Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vintage Vision: Part Two

Vintage Fashion Definition ~ "Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 1980s is considered vintage. Retro, short for retrospective, or "vintage style" usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era. Reproduction clothing is a newly-made but faithful copy of an older garment." Wikipedia

(Apologies for the squinty eyes and comedy boobs!)

~ Outfit Details ~

Vintage Crochet Top - Thrifted
Vintage Polka Dot Pleated Skirt - Thrifted
Two Tone Brogues - Primark
Vintage Tapestry Satchel - Thrifted
Tan Skinny Belt - Primark

Lately I’ve been thinking alot about just how and why vintage fashion has become so popular in recent years. I know that many designers have taken inspiration from previous eras, but that doesn't really explain the interest in actual vintage clothing. I know it's not because vintage garments are cheaper than high street copies as I've seen dresses sold for hundreds on eBay, in fact as soon as you add the word vintage to anything second-hand the price increases disproportionally. Having said that, armed with the right know how, you can find beautiful vintages pieces for little more than a few pounds.

I couldn't quite figure it out, so I did a little research, and it seems popular belief that although second hand clothing has always been available, of the old and newer variety, it wasn't until people in the public eye started to fashion outfits with vintage pieces that we stood up and took note. The likes of Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese and Sienna Miller opened our eyes to something more than just clothes, but a history, an appreciation of the past as well as the potential to help the environment by recycling our old clothing. Perhaps people simply got bored of all the regurgitated designs that are churned out every season and wanted the real thing.
I believe that many are attracted to vintage clothing because of the unique nature of each garment and the thrill of finding that one of a kind piece, especially if you don’t have to pay over the odds. I also find that vintage garments are much more well made since they were actually designed to be worn for years and years and even passed down to younger generations.

It even hasn't gone unnoticed that some fashion sub-cultures such as the punk, rockability and gothic trends have created their own style using vintages garments such as punk rock inspired t-shirts, full fifties skirts and lace-up bodice corsets.

I know why I love vintage fashion, firstly, because it enables me to be unique in a way, I know that no one else is wearing my outfit, I don't want to be another Topshop clone. I’m fascinated by the stylings of previous era's, particularly the fifties and sixties. I'm drawn to the detailing in the fabric, the pretty buttons, the embroidery, lace and crochet, as they say ‘they don’t make em like they used to’. I also think back then fashion was more suited to the curvier woman. Clothing was designed to suit the figures of women like Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, with nipped in waists and full flowing skirts, and pretty blouses with fitted pencil skirts, not to mention the introduction of the mini skirt in the sixties.

It's not just the clothing though it's the whole style that fascinates me. The hairstyles; huge beehives and polished chignons and the make-up; bright red lipstick and thick black eyeliner flicks with perfectly polished cheekbones. Even the lifestyle was so much prettier, beautiful old-fashioned architecture, classically styled cars, pretty china tea sets and an abundance of bunting.

Overall, I think vintage clothing allows us to be creative with our own style, by mixing different looks from different decades, but with the reassurance that we already know it works.

What is your favourite thing about vintage fashion?