Fashion

Deep in the maze of vintage clothes


Two years ago when I started an online newsletter about little-known vintage clothing — and a decade ago I published a book collect 100 copies of that newsletter — I went to the first or second time of the Inspiration vintage fair in New York. A sort of Comic Con for second-hand clothing, the event was held in a small rental event space on 18th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. This likely happened around 2012, when the Buying and collecting antiques, as a hobby, is mostly still practiced by artists, professionals and fashion workers. It was carefully made, either on eBay or in person at thrift stores and at flea markets. A few years ago online commerce and elected official Making vintage shopping easier, the fair is looking to become a meeting place for designers and a fashion source that fills their (or that of their owners’) archives. Professional buyers mingle with hoarders, all of whom mingle with a handful of people who, like me, spend their own money. Most of what was on display at the time was as historic and oppressive as possible: Men’s clothing was as old and formal as possible. Dressed in Vietnam-era army pants, Nike Franchis from 1979, and a T-shirt with skulls or zigzags on it, I browsed the duck feather hangers, the shoe racks with curled toes, and even found a few Brown ones. Beaches, dusty woolen button-down vests from the 30s have become the dishes of this era. Stop taking merchandise, I wonder why pre-war formals are easier to find than the quality vintage American pieces I had that day, and which few people at this trade show seems to respect. A few small stalls selling what I was wearing, but the main attraction was a guy in Denver who sold jeans he literally dug from the mine. I wonder: Where have all the normal clothes gone?

What I wanted from the classics back then was a way to dress that was fit for a purpose and at the same time invisible — to catch up, in a way that felt sustainable, with the struggling New Yorkers I had seen. when you move here. My interest in classical developed early, nurtured throughout my life in music: mostly old American, indie hardcore and filtered through eBay. My friends will bid old collar shirt listed there — for astronomical sums like $100 — and so I turned to trying to put together the outfits the musicians wore.

This simple, athletic, seemingly unremarkable piece of clothing was made around when I was born — jeans, sweatshirts, sneakers, the like — less outfit than what’s at the guild. market , but also noisy if you pay close attention to the ground . It’s all about the details — double stitching, longer-than-usual sleeves, puffy print — that are only apparent when viewed up close. It was wearing jock, but not really. Eventually, keeping track of the exact pieces became an obsession. That fix was shown, a few years after Inspiration, in a twice-weekly newsletter about vintage clothing; Finally, that newsletter appeared on this website. In it, I discovered and wrote about curious auctions, recreate navy blankettalk to the seller, explain how to date jeans — things like that.

Exactly the clothes I was looking for at the fair and was writing about were not suitable for the office. They are more ideal about what you have to wear for errands. But, to a properly trained eye, they stand out as both distinct and important. These clothing models — Nike Dynastys and Mac Attacks are discontinued; wearing Levi’s 505s with high-rise and carrot-shaped silhouettes, cut differently from the ones at the mall; The Gucci tennis classic that Jay-Z loves — evokes, with some context, a subtle, invisible force. They’re what designers like Alexander McQueen or Marc Jacobs would wear when they hit the runways after their show in the ’90s. These invisible clothes, chosen by creative minds At the top of the clothing food chain, there’s some depth. And because the vintage market has gone silent, these things still go unnoticed: eBay auctions go unnoticed and discoverability — the kind built into people’s Instagram or Depop accounts. popular sale — yet to appear. The difference between tattered clothes and canon won’t be noticeable. The same Morbid Angel shirt or Patagonian fleece that sells for $2 on eBay will sometimes cost a few hundred times more a month later, for no reason but the weather.

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