Sunday, 27 March 2011

Viva la Vintage

For all those vintage lovers out there this is an ode to you. For all the times you have received strange looks whilst sat on the bus, or your boyfriend has said "woah that new dress of yours smells like death" Tnot just my boyfriend is it?!) and for when your confused Topshop obsessed friends ask you the unanswerable question "why vintage?"

I say unanswerable because when you are put on the spot to answer why your wearing something that is so normal to you, it can be quiet difficult to find the reason why. It's like asking a fashion victim why they shop at their local Topshop haunt?

I adore vintage, for me it's the excitement of hunting through rails and rails of clobber to find a gem - a diamond in amongst the rough. It's the most exhilerating feeling and you actually feel special when you wear it as it's different and unique to you rather than feeling anxious incase you see someone in the exact same thing as yourself - which is my biggest dread.

Personally I think it takes a very creative and open minded individual to have a passion for vintage clothing. You need a broader imaginative range in order to piece together looks as vintage opens up a more in depth variation of trends dating right back to the 1920s, not just those that fashion magazines tell you what to wear and how to wear it. In addition to this, of people who don't particularly realise that because fashion comes around again and again, todays retail stores just reinvent our vintage finds. But the beauty of having the original pieces just puts that 'special'  aspect back into fashion.

The biggest appeal to vintage, however, has got to be the history behind the garment. Just the thought of wearing a beautiful dress, for example, that another woman has worn and had so many wonderful memories in; was she attending a glamorous event in the dress, did she fall in love whilst wearing it or was it in fact a family heirloom - passed down through the years and now in your hands or mine. But that's another beauty of vintage clothing, they can be pieces of your own family history. I have a dress passed down from my mother with a seriously cool pattern of black music notes on a vivid pallette of turquoise silk - just gorgeous, and one day I will pass it on to my own children. This is thanks to the amazing quality of the materials used on garments and how well made they are. Adding to the individuality of the piece is the rare detailing such as hand finishing, embroidery techniques including crochet and beading.

The appreciation of the past and the respected skills of designers gone by, for me, just overrides the aspect of cheap and disposable fashion of today. It is exceptionally sad to think that because of the poorly made clothes of today provided by fast fashion chains such as Primark and mass produced products from Topshop, future generations won't get to experience the beauty of vintage that we all take for granted today.

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