I was in an antique shop this weekend and stumbled into the ‘vintage’ clothing section. I took this picture of the ‘green’ rack…green being the color of all the dresses, because let’s face it polyester is in no way an environmentally friendly fabric. As I get older I hate to admit that the fashions I grew up with are now ‘vintage’ or retro or used for wardrobe in productions set in the last century. And yet as I face a rack of these dresses I can’t help but ask…’what were we thinking?’ How did I think these were cool? And at the same time some of these things are very much back in style.
As I scanned through the rack I recognized several of the dresses as ones I wore, or knew people who wore, or both. These things brought back high school dances, television shows, parent’s friends or even fashion trends that we wore no questions asked. I had to smile as these really were the fabrics of our lives way back in the 70’s and 80’s. They were what we chose to wear because they were the really cool trends…now they are vintage. It amazes me how we can take something, rename it vintage and it is a valuable product to an entirely new demographic. These fashions were not cheap to buy in this antique store, they were definitely priced as vintage and trending.
The fabrics themselves made me think about the people, places and events that influence us in what we wear and how we present ourselves to the world. When my generation first wore these we thought they were trendy and cool. The generation wearing them now thinks that same thing. So are we so very different if we wear the same things…even if it is in different centuries? Are we copying a previous generation and simply chalk it up to a ‘new’ perspective?
So many things make up who we are and how we present ourselves to the world…fashion, fabrics, colors, designs. And what we think is new and trendy may simply be a rerun from another generation that we have never seen before. So why don’t we get along better? Why don’t we ‘see’ what each other sees if we can wear the same things? Are we so very different? If this green dress rack is any indication, I think we are more alike than we want to admit. Because when I bought these dresses back in the 1970’s I probably bought off the green dress rack. I thought they were new, and fun, and would make me look like I was ‘all that and a bag of chips’…to whomever it was I was trying to impress. Women today are using that same thought process to comb through this ‘vintage’ rack. The green dress rack lives on to torture or enhance another generation of women!