New Vintage – The high street hits back.

Hey All,

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.

Straight in with Wintery textures and fabrics: Faux-fur, leather and wool. All in black and white, with the odd flash of red.

More wool and faux-fur; loving the faux-snow leopard coat.

AW11 colours; notably mustard and cerulean (see ‘Raquel Heels’ shoes).

Loose crochet, Barbour-inspired riding boots, bright Trilbies and gypsy-print shawls…

More mustard and cerulean, along with turquoise, purple and ochre.

The skirt shape I’ll be wearing ASAP.

Faux-Camel-hair anything, makes me crave AW11…

Enter disco-glamour – tiger-print wedges…

Chunky-heeled, round-toe knee-high boots (with (‘Mezzie Tassel’) or without fringing).

Open fronted-silky blouses with huge poet-sleeves (‘Rouge Pusybow Blouse’).

The red secretary dress (‘Blush Pussybow Dress’).

And quite possibly the best shirt I’ve ever seen… Rumour has it there WILL be matching trousers! Oh MY!

‘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.


Whisty Xx


6 Responses to “New Vintage – The high street hits back.”

  1. June 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I love the Leather Jacket, I have been looking for ages thanx x

  2. June 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Matching trousers eh? I wait with bated breath. River Island has outdone itself this season – totally agree with your point on high street revamping vintage. I personally love when a garment has a ‘tell’ – that way you know it’s got a story.

  3. June 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Oh. My. God. I absolutely love the 70s trend, can’t believe it’s sticking around, am loving the previews! Such a shame that I’m on a serious shopping ban for the next few months… *le sigh*…..
    great post by the way! x

  4. June 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    love 70 secretary style! blouses all the way

    claire x


  5. June 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I really hope you got that shirt…I’ll get the matching pants and we can form a girl band

  6. June 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Before I had even read half of you post, River Island immediately spring to mind!
    They have a great line of kimonos, shirts and cotton blazers in mustard, muted blue and rusty tones and the likes that resonate vintage pieces so well.
    I wore a floral print mustard kimono from River Island just last week and three people stopped to inquire if it was a vintage buy.
    They’re obviously doing something right, I know who I will be sticking with for the season ahead.

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