Seeing triple actually.
If you, like myself, ever coveted this crazy 70s cape from the amazing Anja Verdugo's etsy shop, you're in luck. As I'm writing this, there are three available on etsy.
peachypipes on etsy.
27ogle on etsy.
Mariesvintage on etsy.
(In addition to these guys, I also found one here, for a low, low price.)
The cape has popped up in a 70s search on etsy, at various times and this inspired me to look further into how many of these were floating around.
In spite the fact that all ebay sellers urge us to "Bid now! This item is one of a kind vintage!" there are in fact, starting from about the late 60s, a few vintage duplicates, items that somehow appear to be more prominent than others.
From that time onward ateliers and boutiques gave away (sadly, America, sadly) to big box stores and mass-manufacturing. (Amber of Violet Folklore did an excellent post on big box vintage a while back, trough which we discovered that we'd both thrifted the same 70s REI jacket.) Though department store and mass labels had first come to existence in the beginning of the last century, they often came in the form of patterns, or outfits that were fitted and tailored for, or by, the buyer. The population explosion of baby-boomers coming-of-teen-age in the 60s however, as well as the emergence of youth culture, created the market for mass-manufactured uniqueness as we know it today.
What is interesting about duplicate vintage is, not only the delight of the oxymoron that Amber's Kmart folk sweater is, but how accurately this 70s creation predicts the shape of things things to come. In the 2000s we have, after all, entered an era that will leave a very mixed vintage legacy.
(Sure these vintage-imitation pieces from a certain over-priced mass retailer are pretty, but will they themselves be vintage in 2047? Methinks not.)
How long do we think those H(heedless consumption) & M (mass manufacture madness) rags, that already fill the Value Villages and Buffalo Exchanges of these United States, are going to be around? As garbage and carbon spent: aeons. As desirable pieces of clothing: no more than a decade.
Will the relics of our era in the vintage stores of the future be the luxury labels of (according to their own hype) higher quality, the ubiquitous plastic wear that is outdoor clothing (I now hail from the Pacific Northwest), or those pieces of mass-fashion that were all the rage, but got seldom worn? That, I think, might be the case with the cape mentioned above still being in a condition that merits re-sale, solely by the virtue of not being worn that much.
I know that most of you prefer vintage shopping anyway, and mean no insult to those who shop big box, but I also think that this is a riveting topic. To me the legacy of our clothing choices is not only environmental, something that very few style-y blogs acknowledge, but also stylistic. Are the nubbly sweater dress, and the leather-imitation flats, the statement we want to leave for future vintage lovers?
(These lovely ladies are Japanese-Americans in a"relocation camp" during WW2. Talk about positive attitude.)
As a life-long thrift shopper (my mother dressed me in vintage 30s, 40s and 50s clothing back when thrift-shopping was still called flea-marketing and almost exclusive to poor people) I have past generations of women to thank for my wardrobe. These women (And I do believe that they were mostly female folks.) took good care of their clothing, as well as that of their children's and husband's. They were always mending and amending garments, making from scratch the pieces they couldn't afford to buy from stores, and storing them in a way that made them last trough decades of changing seasonal follies.
While I hope to do the same, it has certainly become increasingly difficult to leave a lasting clothes-legacy in this topsy-turvy world of ours. The vintage pieces I try to take care of so lovingly, are already 30 to 40-years old, so by the time our kids generation will be trying them on, they'll be closer to 60, or 70, becoming more antique and less wearable vintage.
There's hope though; the current revival of craftiness and DIY, may indeed yield pieces that can be enjoyed for more than one generation. I have always loved the home-made versions of 60s and 70s fashions that often crop up in thrift-stores and hope that our era will leave behind beautiful, durable and even unique clothing. Yet another reason to invest in etsy-pieces.
That was my two bits, now what do you think?
In a related note, I also feel that I owe my wardrobe largely to wonderful women, not only for maintaining the pieces I've bought, but for gifting me with them. Starting with my mama, I have always been blessed to be surrounded by ladies with impeccable taste, as well as seemingly limitless generosity.
This was evidenced when I received my birthday girl item of choice from Violet Folklore. After some liberation I picked this beautiful top, but the package that I received contained not only the top, but my two other choices and two gorgeous hippie-vestlets to boot!
Thank you so much Amber!
Can you tell that the weather has turned, and it's all grey and rainy again. I care not. I love the rain. I'm off to make Finnish pan-bread and nettle pesto. Recipes may be included in a future blog post. I almost never post about food even though I eat and make a lot of it. What do you think?
(All the vintage women are from the Flickr commons)