original. What with the recession, clothes modification is becoming much more popular and it’s a great way to inject some more of your personality into what you wear.

Be warned, once you’ve found one fantastic garment or accessory it could turn into a bit of an obsession!

If you love designer clothes but not their prices, check out Oxfam’s new chain of boutique stores around London, and soon to expand to other major UK cities. Obviously the designer ranges are more expensive than the usual charity shopper will be used to, but it’s a fraction of what it could cost new! The boutiques also stock ethically produced and customised clothing.

Oxfam Boutique

Car boots and jumble sales. A great place to practice your haggling skills, and with any luck you’ll find a seller who doesn’t know that they’ve got a vintage gem so you can barter a bargain price. Arrive early so you can be sure to see everything that’s on offer and, if you really like something, don’t take too long pondering whether to buy it. Don’t you just hate it at car boot sales when you see someone walking around clutching something you almost bought? Check the internet and local papers to find out when these events are taking place.

Online stores. Shopping for vintage clothing online can be a bit of a risk but you’ll be able to find a huge variety. Using online vintage stores could be the way to go if you have a specific decade or style in mind – try eBay as a starting point. Make sure you know your measurements (not just your dress size), examine the garment to check for any damage and print the product information as something to refer to when it’s delivered just in case there are any problems with it.

Vintage shops. There are different types of vintage shops that will cater for small or large budgets. Even if it’s one of the more expensive shops, be sure to check the garments for any wear or damages. They should have somewhere for you to try things on, make sure you do!

Now you know where to look for your vintage wardrobe, look out for Models Direct’s advice on what pieces to go for, the timeless fabrics and what to avoid!

Shopping for Vintage: The Definitive Guide to Vintage Fashion by Funmi Odulate

Come the revolution!

It seems the average girl on the street is being inspired by the more rebellious role models as we head towards 2010.

The pop princesses of Girls Aloud, The Saturdays and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few, appear to be falling behind in the style stakes to the less manicured and designer dressed rock chick – who is now leading the way for young women who want a more feisty and fearless appearance!

It has long been known that even super model and ‘secret rock star’ Kate Moss favours understated skinny jeans and vests to cutesy dresses and accessories. Now she has been joined by the likes of Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes, Katie White from The Ting Tings, Pixie Lott, Little Boots and Ladyhawke in a fashion revolution – and we like it!

Even retro chick VV Brown has started her own website, specialising in customized pieces

“The beauty of creating a character through clothes was always another form of self-expression besides music,” she says.

What do you think your clothes say about you?

Models Direct: Come the revolution!
Models Direct: Come the revolution!
Models Direct: Come the revolution!
Models Direct: Come the revolution!
Models Direct: Come the Revolution!
Models Direct: Come the Revolution!

– Louise @ Models Direct

Indie – when fashion and music collide…

Models Direct: Indie - when fashion and music collide...
Models Direct: Indie - when fashion and music collide...

It’s been a long-held view that fashion and music act as huge influences on one another, and the 2009 British indie scene shows just how true that is. Both indie music and indie fashion can be traced back to the 1980s, and indeed in the 2000s, we’re seeing a lot of the past trends hitting the catwalk, the stage and the high-street once again.

Bands such as Depeche Mode and The Cure pioneered the music movement of the eighties, and with them they created a whole new daring style, attitude and persona. Though this particular kind of fashion isn’t always followed by the indie musicians of today, the impact of an artist’s style still resonates hugely with music fans of today.

In many cases, we see the fashion of one or two bands begin to influence fans, and from here we see high street fashion adjust accordingly. When Razorlight and the Arctic Monkeys hit the music scene back in 2004, it wasn’t long before young boys were consistently dressed in skinny jeans, waist coats and neck scarves. By 2007, Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell was the seventh man in the history of fashion to appear on the front cover of Vogue, and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner was in a serious relationship with model Alexa Chung.

And, of course, it’s not just the men, either. Female fronted bands like The Ting Tings and Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been equally influential. Katie White of The Ting Tings and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs were wearing oversized tees, patterned leggings and funky coloured short shorts before any of us high-streeters had even begun thinking about it. Musicians such as Lily Allen and Beth Ditto have made crossovers directly into the fashion world, adorning the covers of magazines and modelling for high-street and designer brands.

So this summer’s innately rock and roll style isn’t entirely new, but here at Models Direct HQ we reckon it’s still full of creativity and we have no doubts that it is just naturally oh-so-cool.

– Lauren @ Models Direct