Friday, 11 March 2011

Model's Own

First things first. Because it’s so much like Spring today
The daffodils are practically out! The weather is above freezing!
I’m having a Spring Cleaning. Of my etsy shop! 15% off with the following coupon: CUPOFTEA (you enter it when you check out). It’s an homage to the delightful substance I spend a lot of time sitting on my bum drinking (and sewing as well, not just sitting on my bum staring at the wall. Sitting productively!). Lots of retro fabric shopping bags, vintage scarf tops in various sizes, lovely comfy jersey wrap skirts, all sewn by me. Coupon is valid till the end of March so you’ve got a bit of time, no need to crash the etsy server. (Ha! ;-) ),

Second things second – random celebrity sighting. Roy Strong outside Agent Provocateur in town. Beat that,

Third things third – vintage clothes. As I get older and more vintage myself, I find myself buying more and more vintage clothes. I think the reason I started (violins swell) was when there was all the publicity ages and ages ago about the terrible conditions clothes on the high street are produced in. I stopped buying high street clothes (mostly – I do still buy some), and I looked for alternatives, and the habit kind of stuck. I think there’s a lot of rubbish going about pretending to be vintage, though. I won’t name names, but, I’ve been in shops with rails of things that are absolutely worn out and dropping to pieces, smelly, cheap fabrics, and all really highly priced. And people are buying them! This is the thing: if it wasn’t good quality and/ or stylish when it was made, why would you buy it now? I mean, I could go out tomorrow and buy one of those polyester skirts from the M&S Classic Collection, but if I kept it for 40 years it wouldn’t somehow magically transform into a Vintage Example of Floral Prints from 2011. It would still make whoever wore it look like they were going to spend the morning beadily twitching the net curtains at the man next door in case he lets his poodle toilet somewhere inappropriate. Time does not transform pigs' ears into silk purses.
Battling wind, direct sunlight, and natural diffidence
Some things though I do think are worth buying. I am a fan of seventies clothes (does that surprise you?) and I don’t see why I shouldn’t pick up an original on etsy rather than going to Anthropologie or somewhere and paying three times the price. You’d be surprised how many clothes are just straight rip offs of things from years ago. As you know, I’m very into authenticity, and I think you always look better if you get an original rather than the Topshop take on it in inferior fabric.

You will note I am wearing a belt with the garment above. You have to have a bit of a gung-ho attitude to vintage things you buy: if it doesn’t fit, make it fit. It’s my experience that most things fit if you put a wide enough belt round them and are determined enough, but if your style is less hippie tunic + jeans then you might need to get things altered. I once spent a fortune having the shoulders on a furry coat taken in, but it was worth every penny as now it is my favourite thing in the world. It makes me look like a directional Honey Monster.
Tshirt from Print Liberation, bags under eyes from Dad. You can't do photoshoots without makeup. This seems to be a sad fact. I am going to have to read Andrea Dworkin to see what she advises
This is a sixties patchwork leather jacket. I have been stalking patchwork leather on etsy and ebay for about a year, one came up in my size, and I snatched it up. If you read ‘about a year’ and winced, I understand, I do. You have to see it kind of as a hobby, know what you want, and pounce. I won’t tell you how long I’ve been looking for brogues and a seventies sequinned jacket because you might fear for my sanity.

I’ve had the most luck with vintage from etsy sellers (feel free to trawl through my favourites) – there is some fantastic, fantastic vintage on etsy, and it’s very realistically priced and excellent quality. If I was reliant on buying vintage from some of the brick and mortar shops I’ve been in, well, let’s just say I’d be spending a lot more time with the M&S Classic Collection than I do at the moment.

What do you think of vintage? Pretentious and overpriced or stylish and cool?


Vivianne said...

You need some high heels with that outfit :-)

Susie said...

Don't I just ;-). I actually started off in heels but they kept sinking into the garden.

Marushka C. said...

I love the reddish top and the belt. (Pausing to contemplate why I don't look for vintage clothes... hmmm... wandering off to Etsy now.)