Sunday, September 25, 2011

Today's Vintage Fashion News: Please Don't Cut Up Antique Clothing!

I was checking out recent news in Vintage Fashion and stumbled across this article:

Mantra of Palm Harbor Fashion Designer: Reuse, Recycle, Renew

This actually hurts my heart. 

Basically, the story is that this fashion designer creates her own new designs, as the article states, by "seeking out sparkly, elegant, 100+ year-old Victorian era clothing, then cutting it up and making it into something else entirely. And hipster fashionistas are snapping it up."

I followed the links and checked out the designers garments, and some of it is pretty damned cool, but I can't help but wonder, "weren't they pretty before?!"

I have no problem whatsoever from taking and remaking an old garment from say, oh... the 80s or 90s (recent vintage, the thrift stores are overloaded with this stuff) or even vintage garments that are destroyed beyond repair where salvaging the remainder is the only option.  I love that kind of design.  Done it myself.

But personally, I feel that when the garment is from the Victorian Era, it no longer qualifies as "vintage" it rather qualifies as "antique."  I just would not have the heart to look at a 100 year old beautiful dress, and then hack at it with scissors.  Generally, the only garments that still remain from that era remain for a good reason; mainly, they had meaning to someone who kept and took care of them - wedding dress, a honeymoon garment, etc.  

Artists are supposed to look for inspiration.  And, I think the Victorian Era is a beautiful era to be inspired by!  Victorian Fashion was gorgeous (and still is when it's intact!) I believe in having a collection of what you love and what you are inspired by. I looked at the garments that this designer has created and think, they are nice designs, but would they have been any less so if the fabric had been new... rather, "vintage inspired" rather than what is, in my opinion, destructive to history and a gimmick.

It's just my personal opinion, but ouch.

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