Charity Fashion Takeover


Last week I spent a brilliant day at Barnardos in Stockbridge in a charity fashion collaboration. My challenge was to recreate some London Fashion Week street style looks using only garments and accessories available at the retail store. I am passionate about ethical shopping, and what better way to do it than supporting a good cause too. This outfit was inspired by an Alexa Chung street style look, and we managed to recreate it with items all costing £20 and under! Read on to see the other looks we created using quality pre-loved fashion.


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Miss Vicky Viola: Vintage Style

For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been creating a 1950’s inspired magazine as part of a group project for Fashion Communication at university. We’ve done some fabulous photoshoots and interviews which will all be coming up on the blog at some point, but for now, as we frantically prepare for the final deadline next week (eep!), check out a little editorial we did with the wonderful retro style blogger Miss Vicky Viola ( in Edinburgh. Photos by the lovely Emma Balfour. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Carnivale Vintage

Last night I attended a really brilliant event at the Grassmarket’s newest boutique, Carnivale Vintage. The vintage clothing and accessories shop held a live acoustic music session, offered vintage hair and make-up styling, and provided delicious cakes from Tasty Buns Bakery as well as sorbet prosecco floats from Mary’s Milk Bar.

It was my first time in the store, which is on Bread Street in Edinburgh, and I was taken aback by the huge variety of genuinely beautiful garments from the roaring 20’s all the way up to the power-dressing 80’s. 

With a generous discount on the night offered by the stylish owner, Rachel, I came home with a cashmere and silk camel coat by Harvey Nichols and a 90’s lacy slip dress, which tonight I’m layering over a black roll neck ribbed top and burgundy loafers. Whats more the Cambridge Satchel Company were there with some covetable autumn/winter bags on special off; I was very tempted and can’t wait to browse they Edinburgh store to see the full collection.

Amy Garland MUA was providing lips and flicks for the guests, and as I was going out to Itchy Feet afterwards, a rock n roll club night at Studio 24, I was definitely in need of a retro hollywood glamour makeover. Others got their hair transformed into voluptuous curls and polished victory rolls by Kay Corbett, which is a look I wish I could pull off, but I guess blue hair isn’t very 50’s, and apart from anything I am too lazy to put in all that effort for a hairdo!

My man Jack Hinks was the first musician to kick off Rachel’s new Carnivale Sessions. He played some awesome mellow tunes throughout the night and performed a little set of originals at the end. I would really appreciate it if you checked out his instagram-@jackhinksmusic, and have a wee listen on Spotify/Itunes/whatever floats your music boat! 

If you want to check out this wonderful independent vintage boutique for yourself,  why not head along to their Chistmas Shopping event on Thursday 1st December for some fashion and fizz?

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Shopping Heaven at Godiva Boutique

Last week I was thrilled to be invited in for a special exploration of one of my favourite boutiques in Edinburgh, Godiva, which is located just beyond the Grassmarket, surrounded by amazing bars and restaurants (my faves include Lovecrumbs and Dragonfly), vintage shops galore (Armstrong’s is a must-see) and of course the unforgettable Edinburgh Castle view! For any tourists here for the Edinburgh Festival this summer, or if you’re a resident and just fancy some shopping, Godiva should be number one on your to-do list, if you love supporting independent designers, chatting to the loveliest staff in the city, and admiring the beautiful visual merchandising amongst handmade, bespoke and vintage fashion.

I arrived on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, dressed innapropriately for the weather as per usual, in my velvet devoré trousers from Topshop, suede boots from River Island and and a vintage fur coat. When meeting new people its my automatic reflex to give them a wee cuddle, of course in this case with my soggy fluffy coat it was not a pleasant experience for Natasha Cornall, online and social media manager at Godiva Boutique. However, we immediately hit it off, as fellow Midlanders and vintage/retro lovers. Natasha spoke about the store and its wonderful stock with such enthusiasm and authenticity that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the brand all over again.

