Wednesday, April 13, 2016

༺ Golden Fox ~ Thoughts on Modern Vintage Style ༻

Bernie Dexter "Foxy Pinup Dress" in Peach Fox Print | Lavender & Twill

Bernie Dexter "Foxy Pinup Dress" in Peach Fox Print | Lavender & Twill

Autumn vintage style with 1940s look | Lavender & Twill

Vintage 1940's style ~ featuring Bernie Dexter Fox dress and vintage accessories | Lavender & Twill

Autumn vintage style with 1940s look | Lavender & Twill

Vintage 1940's style ~ featuring Bernie Dexter Fox dress and vintage accessories | Lavender & Twill

Autumn vintage style with 1940s look | Lavender & Twill

Here’s the thing… I wear vintage style because I want to.

I like playing around with the looks and fashions of the 1940s and 1950s. And sure, I do try to keep my outfits fairly accurate. I’ll mix up pieces, but only if the style fits ~ i.e., a 70s does 40s blouse in a 1940s look, or 1950s gloves and hat styled as 40s accessories {Most “imposters” are in my 1940s looks rather than the 1950s ones due to the difficulty and expense of collecting genuine 1940s vintage}.

But in the end, I know that I’m not going to always be able to recreate authentic looks {as much as I’d like to}, and you know what ~ I think it’s fun to be able to play around with the styling a bit too!

But I’m sure your wondering what on earth has bitten me and the reason behind the random ranting, right? No? Oh, well you can always skip to the bottom, but be warned ~ there’s a rather long session of pondering plonked into this post!  (•   •๑)。。。 ₎₎ ₎₎

So the Mister and I were out taking the snaps for this shoot, and a random elderly gentleman stopped to comment on my outfit ~ saying that it was a lot like what women used to wear fifty, sixty years ago. I laughed, and agreed ~ that was the idea after all!

But when I explained that my look was based on 1940s styling, he said that I couldn’t be dressed like that, I was far too modern… He thought that I looked like I was from the sixties where they were much more progressive!  I replied that it’s a work in progress, and he went on his way.  And I must say, I do think my daily style really is a work in progress. But the whole conversation got me to thinking…

I’ve come across some of this attitude before ~ that if you don’t wear authentic, genuine 1940s vintage and look exactly like a 1940s photograph {or 50s, 60s, etc.}, then you can’t claim to be wearing vintage style. To be honest, this doesn’t really sit right with me. What is vintage style? Only wearing vintage garments? Is that really how vintage style is defined? Because that seems like a fairly narrow restriction, given that the price of vintage is climbing all the time ~ and also the scarcity of the vintage garments themselves.

I feel like if we were to constrict ourselves to the definition of vintage style as only being allowed to be called such when the person calling their style “vintage” is only decked out in authentic garments, or at the very worst, high end, quality reproduction garments that strictly follow authentic styling and quite often command just as high, or higher price tag than original vintage… Well, where will we end up while trying to follow this “rule”?

One, new comers who are interested in vintage style will find it extremely difficult to wear the style, even if it does appeal to them. The budget needed to create an authentic wardrobe is quite ~ well, large. The prices are rising, the supply is diminishing, and as such this alone will be a huge limiting factor for not only those that are already wearing, collecting vintage ~ but again, will be a big barrier of entry to those wanting to start.

Two, what will we all do when the vintage runs out? This isn’t really a separate point, as I did mention it above, but this is actually a big issue that I feel isn’t actually being addressed much ~ if at all ~ by those that subscribe to the “only authentic vintage can count as vintage fashion” theory.

Yes, a lot of vintage reproduction has a long way to go before it reaches the same sort of standards that a lot of vintage clothing has ~ even with its ageing and deterioration, a lot of vintage stuff is “better” than reproductions ~ the fabric is sturdier, the notions, like zips and buttons hold up better, the detailing is so much more clever, ingenious, and imaginative! Now, this is not to say that there isn’t fantastic quality vintage repro out there ~ because there certainly is, and I enjoy wearing it greatly.

It’s more to say that all our much beloved vintage is becoming scarcer and scarcer ~ it’s falling to bits, it’s being collected at great rates, it’s being *shudder* repurposed, and even tossed out into land fill. To put it simply ~ it’s a finite resource, and there isn’t anymore. When that limited amount is all gone ~ then what shall we do?

Companies can only do so much to fulfil vintage lover’s desires, because demand is a very real issue for creating detailed vintage reproduction products. And the demand for one vintage dress may be high; in that ten ladies world wide that are interested in the one piece, but flip that around and you have ten dresses with less than one lady interested in just one dress from a global market due to the niche nature of the vintage reproduction market. Well, you can see where it gets tricky.

So, should vintage reproduction be dismissed from vintage style just because it’s not genuine enough? I really can’t think that that is the answer… We are simply going to run out of vintage at some point and then what are we going to be? Certainly not vintage enthusiasts, or even vintage fashion wearers according to some people. I guess we must just be random people that still like to dress like their grandmas!  (~ ̄ 3  ̄)~…

But back to my little rant up the top ~ and the bias of being too modern to be vintage… Be it the ‘modern’ clothing you wear, or the fact that you just don’t look old fashioned enough ~ I don’t think those are the defining factors of vintage style.

Vintage style to me is solely this ~ using the styles and influences of past fashions from the eras {for the sake of clarity, let’s say from 1910 to 1960} defined as vintage to create your own look and style that mimics these fashions of bygone times. You can be as authentic and as accurate as you like, or you can wear a knee length skirt and a cardigan and call it vintage.

To be sure, I do believe there is a line between dressing twee/kitsch/pinup/rockabilly and true vintage style, but I believe that the difference has to do with the way you style your outfits and not so much the amount of actual, genuine vintage you wear. Embodying the spirit of vintage style is the key to dressing vintage, and again, not the authenticity of pieces you put together.

And for the sake of clarity, the spirit being the cuts, colours, fabrics, accessories, hair styles, make up, outfit silhouettes, etc. ~ and yes, obviously that is vastly helped by wearing the genuine thing, but I don’t think that should be a hard and fast rule…

I believe the beauty of vintage comes, as with all fashion, when you make it your own. When you take what is there, and use it to express you. And sometimes that might not be “authentic” from a historical point of view, but if it’s authentic to you then that will be where the beauty of your style is found!

But altogether this post took are rather unexpectedly serious tone, oops! From a random rant to a story to a dissertation on the spirit of vintage style…

My bad! However, if you stuck with me thus far, what are your thoughts regarding the elements that constitute vintage style? Have you ever come across the ‘must be genuine or not true vintage style’ theory before? I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on this, so please do comment below.  (๑°꒵°๑)・*♡



༺ ♡ ༻

Black Double Bow Clip | Old
Lacy Black Collar worn as open Snood | Old
The Foxy Pinup Dress | Bernie Dexter, via The Pinup Gal
Vintage 50s Black Bow Gloves | eBay
Bamboo & Frond Woven Purse | Thrifted
Patent Deco Heels | Thrifted

༺ ♡ ༻

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Youtube | Bonita Vear

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