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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.