Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The end of vintage, really?

So I read the post on the vintage wedding style being over and the overdone vintage styling on the Huffington Post yesterday. You can read it here.
I partially agreed about the vintage thing and  partially thought it was a big old load of nonsense mainly about the return to formal wedding with rules.  I then really needed to ramble so bare with me here.

Thankfully with wedding bloggers like Rock n Roll bride the rules are breaking, you can get married for as little as £200 at the registry office and have a picnic after with two friends (you really can!) or you can go all out. There are no rules!

Here's my two cents worth  on 'vintage' style and weddings pressures...............

So what does 'vintage' actually mean?

in terms of clothing it covers anything over 20 years old. The dictionary defines it as 'representing the high quality of a past time' and I think it's time to be more specific and concentrate on this term quality. 

To me vintage has become an empty word that kind of means nothing and 'vintage style' is just anything that looks old ish but is new. So yes Harmony is very right it has been over-used and some people who jumped on the vintage bandwagon despise the idea of anything old! 

But, this love of historical fashions and things will never end, it's like saying antique collecting will end, museums will end, history lessons will end. We like to look back to the past, with clothing as in all design there are techniques that have changed with industry and it is important to learn from this.

Then you have the personal level, a 1930s wedding dress has a story, a romance and some of us actually get excited by that musty smell!  This silk satin dress hanging on my wall is an original 1940s evening gown, I found it in a skip. That doesn't bother me, it's beautiful.

the stunning Forties dress I found in the skip

On the opposite level there is some absolute rubbish masquerading as 'vintage' or vintage style. So yes it may be time to step away from that word, let the genuine dealers become more respected for their knowledge and carefully curated collections and let all the 'nonsense' disappear over time.

What do I know about vintage clothing? 
I know quite a lot really (not to blow my own trumpet here) . I'm very passionate about Vintage (representing the high quality of the past) clothing.
I have a BA Hons degree in fashion and textile design, a 2.1 and the majority of this was spend studying 'old' clothing.
It funded my way through Uni selling this 'old clothing' and I then ran my own vintage clothing business online.
I worked for the rag man in Bristol sourcing vintage clothing from a whole factory full of discarded textiles the charity shops couldn't sell. I got to the point when I could tell the age just by finger tip rummaging through bins of clothing.
I then worked in a consultancy role for one of the major Bristol Charities, advising for their online shop and on how to make the most from their 'old stuff'.
I did talks on Vintage clothing and eventually I saw it slowly run out. It was all hopefully in the right place, boutiques, peoples homes, being appreciated more.
I still collect and have study sessions at the fashion museum updating my knowledge and understanding.

Isn't what I do 'vintage style'? 

Well yes and I this article made me think a lot about what I do. I need to be more specific. My designs are inspired by dresses of the late 1940s to the early 1960s. It's the techniques and quality that mainly inspires me, the fact that during this era dresses were made with craftsmanship, couture wasn't loosing brands money and having a dressmaker was quite normal. Factory made clothing wasn't here yet so finishing was more hand made. I love this quality and want to bring this to my dresses.  I'm not just designing and making with the style because it's fashionable, it's what I love.

I'm guessing that these 'vintage' photographers, don't learn to use an Rolleiflex properly just because it's on trend, nor do they shoot beautiful, personal images, it happens to be their style.

the details and fabrics that are so important

How important is trend to a wedding? 

It's not or at least it shouldn't be to the bride and groom, it needs to personal to their style whatever it may be.

This sounds really, really silly but Sex and the City the movie did actually have quite an intelligent message when it came to weddings. It's easy for it to be all about the bride and the wedding styling instead of the couple. Big didn't turn up when it got out of control and the city hall wedding at the end was so romantic and most importantly meaningful to the couple. Still in a gorgeous dress too!

My friend just said to me 'do us modern girls really need weddings?'  I'll leave this one to you.