We Moved!

We Moved! We Moved! We Moved!

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This morning while cruising through the daily news at Vogue I came across this snippet from the great Vivienne Westwood

ONE person who isn't fazed by the impending recession is Dame Vivienne Westwood - who, fresh from receiving a Medal of Excellence at the Walpole British Luxury Fashion Awards, last night hosted a charity catwalk show with London Musici in aid of the NSPCC.

"Times may always be hard but British fashion has always been eclectic," muses the designer, whose spring/summer 2009 collection was all about make do and mend. "It's all about not looking like anybody else. There is a status in wearing your old favourites over and over until they grow old. It's all about looking glam, not buying cheap rubbish."

Her top tips to beat the credit crunch in style?

"Women should try on their husband's jackets and even boxer shorts for size as outerwear," she tells the Daily Express. "Wearing political badges is also a great look and kerchiefs worn as knickers can be fun for the disco or the beach. You can also tie tablecloths or even blankets around yourself to look good."

I have a great fondness for Westwood, in a crazy moment of should I be a brunette or should I be blonde? I bleached my hair and for one night Vivienne and I shared the exact same hue of hair. Oddly, it was My Guy who pointed it out. I have trained him well on all things fashion. 

Wearing boxers as outwear is best left for girls under 25 who might just have a slim hope of carrying it off. But I do like the viewpoint of not looking like everyone else and that its about 'GLAM and not just buying cheap rubbish'. Sometimes I lament the future of vintage. If you thrift now and have done so for say ten years even , think about how the experience has changed. If you where thrifting or doing the vintage thing 10 or even 20 years ago you went though racks of clothes that where for the most part hand made. It was the stuff from the seventies that was the "cheap stuff" the machine made thrown together stuff. The same stuff that now commands top dollar ironically. But even that so called "cheap stuff" (and I use the term for purposes of illustrating my point only, I adore, love and lust for all things seventies), but even that cheap stuff was in somewhat limited quantities.

Now you go through racks and racks and racks of endless shit. Not just mass produced clothes you would have found in the seventies but MASS produced clothes - millions of cheap, crappy barely definable as fabric, made in China (again said loosely as I know there is some good stuff made there, despite the perception otherwise), made in China CRAP. There is a mall on every corner, a dollar store or three in every town. There is literally millions and millions of shoddy made crappy garments out there just lying in wait for the masses to buy them. It breaks my heart.

Yes there is also a bigger influx of high end pieces out there too. But where a Suzy Perette dress was considered a "mass production lower end label" in its day, what will a vintager look for in 30 years as its comparison? Even high end pieces are no longer hand made unless you step into the realm of couture. And couture will never be for the every day girl who loves vintage. Even as a dealer with connections its hard to get your hands on real couture. So where does that leave future vintage? Let's use that same Suzy Perette label just for fun. It was not a specialty label. There was no Suzy. It was a dress manufacturer that knock-offed Parisian designs for the masses, it also produced the Gigi Young line which was its less expensive cousin. Quite few dresses came out of that factory and yet when was the last time you saw two of the same dress under that label. Producing for the masses was not quite the same thing then. 

Fast forward 30 years and think Prada. I travel all over the world and everywhere I go I can pretty much buy Prada if I am in a major city. Except Finland, Helsinki sadly has some catching up. But you will find it in South Africa, Russia, Europe (of course) Canada, Mexico, anywhere in the Carribean, and countless places in the USA. So what are my chances of finding countless duplicates of the same dress then? Maybe not all in the local Salvation Army but they will be out there. 

It makes me want to go hug a rack of my pristine little vintage dresses. 

The point of this is that we have allowed this to happen by accepting cheapness in our lives. We have become a society of gluttons where it is better to buy more, more, more even if that means more crap. I remember meeting a woman who bragged that she would spend $500 in Le Chateau buying 20 items and thought I was insane for buying one dress for the same amount. That was about 5 years ago. Wanna bet I still have my dress (I do) and her 20 pieces, if they are still around, look like crap? 

When I buy non-vintage I still buy vintage - its just vintage of the future. If you are a 20 year old girl out there reading this (or maybe even a 40 year old woman who has not yet figured this out) then take this thought away with you - buy clothes in order to look GLAM, buy because you cannot live without it, buy because the workmanship takes your breathe away. Buy it to make a statement but don’t buy just to buy. If we all stopped buying crap today they would not being able to sell crap, therefore it would not be produced and therefore those same overstuffed, impossible to find anything of value, thrift store racks of the future would be gone. We could all breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the next generations of vintage loving girls would be safe from bad, cheap, horrid rubbish

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