What is interesting about Godiva is how the store manages to mix new designs with vintage pieces so seamlessly to fit with one strong brand identity; a kitsch and colourful print paradise! In the past I’ve bagged some serious vintage bargains from Godiva, including a beautiful silk men’s shirt and a multiway brown leather backpack; in the shop at the moment its all summer colours and floaty shapes, along with classic accessories like leather handbags and printed scarves, with even shoes, belts and jackets thrown in for good measure. I was gifted by Natasha a wonderful Godiva 10th anniversary special edition silk scarf which now alternates between hanging proudly on my bedroom wall to slinging around my neck or hair on any rare non-windy days!

Natasha talked me through a lot of the different brands, particularly the Scottish designers as supporting local creatives and ethical fashion is what Urbanity is all about! The fashionistas that really caught my eye were the cult Scottish fashion brands Rowan Joy and Karen Mabon. Karon Mabon creates handmade silk scarves, and other lovely wearable art, like this beautiful ‘hairdressers’ piece, stunning sleepwear, and a gorgeous umbrella, currently being exhibited at Local Heroes. Rowan MacKintosh of Rowanjoy designs and makes bespoke bridal-wear along with delightful womenswear, with some exclusive one-off vintage-inspired garms available at Godiva Boutique. 

Yet another great aspect of Godiva (c’mon guys, give me something negative to write about!) is the jewellery. From statement dinosaur brooches that I never knew were a wardrobe necessity until now, to delicate, minimalist pendatnts, they have independent jewellers from all of the UK displaying their unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings amongst the cute and kitsch decor of the store. The brands that really caught my eye, the magpie that I am, were Matthew Calvin and Silk Purse Sow’s Ear.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little virtual tour of the most magical clothes shops in Edinburgh.  For the real magic, go and see it for yourself, on 9 West Port, 7 days a week!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Belfast Vintage Shopping

Last weekend I hopped over to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a long weekend staying with a friend who works across there. I really enjoyed seeing the sights (a highlight was City Halls lit up with rainbow colours for Gay Pride!), exploring the bustling nightlife scene, and even going to a music festival for the day, Sunflower Fest!  But most of all, I adored the cluster of unique vintage shops. From rare retro finds like 80’s high tops and sports jackets, to classic vintage accessories and libraries full of second hand books, Belfast really had it all. My friend and I spent a good few hours browsing various stores, and of course came home with a few pieces, so I decided to compile a list of our top three favourites here, in no particular order, for anyone visiting Belfast who loves a good rummage around in rails of gorgeous one-off clothing.

Young Savage

24 Church Lane

This cosy little shop – with a super central location and the loveliest staff- was our first stop-off on the vintage shopping spree.

Young Savage is packed full of hidden gems,  from retro badges, buttons and pins, to quirky knitwear and beautiful shoes.

We came away with some Penguin Classics, and a big old smile after some great chats with the shopkeeper. The opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.

2. Octopus’s Garden

Octopus’s Garden is Belfast’s newest vintage fashion store, and decorated in spectacular colours and patterns; ilike walking into another world, I adore their branding. 

Once inside, you are met with expertly styled outfits, complete with every details, even tights, sunglasses and hair accessories. 

We had a great time rummaging through the t-shirts and sweaters, and loved the vintage leather handbags, silk scarves and retro trainers.

You’ll fine stunning menswear and beautiful coats and jackets from every decade. The 

opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.

3. Yellow Submarine

44 Botanic Avenue

BT7 1JR 

Yellow Submarine has several floors connected with winding stairwells filled with old nik-naks, and sells a huge selection of vintage, retro & modern clothing, furniture, records & furnishings

This quirky wee shop in the Botanic Quarter is like a maze, shoppers must hunt far and wide for their hidden treasure. It felt kind of like I was in an elderly hoarder’s house, in a good way. 

I came away with a beautiful pleated skirt for £6 and an oversized black grandpa-style shirt for £3! Bargains galore. Opening hours are 11-6 Monday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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