Professional Insider:Trend Spotting
High fashion at low prices is just one enticing reason consumers are
looking to recycle
The generation that ferreted through thrift stores for cheap clothes
and unwittingly spawned the grunge movement in fashion has grown up. Many
have good jobs and can afford to pay retail. Their tastes have gone upscale,
but many of them continue to forsake the sanitary confines of the mall for
the thrill of the hunt for vintage clothing.
"Fashion is moving in so many directions now, it's more acceptable
to cultivate your own look," Tiffany Dubin, director of Sotheby's fashion
department, tells Elle magazine. "Vintage clothing is the only
affordable alternative to the kind of craftsmanship and attention to detail
that's still found in haute couture."
Pucci or Lilly Pulitzer prints from the '60s and '70s, Chanel
and Hèrmes designs from any era and beaded dresses from the '30s
are particularly sought-after, but anything well-made and in good condition
is up for grabs. Rolexes from the '70s are on the wrists of male and female
fashion devotees in New York City, and Danish modern jewelry is experiencing
Such shopping hotbeds as London, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco and
New York City have stores devoted to vintage apparel; the stores are designed
and merchandised as impeccably as the newest upscale retail emporiums. Thrift
and consignment shops in well-heeled urban neighborhoods and moneyed suburbs
are also fertile ground for hunting down couture and better ready-to-wear
fashion, as are flea markets like the weekend gatherings at the Rose Bowl
in Pasadena, CA.
Jewelers' View of Vintage
What these shoppers look for is style, workmanship and a way to express
tastes that aren't for sale everywhere. Which makes them primed for estate
jewelry, new jewelry with design notes from other eras and vintage watches.
Art Deco, Art Nouveau, mod smooth '70s looks, old or new designs from Georg
Jensen and used and reconditioned fine timepieces can be sold with the same
attributes as vintage clothing quality materials, fine craftsmanship
and out-of-the-ordinary style.
Period jewelry from Georg Jensen (top), Elsa Pereti's sleek
cuff and Hamilton's 1958 Everest serve as fetching accents to vintage clothing.
by Liz Smutko
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.