There's one other reason some of us enjoy vintage fashion aside a reference era style; for quality. Vintage clothing has stood the test of environment and time. My leggings can't even withstand a few months before they start peeling and soon disintegrate--so much for those making it into the future. Clothing production has changed drastically in the last 50 years to adapt to population growth, distribution, and consumer demands. It's a luxury now to get all your clothes tailored to your specific body measurements and far less get them all handmade. Gone are the days we owned a few outfits and we wore them until their death and less are the days we put care into the making of our clothes. An American tosses about 80 pounds of clothing a year to the garbage, and I don't think it's necessarily because they are well-made. So are also the days of passing a heirloom clothing piece to our sons and daughters over? What exactly are we leaving behind for the future to see in terms of clothing? The answer could lie in looking at our shopping tendencies, fashion design and clothing movements.
It's fair to question the type of value we're adding to our present and future when we fill our closets with clothes from fast-fashion stores. They are meant not to last in our closets and ride-out fashion trends rather quickly so we can consume on the next set of clothing. There's an argument that one can buy one good piece instead of four fast-fashion pieces. So, is it affordability or our mental training of buying quantity and feeding into this 'having the latest' practice? The answer for some us could be(and you tell me) an addiction? "Research shows that the brain finds pleasure in the pursuit of inexpensive things, and high-street chains and online retailers sites alike are cashing in.", According to The Neurological Pleasures of Fast Fashion. I think we have a lot to think about here, maybe even reconsider our shopping tendencies and perhaps seeing a therapist.
We tend to categorize vintage fashion in eras and take design inspiration from it, which brings me to my next observation on what vintage clothing will look like in the future. We're living in a big style remix of fashion eras. Currently, the corset has been a making comeback. It has never been more ok to wear leggings(50's-present) with a corset(1500's) over a t-shirt. It makes me question our progress of innovation clothing design and our level of creativity, although it does take some creativity to create a remix, but somehow it feels more like a creative safe zone. Also, is it fair to question that maybe some older fashion houses are just keeping-up with a look and have forgotten about the revolution of design a bit? Fashion houses whose original designers made an impact with the introduction of revolutionary clothing pieces that changed how we dressed and which have been presently remixed into different style designs throughout the years.
If vintage fashion is distinguished by era style and surviving time and with our current remixes of era inspirations in design and dress, what will the fashion of the early 2000's be refer to in 2060? Will it be the era of remix fashion? Will we be hanging fast fashion clothing pieces in a museum?--if they survive that is. What will the racks of vintage clothing look like years from now because fast fashion doesn't last. Sure, we're capable of leaving more than a pile of landfill of environmental waste. An alternative possibility could be shopping from the current movement of underground designers who are reclaiming the making and creativity of clothing. They are not widely-known but are definitely creating pieces with the potential of surviving time. Something tells me these are the designers alongside some recognizable ones who will keep the meaning of vintage alive for the future. So, if there's such a thing as investment pieces, I would place my money on them.
Written by Mariana Aguilera