I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a concept which as a wannabe fashion historian is hugely important. That of future vintage. I’m taking about what recent pieces may one day become collectible, or even just become interesting to future generations.
So, what got me thinking about this all? A few weeks back the vintage festival declared that the 90s is now vintage. I started to think about what defines the 90s fashion wise and then it got me What ten years from now will we look at and go that SO defines the noughties (apologies I hate this word and will use it repeatedly through this piece but there is no better way to describe the years 2000-2010).
This also applies to museums too. What I find fascinating is when a museum accessions something that is new, or only a few years old with the scope of it capturing the zeitgeist. When I worked at Hampshire museums service there was one piece that stuck in my mind that particularly exemplified this. A Bus Stop dress which if memory serves me correctly was from 1974 and accessioned in 1978. This was an incredibly clever accession by the then keeper of collections, as at the time it would have been simply a piece of second hand clothing but can now be viewed as an important piece.
The bus stop dress in question. Terrible picture, but this picture was taken in the days before i had my SLR. It looked much better on a mannequin in the LBD exhibition i worked on but i can’t seem to find a picture!
So if I had the chance, what would I pick from the last 10 years as pieces of importance?
I’m thinking less high end and more high street. What might we look at 50 years from now and think THAT caused a fashion buzz, or rather that is what everyday people wore.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but is more my starting point. Feel free to comment and I’ll do an update of this list with other suggestions : )
– An item from Kate Moss’s first Topshop collection. The press went mad over it, and as an employee of Topshop at the time I remember the secrecy that surrounded the launch (not being allowed in the stockroom namely!)
This dress was a blatant copy of a Bus Stop dress but nonetheless is instantly recognisable as being from Kate’s first collection
(btw if someone wants to give me an item of first collection kate moss with tags on I want a piece for my collection…drop me an email ; ) )
– Something worn by Kate Middleton. I.e. something achievable to many, like one of the L.k. Bennett dresses she has worn? I have a pair of LK sledge shoes that Kate is often seen in that despite nearly crippling me in the time I worked for L K Bennett I might just keep hold of.
– A bodycon skirt. In my first year of uni I have distinct memories of these. I had at least four : / (looking back, not such a great look )
– A velour tracksuit. I hate to admit it, aged 12 (2002) I owned one.
– The boho look (c 2005). For this I would have to pick a good white cheesecloth gypsy skirt to really define the look I think.
– A piece from Primark at its peak ( I think im talking 2006 or 2007 here) when EVERYONE had identekit Primark floral dresses in a slightly vintage style.
– Distressed jeans so distressed that you might as well not have been wearing trousers at all (early 2000’s- I think Christina Aguilera might have been partially to blame for this)
– A pair of leggings- but worn as trousers (I only see this getting worse and worse. I have horrid memories from my first year at uni and walking behind girls whose knickers I could see through their leggings *shudders*)
– Lumberjack/check/tartan shirts 2007/2008.
– Skinny jeans so tight you feel you may cut off circulation to your legs ( c.2006 when this all started if memory serves me correctly)
– High waisted shorts. I had my first pair in early 2007. I remember the hilarity these caused at the time, when everyone was wearing decidedly low waisted garments and there was confusion as to why I would be CHOOSING to wear the waistband of my shorts above my waist.
It’s funny that during the noughties so many fashion fads seem to have centered around Topshop. Maybe I felt like they did just because I worked for them. I’m not sure but I have a funny feeling that at some point in the future I will be writing something rather substantial about the importance of Topshop on the British high street in the noughties. Watch this space… its probably a good 10 years off yet, but I can see it happening : )
Trying to think since 2010 though I am really struggling because everything is SO vintage at the moment. Most people I know will happily inject some level of vintage into their wardrobe whether it be crazy novelty jumpers from charity shops (ahem, I look at my housemates on this one ; ) ), cut off levi shorts or genuine 50s dresses. We are currently in a period where the past IS present. Maybe fashion has just got too fast for its own good. Maybe we are about to reach the ceiling of how fast fashion can get? Stores that once dominated seem to have lost their way rather (topshop I look primarily at you here), so maybe the fast fashion bubble is about to burst… I’m certainly interested to see what happens.