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Being You & Wearing Vintage

Posted by Cherie
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All photos by Erin Leydon. Shot on location at The Revue Cinema.

 

I have an addiction to the work of James Galanos. He had a long career that began in 1951, in Los Angeles, and ended in 1998 when he retired. Which means he designed a lot of clothing. His work spans the gamut of aesthetics from sharply tailored suits and day dresses to elaborately beaded gowns, minimalist pieces and things made of silks so light and airy that it's a wonder that they exist at all. They are cut long and lean and no matter what the aesthetic was at that point of his career, the construction cannot be faulted and the lines are always those of elegance and glamour. I have written on his work as a designer here and I would love if you popped over to read that after you finish here today.

I have a confession to make. When I decided to wear this silk chiffon pant set by Galanos (yes it's pants!) with its metallic lace and silk tabard overlay, I realized it was too big for me. The pants were too long and the top too loose. I am so in love with this outfit that I cursed up a storm for a while and then decided it was going in this photo shoot no matter what. So I grabbed my favorite platforms and looked through the shop racks to throw something over it to hide just how big it was on me. I initially passed this forties pink kimono over, despite being drawn to it, because the color was SO different but I kept coming back to it and decided to give it a try because my instincts were saying; "yeah its crazy, but do it anyway". Needless to say I loved it together and I think it completely works despite the eccentric clashing. The huge silver sparkling Gucci sunglasses bring it all together and I did my crazy pom-pom hairdo once again, looked in the mirror and was completely over the moon happy. Which, sometimes, makes me fear for my own future because I think I could end up a batty old lady wafting about some grand old home in things just like this outfit, without a care in the world except my own outlandish and endless love of playing dress up.

Oh wait, that actually sounds pretty good, no?

This is really and truly my style. I have always loved a good clash of colors and flowing silks. It appeals to the 5'11" inch inner me that can wear anything, anywhere, even if the real life me can't. I think part of what I love about vintage is the freedom it gives you. People will be like "What are you wearing" and as soon as you reply with "It's vintage", everyone is suddenly just fine with any crazy outfit you have on no matter how outlandish. There is this extra little bit of tolerance and freedom of expression that people seem to allow you when you wear vintage, no matter how bold it is. It's like you get to be an individual squared.

You times two.

I have seen this happen more times then I can count and have absolutely no explanation for it that could pass muster under any real scrutiny. My gut tells me that it is because we humans are drawn to different. As much as we all tend to conform to each other, what we really love is someone who is bold and true to themselves. When I see countless girls on social media all wearing this weeks t-shirt that the PR departments sent out, or the same pair of shoes that change week by week, I sometimes lament on just where the real style has gone. I think people get addicted to vintage because not only does it afford them something that no one else has but there is this whole underlying layer of what their choices say about them as an individual. I see girls choose vintage pieces that they would never, ever, buy if it was new and is like nothing else in their closets. It is like vintage opens up this little gateway to your secret fantasies of who you are. There is this sense of playing dress up in someone else's clothing and taking on a little teeny slice of their former, fabulous life. That this somehow gives us an extra boost to our own fabulousness.

I can't tell you how much I love that theory. Even if it is only my own and I came up with it myself and I could be completely wrong. But I don't think I am. I believe in my gut that this is why some of us get obsessively addicted to vintage. It is the ultimate grown-up, acceptable version of playing dress up and it allows you to being whoever you want, while still being completely and utterly you.

Even if that does mean the occasional good clash of pink and red, sky high platforms and silver sparkles.

Buy it before I keep it - the Galanos set is here and the Kimono here.

Have the best possible week darlings!

 

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