Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Vintage Advantage

Hear ye, hear ye, the ecomomeee is melting and people are carrying their office supplies in cardoboard boxes. The hour is upon us to rethink our spending habits and invest wisely. Does this mean we'll have to sort through mustry racks at Vinnies and rummage through boxes at garage sales ourselves, instead of luxuriously browsing through a funky vintage boutique, happily paying $50 for a 50c piece? (Hold your horses/fire, there's a reason for this) - "vintage" is so overdone, it's lost it's point. There is a line between Vintage and Second-Hand Crap from a few years ago (not decades) and most people don't know it's there. You know those pop vox sections in magazines? "Oh my jewellery is from Tiffany's and my bag is Gucci and my shoses are Loubs but my dress is vintage Miss Shop circa 2002". Pft. Stuff people chucked out last summer is not vintage if you re-buy it this summer. It's ecomonical if you buy it at Vinnies, stupid if you buy it at a vintage boutique, but it's. not. vintage. It's literally, last season. There are some awesome vintage stores out there, that source geniune vintage threads from Nanna's heyday, gorgeous well-made pieces in good nick. Props to these shops and people for having the eye for this, they do a brilliant job and I sure as hell couldn't do it. But then there are other shops/sites/ebay listings/pop voxes (voxi?) you wander past and sorta go, hmmm.....I didn't realise that pair of Payless evening shoes I bought for my year 12 ball in 2001 and discarded before the big move OS would end up in a shop window for more than I paid for them (they are, in a local "vintage" shop that's never open, probably with good reason). Just because something is from Vinnies, doesn't make it vintage. It shits me in the same way that it shits me when people claim they've "renovated" their kitchen, when all they've done is paint a DIY feature wall. The stigma of buying second-hand, buying economically, has only been partially lifted, it seems. We're possibly going to be forced by neccessity to throw it off with joyful abandon because it's no longer viable to fork out for the latest overpriced trends in Sportsgirl. Either save up for the designer original or admit your new jacket was $2 and from 2 years ago. Fashion trends do cycle swiftly, after all. Eco-everything is hot right now. Will a glossy fashion mag ever do an under $10 shoot? (No.) It's cool to be green, so why can't it be cool to show off your latest (non-vintage, admittedly last season but see how you've reworked it?) op-shop find. Surely this in turn will feed the buy-to-last ethos Nanna knows about into our consumer consciousness, thus keeping glam high end labels in business and potentially minimising factory child labour? Hey, it seems those vintage ideas were right on the money to begin with.....

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