In an era where we are taught to reuse and recycle in order to save planet earth, it's surprising that we don't apply the same principles to our spending behaviour. With a constant stream of collections (be it luxury or mass market) offered to us on a silver platter, there simply isn't a need to conserve or save anymore.
Dame Vivienne Westwood herself has called for us as consumers to buy less and choose quality items that will last forever. This, I must add, is where vintage fashion comes in.
The stigma of vintage being old musky items should be diminished and instead replaced with the knowledge that with vintage comes history, quality and rarity. We are able to change and extend the product's life-cycle, which in turn gives a fresh breath of life into our wardrobes and also bring in a personal touch to our style
As a serious fashion nerd who is not necessarily into bamboo fibres (I still love my duchesse silks, darlings), buying vintage seemed like a way out to not only show more concern for Mother Earth but also to own a piece of history. I have always believed that it is important for the clothes/accessories you are wearing to tell a story. And, seriously, what better way to do this than by having one-of-a-kind pieces.
So, imagine my delight when I came across this Christian Lacroix sweater while curating a Collector’s wardrobe for THE FIFTH COLLECTION.
In a heartbeat, I knew this piece was going to be mine for two reasons: 1) Lacroix is one of my favourite designers, and 2) this is a true gem.
So, Why all the hype over this top?
Well, my dear collectors, it is because this sweater is the pret-a-porter version of the couture piece that was featured on the 1988 cover of American Vogue. Yes. It is THAT issue of Vogue which cemented Anna Wintour’s place in fashion history. It was her first issue and this piece was featured on the cover, styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele (read more about her in Fashion Heroes).
For the uninitiated, that combination of high-low styling was unprecedented especially in the 1980s.
The mix of couture with jeans even made the Vogue printers think that there was a mistake in the choice for a cover. Certainly, this was the one cover that broke all the rules and started a revolution where stylists started mixing high and low pieces together.
It is what we are all so familiar with today - pairing an inexpensive item with a designer statement piece. So iconic was this cover that Gigi Hadid paid tribute to it last year by recreating this iconic image.
When I bought that top, I knew I was buying a piece of history and a special moment in time that no fast fashion or current designer could ever replicate.
The importance of archiving products has strengthened in the recent years with brands clamouring to collect and retrieve pieces that they once tried desperately to sell in the past. Whether as inspiration for designers to create a collection or for craftsmen to reference to perfect their stitching, brands understand that quality of the past is unsurpassed in this day and age.
Vintage is therefore one's own way of being able to collect pieces that represent a certain era and quality as well as to empower one's self with the knowledge that you are purchasing something that goes back to the roots of luxury; a handmade item constructed from the best product material.
When I started working at THE FIFTH COLLECTION, I got to share my love for vintage with everyone by carefully curating the selection we have to ensure that the items are generally of good quality and also one of a kind. I also make sure that, despite the exclusivity and rarity of vintage pieces, they will never burn a hole through your wallet.
One of my greatest pleasures in life is finding a good deal, especially when it comes to fashion. The price of this stunning Lacroix sweater I found is probably the same price as three dresses from Zara (which every blogger and their mothers will have).
Thus, the choice is obvious.
Go vintage and make a difference by contributing towards sustainable luxury and investing in heirlooms that may just one day be in a retrospective at the Met. Well, we hope, at least.