I’m going to be completely honest with you– I’ve never been a big fan of shopping at the mall.  Ever since I was 14 years old and my mother introduced me to thrifting, I’ve been hooked on going to the thrift store.  I love the hunt, the never knowing what I’ll find and the ridiculously affordable prices. However, more than anything,  I really love knowing that I won’t experience my personal sartorial nightmare– showing up at a party and seeing someone wearing the same dress  as me.  Oh, no.  Hell no.

But what about you?  What if you love the mall and the seemingly endless variety of accessibility priced on-trend clothes you can find there?  How can mine, a column about vintage clothes and fashion, ever be of any use to you– a lover of the modern, the new and the on trend?  Well, here’s the thing.  Your favorite designers are likely to love thrifting and buying secondhand clothes (nearly) as much as I do.  By looking to the past, they find the resources for envisioning the future.  When it comes to fashion, what came before rarely ever dies.  Pieces that  captured the popular imagination in bygone eras frequently come back years  later refreshed and refashioned– the new that is actually the old.

Fashion phoenix were all over the Spring/ Summer 2012 runways, especially  in mixed and matched prints and patterns, head-to-toe prints and bright pops of fearless, look-at-me color.

Marc Jacobs’ S/S 2012 line, where he mixed prints and patterns to gorgeous effect, evokes the late 1960s and early 1970s work of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell.  Birtwell and Clark were a 70s fashion design power couple whose free-flowing forms and exquisite prints set the course for much of 1970s fashion.  To make this look work for you, look for colors that complement each other and prints that don’t seem to be battling it out for dominance.  The look should catch the eye, but not confuse or pain it.

Jane Birkin for Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, early 1970's

Jane Birkin for Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, early 1970's

Marc Jacobs, S/S 2012

Marc Jacobs, S/S 2012

As shown here in a gorgeous caftan from the late 1960s, designer Emilio Pucci perfected playing with prints, patterns, shapes and shades to evoke a psychedelic sense of luxury.

Emilio Pucci, late 1960s

Emilio Pucci, late 1960s

This dress from Pucci’s Spring/ Summer 2012 line shows that the house of Pucci is still honoring the legacy of its founder with beautiful use of color and graphics.

Head to toe prints in a dress can be quite easy to wear, but in a suit or other ensemble can be a bit intimidating– and a bit much. Mix it up by throwing in a black or white T-shirt, tank or camisole in order to give the eye somewhere to rest.

Emilio Pucci, S/S 2012

Emilio Pucci, S/S 2012

Halston was known for creating fashions for people who wanted to look effortlessly fabulous in beautifully made clothes.   Possessed of an exquisite eye for even the smallest details, Halston also really knew how to use color to gorgeous dramatic effect.

Halston, modeled by Pat Cleveland, 1970s

Halston, modeled by Pat Cleveland, 1970s

This season, designers like Jenny Packham and Derek Lam are embracing super bright and juicy colors. For some, the drama of a bright orange dress can get to be a bit overwhelming– if you aren’t quite comfortable with wearing head-to-toe tangerine, try wearing just one piece or accessory in that rich, summery hue, to bring a juicy pop of color to any outfit.

Jenny Packham, S/S 2012

Jenny Packham, S/S 2012

Whether you’re on a budget or aren’t even really sure what that word means, the beauty of shopping for and wearing vintage is that you can test drive trends without having to put a huge dent in your wallet or ending up at a barbecue wearing the same outfit as the hostess.  By opening yourself up to seeking out vintage gems, you can be right on trend or even ahead of the curve– just like some of your favorite designers.

About The Author

TaRosa Jacobs, also known as Thriftonista, is the owner of Wishlist Vintage at 240 S. Broadway, 2nd Floor, in Denver, CO. She is a Denver Post vintage style expert and a total vintage junkie. TaRosa has collected vintage clothes for over 20 years and sold them for nearly 5 years. She looks forward to sharing vintage and thrift fashion, furniture, and inspiration with 303's readers. TaRosa has amassed an epic collection of vintage handmade, high end and designer pieces that sell at thrifty prices through Wishlist Vintage. Wishlist is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-8, Saturday from 2-8 and by appointment. Contact TaRosa at thriftonista@gmail.com or 720-394-3094 to make your appointment today-- or just stop by. Looky Lou's are always welcome at Wishlist!

3 Responses

  1. Ming Montoya-Tang

    Gorgeous articles with visually stunning examples! Kudos to the lovers of vintage and bygone times.

    Reply
  2. Corinna

    It’s amazing how current all these vintage looks still are. So beautiful.

    Reply
  3. Thrifty Chi

    Such great prints and frocks. I love vintage clothing and patterns. When I can't fit in to vintage clothing that I love, I use the fabric for throw pillows.

    Reply

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