29.6.12

Oh No it's Vintage

Hmmmm, this post has been a long while coming and it's one I've had half drafted for quite a while. I touched on some thoughts I've been having lately on my post about VV Brown when I used the words

''Vintage style is now so main stream and popular. This may have upset some of the vintage diehards/purists but I think it’s fine that people want to experiment and try new trends (even if they’re old ones!) Isn’t that want personal style and fashion is all about? Why not mix it up? New with old, or fifties style make up with the most modern of outfits, vintage hair with……… leggings?........... ''

A times I felt like I've been having a bit of a vintage crisis lately, not because I've fallen out of love with my wardrobe but because I feel that may be I don't fit in so much with some sections of the vintage scene..... may be I'm not die hard enough, not purist enough but........ I don't dress, style my hair or choose my home-wares because I want to be either of those things. I do them because, well I just like them and I'm interested in history.

Do you need to be interested in history to be able to wear vintage style? Of course you don't. If you want to cherry pick the bits you like and combine a beehive with a 1920s style flapper dress, who is anyone to tell you that you shouldn't? I recently wrote on my personal Facebook page the following status: 

''Hmmmm. I don't have the need or desire to police what people should think, do or wear. Nor do I need to be policed. ''

And it's true, I don't . Frankly and this may be controversial, it saddens me that some don't like the fact that vintage style has gone so mainstream, because I feel it's not ours to keep! I think it's wonderful that beehives, victory rolls etc live on! Personally I want to share how these styles can be recreated, I wouldn't mind one bit if I walked in to a room and it was full of victory rolls. But what about individuality? Well I am an individual, you are an individual. Having similar hair or clothing style doesn't stop that. Even if I was dressed head to toe in identical style to the girl next to me, I'd still be me, she'd still be her. Being an individual is who you are, not just what you wear. 

Popular era's in vintage are 40s and 50s, and there's a lot of this in the media. They're my favourite eras, I like the fashions and I like the hair and make up of those decades. And yes, I do wear 40s victory rolls with a 50s style wiggle dress. I like mixing and matching the eras. I think having modern style icons like VV Brown, Paloma Faith and Katie Perry mixing it up is great. For me this is the way forward with vintage style. For me. That doesn't mean I think everyone should do the same, it's their style, it's their choice. As a stylist I'm happy to create a look, or show someone how to do it, if they then want to recreate what I've done or put their own twist on it then either way is fine by me. 

Another thing I'm hearing a lot at the moment - are pin up photo shoots vintage? In my opinion yes. Gil Elvgren for example produced over 500 paintings of women in tongue in cheek poses between the mid thirties and 1972. When we're seeing photographs of women in these pin up poses, this is a nod back to artists like him.

By Gil Elvgren
When I see people knock pin up style shoots, I think it's such a shame. Yes it might not be your cup of tea and there may be a lot of them around BUT these women are brave enough to go in front of the camera and if they're displaying their photos then they are bloody proud! (quite rightly). Whilst I've never had a pin up style shoot myself (this is because I'm not brave enough!) it seems like it would be quite an empowering thing to do. Some women who have had these shoots have told me that it's given them a big confidence boost. So why knock that?

I could talk about this a lot, so really I think this is just part one! But for now I'm off to put on my mass produced Primark skirt and decide how I'm going to do my hair. If I happen to pass someone dressed the same as me? Well.....I'll probably think she looks very cute indeed. Will I feel like I've been cloned? No - because there's only one of me. (Phew I hear you say!)

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11 comments

  1. I agree! I like things I like because that's me not because it fits into a scene. I really like this post as I think some people can be a little elitist after all I'm pretty sure they all own laptops and i phones and how vintage are they! x

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  2. The reason I like reading your blog is because you write fromm the heart and you come across as very genuine. We're all just trying to make our way in life and recently I've been to a few events where some (but not all) of the vintage scene have made me feel quite unwelcome. Like an outsider, your post has made me feel better about those recent events! It's a shame there aren't more people like you though! Lois x

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  3. Ah good post and well said!! I love your blog, but normally lurk without commenting but I just had to say that I read every word and by the time I got to the end I just wanted to that I thought this was just a super super article.

