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Vintage clothing: everything once fashionable is new again

Monday, 04 August 2008

vintage clothing Our grand and great grandmas became fashion queens without even knowing it. Bohemians travel around the world trying to find something reminding of Dior's young days. Top models seem as if arisen from Vogue pages of the mid of past century. We always look ahead with hindsight and no trend of "must have" class seems lovelier than gorgeous Marlene's gowns.

Longstanding Fashion

Vintage is in fashion. Fashion as such is vintage and its new interpretation put together. One of the main meanings of the word "vintage" is "ripe wine" that gets more exquisite and expensive over the years. All the rage of long-forgotten years becomes today's smash-hit so much marveled at not because of its good cut and famous master hand but because of some past century mystery and a slight note of sadness. This is the easiest way to turn into an enigmatic woman in a matter of seconds: put on a dress which is much older than you and it will surely share its wisdom with you. Everything well-worn is new again. Vintage seems despairingly outmoded and timeless at the same time. It doesn't fit in with traditional ideas of fashion. Take a file of any glossies and you'll see: vintage is as popular as about 18 years ago.

Vintage VS second-hand

Our women are dead sure that all dusty second-hand bazaars are vintage, and shabby rags offered by shaggy old dames at a flea market are also vintage, first class, in fact. Since this nice word, you want so much to pronounce with French accent, came into modern lexicon all that fossil stuff has acquired an original name. Vintage. It's high time to rip away the mask of style off nameless threadbare second-hand clothes!

Vintage is not merely old and very old dresses. These things send us to a particular era noted for its distinct prints and cuts. Vintage things have their own history, they can tell you about fashion better than any thick glossy magazine. An opulent gown with open-work collar and frilled sleeves is vintage. Suchlike you can see on children in French cards of the first decade of the XX century. A brightly coloured tunic with knitted bag over the shoulder is vintage. It can make you reread Keruak, make home in a trailer and travel through the length and breadth of the American province. Motley blouses in the style of 50-s, a gown with typical of 60-s geometric padding, and naive coats of Audrey Hepburn's days; all these are vintage. The tacky things associated with no time with telltale holes and frazzles are second-hand, exhibits from the garbage heap of history.

Vintage is worth to be collected

It's not so easy to dress in vintage style. You have to tessellate the items of past century of which not a trace has left but dust and memories. First of all, you should decide which time you want to find yourself in. It may be severe elegance of Coco Chanel, Dior's New Look, "flower children", "disco" or the Soviet 70-s. "Granny's lace", Victorians and Golden Age of Hollywood are also here.

The capital error of vintage fashionmongers is era blending. It is like "poverty game": looks ridiculous and tasteless. Eclecticism can have no place here. If you make for vintage, your style should be chiseled and fine-tuned for bygone days: Only in this case you get a neat image out of a set of worn-out things. What does the vintage style include? Firstly, it implies only good quality antique things; secondly, it can feature a stylized design. The style deepest-dyed fans ("vintage victims" called so by foreign pressmen) think of any stylization as a falsehood and are ready to encompass the globe to find true new dress still well on in life. The doom and gloom never go down when you have your gown fitting to your favorite epoch made by a tailor.

The third part and parcel of the style is neo-vintage, the fancies which top models sport at modern fashion parades. This is fashion with a flashback. Today, for example, dresses of Victorian gilded youth style are in fashion: tall collars, girdles, puffed sleeves and other bourgeois delights. Like Chekhov's heroine, Nicole Richie sedately wears a white lacy blouse with polo neck made of wide frills.

The forth component is accessories. As is known, no image is full without them. You have to spend at least one month to find the appropriate retro-elements. This, by the way, requires fastidiousness and perfect knowledge of the era you want to live in. Files of old magazines (remember your last time you were in the library?), documentary chronicle, feature films and your own taste can be very helpful: sometimes a black lacy shawl wins a reputation as stylish instead of a fussy collection brooch.

The fifth component is perfumery and make-up. The make-up is not likely to cause problems. Every season the trends that were popular long time ago come into fashion again. Today we use the make-up of Hollywood divas of twenties, tomorrow designers may want to rehabilitate Jene Shrimpton's false eyelashes and Audrey Hepburn's "fawn's glance". Women's magazines offer step-by-step instructions on how to actualize the look. As for perfumery you have to either search for it (you can get Chanel " 5", "Cuir de Russie", Guerlain "L" at an auction eBay) or choose the right notes in bottles of new scents.

And finally, the sixth component is behavior. Real transformation is possible only if manner and matter go hand in hand. If you a modest lady getting tired of noisy parties, hippie style turns into escape from reality and a wild discord. Your clothes, though vintage ones, should speak your voice. You should feel comfortable in the chosen past time and your behavior should be in chime with the costume or the brilliant idea is going to become a masquerade.

Shopping-tour around ragmen shops

Traditionally, people look for vintage at second-hand shops and flea markets. Certainly, you have to possess your soul and hold on if you fall short of expectations. Unfortunately, beside offensive smells these institutions have another essential fault: valuables are a rare occurrence there and heard of at second hand, as a rule. There are alternatives for both those who correctly suggest that antiquities can't and don't have to be cheap and those who is sure that wearing clothes from the nearest flea market they look extravagantly at most. Good vintage is like a designer's exclusive have to be chased.

There are many vintage stores in France. French department store Bon Marche (22, rue de Sevres, metro Sevres-Babylone) has the whole story devoted to vintage. There are lots of small vintage shops in le Marais area. But the world biggest flea market is in London - Portobello Road Market (Landbroke Grove Metro). Witnesses say that it's a real paradise for true vintage devotees. Really unique things can be found in Antropologie stores on Manhattan. "Filth Mart" of New York (Inc. 531. East 13th Street) mainly specializes in clothes of the 60-s and 70-s. "Play It Again Sam" stores in Helsinki (Rauhankatu, 2), "Eila Noir" (Fredrikinkatu, 41) are more affordable for Russians. Vintage clothes, bags and accessories can be traditionally bought at auctions - it is the place where Europeans exhibit their fancy grandmother's costumes. Just there you can find Pierre Cardin of 60-s. The biggest internet-auction is eBay. Have a good shopping.

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