BY VANESSA COSTANZO
With the growing popularity of vintage fashion, the slogan, “everything old is new again” may just be proven true.
Local resident and vintage fan Katie says buying second-hand fashion is a “win-win” for everyone.
She adds that she loves how all pieces are unique and one-off, standing by the principle of rejecting mass-produced, newer goods for reused garments of substance.
Reasons behind the revival
Curtin University fashion student Seth Cray says the vintage craze has flourished recently as a result of Generation Y’s lack of statement and identification.
“Much like the punk culture of the 1980s, people need something to express our reaction to current events and loss of tradition, which is one of the main reasons why I feel people are turning to a ‘retrospective’ style of fashion.”
According to Mr Cray, it is important for people to manipulate and modernise their vintage wares because it would not be a progression, or act of defying the style of the decade, if people were not personalising their garments.
The return to vintage style is a way to reflect on the fleeting traditions and values of today.
“Vintage fashion is a way to turn to the past as a source of inspiration and reflect on what once was in order to define what fashion is today,” he said.
Students Annie Loo, Dorafa Chan and Lisa Speranza are among the young people in Perth who love vintage styling. So much, in fact, that their hobby for vintage hunting turned into their starting an online store called Either/Or, allowing them to share their findings with others.
The 19 year olds established Either/Or with the intention of selling clothes in a more affordable setting via the Internet.
Co-founder Annie Loo said: “We just enjoy visiting the many op shops around town and finding treasures we want to share with everyone else.
“It’s also an outlet for the three of us to get away from our everyday stresses.”
Her strong affinity for vintage began when her older cousins introduced her to second-hand clothing at the age of 13.
“I got my vintage Coca-Cola jacket from them and I still have it now — it is one of my most prized vintage possessions!
“I guess that’s what I love about second-hand clothing: you can mix and match and create such unique outfits that stores nowadays never produce.”
She explains there is a distinction between vintage and op shopping.
Vintage is often more expensive, whereas op-shopping is more cost-effective, yet usually more time consuming, because the selections have not been narrowed down by era or styles.
“I started enjoying op shops because they can be endless and when you find a special item you’ve hunted down, you feel so happy.
“I still love vintage sales and stores; the selection of clothes they have just makes you wish that you could take it all home as your wardrobe.”
However, she said the best part is meeting the many different people that attend the markets and those who own the stores and share the passion.
The social image of vintage
Ms Loo says the reason for the popularity of vintage and second-hand markets is largely because of the Internet and style icons such as Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Vintage).
“I find that the Internet is highly influential in the establishment of vintage popularity through the many vintage fashion and street style blogs, as well as sites such as Lookbook (where people can upload photos of their outfits).”
She believes there can be a social stigma attached, however, to those who prefer vintage clothing or styles varying from those in chain stores.
“It’s funny in a way … it seems that vintage has become such a popular trend that prints and styles in stores now are actually becoming influenced by it.
“At first, op shopping and vintage clothing used to be an outlet of individuality and uniqueness, but now it’s almost becoming another trend.”
She says this notion is contributing to vintage’s increasing popularity among a range of ages.
Additionally, she expects this growth will allow Perth to evolve into a much more varied, fashionable city.