Shaira Styles The Thames Camera Bag, all in Vintage!

Shaira Styles The Thames Camera Bag, all in Vintage!

RETRO. Vintage sunglasses from the Bangkal thrift shop; vintage dress from the Chicago shop in Harajuku; shoes, Prada.


Photographer, fashion lover, and vintage goods collector Shaira Luna wears many interesting hats. The petite powerhouse is known for shooting major fashion campaigns, editorials and celebrities, but it’s her personal work—dreamy, softly lit photographs and videos—that imparts an otherworldly appeal to the viewer. Lately, she’s been gaining popularity via her YouTube channel where she models and talks about her ukay-ukay finds in the most relatable and covetable way. Merging work and play comes so seamlessly for this talented and very down-to- earth creative/fashionista that we think no one is more suitable to style and model our in-demand Thames bag than her! Feast your eyes on these brilliant looks that cost no more than a hotel buffet for one, making our chic Thames bag the star of the show while learning some very useful tips, should you wish to embark on your own vintage shopping adventure. After reading this, we sure hope you do!


WILDCARD. Vintage mini-dress from a friend's Lola.


Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Shaira and I'm a fashion and commercial photographer based in Manila, Philippines. I shoot mostly editorials, campaigns, and artists, but I also produce and style a lot of my own photo stories, found on my Instagram @shairaluna and Tumblr accounts.

Describe your personal style in three words

Fun, practical, always-inspired-by-something, haha!

Why do you favor vintage vs. brand new?

When I started out as a photographer on a budget, buying second-hand goods was just a matter of being practical. As my interest and knowledge in fashion grew, I started to appreciate one-of-a-kind pieces (such as garments found in ukay-ukays) and the fact that I could really build and shoot entire stories out of the clothes and props I would find. Nowadays, thanks to being more comfortable budget-wise, I really seek out and acquire real vintage clothing for reasons that include quality, craftsmanship, and perhaps a history behind each piece.


BIKER. Sunglasses, Sunnies Studios; vintage Harley Davidson shirt; pants, ukay. Jadon boots, Dr. Martens.


COLOR. Top & pants from ukay; shoes, BCBG.


Tips and tricks to master the art of vintage shopping

1. Know your size by sight and not always by the label! This is a great time saver when you are browsing the aisles and don't have your measurements or a tape measure. An easy way to do this is by holding up your best fitting pieces at home, and familiarizing yourself with their silhouettes, widths, and lengths. This applies to brand new clothing, too!

2. Related to tip #1, bear in mind that clothes were marked or labeled differently back in the day. A size 28 label twenty or more years ago would be a size 26 label now, for example.

3. Vintage clothing will have clues, most of the time. Take a look at the tag, the font on the tag and how aged it looks. The stitching, fabric, and materials will usually be quite different, as well.

4. If vintage clothing is really what you're after, it helps to familiarize yourself with the fashion of each era by studying magazines, ads, and photographs, and more! This came easy to me even back then, because whenever I would be given a peg from a past era, I would spend hours on Google just learning about that particular time.

5. You don't always have to go to a shop to find vintage things. Ask your older relatives if they have treasures in their closet, and I think some will be very happy to lend or pass their belongings on. I love giving new life to old things!


NEUTRAL. H&M blazer from ukay; tee, Kultura; pants, ukay.


Where and how will you use your Thames Camera bag? What do you love about it?

I really feel like the Thames Camera bag will lend itself to both casual and dressier occasions! I can picture it over my 90's shirt and high waist denim while running errands, or over a plaid suit paired with smart oxfords. I looove the color I got. I've always wanted a green bag, but I am always particular about the materials, style and shape of my bags. I always favor roomy cross body bags over others, because I like being hands-free. I am also real pleased that it has many compartments for better organization!


PRINT ON PRINT. Top, ukay; skorts, ukay.


Are you a bag or shoe girl?

Before, neither! I didn't really think about bags or shoes until my early 20's, when I finally got an Amazon account and purchased lots of discounted shoes. I ended up using not many of them and kept them in storage for years, only to find them totally peeling and unusable after! I sadly had to throw away a whole sack of shoes, and that's when I realized that it was really important to invest in comfortable, high quality shoes - starting with work footwear like Dr. Martens, and nowadays more designer/high quality labels since I have to attend more events. Thankfully, my knowledge and interest in leather and other good materials, dictates how I select my bags---mostly vintage---which I started collecting early last year.

Where to shop vintage in Manila? The provinces?

From experience, finding vintage pieces in Manila or the provinces will be by chance, since ukay-ukays are really more about second-hand clothing. I often find good pieces, not necessarily vintage, in Makati Square, Olivarez Compound in Tagaytay, and more recently, in Araneta Cubao.


INTERVIEW & PHOTOS Anne Bella Arguelles

Follow Shaira Luna on Instagram (@shairaluna) for more OOTD inspirations