Let’s take off the mask, and reveal the secrets by unzipping the mystery! And please keep your underwear on, and there is no need to remove your make-up. And if you are ready, I will give you the permission to unzip the Retro file. Vintage style and vintage clothing are gaining popularity and for different reasons. Young people obsessed with vintage clothing that offers the unique look for less. On college campuses, student population knows how mix and match affordable vintage retro from thrifts’ store and blend it with new bringing history of fashion design from different level to a new popular phenomenon. Today, many stores sell brand new items that made to have the old look selling the brand and the leverage of timeless classic and dirty denim washed-up and distressed, slim ties, over sized shades, simply because it is “all about being able to look GOOD in a burlap sack.”
In general, despite the hard-work, fashion is enjoyable and entertaining, but not at some dull and tedious moments. During the mid-eighties, people were robbed and killed for Cazal eyeglass frames. The West German imports, made of heavy, dark plastic molded into square lens frames linked by a broad gold nose piece, sold for a high as $200.00 a pair. As fashion frames spread from celebrities to the streets, first in New York and then to Philadelphia, and after to south and west; and as my story goes, in Philadelphia, the frames initiated a crime wave. The desire over Cazal’s causes many young people to arm themselves with handguns whenever they wore their glasses.
The ‘past perfect vintage’ from different era range in quality and price, and are very collectible. The great American dealer, Israel Sack, used to say, “Bargains are expensive,” meaning that experience absent knowledge could be very costly. Collectible antique clothing refers to finely constructed clothing from the past and meets standards of aesthetic quality. For thousands years, fashion statements was a way to demonstrate the social status and the social power. “The living form of art holds power – power to control a part of one’s image,” said British philosopher Francis Bacon. Historically, fashionable clothing has been finely made, distinctive, and expensive. Generally speaking, clothing which was made before 1920s is referred to as antique clothing; and clothing from the 1920s to twenty years before the present day is considered vintage. Fashion is not like technology, yesterday’s transportation and pharmaceuticals in the sense that not everything newer is not necessarily more desirable. Antique clothes owned by Cher or Barbara Streisand, dresses made by Bob Mackie great samples of national memorabilia of the museum quality are very popular among collectors.
Meantime, fashion trends are come and go. To follow the fashion trend devotedly and be in fashion is smart, but as one of my fashion-savvy friends said, the recycling of fashion trends has been speed up. In our contemporary culture, influential individuals, celebrities, and professional models are the powerful beautiful ‘tips of the iceberg’ associated with social stratification. You can be wrapped in the best covers, but behind each masked person is the personal style. Viva personal style, individualism, chic, practicality and elegance! “A blue hat is just a blue hat, until Kate Middleton puts it on – then fashion is born.” (The Logic of Fashion Cycles, 2012) All clothes protect the human body from natural elements, but dressing with flair and personal style is a way of announcing one’s taste and standing in society. As Charles Dickens once said, “any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he’s well dressed.”
As history is always divided by time frames, the inside out style has acceptable guidelines of fashion studies:
Fashion fads: last 3-12 months
Fashion trends: last 1-5 years
Fashion classics: last 5-10 years
Fashion cycle: about 20 years until a trend will return.
We cannot physically return in the past time, as progress with each step back makes a step forward as well. Fashion always returns in a slightly different way.
There is something that has to be said about celebrating fashion points with historical pride. The fashion literacy is far more then glamour and style. The so-called fashion science does not have a science fiction approach to the matter. Plato writes in the The Republic about economic necessity, the origin of the State, the divisions of wants – food [restaurant industry], shelter [real estate industry], and clothes [apparel manufacturing and fashion industry]. Each “profession needs its tool-its manufacturer, and the merchant to keep up the exchange. In some sense, the individual is a complete man only in the State, therefore, certain necessities of his own being that cannot supply him without fulfilling his own capacity” is the fundamental position of entire Republic. The method to discover that capacity is education.
A fast glimpse around the library shelves or bookshelves in the bookstore provides the observation evidence that word “fashion” is in bound up with almost everything. Fashion studies include sociological aspects, psychological explanations, historical approach, and a wide aspect of business management for one and shopping till you drop for others, let say, somewhere on the fashionable Fauborg St. Honore or at Bal Harbour Shops on Miami Beach.
I hope you enjoy the deep water diving under the tip of the iceberg, and after you will come back to the dry land and remove the mask and the diving costume, you will continue your business tomorrow by putting on your best shoes, the hat …simply because “the hat on your head will keep you warm, with the hat on your head you will be a little bit taller, with the hat on your head, you’ll acknowledge the elegancy, a little bit sophistication, with the hat on your head you will get protected and shielded from rattle of wind and rain. With the hat on your head, you will be tied to strangeness of secrecy, and a little bit of unexpected mystery. When you wear the hat on your head, you will refine to natural earthy simplicity, and a little bit of naivety. When you are wearing the hat on the head, you are a different person; very confident, between us two, everybody will study and learn your face – who are you? When you are wearing the hat on your head, you will treasure the thoughts under one shell, under one dome; the entire world, to undiscovered humanity and femininity. When you wear the hat, you are a little bit stronger, sharper and hard-minded. When you have a hat on your head, you feel a little bit noble, precious, and edel – queenly generous and a little bit gorgeous, also sensitive and giving. You are wearing the world on your neck; come, take a look! You need more than a shoulder to keep you head up, you need more than a hat to keep up your head right: complexity and opportunity, chaos of unfinished symphony, dynamics of the tropical rain, rattle of the waterfall, and the tomb of your arm. A little bit of anatomical elements embracing your brain and mind, highlighting your eyes and the mouth. When you are wear the hat, you are headlining you, carrying the aura of the materialistic hat as a crown above; the wreath of success – just one flower will make fairy-like-flower-head wreath to come back in your past, a little bit of catching your dream, when you are wear the hat on your head. (Tomshinsky, 2013)