A lot of people wear vintage but do they actually know what they're wearing? It's a trend I've seen come and go but do you know the actual back story??
Emma over at ASOS Marketplace decided to school my readers on what vintage is all about...
A Dissection of the Vintage Fashion Trend
Unique yet epitomizing the era in which they were designed, vintage fashion is highly coveted today.
At a minimum of 25-years-old, it is not merely old or second-hand, but rather evocative of the
society from which it emanated. From clothing to jewellery to hats to handbags and even shoes, the
allure of bygone eras has proven to be quite strong in fashion. Moreover, although the most popular
vintage period varies from season to season, the demand for vintage pieces never wanes.
The popularity of the vintage fashion trend can be traced to several factors. First noticeable in
the early 1970s as thrift stores popped up in response to a demand for clothing unlike the mass-
produced items of the times, vintage clothing is regarded as distinctive. For those fashionable
shoppers seeking one-of-a-kind items that distinguish their wardrobes from all others, vintage pieces
fill this void beautifully. This element is what entices many to add vintage pieces to coordinate with
contemporary items they already own or plan to purchase.
For other vintage shoppers, it is the quality of the pieces that beckons. Often hand-tailored of the
finest quality fabrics, vintage items stand the test of time specifically because of the excellence of
their workmanship. In fact, some vintage pieces have even become collectibles, among them Emilio
Pucci prints from the 1960s-1970s and silk beaded dresses of the 1920s, to name a few.
Then there are those for whom vintage couture is a must-have. Eveningwear being the prime
example, when accompanied by jewellery of the same era, the ensemble bespeaks glamour. Thus, a
vintage gown such as the iconic black and white Valentino worn by Julia Roberts when she won the
Oscar remains vivid in the minds of many.
Indeed, celebrities have elevated vintage fashion to an artistic level. Attired in striking vintage
clothing on stage as far back as 1997, Barbra Streisand is credited by the New York Times with being
the first world-renowned person to perform in vintage fashion. Yet, it is sophisticated Hollywood
glamour, immortalised by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly that is among the truly iconic in vintage
fashion. From the Kelly bag to Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress, vintage pieces from their 1950s
era continue to influence contemporary fashion.
Today, fuelled by current affection for 1970s garb, vintage fashion and accessories of the era are hot
sellers. Maxi dresses skimming the floor, large brooches set with pearls or coloured jewels, elegantly
tailored jackets that hint at menswear — these vintage pieces also influence contemporary fashion
trends of late, making vintage clothing and jewellery at once contemporary and timeless. In this way,
vintage fashion trends seem fresh and new again.