Vintage fashion has been seeing quite a bit of popularity in recent years and looking at recent fashion trends, one can even see traces of older trends that have been re-vamped and given a contemporary look. Note here that not all older garments can be considered ‘vintage.’ In its broader sense, vintage clothes refer to garments that are at least 25 years and older, but definitely not passing the hundred year mark – those would be more appropriately labeled as ‘antique.’ |
Tracing the roots of vintage fashion, while pop icons such as Madonna and Michael Jackson definitely had a hand with it, Japan is actually where it all started, Harajuku to be specific. This little district in Tokyo is home to some of the most innovative designers and they have been continuously churning out the most eccentric fashion statements. Aside from that, there is also the recent surge of second hand and thrift stores all over the place. Unlike a few decades ago, vintage clothes are now enjoying popularity unseen before, for its unique look. People now scour these stores not just to score bargains in antiques, but with vintage clothing as well, especially for specific haute couture pieces which can actually fetch a lot of dollars.
Vintage clothes are representative of the era that it came from – this is what mainly separates them from being simply tagged as old clothes. Vintage fashion is all about reliving, understanding and knowing about the past through fashion trends that were shaped by the era that it came from. By simply looking at vintage clothes, one can already tell a lot about the time period it came from. For example, the rock, punk and individualistic attitude of the 80s are clearly reflected in the clothing trends it came from. With loud, vibrant colors and experimentation on how clothes should be worn – gym clothes for casual wear, for instance – they already speak a lot about the people and the times. The prim, lady-like fashion of the 50s, on the other hand, reflects the longing for a more traditional, feminine role. After all, the war was finally over by then and the people now could indulge themselves in more luxurious clothing and style. Clothes and fashion can actually give such insights, making them quite valuable.
Vintage clothing and fashion is not just simply about creating a new look and style. It’s also about paying homage to the earlier trends and knowing the actually historical contexts which had helped bring about those trends. And this is one of the main reasons why vintage clothing is now also considered to be a good investment. Collecting vintage clothing and fashion can be comparable to collecting antiques and art pieces – a piece of the past and art at the same time.
James Walmsley is a marketing assistant at Phix Clothing, a UK-based online retailer which specialises in trendy and fashionable vintage clothes and retro clothes for men and women. All clothes are shipped worldwide.
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