WEARABLE VINTAGE FASHION
By Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge
Vivays Publishing, 192 pages, 250 illustrations
Did you know that I love vintage?
That’s why I was thrilled to get my hands upon Wearable Vintage Fashion. This book about vintage fashion is unique in a sense that you will not see a single Dior or Balenciaga piece in it. Actually, Dior gets mentioned once – in the preface where authors say there will be no Dior in this book. So, no big designer names… what is it about then?
It is too easy to put on a designer dress from ’50s and say “I’m dressed in a ’50s style”. But do you really know how to get a head-to-toe look? What if you don’t want to spend a fortune on an authentic piece? Wearable Vintage Fashion explains vintage style and how to recreate it using not only authentic period pieces but just about anything, and do it on a budget.
Vintage style gets presented decade by decade from different aspects. Of course, you will learn what people wore back then daily and nightly, including accessories and even make-up. In the ‘Get The Look’ section you will find tips on vintage styling and how to recreate a specific era look from old family photos. There is also an amusing ‘Icon’ section that takes a lighthearted look at the style of movie stars and icons of each era and how to recreate their look with affordable clothing from your local vintage shop.
There is so much more to personal style than proportions and color scheme! Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, in her book Style A to Zoe, admits borrowing elements of style of past-day icons and talks about the importance of adding drama to your look. With inspiration taken from vintage you will be able to reinforce that nonverbal message about who you are – think about Dita von Teese as a fabulous example.
Hmmm, maybe I’ll finally figure out what to wear my gorgeous Rochas pumps with.
But don’t get me wrong – if you are used to polished editorial looks this book is not for you. It is for people who don’t take fashion too seriously. The last part of the book looks especially lovely – it is filled with pictures of bloggers (I found Katie from whatkatiewore.com), photographers, boutique owners and regular folks who live and breathe vintage.
About the authors:
Clare Bridge opened her boutique Second Hand Rose in Worcester, UK five years ago, turning her love and knowledge of vintage into a successful business. She has styled photo shoots and supplied period clothing to BBC costumiers as well as being filmed as a vintage expert for a daytime BBC show. She participates in high profile vintage events around the country as well as organizing local vintage events as part of WAVE (Worcester Arts and Vintage Events.)
Jo Waterhouse is an experienced writer and author of several books specializing in sub-cultural art scenes including Indie Craft and Art by Tattooists: Beyond Flash. She is an occasional freelance writer and has been wearing and collecting vintage clothing since her teens. She is also a vintage events organizer, working alongside Clare as part of WAVE, as well as working on the Second Hand Rose website and promotion.