    Beks

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  4. Exactly!!!

    I've been seeing recent rumblings in the "vintage" internetland and they were all beginning to make me feel like I wasn't trying hard enough....or doing it all wrong because I LIKE the polka dots, the curls, the pin-ups, the rockabilly thing etc etc.

    I've been partaking of the vintage inspired look for a couple of years now and mine has to be vintage inspired rather than true vintage partly because most things can't cope with the ol' bazoomas and partly because it's usually too pricey!! I'd rather spend my cash on repro or vintage inspired but I don't think it should make me any less into the scene because of it!

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    1. I'm so with you on this Sandy! I love vintage inspired because the style makes me feel and look glamorous and that lovely bit quirky, but I'm not particularly bothered by owning a genuine vintage item (and they don't fit & usually cost!!!)
      I have found the hard core vintage enthusiasts a bit of a clique but have also met some very open and accessible people who value the ethos of the decades not just the looks!! Great post Missy V!

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  5. There are bits I love about "vintage" being so popular, and bits I loathe in equal measure. Thankfully, I am happy with my own style, be it all out authentic looking or not :)

    Fab post on how you feel :)

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  6. Well said, love!
    I live in a run-down working class town in the heart of the Industrial Midlands where most people assume a Victory Roll is something produced by Mr Kipling and a photo shoot takes place after an arrest. There's no "scene" here, you either dress in mass-produced high street fashion, drink alcopops and are called a "Townie" or don't and are classed as a "Weirdo".
    I'd no idea of any "vintage scene" or the rivalry within it until I started blogging. I've dressed in my retro style forever, it was fashionable when I was born (in 1966) and I just wore my Mum's/Grandmas's stuff until I built up my own collection. I don't claim to have a monopoly on 1960/1970s style and if people want to adopt it for themselves then I'm more than happy, it makes my huge wardrobe of psychedelia and vintage dresses all the more desirable if I ever need to sell any of them.
    If more girls were like you and just got on with enjoying life instead of worrying about what other people do and wear the world would be a far nicer place. xxx

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  7. I've written a similar post today!

    I've never felt that anyone I've ever met who was into "vintage" was ever policing what I wear and what is and isn't vintage. I've met people in 70s polyester, people with beehives and people in 30s frocks with bright pink hair. Any "policing" has come from how commercial it's become and how mainstream fashion media has attempted to define a style and pigeonhole how people who like vintage should look.

    We all like what we like, but when people start trying to twist that to their own ends it takes the shine off what should be fun. Which is a shame. I think it's lovely if people find a new interest in styles and history through vintage being popular. Not so lovely when people are expected to work for free or lie about their lives to fit into an image the media want to portray!

    Xx

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  8. Hear hear! I don't fit into any vintage scene and it is not an interest I share with many friends, I have never had that kind of cohesive peer group, but I love my amazing friends that have their own interests and styles. Anything goes with me as my style is influenced by every decade from 20s to 70s and I love Japanese street fashion too, so I mix and match. I wear repro, charity shop finds, handmade, high street, vintage and v occasionally designer - basically whatever I like, that fits and feels fabulous and that I can afford. Maybe it is because I am not part of a scene, but I certainly don't mind that vintage is fashionable, I love that I can find more High Street bargains and if it means there are more stylish and interesting-looking people in the world, then hip hip hooray!

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  9. Being older than perhaps the average blogger/vintage lover, I find myself quite amused by the people who seem to think themselves purists. Mostly I find that people actually haven't got it quite right, they are too influenced by American films which show a Hollywood look rather than a real look, even British films are not that accurate in how they portrayed people. I am also amused that so many who want the retro/vintage look dress as the middle aged women did and appear to look frumpy. They dress in a way that neither I nor my mother would ever have dreamed of looking, bu then wear makeup and hair like a film star.

    If you have a look you like then fine, but don't necessarily assume that you are better or somehow more right, most of you are not as right as you think you are. So long as the way you dress doesn't scare the natives then do as you please.

    Everybody should look and dress anyway they feel, but "youth~" should be wary of thinking they know how it really was!

    Thanks for your post it is good to know that the clothing police are being put in their place.

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