Of polka dots and candy stripes

Of polka dots and candy stripes

Who says vintage belongs to the past? Clothing and accessories plucked off yesteryear shelves may claim a very niche audience but they still remain present on the pages of fashion magazines and critics’ columns.

Perhaps it’s the glamour associated with the sort of dresses that Grace Kelly once wore; perhaps, some incline towards vintage clothing because they believe it sets them apart. Either way, the much-used adage about getting better with age seems to be perfect in this situation – vintage is here, and it’s here to stay.

Like many other forceful fashions, vintage is essentially an acquired taste. It isn’t easy to slip into dramatically puffed sleeves or exaggerated polka dots and candy-stripes for the first time.

Shruthi Anantharam, a vintage enthusiast, admits that she began to pay attention to the fashion was when top designers suddenly started to bring it back to the ramp and the trend then trickled down to clothing stores.

“I love stuff which was huge during the 70s and 80s. I started experimenting with vintage last September – wedge heels had become really big in stores around the City that time, so I thought I’d try it,” she recollects.

Although she experiments widely with all things vintage – in terms of style, pattern and even colour – she admits to having some favourite staples. “I think the biggest vintage trends these days are sling-bags, broad-legged pants and tight blouses and I love them.
I like teaming a sling-bag with wedges and wide pants,” she states.

Anyesha, a student of Mount Carmel College, belongs to the group of people who are unabashedly addicted to vintage jewellery. She dismissed ultra-shiny and gaudy pieces and sticks instead to classy favourites, like large motif pendants, ceramic lockets and chunky bracelets.

“I think retro jewellery — like funky pendants and bangles — are hugely in fashion right now. People tend to go for these old-fashioned pieces because they aren’t shiny or in-your-face. Rather, they are made with dull materials and are very subtle and elegant,” she notes, adding, “often, these pieces of jewellery are very large — but they still manage to look understated.”

Vintage doesn’t always refer to dresses and pants. Japnit, a professional, admits to inclining towards Indian vintage wear.

“I’m really attracted to Indian vintage, like long anarkali suits. These have a lot of creative elements which come for old designs — for example, a lot of Pakistani embroidery and plenty of lace. I’m especially attracted to bright colours like blues, pinks and magentas,” she describes.

Japnit scouts these old-fashioned outfits as small boutiques and fashion houses and admits that they’re much easier to get a hold of in other cities.

“The other option is to get this stuff made. If I see someone wearing a nice vintage kurta, I ask them where they got it from or get something similar stitched,” she explains, adding, “the trick is to go bold — vintage is all about being bold!”

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