Interviews by Patrick Kingsley 

Celebrities’ second-hand clothes

Why would anyone want Coleen Rooney's dress or Kevin Spacey's suit? We speak to five people who bought a celebrity cast-off
  
  

Daniel Hopkins, 39, hairdresser, Brighton: bought Kevin Spacey's suit for £160

I was getting married last September and I'd been looking for a suit for my wedding. I'd been on the hunt for about three months, but I couldn't find anything – you need to get something that's exactly right. The one suit I had wanted cost a lot more than I thought – I didn't have 900 quid. One day, I was on Regent Street and I saw Kevin Spacey's suit – brown, with a grey pinstripe – in the window of a pop-up shop for ShelterBox. It was a pretty good fit, so I decided I'd bid for it on eBay. My fiancee saw the picture online and said to go for it. I'm one of those few people who doesn't really use a computer – I think I'd spend a fortune if I did – so a mate had to do the actual bidding. At the time, it was going for a very low price. I was surprised – it was only about £60 when we started, and I got it for just 100 quid more than that. I hadn't heard of the make – it's somebody called Brioni – but it turns out they're a very expensive company. It didn't fit perfectly. There's no size inside, but I think it's an Italian 50. I'm not quite as broad as Spacey, so I had to get the waist taken in a bit. Spacey's a stylish fella, and a brilliant actor, but I wouldn't say I bought it to get a piece of him. I was just looking for a nice suit.

It was a bit of a story at the wedding, though. All the guests thought it was quite funny, and I thanked Kevin in my speech. I don't think I looked like him, though. That would have been a bit of a long shot.

Dawn Coward, 47, senior planning officer, Liverpool: bought Coleen Rooney's dress for £100

Liverpool's a bit like a village, so I often see Coleen Rooney out and about. She goes to the hairdresser round the corner from me, her best friend lives down the road, and she visits my beauty salon, too. The sister of the girl who runs the place even goes out with Coleen's brother. Last autumn, I'd got a table at a charity clothes auction. I was with a friend who manages the designer shop Flannels, so she has quite a good eye. She pointed to this dress and said it was a very good one – it was designer, by By Malene Birger. I liked it, and I thought, "Ooh, it's Coleen's", so I bid for it. For a while it just sat in my wardrobe – I found it too flamboyant and thought I wouldn't want to go out in it. The sleeves are quite big and wide, almost as if they're taken from Star Trek costumes. But in January, my son Christopher turned 16 and asked to go to this fancy restaurant called San Carlo. Previously, we'd always said, no, it's too expensive, but as it was his birthday, we took him. You really did feel it was a place for Wags, so I wore the dress. We went in, got our table – and who was sitting opposite us but Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher and his girlfriend. I went over, which I wouldn't ordinarily do, and told them I had Coleen's dress on, and they had a good laugh.

Sue Aubrey-Edwards, 52, teaching assistant, Stanmore: bought a pair of Justin Bieber's jeans for £165

My daughter Charmian's been into Justin Bieber for years. That's all she talks about, and sometimes I do feel, "Oh, stop talking about Justin Bieber!" When he toured here last year, she went to two concerts, and we once queued from 4am at Westfield to go to one of his signings. We didn't make it in the end because it turned out they'd told us to queue in the wrong place. Charmian was distraught.

The Christmas before last, she told me they were selling his clothes on eBay for Great Ormond Street. I tried bidding for a few items, but I kept losing out because the prices were going up too high. Then I went for these tight, pale jeans and I won. I had to keep it a big secret. We didn't give them to her for Christmas, because we'd already got her presents, so we thought, "We'll give them to her in June for her 15th birthday." It was pretty hard not telling her. She kept asking, "Did you win anything?" And we had to say, "No, the prices were too high." When her birthday came round, she unwrapped her present and said, "They're very nice, Mum, but they won't fit me." You could see the disappointment in her face. But then she opened the authenticating letter and burst into tears. And that made me and my husband cry. It was magical, really. Whenever we give her stuff, we always video it – I can't believe we didn't this time. It was a moment I'll never forget. Right now, the trousers are still wrapped up in the bag, so we're going to build a wooden case, put the trousers in there and hang it on the wall. Even once she stops liking Justin so much, I think she'll still treasure the jeans. They're something of his.

Tracey Lewis, 47, home carer, Bristol: bought Mel B's leopardprint coat for £185

My husband, Andy, used to put on shows at small theatres up and down the country, and I'd help him out by buying costumes. One year, we decided to do something with songs that had reached No 1 at Christmas, and one of the routines involved coming on as the Spice Girls. I read in the paper that Mel B was auctioning everything from her old house in Buckinghamshire in aid of CLIC Sargent. I'd never bought anything that had belonged to anyone famous, but I thought there might be something that would give the show some publicity. When I saw they were selling her famous leopardprint coat, I never thought I'd win it in a million years – my budget was only £200. But we were lucky: they hadn't publicised the auction very well. I couldn't believe the lack of bids, and I got it for just £185. I was absolutely delighted. I was a big Spice Girls fan, so I bought the coat with my own money because I didn't want Andy to keep it after the show. It was an investment for me.

Unfortunately, I can't wear it because, shoulder to shoulder, it is tiny. Really tiny. I just can't get in it. That was the thing that surprised me. I'd never seen her in real life, but she must be very small. I'm a 14 and I think Mel B is probably a 6-8. It's a shame. Now it's just sitting in a box in my wardrobe.

Jan Peters, 47, managing director, Wirral: bought a black jacket from the set of Ugly Betty for £400

Three years ago, my company got involved with Clothes Throw, a charity auction organised by the Alder Hey hospital. I don't tend to bid for much, but at the last minute, this black evening jacket was added to the menu. It's lined with fake fur, and sounds hideous, but it's absolutely amazing. It's a Nina Ricci designer piece from the set of Ugly Betty – and I love Ugly Betty. I love it, love it, love it. It was worn by Vanessa Williams, who plays one of my favourite characters, Wilhelmina. I saw the piece and it was so different that I thought, "I've got to get this." It started off at £50 and just went up and up. There was another lady in the room who really wanted it, but I thought it was so glamorous – as befits the character – that I was going to go for it all the way. A little voice was saying, "You may never get a chance again."

I was delighted when I got it. It's just the right size – a 12 – and it fits like a glove. I thought, "I can wear something Wilhelmina wore." That was a nice feeling, because those on-screen stars look amazing. I also like the idea that there's now a little link between me and Hollywood. And it's a snip for what it is. In the shops, it would have been two or three times more expensive. It's a wintry coat, so I only really get it out at Christmas, but I've worn it a few times. I was at a dinner last year and loads of people commented on it, saying how nice it was. It gave me so much pleasure to say, "Well, it's from Ugly Betty."

 

Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *

*