I think it is safe to say that I love old clothes. I dream them, I live in them and I covet the ones I don’t have. But I am under no illusion that there is anything inherently unique or radical about this. The uniqueness comes from the impression of your personality in whatever you choose to wear. The fabrics, the colours, the shapes, these are the expression of my inner self in one, superficially superficial, way.
It is important to remember this: each generation thinks it invented sex, and I fear the same goes for ‘vintage’ clothing. This article makes for fascinatingly familiar reading. Commercialisation is the death knell each time, but in turn becomes the coveted piece of history for the next generation of disillusioned people (see the mention of Catherine Buckley’s old jacquard fabrics in the text of the article. My Buckley skirt is one of these pieces). The irony does not escape me; I wear clothes by Ossie Clark, Biba, Bus Stop… all of who were creating clothes heavily inspired by their own childhoods.
Just wanting a period look is not the important part, anyone can buy a reproduction and plenty of people will, the expression comes from the colours, fabrics, shapes and accoutrements you pick. There is absolutely nothing wrong with new clothing taking influence from old, although my thoughts on direct duplication are well known, but why would you limit yourself to the prints they have chosen this season? There are limitless possibilities when you look around you and take inspiration from a variety of sources other than from conventional fashion magazines or ‘how to’ guides.
That is partly the aim of this blog, and I hope to continue in such a vein for a long time yet…
The Cosmo Girl’s Guide to the Cast-Offs Cult… Cosmopolitan, August 1974.
Everyone is looking back in nostalgia – especially in fashion. But authentic Twenties and Thirties clothes can be expensive to buy so sew your own and save money. Use crêpe de chine and bias-cut voiles and leave out the linings for an authentic swing and flair. Choose eau de Nil, bois de rose and the pale sorbet shades for pure, undiluted nostalgia.
Dress like a little old lady and bring back a little grace to your life. It takes thin little frocks in fabrics for all season, new or second-hand; warmed up with wooly things next to the skin, cardigans and old furs, all shoulders, or old-looking brand-new furs. Flapper hats, lace-up shoes, fine jewels and a handbag to hang on to for dear life.
Photographed by Sarah Moon. Nova, October 1972
I’m looking to bring back the term ‘second-hand’, or even just ‘old’. Although I realise this is a hard one, given my website name. I liketo wear things that are second-hand and/or old. Thank you Nova and Sarah Moon for such immense beauty…
This beautiful shoot from Honey magazine, November 1970, is so perfect for my mood right now. I love the colours, the silhouettes, the hats, the tights, the shoes….it’s just edible.
An impressive pose and an impressive look…
(Yes, of course I’m wearing wet-look long gloves with my white crepe dress. Why? Because I can, darling, because I can….)
“Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why Miss Crawford always plays ladies.”