5 Minute Talks: shopping tips and vintage treasures with Claudia Andersen

If pastel colors and floral prints make your heart beat faster, Claudia Andersen is the person to follow for sustainable fashion inspiration. I talked to the Design Technology student (and talented seamstress) about ethical style choices and her favorite vintage designer gems.

I know you make some of your own clothes using vintage fabrics. When did your love for sewing begin?

Actually I am very new to sewing - I started about 3 months ago. I had been thinking about buying a sewing machine for a long time and one day I decided to do it. I’d never used a sewing machine before so it was kinda scary, however I’m glad I took the jump. I still mess up a lot and I’ve made some epic fails, so it’s definitely a learning process. Honestly that’s what I love about it, trying new things and getting new skills, even if that means messing up a few times (many, many times).

When it comes to sustainability and the issues surrounding fast fashion, what is one thing you wish everybody knew?

Global fashion production has DOUBLED in the last 15 years due to fact that people wear their clothes less and get rid of them more often. It’s so important that we as fashion consumers create sustainable wardrobes with good quality items that can be worn for years and years. It’s also important to note that thrifting, second hand and vintage are key to helping this issue.

I have a few things that I consider before making a purchase:

  • Does the item go well with my existing wardrobe?
  • Can this item stay in my wardrobe for many many years ? (Forever is the goal!)
  • Is it trendy or timeless? I try to stay away from the trendy pieces since I often end up getting tired of them;
  • Do I absolutely love it? If I have a lukewarm feeling about an item, I probably don’t need it;
  • Can I thrift this? Many wardrobe essentials can often be thrifted (for example jeans, sportswear, swimsuits, basic tops and summer dresses/skirts).

You have a very feminine, colorful sense of style. Who/what are your main style inspirations?

I’ve always worn colors, even before it got trendy. In 7th grade I tried to wear a lot of black to blend in, but it never really stuck with me. My mother has always had an extremely colorful fashion sense so that has definitely rubbed off on me. What inspires me the most is the mood I’m in and the place I am in life. For me, style is a way to express all those things.
I’m also inspired by the 90s tv series/movies' fashion (for instance Rachel from Friends, Lizzie McGuire, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, the women in Sex & the City, etc). Another fashion icon of mine (my favorite one) is Yvonne from the danish movie Olsen Banden. Her style is fun and over the top. I love that!
Another source of inspiration is all the amazing fashion at the thrifts shops; thrifting helps me be more open mined about style.

I know you have some incredible vintage designer pieces. Do you remember your best finds?

My absolute favorite thrifted designer piece is my KENZO floral skirt suit. At the time I found it I had been searching different vintage sites for a skirt suit. Luckily I found this one for only 250 DKK (33,59€) so the timing couldn’t have been better. I also thrifted some brand new Saks Potts stocking with tags for 10 DKK (1,34€) which was kinda cool ;)

And finally, the tough question: what's your favorite item from your closet at the moment?

I'm cheating here cause it’s actually three pieces. The tulip print from GANNI is my all time favorite print so I had to buy it all. I found the skirt, turtleneck and wrap top on Trendsales.

 This interview was first published in the Non Manon biweekly newsletter. You can find Claudia on Instagram here!

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