The Fashion Files: Vintage Part 1

This is the season of the remake and reinvention, fashion is no exception. Designers have been channelling the reinvention of the female form, no longer will we have to squeeze into our skinnies. There’s been many a revival recently in fashion with the hottest being the 80’s. Last summer was all about bright colours, Miami Vice cool and making statements. However, it seems things have taken a shift for the more reserved and ladylike turn. This was exemplified by Marc Jacob’s collection for Louis Vuitton’s Fall campaign.

The show featured full length skirts and dresses, fitted patterned bodices and fabulous bags and shoes.  As Marc Jacobs said in a statement for the collection “Last season was all about the idea of the New Age traveller, this season was a manifesto for beautiful ladylike clothes”.

So with the recent vintage revival, what is it that has us so interested? I posed this question and others to Anne Detmer, owner of vintage boutique ADvintaged in Wimbledon village. So Anne, why vintage?

It is individual, fashion nowadays dictates what you should be wearing.  Fashion has always been commercial but now clothes are more generic. Furthermore vintage clothes are better made making them a great investment.

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Where do you source your clothes?

The clothes are sourced from America via trade shows, specialists dealers and my contacts

Do you specialise in a particular era?

We specialise mainly in the 40’s – 60’s as fashion changed dramatically through these periods.  The 40’s saw classic tailoring as clothes were handmade and fabrics conserved. With the men away fighting, women could look masculine with power dressing. This was the era of the big shoulder pad which symbolised shouldering the burdens whilst their partners were away.  Dior introduced a new curvier look in 1947 and this lasted until the early 1960’s. The middle of the 60’s saw the birth of the teenager. During this period fashion was very much youth led with shift and A Line dresses. You also had other different groups such as mods & rockers and teddy boys. These groups wanted to create a distinct look that stood out.

We’ve seen a resurgence in interest in 50’s and 60’s fashion through the TV show Mad Men. Why do you think this is?

It will keep coming back as it focuses on femininity, Mad Men encapsulates a period in history as people didn’t have the pressure of the war. Men were men and women were women. Strangely, one of the best sellers we’ve had have been retro prescription glasses, I guess people must like the look!

What advice do you have for people wanting to get into Vintage fashion?

Firstly Google to find out where vintage stores/fairs are and visit them to see what’s available and try things on. Remember vintage pieces can be mixed with modern pieces. Buy a few vintage pieces and try to see how they fit into your wardrobe. Don’t go for labels, buy it because you love it.

Many thanks for talking to us Anne!