My Kent Style: Zara Carpenter
PUBLISHED: 18:50 09 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:50 09 May 2014
The Rochester milliner shares her fashion secrets
Tell us a bit about you
My name is Zara Carpenter and, among other things, I make and design hats. I have been doing this for about six years now and making hats is what makes me happy: www.zaracarpenter.com.
What are you wearing?
Today I’m wearing a 1960’s houndstooth coat I bought in Fieldstaff Antiques in Rochester. I’ve tamed this with my favourite pair of socks, which feature a Frida Kahlo design, bought from an American company online, a grey dress from Next, grey tights from TK Maxx and brown shoes found in a Shelter charity shop (to which I added turquoise laces - leather twine bought from Hometown Fabric Shop, Rochester). My bag is from Paperchase and the earrings are from a stall at The Rochester Flea.
Today I look like this but tomorrow I will look quite different, I follow no particular trend or fashion, I just like beautiful things, colour, design, textures.
My hair is always cut into a sharp 1920’s bob. Louise Brooks is one of my style heroes and I love the 20’s look.
Where do you live?
I live in Rochester with my husband and cat. We are happy here, it is close enough to London for his work (only 35 minutes on the High Speed) and we can get out into the countryside quickly on days off. Rochester has a large creative community, we are lucky to have friends involved in all aspects of the arts here so there is always something going on and something to see.
Where do you like to shop?
I am a charity shop shopper, you never know what treasures you will find and over the years I have found a few, including a gorgeous Lanvin dress and a cathedral-length wedding veil from about 1910 for only £5, which I wore at our wedding. I recommend Demelza and The Red Cross charity shops in Rochester for vintage goodies.
Fieldstaff Antiques is a shop full of delights, from clothes, hats, shoes, jewellery and even undies. I have collected a few stunning pieces from there over the years including a 1930’s red velvet evening dress I wore for our wedding party.
I am a firm believer that you do not have to spend lots of money to look good, you can find beautiful clothes cheaply. One of my favourite dresses was only 10p from a jumble sale.
I also buy goodies from Etsy an online community of shops, I have a wonderful collection of turbans bought on Etsy. n