If you are a true vintage aficionado in awe of exquisite clothes from the 1930s and 1940s, you are surely familiar with Jade Stavri-Radcliff’s shop, Scarlet Rage Vintage. She is an extraordinary lady known for her prodigious collection of clothes predating the 1960s and for finding more than one Holy-Grail of vintage fashion for her discerning clients.
Jade is also the founder and Editor in Chief of The Vintage Woman Magazine, of which I’m a big fan. She has a widely successful and very addictive YouTube channel where she entertains and educates-with great panache-about all-things-vintage.
I’m thrilled to present Scarlet Rage Vintage as my Vintage Shop of The Week!
Scarlet Rage Vintage: So, I was actually born into the antique industry through my family. My earliest memories are putting SOLD stickers on pieces of antique furniture at Brocantes around Europe. My mother was a vintage dealer in the late 1970s early 1980s in Camden Market. When she met my father they started a very successful antique business that supplied pieces for Harrods and Ralph Lauren and so much more. So my adventures started EARLY! Then, as I grew up, my passion for fashion evolved. Whilst at uni and in-between assisting fashion editors or interning at places like Grazia magazine, I started to sell vintage clothing in my student union bar, and that’s how Scarlet Rage Vintage was born. But it was inevitable as it’s in my blood.
SRV: The rare and the wonderful from the 1900s to 1950s for womxn (I say, womxn, just because some of the clothing is “feminine”, does not mean it has to be worn by only cis women). From hand-painted to hand embellished, from jumpsuits to brooches you name it I probably have it and if I don’t I will find it for you. I am size-inclusive and LOVE that I make all bodies look amazing!
SRV: I had a shop in London for 6 years before moving to my wonderful studio in East Sussex and within those six years I built up a lot of private clients which I shop for privately. I know what they like, I know there measurements and so when buying my mind will click and say “Oh so and so would LOVE THIS!” and normally when I send them a photo, I am right they do love it and it goes forever home of my client. But I also buy stock for my studio. I have to connect with the piece, it has to pick my interest. If I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. I want to build a studio space full of OUTSTANDING pieces, not meh pieces.
SRV: I’ve worked so hard to carry out my due diligence of buying, most of the people I’ve bought from have either known me since my early teens or we’ve formed bonds over the years that I have been selling. It’s been a really long process for me to form bonds and find places I can actually buy from. But I will travel anywhere in the world and have picked up and got on a train, plane, boat or in my car within 24 hours notice and gone buying.
SRV: Oh, wow…That’s like asking a mother which is her favourite child. I love everything PRE 1960’s. But, the one I tend to lean a little harder towards is 1940’s. But shh don’t tell the other decades ok.
SRV: First, buy a tape measure, watch my youtube video on how to measure yourself in inches and in CM. Then start doing some serious stalking of vintage sellers or use the incredible GEM App (it’s like vintage stalking heaven) and figure out what floats your boat. Then I would suggest finding a seller that maybe sells at a fair or shop or a private studio and
have a frank conversation about what you want to achieve from wearing vintage, and what parts of your body you want to flatter.
Any great vintage seller will say ok, I think this, this or THIS would be perfect for you. Also go see them try on pieces, feel the fabric. Does that style fit you’re aesthetic? Go outside of your boundaries with colours and shapes. You never know, you may find Scarlet Red is your colour (winky face).
SRV: (Closes eyes and thinks back to all the truly wonderful pieces I’ve ever sold)
First would have to be a 1940’s Barnum and Bailey fully sequined tiger print dress which is now with the wonderful fetish and burlesque queen Mosh.
Next, I sold a fair few pieces to Downton Abbey but the duck egg blue 1920s beaded chiffon dress with flutter sleeves that were worn by Countess Grantham aka Cora was a knockout.
I recently sold a wonderful 1940’s gawn on a private appointment, it wasn’t necessarily the piece that is my favourite but it was the client’s reaction. She had an instant confidence boost after feeling low about herself and THAT, that’s what makes me do what I do. The empowerment through clothing is just an incredible thing.
SRV: So people would be shocked by the amount of vintage I actually own. I believe in the ethos that all the magical pieces should be in my studio and on my clients’ bodies. Not hiding away in my wardrobe. Do I collect things, oh yes I do. I am lucky to own some awesome Hawaiian dresses and some hand-painted blouses etc. My handbag collection is probably vast, but if I feel I’m not getting enough usage out of something I will sell it. There are only three things in my wardrobe that I probably would find very hard parting with:
- The 1940’s Watmulls Beach Boys Print Dress
- Fred A. Block Suit (as I wore it to my pre-wedding dinner)
- My Jack Herzog spider web print dress, I tried selling it once but just couldn’t pull the trigger properly.
Do I wear vintage daily, yes and no, I always wear one thing that’s vintage may it be my earrings or blouse. But it’s not practical for me to wear it every day.