‘Historical dressing’ was recently the subject of a feature in The Guardian. Five people aged 25-50 whose dress styles range from the 17th and 18th centuries to the 1930s-50s talked about what wearing vintage clothes meant to them.
Many of the comments revolved around sustainability and ethical factors and how glamorous, classy and well made the clothes are compared to high-street brands. Zack MacLeod Pinsent’s century of choice for his everyday outfits which he makes himself is the Regency period, “the last hurrah of men’s fun with fashion”, he said.
Here we ask two organisers of vintage fairs for their take on a fashion that is never out of fashion.
Frock and roll
Matthew Adams has run his Frock Me! vintage fairs at Chelsea Old Town Hall for more than 20 years and is an acute observer of the scene.
He said: “Increasing pressure from the fashion world leads to many people wearing items only occasionally and then disposing of them.
“Awareness of the impact on the environment of this modern disposability is spreading with the realisation that this type of brief, ephemeral use is unsustainable and that the impact on the environment is having global consequences.
“There have always been people who love the earlier classic styles, who appreciate the quality of design and tailoring and the attention to detail that is so lacking in most of today’s clothes, but the numbers of people who see buying vintage clothes as a ‘green’ solution to the ever-increasing waste polluting our planet is hugely on the increase.”
The next Frock Me! vintage fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall is on Sunday, October 6.
Keeley Rosendale of Discover Vintage runs an annual vintage festival in York as well as regular vintage homeware fairs in Leeds, Manchester and Coventry.
“I see hundreds of items from the 1930s-60s on the rails at the festival and just can’t believe the quality, the details and the cut of garments,” she said.
“Many visitors to the festival are avid wearers of early vintage fashion and love to show off their carefully collected and put together ensembles. I myself have a great 1960s coat collection and often get compliments about how nice my coat is in the supermarket or at the pub without people even knowing it’s vintage. It gives you a great feeling.”
Festival of Vintage runs at York Racecourse on April 25-26, 2020.