Fashion: Is it vintage or vintage-inspired?

Fashion: Is it vintage or vintage-inspired? –

Just a quicky post: a link to an article concerning one of my favourite soap-box rants concerning how these days the word ‘vintage’ is used so often as either a fashion branding device or to describe clothing that is really nothing more than grubby second-hand tat.

Is a new word needed to differentiate true vintage from ‘new’ vintage?
Do most people not actually involved with original vintage clothing really care?

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Fashion: Is it vintage or vintage-inspired?

  1. I have a new appreciation of vintage. Newtown in NSW is the mecca and this rubbed off on me in a good way! Excellent blog!

  2. hemlinequarterly- I’ve been working maniac 60 hour weeks to finish a project hence the big delay in a reply… collapsed now and catching up with things.
    Thank you for your thoughts and your Donna Martin comment made me laugh… I know exactly how you feel.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

  3. Hi there, I just stumbled upon this article searching for vintage clothing…and it is a really interesting question! When I first started working in vintage clothing shops, the experienced vintage dealers stated that vintage was anything fifty years or older, so then it was pre-fifties and now pre-sixties (especially early 60s) that can be defined that way. Anything more recent (70s, 80s, and ugh 90s) was defined as retro. I don’t think anyone really uses these definitions besides vintage dealers, but I still use them anyway.

    As for vintage inspired, I think that term really just applies to any new clothing/accessory that is designed in a vintage style, such as dropwaist fringe covered dresses being vintage inspired by the 1920s or a Liberty print minidress being inspired from the 1960s etc. I get sort of bummed out when I hear people call clothing from the 90s vintage though…I visited a ‘vintage’ clothing store in my town recently and it just looked like Donna Martin from 90210 had a garage sale. Not really my style…anyway thanks for the good read!

  4. Thank you both for your thoughts 🙂

    I asked my 17 year old daughter what the word vintage means to her. “Really old stuff, like from the 80′ or 70’s” was the answer.
    Ouch. How old does she think I am then!!

    So she’s looking at clothing that’s on average 35 years. When I first started buying vintage in the 70’s I bought clothing 35 years old too…. from the mid 40’s. That is still what I consider Vintage with a ‘V’ but just goes to show it’s also relative to a generation.
    My mum and aunt rolled their eyes in the 70’s when I swanned about in 40’s gear not really getting why I liked wearing ‘ second hand clothing’. Lol, same as I roll my eyes when I see my kids in their 80’s stuff (mainly as I still have some in my closet!)
    I still feel disappointed if I see a Vintage Market advertised and get there only to find it’s clothing only about 15-20 years old. But I often do have a rifle through the racks on the off- chance of a gem regardless of it’s age. There are so many ‘vintage’ shops where I live, and more keep opening. Some sell the real-deal but most specialise in 60’s-90’s as that’s what most younger shoppers seemly consider Vintage.

    As to ‘repro’ or ‘inspired by’ … I have no problem with that at all, it’s what I do and call my clothing ‘vintage style’ when I do it.

    As so often happens with advertising and branding a word gets used to death and begins to lose meaning. I guess I just feel a small irritation at modern clothing manufactures who plonk a trendy word on to attract customers even when it isn’t what their clothing is. It just muddies the meaning even further..

  5. “the term is associated with well-made, timeless pieces”

    To me, this is what defines Vintage (capital V), but I have plenty of house-dresses and scooters from the 60s and 70s that are also vintage (little v). They may not be timeless (or necessarily well-made), but they certainly are OLD! :^)

    I find it interesting (and a bit presumptuous) that current sellers of quality vintage are the ones who should/will need to redefine themselves, not those who are producing ‘second-hand tat’. We may be treasure hunters, but we all hunt different treasures and most of us know quality and Vintage when we see it; I don’t think that’s going to change despite what new stuff floods the market.

    I’ve been ‘thrifting’ since the 80s and it’s pretty difficult these days to find a truly Vintage piece anywhere but a ‘vintage shop’. Most thrift stores, estate/garage sales are ‘shopped out’, with the volume of folks who look for that stuff (I’m just happy these days to find something quality made, that’s not from Forever 21!)

    Because most Vintage is gone; already purchase and highly priced (despite its value) or is trashed beyond repair by someone who doesn’t value it, retailers (quality or not) will fill the gaps of consumer demand with fakes and repros and inspired. Some are quite good, but still not Vintage (or vintage).

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