You ever stop for a minute and feel sorry for all the vintage collectors yet to come?
It occurred to me the other day how lucky I am to have a solid collection, because now? In 2017? Dior’s New Look is seventy years old, for Pete’s sake. World War II is almost eighty. We persist in thinking of “midcentury” as “fifty years ago”, but it’s as old as our grandparents. Some of my older pieces are already on life support.
Even in the past couple of years, Etsy results for “forties dress” and “fifties dress” have gone way, way down. Anecdotal evidence, sure, but part and parcel of something undeniably true: midcentury vintage is dying out. Pre-midcentury – let’s not even go there. Most ’20s and ’30s pieces probably belong in museums now, not on human bodies. And it makes me wonder what the vintage scene will become over the next few years. I’m so fortunate to own as much ’40s and ’50s vintage as I do, and I can’t help but feel sorry for girls who are just breaking into the culture. The odds are just short of dismal that they’ll have the pickings we did.
How do you think limited availability will shape vintage style in the coming years? Do you think pinups and midcentury dames will turn to the burgeoning repro industry, or do you think they’ll transition to later eras? Some of both? Most of us vintage lifestylers have a reproduction piece or few, but as for the diehard bunch who swear off fast fashion – I’m curious. Will there be more of a market for homesewn originals? (Fingers crossed! I could always use a few bucks.)
Until then, though – we’ll make do and mend, just like our forebears taught. We’ll treasure the pieces with life in them yet. We’ll toast the trappings of the greatest generation.
Dress: ’40s, gift from Mom
Hat: ’30s, Barge Canal Market
Gloves: Mainly Vintage
Shoes: Old Gold
Everything else: thrifted