Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Business of Vintage

I have been in the the business of vintage officially for 10 years, from my Saturday job to then owning my own business, my knowledge has grown and my love for it never changed. In fact if I really think back I spent most of my childhood in my mother's wardrobe with my friends dressing up in shoes that were 6 sizes too big, 80's shoulder padded shiny dresses and using fabric belts as headbands. Looking back I think I spent ever weekend dressing up and coming up with new styles. As an only child I entertained myself like this for years. I will one day find the photo evidence!
I am a vintage, second hand as I also refer it too, lover. It's been so far the longest love affair of my life. You have to love it to be in the business of it.

I find great happiness in vintage clothing, something I never thought of that much before, I just took it as natural but I know not everyone feel this way. Some customer reactions to vintage or second hand can be quite hilariously aversive due the fact that someone may have worn it before and describing vintage as, dare i say it, 'dead people clothes', to which I have laughed as essentially it most likely true.

I myself have never though such morbid thought and like any good vintage lover see it more as breathing new life into a beautiful piece of clothing, allowing oneself to be different, create your own style and if really want to push it being ethical by recycling clothing.

I fully understand sometime the smell of second hand can be off-putting and here at Godiva we do endeavour to clean up our vintage, however I must admit when on holiday when I walk into a vintage store, vintage shopping is a must for any holiday for me, the familiar smell does bring a smile to my face and I feel at home.

My vintage 'must haves' are a good bag and coat. My favourite coat created by Winsmoor. I will one day post a photo. When I discover a great cut vintage dress or pattern like nothing else I have ever seen I am filled with joy. A lot of the time these dresses don't have labels as the have been hand made, which makes them even better, as someone has taken their tim eto create for themselves or for someone else. An example of a craft, skilled, do it yourself age of the past.

I think my love for vintage and love of working in Godiva is the constant stimulation my senses get from such clothing, the cuts, the patterns, the fabric and colours. The mishmash mix up of all these fantastic shapes and prints in one room is hugely pleasing to me. Not driven by the latest fashion trend or popularity.

Additionally fashion repeats itself, with vintage you find so much of the original pattern that so much design is now based on today. Of course not all vintage second hand is beautiful to me, some is down right ridiculous! But this too bring a smile to my face, how someone could actually of designed that oversize mohair pompom batwing jumper. But still with vintage something I think may be ridiculous is to someone else is the thing the have been looking for all their lives. A piece of vintage clothing will always be loved by someone somewhere, unlike the disposable fashion on the high street.

Nothing sucks my soul more than the high street. I strongly believe Primark is the work of the Devil. I only clothes shop on the high street for essentials like underwear, as second hand underwear is a step too far! I don't enjoy looking like everyone else and that is were vintage allows you to be free to be individual, as well as part of the vintage believers tribe, something to me more satisfying than the looking like everyone else tribe, However for those who take comfort in this, that is fine by me if that's what makes you happy.

I seemed to have reminisced somewhat today! I have enjoyed it and I hope you have too.

I guess I should also tell you that we are still having a vintage sale in store, which will end soon. So come buy,a the more you buy now the more new and fresh vintage stock I can buy, which is one of my favourite parts of running my own vintage business.


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