In a world of high-volume, low-quality clothing items, the quest for something more led René Dobson to vintage fashion. These days, Dobson goes by the moniker Lady Eccentrik or Lady E for short, and has transformed her style into that of an enchantress, strutting in cutting-edge classics.
“I enjoy the psychology behind vintage dressing; it is multilayered for me,” the vintage fashion enthusiast explained to Flair, adding, “They don’t make clothes like they used to. And vintage can be adaptable to the latest trends. There are also timeless classics that can become a staple of any wardrobe. I have dresses I collected six or seven years ago that I can still wear today.”
Born and raised in Jamaica, Lady E currently resides in England, where she is the chief executive officer of Entertainment Soul Limited, a company which produces and develops music and video content for a global audience. Although it is based in the United Kingdom, the business focuses on the development and management of Jamaican musicians and has already signed local reggae artiste, Nesbeth, with the hope of expanding her clientele.
Outside of her passion for music, the young entrepreneur is a vintage fashion blogger and a published vintage model who redefines thinking outside of the box, daring to be creative, unique, original, and extraordinary in all her endeavours.
Fashion has always been Lady E’s first love. In fact, she enjoyed sewing and mending clothes from as early as her formative years. No garment was safe from a redesign, especially not her mother’s outfits. “I would restyle and cut her clothes up to make different outfits,” she said. So the closet was subsequently locked and off-limits.
As a teenager, she began exploring various vintage styles and eras, knowing from a young age that the golden-style era would be the final stop on her way to her fashion destination. “It would allow me to age gracefully whilst connecting to my femininity,” the fashionista said. Upon entering her 20s, she began experimenting with the avant-garde looks of the 1980s, alluding to the effortless style of Jamaican model Grace Jones.
This period of fashion was most influential; she revealed that quite a few subcultures had developed. The looks she curated consisted of items like heavy shoulder pads and harem pants. As planned, she threw out all her old garbs and liberated her way to classic vintage.
“On my 25th birthday, I filled five bins with bags of clothes for charity. I got rid of all my clothes and started over. I later found out that wasn’t necessary as fashion is cyclical, and it’s how you style your clothes that give them a certain feel. The ‘80s tapped into styles of the ‘50s and ‘40s, too. I know I will never find myself in that spot again, as I love what my wardrobe has become these days,” said the vintage lover.
Inspired by the costumes of old Hollywood actresses in the movies, her fashion idols growing up were Jones, for her creative and edgy looks, and Dita Von Teese.
While she believes all of her looks to be iconic by nature, Lady E was able to choose one that stood out for her: a 1950s white diamond button-up dress paired with a white fur stole. She immediately associated it with channelling her inner Marilyn Monroe.
“I love the aesthetics of the 1940s and ‘50s. The dominance and grace that the ladies exude in their attire send electricity through my body. The attention to detail of their carefully curated outfit and how they carry themselves to tap into their feminine energy,” she declared, highlighting that these eras accentuate and compliment her curvy silhouette.
As for statement pieces, the hats of the ‘40s and ‘50s and the bags to match are her go-to accessories because they all have a unique flair. Nothing is more satisfying than her bag matching her hat and coloured gloves since it is rare to find complete sets.
So, where does one go shopping for these stunning vintage looks? For Lady E, she enjoys shopping at Etsy and eBay for her original pieces, declaring that it is all about the hunt for her. There is a certain excitement that is similar to a treasure quest. “You never know what you will find, and when you find that special piece, you know that it’s one of a kind; the chances of someone else owning the same is one in a million.”
Additionally, she listed some vintage reproductions stores, such as The Seamstress of Bloomsbury; Vivien of Holloway; and for her lingerie, an essential element to her look, it’s What Katie Did. All three brands are from the United Kingdom.
Playing a major role in supporting the vintage looks are the co-stars: hair and make-up. This glam queen ensures that the beauty duo remains compatible with her attire. “Although I sometimes like to mix eras, wearing a ‘40s pompadour hairstyle with a ‘50s outfit to add drama, it all comes down to the kind of outfit. A page boy hairstyle is perfect for my hats, or a poodle hairdo with a side flower,” she mentioned. The signature red lips are also a staple to complete the alluring look.
According to Lady E, how one dresses plays a psychological role in self-perception. Her bold fashion sense is a reflection of ‘retail therapy’, dressing up her shy and introverted persona into a confident game changer. While she is not here to criticise anyone for their style choices, she hopes others will respect fashion expression.
“My wardrobe brings me an indescribable amount of contentment and happiness. I feel more confident, less self-conscious, and a million times more like myself when I wear mid-century vintage fashions. And I appreciate that my looks inspire people to strike up a conversation with me. Modern fashion or fast fashion does not appeal to me. I feel ordinary when I wear it, as opposed to the supernatural feeling I get wearing vintage; you could say it’s my fashion addiction,” Lady E shared.
Her advice to female style newbies looking to strut in the classics: look to the source. Pinterest helps a great deal in showing the possible options. Once you have made a decision on the style, don’t be afraid to explore it and incorporate your personality into the mix.