I'm not sure if it's just me, but there seems to be a major vintage resurgence going on lately. Almost every magazine, blog, website and book is boasting to give you the best tips on the 'perfect' 60's hairstyle, or the 'ultimate' vintage recipe to make your dinner party as eloquent as those held by the upstairs residents in Downton Abbey. 'Vintage' has become classy, 'Retro' has become cool - even those who have never stepped foot in a secondhand clothes store or have any knowledge on past eras seem to be adopting a vintage style, whether they are aware of it or not.
I am beginning to wonder whether we have reached an evolutionary point where we can't actually progress any further. We had the 1900's where each decade promised a whole host of new ideas, inventions and intelligence, but now seem to have reached a peak and have slowed if not completely stopped growing and developing in the same way. Take the 00's for instance. In all honesty, what actually happened between 2000 and 2010? What influential music was released? What mind-changing book was written? What new fashion trend changed the face of style?
Again, it could just be me, but I struggle to find an answer to any of those questions. The 40s, 50s, 60s and so on were such separate, standalone eras, while I don't feel as if I am in an any different world as I would be if I was writing this in 2006.
I wonder if maybe this is the reason for this sudden interest in vintage. I, and probably others too, crave the idea that the life I am living is a part of something historical and meaningful...and maybe that is why I love past eras so much. Maybe, we as a population are beginning to crave those times when new things were happening, people were (or we think were) happy and free and without the stress of things like technology and social networking. I'm sure I'm not the only one who lies on my bedroom floor listening to old LP's on my record player, pretending I am in the sixties and without a care in the world. The necessity of achieving this nostalgic happiness reminds me of the phrase 'the golden years.' I wonder, maybe, if everyone thinks of the past as 'golden' because the majority of people alive now who experienced those times would have been young, meaning their memory of the eras are much happier and rose-tinted that if they were remembering a time later on. Maybe we are getting a slightly skewed image of the past, from parents who remember one penny sweets, may poles and playing out in the streets without any cars. Our perception is that of a childhood memory, something comforting like a soft blanket keeping you warm in a cold bed - not the real, gritty truth of what the times were really like. The sixties probably felt no better than the 00's - they weren't the sixties back then, they were simply the 'now', just like right this second is the 'now', but may in years to come be known as something more significant due to greater factors that never involved us. Maybe we are so interested in the past as it's not scary...it's less intimidating than the great unknown that is the future, and instead seems like a nice piece of comforting nostalgia, without the threat of new technology or uncomfortable exposure to the media. It definitely fascinates me...I'm interested in what will happen in the years to come, and whether we will start developing new things, fashion and ideas again, or whether we will instead stay at this 'peak' and not change very much more. Who knows.
On the subject of vintage, and it's sudden central role in current fashion, here is another outfit featuring the pieces I was sent by So Loves Vintage. This is the Hilary dress, worn with Topshop socks, Topshop earrings, Beyond Retro shoes and a Rokit bag. I thought the dress had a lovely sixties feel to it, which is perfectly in line with the current resurgence in sixties style taking place at the moment (see here). I loved it's classic shape, and liked the drop-waist...I am slowly getting over my fear of them and now actually quite like the shape. The bow is a gorgeous detail and has made me want to adorn all of my shirts with ribbons and bows. Kitten heels are perfect to match with similar dresses, and there are just so, so many vintage ones out there. Absolute Vintage in Brick Lane has hundreds in all different colours, grouped into shelves of different shoe sizes, meaning you could easily find a pair to match any outfit.
So, now I can announce the giveaway! To enter, all you have to do is follow So Loves Vintage on Twitter, then choose a piece from their 'Accessories' page, leave the link in the comments on this blog and maybe how you would style it, and then Sofia (the founder of So) will choose the winner! Good luck!