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Love Island stylist reveals simple trick to find discounted designer items online

A celebrity stylist who is dressing this season’s Love Island cast has revealed her top tips for securing designer pieces at bargain prices.

Love Island is set to return for its eighth season on 6 June, with ITV announcing the initial 11 contestants on Monday.

Aside from the drama, the break-ups and makeups, the various “icks” and the challenges (which will not include food this year, thankfully), there’s one other aspect of the show which drives views – the fashion.

Molly Mae-Hague proved popular style inspiration when she appeared on the fifth series, securing a £500,000 deal with Pretty Little Thing after leaving the show in 2019 (she is now the fast fashion retailer’s creative director).

Meanwhile Millie Court’s appearance last year sent Google searches for marble dresses and pink co-ords rocketing.

This year the contestants will still bring in some of their own clothes, but they will have the opportunity to mix and match these with pieces from a shared wardrobe picked by stylist Amy Bannerman.

The change comes after ITV revealed the show has partnered with eBay in a bid to challenge stigmas around second-hand clothing and champion sustainability in fashion.

Bannerman, who has dressed the likes of Dua Lipa, Lena Dunham and Sophie Turner, has also included plenty of designer pieces.

Some of the items set to go into the villa were showcased at a press event on Tuesday 31 May, including a floor-length Moschino gown, a Jean Paul Galtier co-ord she found for the bargain price of £40 and a black Alaïa mini dress for under £300.

Sharing an insight into her sourcing process, Bannerman said one of her top tips is to “spell things incorrectly” or spell them how they might be said.

Recalling a recent conversation with some of the islanders, Bannerman said some of them kept describing “runched” dresses, when they meant to say ruched.

“I put ‘runched’ into eBay and it brought up all these amazing ruched things. Then I spelt it a couple of other ways and found some more stuff,” Bannerman said.

A seasoned eBay shopper who has been using the platform for 20 years, Bannerman urges people to make a list of items they’ve “always wanted or missed out on”.

Using this list, she recommends searching “very, very specifically”, as it might bring them up.

On the other hand, searching very broadly also has its upside.

“At Christmas I was looking for an eighties velvet dress, but I was finding it very frustrating that it wasn’t coming up,” she said.

“People [who are selling] might not put eighties or might not think the item is vintage.

“If you put in just velvet dress, add pre-loved and your size, and just scroll, it can be very fruitful. So, if you have the time, be very, very general.”

Bannerman also recommends taking part in auctions, which is where she said she finds the best deals – like the Gaultier co-ord and Alaïa dress.

eBay currently records one pre-loved fashion sale every second. The platform’s data shows that young people are leading the charge, with 80 per cent of Gen Z shoppers saying they have bought something second-hand recently.

“On screen you’re going to see islanders wearing a mix of both new and preloved, much like you would see in the real world,” head of fashion at eBay UK, Jemma Tadd said.

“We think it’s those little swaps in everyone’s wardrobes that’s really going to make a big difference,” Tadd added.

Aside from sourcing second-hand clothing from eBay, Bannerman is also hoping the concept of a shared wardrobe will encourage borrowing.

Recent years have seen a huge rise in fashion rental services, endorsed by famous faces such as Holly Willoughby, Laura Whitmore and Carry Symonds (who wore a rented bridal gown for her wedding to Boris Johnson last May).

One item which is sure to be a hit among the contestants in the Love Island villa, and the viewers at home, is an ode to the iconic Julien MacDonald dress Paris Hilton wore on her 21st birthday.

The recreation is a silver mini dress which is covered in its entirety with diamante crystals.

“One of the girls, when she saw this, I thought she was going to cry,” Bannerman said.

“We’re only sending one of these into the house to encourage borrowing. We really like the idea of someone wearing this and then someone else having their eye on it and earmarking it for an event,” she explained.

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