Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vintage fashion is here to stay. By Melanie Moss.

My grandmother bought her first pair of jeans last month at the ripe age of eighty three. She felt very groovy walking into Susan and walking out with a pair of sensible slacks in denim.

Each night I kiss the photo of my Nanna with my grandfather looking very glamorous on holiday together in the 60’s. My favourite picture of her, she is wearing a knitted camisole and matching shrug, gloves and pearls, my grandfather in his beige linen suit, both of them footloose and fancy free.

I truly believe the fascination we have with vintage fashion comes from a desire to return to a time where ladylike dressing was the rule not the exception. With couture classics selling for more than ever in stores and on Ebay and celebrities clamoring for vintage gowns to set them apart on the red carpet it’s a phase of fashion I don’t see ending soon.

My grandparents were not well off, both coming from large families and in turn having seven children of their own but they and the kiddies were always dressed beautifully with my Nanna not leaving the house without matching handbag and shoes. She sewed her own and the children’s clothing and has proudly shown me photographs of her slim waist encased in smart skirt suits, twin sets and cocktail frocks that could easily feature in an Audrey Hepburn movie.

When I ask her how she managed to always look so stylish and sophisticated, she always comes back to quality over quantity. Money was spent on beautiful fabrics in classic colours that could be coordinated in many different ways rather than our throw-away-society habit of buying a new frock for every occasion.

But it isn’t just the stores in the cities that carry the best vintage, I was in the Blue Mountains last weekend at an antique store in Blackheath filled to the rafters with chiffon fifties prom frocks, button-up silk gloves, size six and a half patent pumps and mock-croc handbags. They even had vintage Tiffany’s!

With the Spring Racing season upon us, there has never been a better opportunity to snap up something special. Instead of heading into one of the department stores, why not try your local antiques dealer for an outfit reminiscent of another era when we dressed for femininity and not fashion.

Image Credits: Mode De Jour Zeigermann, Grandma Takes A Trip, BridalWave , Amazon
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