Right If I’m going to embrace this 70’s thing – knowing that if I do, I’m going all the way through to Autumn / Winter 2011 – then I’m doing it with gusto. I’m thinking 70’s secretary; pussy-bow blouses, big shades; A-Line minis, or midi-length skirts worn with chunky heeled knee-high boots. I’m thinking Jane Fonda’s secretary chic from the movie ‘9 to 5‘:
mixed with the platform sandals, floppy hats and high waisted shorts of Jodie Foster’s, Iris in Taxi Driver:
With the the rise of vintage and the rocky economy, High Street stores have literally had to take a step back in time to keep their heads above water. Many of the stores on the Irish High Street come from the UK, where there has been pretty subdued sales growth so far this year which is not set to change any time soon. Therefore, these stores have had to up their ante and tackle the fashion-buying-public’s vintage obsession head on.
Luckily, there are a few things that work in their favour when it comes to vintage clothing; for starters there is always a ‘tell’ with vintage that gives its age away; be it colour, skirt-length, fabric etc… So by reproducing a vintage piece for mass production in their stores, high-street designers are able to tweak a design to make it more on-trend and most importantly more commercial.
There is also the fact that most women, don’t have the time or the inclination to rummage through vintage shops and fairs looking for the perfect dress / blouse / skirt, only to find that it isn’t even in their size. Another thing about vintage is that some people just simply don’t like wearing second-hand clothes.
Seeing as the summer has (barely) begun, it’s now the norm that the glossies (see the latest issues of Elle and Vogue) are looking to Autumn / Winter 2011 already. The High-Street’s AW11 collection previews began in London months ago and having seen a few twitter sneak-peaks, this winter is all about the vintage-inspired.
Dropping at the River Island AW11 preview, I saw just how successful a collection that takes inspiration from previous eras and adapts then to a more modern style, can be. By acknowledging and incorporating some of the key elements that make vintage so appealing; voluminous, luxurious-feeling fabrics, bold prints and colours, and attention-getting style, the designers at River Island have created a lustful, AW11 collection that will tempt even the most dedicated chasers of vintage fashion.
AW11 colours; notably mustard and cerulean (see ‘Raquel Heels’ shoes).
‘Story’ names include; ‘Gigi’ – 60’s-inspired pillbox hats, bow-front pumps and carpet bags. ‘White Savage’ – white faux-fur out sized knits and beige leather accessories. ‘London Girl‘ – Brothel-creeper brogues, monochrome and Houndstooth prints. And ‘Hustler’ (see Iris, Taxi Driver reference above) – Cerulean Trilbies, silky shirts, huge wedges and disco-gold accents.