October 14, 2010

4Discussion: Vintage

What does Vintage mean? 

The topic 4Discussion today is, what does vintage mean? Last night I was talking to my mom and the topic of vintage came up. She asked me whether I knew what that term actually meant and to be honest I couldn't give her a straight, 'factual', answer. The term is used so widely and sometimes loosely that when I sat and started to think about it, I realised that if you've not put a description or a definition to it, it's not that easy to put down in words.
So for today's post I wanted to do a little research and share what I found.

Firstly, as a dictionary definition it is a term that refers to a piece of clothing or furniture that is 'new or second hand, originating from a previous era'.
Specifically it is said that to be vintage, the item needs to be between 30 to 100 years old or in other words from the 1920s to the 1980s. Older than that is classified as an antique and younger than that is classified as retro or modern. 
Vintage has been said to be a "more elegant-seeking euphemism for 'old' clothes", which is rather true because most vintage items have been used before or are from years back nevertheless they are still usable and have often come back in fashion, one reason for it's popularity. Another reason for the increased interest is due to the increased visibility. Vintage clothing has been increasingly worn by celebrities, such as Julia Roberts and Kate Moss, who we all know influence the fashion world more than designers themselves sometimes.  2001 was a big year for vintage and has been coined by some as the 'back to vintage year'.

Julia Roberts in Vintage Valentino in 2001

Kate Moss in Vintage Dior


Vintage has also increased in popularity as we have become much more aware of environmental sustainability and being eco-friendly. It allows us to recycle, reuse and repair rather than throwing it away. Making something old and possibly outdated, new and modern.
Apart from these reasons there must be a deeper reason why Vintage items have become so popular has not faded out like other 'fads'.
Vintage items are unique, often one a kind, which allows us to feel that we stand out and make a statement.
Vintage items are of good quality, often passed down through families, made of better, robust materials.
Vintage items are made of finer materials, some of which don't even exist today.
Vintage items are history, an appreciation for the past, past designers and past generations.
Vintage items are detailed with hand finishing, handmade lace and other techniques.
Vintage items are stylish, so many imaginative styles under one roof.
Vintage items are an investment, a collector's piece, especially designer.
Vintage items are usually union made, avoiding labor in third world countries.

All in all not only do you feel like you are doing your part for the environment and others but you get to own a piece of history that holds a lot of memories.
Personally, I love vintage items and the variety of items you can buy and the fact that you can actually make a vintage item out of something from your closet or house.

In our ever changing modern, technology driven world, we still want to hold onto something from our past, to remember what and who has gone before and to feel that we will never be forgotten.

What is vintage to you?

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