Wearing vintage doesn't have to make you feel like second-hand Rose. This shop's clever collection of couture sends out customers looking and feeling like goddesses

FASHION: WHEN YOU THINK “vintage”, does “musty” come to mind? Perish the thought

FASHION:WHEN YOU THINK "vintage", does "musty" come to mind? Perish the thought. Many of the best dressed men and women you'll find at a special event or wedding these days may be wearing a mix of finds from the attic or their local emporium. One of the best ways to beat the predictability of high-street shops (and the tyranny of an overdraft) is to go vintage – although it sometimes takes confidence to carry it off and more than a little bit of style.

Marie Therese Duggan likes to interpret vintage style in fresh, contemporary ways, and decided to specialise in vintage couture and bridal wear when she opened her loft-style boutique in Greystones, Co Wicklow, far away from city crowds but near enough to the motorway for countrywide custom.

There is nothing sombre or self-conscious about this collection, as she points to 1960s gold leather shorts and a snakeskin waistcoat teamed with a woolly Mongolian jacket. And what about that deep pink rockabilly underskirt worn under the low-waisted 1950s dress in the photograph on the cover of this magazine, topped off with a jaunty, pork pie straw hat? “It’s all about the way you put it together,” she says. “Typically, these clothes were made before mass production, on today’s scale, existed, so the quality of fabrics, cut and make are better than what those same labels can produce today.”

All is not wacky, and there is a good range of sizes. “Our vintage Gucci, 100 per cent wool, camel coatdress with gold buttons, when teamed with a vintage lizard belt, is immediately recognisable as on-trend, but will cost less than a quarter of what a similar Gucci item costs today. And because it is a classic, it will never go out of fashion so the investment may be repaid over and over, and passed to another generation. My mantra when buying is the three Cs: Cut, Cloth, and Charisma.”


One of our colleagues had a great time finding her wedding dress at The Goddess Room, complete with fanciful accessories. It’s open Monday-Saturday from 10am-5pm (tel: 01-2016591) and you can monitor the stock as it comes and goes on thegoddessroom.net.

Patsey Murphy

MODELS: EMMA CAREY, BETH DUFFY, The Goddess Room, Meridian Point, Greystones, Co Wicklow