With vintage fashion growing in popularity each year, many of us are turning more and more to vintage when we need new pieces. This is thanks to the fact that it is a proven way to lower our carbon footprint and still wear quality and individual items.
This shift was brought forward by Gen Z and many are terming this shift as a “a new sense of individuality” and unique “self-expression”, going as far to say that it is the new “luxury”.
So, it is unsurprising that in the recent fashion months, we have seen more and more vintage influences popping up. Whether that is small up and coming designers to the powerhouses such as Gucci and Dior, there is evident shift taking place.
In the media, we are seeing the likes of Bella Hadid, Iris Law, and Dua Lipa using vintage designer pieces from the catwalk of years gone by, as the key pillars of their style.
Fashion Week Feedback
At the beginning of fashion month, we saw brand No Sesso use up-cycled pieces at the heart of their collection. We saw many vintage varsity jackets, puffer jackets and accessories being used with other pre-loved items making up the body of their collection. This collection stood out to many because of the depths of tones and textures that were used, all down to the variety of the vintage pieces used.
Figure 1 - Look 14 from Conner Ives A/W 22 Womenswear
This London fashion week was shown to be the one city that had the most vintage pieces and influences among designers, in comparison to the other cities.
One designer that is an advocate for vintage is LVMH prize runner up Conner Ives. He staged a full show at London Fashion Week using only deadstock and vintage fabrics, shirts, and accessories. Overall, second-hand clothing made up to 75% of the raw materials for his LFW show. Ives pieces are stocked in high fashion retailers such as Browns and Net-a-porter.
Another young and innovative designer, Matty Bovan used only readymade pieces from other designers and reworked them for his London Fashion Week Show. He elevated these pre-existing pieces by adding extra layers to dresses to give them a high fashion and dramatic twist.
Pronounce was one of the first brands to show this influence at London fashion week. Their collection fused both Eastern and Western shapes with vintage and classic tailoring.
Irish designer Robyn lynch used only repurposed and deadstock Colombia outerwear using only green and brown toned pieces.
Another designer that has shown vintage at the core of their brand is Paul and Joe Paris. Known in Paris as a cult brand, they take the prints and colours found in vintage pieces and recreate this in their own shapes and designs.
Lastly, the iconic Off-White created by the late Virgil Abloh used vintage t-shirts as the main base-layers combined with tulle and embroidered pieces in his last collection.
Overall, it showed that customers are shifting their approach, with both designers both large and small also shifting their ways. Many younger and smaller designers are choosing to use only deadstock and vintage for their collections. We think this only confirms the large influence vintage now has on the catwalk and the collections.
Past Iconic Vintage Pieces Seen On The Catwalk
The influence of vintage can be seen to have peaked around in early 2017 and ever since then it has only become more apparent in trends and styles used by designers.
Back in 2017, Burberry decided to bring back their traditional vintage check to the runway as the main theme of their ready-to-wear show. Ever since then, the vintage Burberry check has firmly stayed “in fashion”.
Then back in 2020, Vin+Omi turned repurposed vinyl posters into dresses and used existing pieces from Mr Start (a London tailor) and made them into new jackets and dresses.
Figure 3 - Vintage Up-cycled blouse from 3AMEternal
Also in 2020 London-based 3AM Eternal used only vintage clothes and reimagined them using deadstock luxury fabrics and sport-tech materials. In that season their collection focused on creating pieces to evoke escapism. They also only used deadstock for their materials which were supplied directly from the brands and fashion houses themselves.
An iconic era of catwalk collection was what is termed the “old Celine” where a variety of lots of different types of suede tie-dyes were mixed in with an assortment of luxury fabrics. Pieces from the old Celine have since been eagerly eyed up by current designers to use in their collections and customers wanting a piece of the vintage Celine era.
It was during the last season of fashion week in 2022 that we began to see these vintage influences showing, even with the top couture houses. During Paris Fashion Week, we saw iconic couture house Dior use their own archives as their inspiration for their spring collection. Valentino similarly chose certain models to model some of their vintage pieces from their archives in the 60s and 70s.
