Recently in Time Out there have been several articles about ‘shopping for vintage’, I notice that the shops mentioned are invariably in
This is because generally speaking these shops are full of tacky late 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s clothing. with just the occasional (over-priced) real piece. Is this vintage? My personal cut off date is the 1950’s, any later and if of good quality or designer origins it is 'collectable'. If poor quality: jumble. There is no suggestion here that clothes from the 70’s or 80’s shouldn’t be sold and worn proudly. From the point of individuality alone there is a greater chance that you won’t be wearing the same Primark blouse as everyone else. Ecologically it makes sense to recycle and re-use. What is out of order is steaming a C&A dress, labelling it as ‘vintage’ and then being able to sell it on for £30.00 and upwards. Well if someone is idiotic enough to buy it, business wise it is fine and dandy. But ‘vintage’? purrleaase! I’m becoming very annoyed by hearing “oh, there is a new vintage clothes shop at so and so corner” only to find it is full manky jumble and staffed by vacant eyed sticks with slack jaws. Vintage inspired, retro or second-hand fine but not vintage. You don’t call a 1980’s Ford Escort a vintage car, you don’t call a poster of Bros a vintage print so why do womens clothes get given the appendage so easily? Perhaps it is because we are mugs, more likely to fall for emperors new clothes inspired sales schtick in the same way we will buy ‘diet water’ or expensive wrinkle creams made of bug placentas.
To be honest most real vintage is hard to wear, it is expensive, too expensive and I lay responsibility for this at the steps of the gullible too. I wear mostly at reproduction clothing and am far from slavish to any era. Those who follow retro-dressing to extremes but combine this enthusiasm with looking down on your High Street facsimiles (and we have all met them) I find amusing. But vintage is vintage, it is old, it is from the era it represented. Surely the history you can hold in your hands and wear upon your body is the point of vintage or antique clothing. That flapper frock with the mysterious green stains, the Bakelite buttons on your 1930’s jacket, the tea dress that survived the blitz and the outrageousness of that massive bundle of fabric and net otherwise know in the fifties as a circle skirt. There is a romance to these objects that is almost entirely conferred by the patina of time passing. That is what draws me to vintage originals.
By all means combine you skinny jeans with a shiny ironic late 80’s blouse from Etam, but please don’t describe it as vintage. It needs another 30 years or so to mature ….
Buying vintage in
I find that Lynette who has a small shop of Camden Passage in otherwise rubbish Islington is very good for vintage hats and rayon dresses. Black Out in