When it was announced last month that everyone's favourite summer reality show was partnering with eBay, it's fair to say that we were pretty shocked. The Love Island look has historically been very fast fashion-focused, and we were excited to see what kind of outfits this year's islanders would be sporting.
This year, the contestants have been styled by a small team of eBay obsessives who have been scouring the platform for the very best second hand pieces of the moment.
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Who is Love Island's stylist?
Ex-Cosmopolitan fashion director Amy Bannerman is heading up the Love Island style team this year. The celebrity stylist was thrilled to have received an email "completely out of the blue" about a mystery project, and she jumped at the chance when she found out about the "incredible pairing" that would be taking place between Love Island and eBay.
"I was shocked in the best possible way," Amy tells Hello! Fashion. "I think there's been a want for change for ages, and people are becoming more disenchanted with the whole fast fashion model."
Before she even knew about the role, Amy had been singing the platform's praises for years, as evidenced by her own wardrobe. "I did actually google once whether there was a support group for eBay addicts!" she laughs. "There isn't, so there's a gap in the market."
How does the Love Island styling process work?
Styling the villa is no mean feat, especially considering that in the beginning, Amy didn't actually know who she was shopping for. Starting in early May, she began checking out what eBay had to offer, shopping for generic sizes as the identities of the contestants were still a secret at that point. Then, she was allowed a brief opportunity to get to quiz the islander's on their fashion habits. "With sizing especially, you can say 'I'm a size 10' but then when you dig into 'What size jeans do you wear?', often the answer is different," she explains.
Amy drafted a questionnaire to find out more about each of the islanders' personal style and who they look up to fashion-wise so she could get a better idea of what to look for. She then put together a gift box from eBay, a capsule collection consisting of the basics – shorts and T-shirts and the like – which was waiting for the islanders at their isolation villas.
Amber, Dami and Paige pose in outfits that aired on Monday night's show
What are the Love Island style themes?
Amy devised four themes within the villa wardrobe – 'Blurred Lines', 'Love Me Forever', 'Dopamine Dressing' and, our personal favourite, 'Y2K' – all based on "trends that the high street were really focusing on and trends that had been really big on the catwalk". Jane Norman, Morgan and Bay Trading have been huge in the 'Y2K' section, whereas 'Love Me Forever' (which focuses on timeless classics) consists of staples like denim shorts, milkmaid blouses and little black dresses.
However, Amy was excited about 'Blurred Lines' the most, the theme inspired by more androgynous looks. "Before there had been quite gendered dressing, the girls were always wearing brightly coloured form-fitting bodycon dresses and the boys were always wearing really classic 'lad' attire," she explains. "Whereas Blurred Lines allows for fluidity, men's shirts with belts, and for example last night [Monday] Paige wearing the men's chinos cut off into a skirt and a waistcoat."
Amy feels that a shift away from rigidly gendered looks allows for more possibilities, saying: "With the limitations that they [Love Island] had with previous sponsors, it hasn't been possible to be that fashion forward and I think that's one of the things that we were really excited about."
Who is the most stylish islander?
Tasha, Gemma and Paige take a selfie
"I'd say Tasha, I just love her," Amy reveals. "You can tell she really enjoys clothes, and when she wore that Diesel leather dress and smoothed her hair and changed how she'd done her makeup, I thought 'You look like you're ready for a shoot or something'."
Amy feels that by providing the contestants with such a varied wardrobe, you can really see their individual personalities shining through. "This is the first time that you can see it on the islanders, carving out their own styles," she explains. "I love them all for different reasons really. I love that Paige wore that combo last night, it felt really different for Love Island.
Which pieces was Amy desperate to add to the villa wardrobe?
Pieces from Kate Moss' collections for Topshop were high up on Amy' wish list. "I'm a huge fan, because for me that's really nostalgic and such a moment," she says. "I thought of that because the shorts are so short and it's so sexy and the dresses were so iconic, they're so hard to get hold of." Also, the Love Island girls are huge fans of Poster Girl and House of CB, according to Amy.
Which Love Island looks will we see next?
The Love Island girls pose for a quick firepit pic
Sadly, it's impossible to say for sure because although Amy and her team stock the wardrobe, what the islanders will plump for is a mystery. What we do know is that there's an incredible green Versace dress from the commercial collection, inspired by Jennifer Lopez's iconic gown. "That's really exciting because it's so recognisable, so I'm really crossing my fingers and toes every night that someone wears it!" Amy says.
"There's also a Balmain denim dress which I love because it's so sexy but in a not classic Love Island way," she explains. "It's very form-fitting and it has gold buttons – depending on who wears it we might shorten it, but it's so sexy but in a not overt way."
How to nail shopping second hand according to Love Island stylist Amy Bannerman:
1. Don't let your price expectations put you off
"Search for the designers who feel out of reach, Saint Laurent or Gucci, whatever it is. You'd be surprised how affordable they can be, especially with black dresses we're finding. We found a Gucci dress yesterday which is classic black but with a completely low-scooped back and the way it's made, the fabric it is, why would you go and get something from the high street when you can get something like that, that you can keep forever."
2. Be creative with your search terms
"If you think about how you would word a 'diamante' dress or top, there are so many potential words around it. Like 'crystal' or 'sparkly', 'metallic' or 'shiny'. You have to think, 'What else would someone call this?' You have to be really creative with how someone would describe it."
3. Shop out of season
Even though the current heatwave might mean that you're firmly in summer mode, now is the perfect time to be searching for second hand winter warmers – think Prada shearling jackets and 80s wool overcoats.
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