Vintage tells a multilayered story

Vintage tells a multilayered story


Clothing tells a story. If you have the time, interest and money to invest in it you can create an elaborate tale, with vintage clothing providing perhaps the most twists, subplots and multilayered interpretations.

This will be on display at Cafe Living Room again from Thursday to Sunday at The History of Things to Come Vintage Clothing Sale, and prices will cater to all expat budgets, its organiser Amanda Bloom said.

“The beauty of vintage is how it grabs you when you wear it,” Bloom told 7Days. “A lot of vintage looks boring, but when you put it on it comes to life.” Plenty of contemporary fashion is made to “look good on the rack”, she says, adding “we’ve lost the plot with dressing”. “It’s you against the dress,” she explains.

Bloom’s last sale was a smash, drawing more than 500 customers, but she’s a bit worried that the rain may interfere with enthusiasm for the upcoming one. Still, she’s prepared a wide range of vintage, and will introduce swimsuits this time: mostly one-pieces.

Bloom is clear about the distinction between second-hand, retro and vintage, and aware as well that some design houses are adding vintage touches to modern lines, a trend she seems to find distasteful.

She’s preparing a glossary to help novices navigate the complex world of vintage, which includes retro trends popular in the 1950s. There will be plenty of hour-glass wiggle dresses (wiggle in, wiggle out) as well as frocks popular during the Second World War when dresses went tighter because fabric was rationed.

Bloom believes that vintage “was made to bring out the best part of a woman’s body”, and that it celebrates curves. Wearing vintage can also spark conversations: “it brings people together and creates conversation”, she says.

“Every piece is individual and it takes courage to embrace this individuality,” Bloom adds. ‘Seventy to 80 per cent of the clothing for sale is imported and personally selected from relationships built up over time.”