Similarly at the most recent Fendi show this theme termed “archival fashion” showed a reinterpretation of a past 1980s collection and other pieces from the 2000s. The creative director Kim Jones used their archived pieces and transformed them to fit current fashion in 2022. In his collection he showed how vintage pieces can be reimagined and innovative to suit everyone’s own unique and individual style.
Jean Paul Gautier has frequently been named as one of the most iconic designers due to his iconic collections which seemingly are in the style now termed Y2K.
A collaboration between renowned designer Jean Paul Gautier and the Y project used iconic pieces from JPG collections for his most recent couture show. The collection was full of reimagined graphics and classic vintage JPG. His vintage JPG pieces have been worn by people such as Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid.
Attendees Choosing Vintage
Figure 2 - Iris Law in a Y2K inspired vintage Roberto Cavalli
It turns out that even those attending Fashion Week are also choosing to wear vintage pieces from past collections.
Recently we saw Iris Law wear a look from Roberto Cavalli 2002 ready to wear show.
This season we also saw names such as Rihanna who chose a 90s Chanel piece for a recent event. Also Hailey Bieber chose a vintage Gucci dress for a Paris Fashion Week event.
The Future of Vintage Clothing and Luxury Fashion
Cherie Balch of Shrimpton Couture touted this vintage influence as ever-increasing as more and more customers are using vintage to recreate these designer looks. She explained that “the hunt to recreate the runway looks at a price you might be able to afford [means] more people want to buy vintage.”
This incremental increase in consumer trends means that this has translated to more of us using sites like us here at Thrifted, the RealReal and Vestiaire Co to search for high quality designer items at lower prices. During the last season of fashion week, on average these sites saw an increase of 60% searching for designer pieces similar to those shown on the runway.
Another influence to consider is the rise of individuality in street style. Coined as the style that is “based on individualism, rather than focusing solely on current fashion trends''. The term began here in the UK, but it is something now analysed as much as the pieces on the runways themselves. With editors, journalists and designers checking street style for upcoming inspiration. It was evident that during recent New York Fashion Week the street style theme amongst attendees was cosy, vintage and 90s. Key pieces such as oversized varsity jackets and leather jackets were used as the statement pieces in their outfits.
If the past and recent fashion weeks show anything it is that vintage influences are transcendent of the seasons. The influence can be seen in the designers who in turn are using their own archives and vintage fabrics to recreate collections. This influence continues and can also be seen in the attendees and later shown in street style photos. With even large names such as Rihanna and Iris Law choosing vintage pieces to attend these events.
So, it seems that this increase in vintage influences are here to stay. With designers having to get creative about every element of their collections. Although now vintage influences are increasing, it would not be surprising if as the years progress most designers use this “archival fashion” as the blueprint for their collections. Meaning that vintage will continue to be at the heart of fashion weeks to come.
Here Are Our Picks Inspired By Fashion Week:
We have picked out four of our favourite designer vintage pieces inspired by the looks on and off the catwalk at all four fashion weeks. We have included options that will appeal to everyone from an edgy Cavalli jacket to a classic Trench coat. Pair with some of our vintage jeans and a classic vintage sweatshirt underneath for a classic street style outfit.
- Vintage Valentino - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-designer-coats-jackets/products/vintage-valentino-jacket-womens-beige-medium-166284
- Vintage Cavalli Denim Jacket - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-designer-coats-jackets/products/vintage-cavalli-denim-jacket-womens-white-medium-165369
- Vintage Moncler Trench Coat - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-designer-coats-jackets/products/vintage-moncler-trench-coat-womens-beige-medium-165209
- Vintage Cavalli Denim Varsity Style Jacket - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-designer-coats-jackets/products/vintage-cavalli-denim-jacket-womens-blue-medium-165204
Written by Imogen Green