Meet Claire Amos
Principal at Albany Senior High School in Auckland, Claire Amos is a changemaker and forward thinker when it comes to educating our next generation of leaders in sustainable fashion initiatives. With a penchant for 70s and 80s retro, this roller diva is an absolute treasure in our vintage wearing community!
When did you first start wearing vintage and retro?
I have loved vintage and op-shopping since I was a teenager. I even wrote a high school speech about the secret life of my most beloved paisley shirt. In high school it was about an affordable way to dress differently, whereas now, whilst that still stands, it’s also a way to indulge a love of fashion in a sustainable and ethical way.
Your current style obsession:
I have so many! Dynasty-style blouses with power shoulders in bright colours, and I am always on the hunt for bright-coloured flares or high-waisted pleated pants. I also love 80s costume jewellery, as I believe statement accessories have the power to bring a whole outfit together.
Favourite vintage or retro piece in your wardrobe?
Current favourite would probably be my Diane Freis dresses - I love that she only ever made a few in each fabric, and I love her ability to combine clashing prints and colours that still come off as ‘Lady Di’ classics.
Your top tip on incorporating or wearing vintage in your wardrobe and everyday life:
I just live by the mantra “You can never be overdressed or overeducated!” I think people often hesitate because retro and vintage can sometimes feel costumey. I simply embrace that and often base my outfits on different characters or muses and run with the fact that my OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) can sometimes be OTT. It pays to not take yourself too seriously, you soon discover how you dress can not only uplift your spirits, but also the spirits of those around you.
What advice would you offer to a student looking to lessen their fashion footprint?
Educate yourself about fast fashion - try committing to only buying second-hand for a month and then stretch out the timeframe. My daughter researched fast fashion for her Art and Design subject last year and was horrified at the amount of damage it was doing to our environment, not to mention the human cost. Both my daughters and myself are trying to only buy second-hand all year this year. It's good to make it like a team challenge!
Your favourite fashion era?
I’m a total magpie and am often drawn to bold cuts, colours and patterns. Most of my favourite pieces are from the 70s and 80s but honestly I am open to all decades!
Your accessory essential:
Confidence. Seriously, a sense of humour and a whole lot of confidence makes most outfits work!