Vintage Life in The English Countryside

When looking at the artist and creator Mars Dilbert’s Instagram, you feel like stepping back in time. Naturally, we wanted to know more about her life and love for vintage.
Vintage Life in The English Countryside

“I got interested in vintage clothing from a love of theatre and history. I’ve been interested in vintage clothing since my late twenties. I moved to the UK and through my love of history and museums, this piqued my interest in historical pieces and vintage clothing.

I first started collecting handbags. It was the safest thing to start with and the most versatile item. A bag changes a look quite easily, a bit like a hat does.

This led me to buy a 1930s floor-length silk gown, once worn by a British officer‘s wife. She had inherited the gown from an elder relative. She was a lot taller than I am and spoke several different languages!

I love Edwardian clothes for the sense of playfulness. At that time women’s fashion began emphasizing the waistline and femininity.

The 1940s I love for the creativity and the sense of inventiveness through challenging times.

My style is eclectic. I enjoy lots of eras of clothes from la Belle Époque to wartime fashion to Edwardian, I like to mix and colours and textures and create the unexpected.

I only wear vintage clothes. It’s my lifestyle, not an occasional wardrobe.

Vintage is my comfort zone.

I have been organically (considered) ‘different’ from an early age and what I see as normal others see as extreme. It’s my life and I am myself in vintage clothing and aesthetics.

My love of history inspires me to wear clothes that make statements and to bring attention to history and tear down barriers of preconceptions that just divide us. That may seem like a tangent, it’s not. My history, my generations, my seamstress mother and the culture I grew up in, and love are my inspirations, the two are inseparable.

My most treasured item is an Edwardian locket and an orange peplum dress from the early 1940s. The dress came from a Hollywood film set and the locket was passed down from my 90-year-old grandmother who had it as a child. Sentimental and heartwarming.

If you are new to vintage clothing, I recommend starting with carrying vintage handbags for a change and see the reaction you get from friends and peers. Then go to shoes – start small instead of going all-out Victorian that people won’t understand or appreciate. People are naturally critical about things they don’t understand and tend to be judgemental, this can be off-putting. So be yourself, but ease into it.

My best tips for keeping your vintage clothes in good condition: I recommend constant moving of clothes in your wardrobe so moths don’t settle over sprays and chemicals, or sprigs of lavender in all the pockets. That’s a win-win for keeping your clothes fresh. Keep shoes in original boxes, hats in boxes, and handbags in plastic.”

Follow Mars on Instagram @life_on_mars96
Photos @the_mzungu_photographer