Cool and connected, Plum (aka Victoria Bell) the girl and blogger behind east London’s The Stylist’s Rail tells up all about her brainchild Dalston fashion sale, her favourite new brands, leaving the 9-5 job and what clothes she’s craving this autumn…
Tell us a little about The Stylist’s Rail…
The Stylist’s Rail is a pop-up fashion event where shoppers get to browse and buy from the wardrobes of a collective of stylists, stylish folk with cast-offs to covet, vintage aficionados and a selection of up-and-coming independent designers.
The event exists because I’m a serious clothes-hoarder! When it got to the stage that my wardrobe doors no longer shut I had a monumental clearout, gathered together all the clothes that were “just too good for eBay” and spent a day carting around an over-stuffed IKEA bag to various dress agencies across town, hoping to try and make some cash for my collection. I was firmly told by them all “we don’t DO high-street”. Frustrated and fed up I discussed it with my friends, several of whom are stylists, and found out that we all felt the same way, there just wasn’t anywhere to sell the cocktail of clothes that our wardrobes consist of, a blend of high-street, vintage and the odd designer garment when we’ve been flush!
As a result of that I set up The Stylist’s Rail which brings all those elements together under one roof once a month at Birthdays in Dalston. That was eight months ago, and since then I’ve held pop-ups at various boutique festivals and events as well as supporting Fashion Targets Breast Cancer at The Sanderson Hotel.
Can you describe a typical Stylist’s Rail event?
Shoppers can expect rails brimming full of statement pieces, stylists’ picks and vintage treasures and all manner of designer labels have been spotted on the rails including Charles Anastase, YSL, Comme des Garcons, Givenchy and Chloe. It’s become a go-to destination for some seriously snappy dressers and fashion editors and writers from Grazia, WGSN, Wonderland, Company and The Times have all popped along to bag themselves a bargain.
As someone who is utterly head-over-platform-soled-heels in love with clothes, I can’t ever resists the urge to shop at my own events and I’ve unearthed some real treasures! My highlights are a pair of Holly Fulton earrings that I wear constantly, a Christopher Kane dress, a pair of Miista boots and an exquisite shaggy cardigan from a Parisian stylist with exceptional taste, and that’s the beauty of The Stylist’s Rail, every event varies and you never quite know what you’re going to find!
As well as the plethora of stylists’ picks and vintage gems to browse there are some fantastic brands to discover, and I definitely see The Stylist’s Rail as a platform for emerging brands and independent designers to showcase their pieces. It’s also a great way for brands that start out trading online to have a physical presence and to engage with their audience, which is something you just can’t do on the internet.
What brands have you discovered through The Stylist’s Rail?
Still Waters Studio, run by two sisters Jenna and Kristen, are one of my favourite discoveries and I’m in love with their range of exquisite handmade kimonos, created in fabrics sourced from around the globe. (Ed’s note – LOVE Still Waters! See my kimonos post here.) Another favourite of mine is a vintage brand called Bohemian Rose Vintage who consistently sell the most phenomenal pieces of 90s jewellery and all items are hand-picked and sourced by founder Leanne whose style I envy! I also love Urban Lab Couture, a range of Italian made silk scarves that feature utterly unique photographs of street art captured by owner Amadeo on his worldwide travels, they’re big, bold, bright and beautiful and I adore them.
Tell us a little about your own work as a PR consultant and running your own blog?
About a year ago I did something pretty drastic – without another job to go to I handed my notice in at the advertising agency I worked in planning media campaigns for a major record label. Although it was utterly petrifying, it was also the kick-up-the-bum I needed to go off and figure out what I really truly wanted to do with my life. Since then I’ve worked on a consultancy basis for creatives and small businesses as my background is in media, marketing and sales and so it felt like a natural progression.
The blog Plumdiddlyumcious followed soon after I left my 9 to 5 and I set it up naively thinking that I’d have lots more time on my hands to write, which had always been an unfulfilled passion of mine. However I now struggle to post regularly, which I think is a common complaint amongst most bloggers – too many posts, not enough time to post them!
What are you favourite AW pieces right now?
Anything on your shopping list? Right now I’m seriously coveting a pair of carrot-leg leather trousers from Whistles, they’re the perfect wear-with-everything-whilst-keeping-you-warm-and-waterproof item that I need for Autumn and Winter! I’m a total accessories maximalist and absolutely love a statement piece so the new collection from EA Burns has got me going gaga, it’s called Ancient Rites and I want everything in it.
Another local brand that I simply can’t get enough of is The White Pepper and their open-back checked midi dress is my favourite piece in their new collection. I’ve been reading everywhere that this is The Season Of The Coat (every year is coat weather, no?) and so as not to feel left behind I think I should invest in this mohair coat from TOPSHOP mainly though because the colour it comes in is called “Plum”!
What events do you have coming up?
This Saturday you can find The Stylist’s Rail at The Apartment, an über-cool events space themed on a Manhattan loft apartment, tucked inside The Hoxton Hotel. There’ll be Bloom Gin cocktails on arrival for everyone, and goodie bags to the first 100 people through the doors, plus live DJs playing throughout the day including the fabulous party-popper Blonde Ambition and the Hoxton Radio DJS. It’ll be a gin-fuelled partytastic shopping experience quite like no other! Shoppers can browse and bargain-hunt through the rails of a whopping 20 vendors including celebrity stylists, ASOS marketplace sellers and a selection of exciting up-and-coming designers. Entry is FREE and it’s open from midday until 6pm.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
As well as running The Stylist’s Rail I also run a monthly craft event called Pinned it! Made it! Pinterest Parties with my friend Sarah at the Book Club in Shoreditch, and I’m also the Vice President of my local W.I, The Dalston Darlings.
A big thankyou to Plum for such a brilliant interview! The Stylist’s Rail is at the Hoxton Hotel this Saturday 26 November. Free entry, open 12-6pm. I’m told the next one will be held in Clapton, whoop! I’ll keep you posted as I’ll definitely be going along to shop and snap!
Images kindly supplied by Plum @ The Stylist’s Rail