Vintage clothing, once a niche trend embraced by rockabillies, hippies and burlesque queens like Dita von Teese, has become so mainstream that it may be losing its meaning. Retailers are using the word to sell new T-shirts and aprons; ateliers are digging through their archives to look for historical inspirations for new runway collections.
Confused? Writer Jennifer Oldham describes the evolution of vintage, a trend that seems to have real staying power. See her story, which is in Sunday's Image section, here.
For vintage hounds, a fruitful trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market or a dig through the dollar bin at a favorite thrift store can be fun Sundays activities. But finding pieces that are in good condition and actually fit the modern body can prove challenging. For people who love the look of vintage but want to cut out the many variables of scoring a gorgeous cocktail dress or pencil skirt, there are clothing lines that create vintage reproductions from actual vintage patterns, but in new fabrics and larger sizes -- yes, we are bigger than our forebears of the last century and we kind of like easy-care, stretchy materials that are more forgiving that those of the past. There are also vintage-inspired lines -- many based in Southern California -- that churn out 1940s-style frocks and 1950s wasp waist dresses. Writer Melissa Magsaysay offers a guide here.
But if only the real thing will do, there's a new way to look for vintage treasures without pawing through a lot of worthless junk. Several enterprising Los Angeles-area women operate home-based vintage boutiques, places where shoppers can look through racks of carefully curated vintage while sipping mimosas and enjoying some girl talk. Writer Emili Vesilind visited a few, and tells us about them in a story you'll find by clicking here.
-- Susan Denley
Photo: Vintage shoes at a clothing boutique run by Erin Weinger and Renee Shaab from Weinger's apartment in Los Feliz. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho /Los Angeles Times.