A white ground-length corset and halter dress in 2002 on the Jean-Paul Gaultier runway was worn by Naomi Campbell. Almost 20 years later – for the opening ceremony of the Cannes festival – Bella Hadid put it on. Two years earlier – at the premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glow” – the supermodel appeared in a ruby-embroidered dress with a neckline on the back from 2005 Robert Cavalli.
A good vintage year
A few years ago, celebrity stylists fought for the latest creations of the biggest fashion houses. Now they are competing for access to the archives. The habits of customers have also changed. According to the annual Lyst “Year in Fashion” report, interest in second-hand clothes increased by 104% between 2019 and 2020. This is also confirmed by the luxury British department store Liberty London, which on its website saw a 193% increase in searches with the word “vintage” and 66% of sales of such products. The Matchesfashion online boutique started cooperation with London’s William Vintage, offering clients designs from the archives. As reported by Lyst, more and more brides are choosing a second-hand wedding dress, as is Princess Beatrice, who in 2020 said “yes” to Edoard Mapelli Mozzi in a Norman Hartnell outfit, previously owned by her grandmother – Queen Elizabeth II. Within 48 hours of the ceremony, the search for ‘vintage wedding dress’ increased 297%.
Vintage for the stars
Demi Moore’s first choice on the red carpet was vintage at the 1992 Oscar Awards; In 2001 Julia Roberts received an Oscar for “Erin Brockovich” in an archival Valentino gown. The real craze caught the stars only in 2019. Cardi B appeared at the Grammys in “The Shell” by Thierry Mugler in 1995, inspired by Sandra Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.
Gwyneth Paltrow posed at the Emmy Awards in a 1963 Valentino outfit, and Lily-Rose Depp at the MET “Camp: Notes on Fashion” in a gold-chained 1990s Chanel dress.
In 2020, there were even more exits like this: Jennifer Aniston at the SAG Awards in Dior’s white John Galliano gown, Kaitlyn Dever at the Vanity Fair party and Lancôme’s “Women in Hollywood” as Dior from the 1960s, Kim Kardashian at the Oscar-winning after party in Alexander McQueen’s 2004 design or her sister Kendall Jenner in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 1994 styling.
In 2021, fashion lovers and Internet users admired Zendaya in a beautiful Yves Saint Laurent creation from 1982 at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards or at the BET gala, when she chose a purple dress from the Versace archives, similar to the one she had at the same event in 2003 she was wearing Beyoncé.
The same applies to Kylie Jenner, who appeared on the Annual Parsons Benefit red carpet in a 10 years older outfit from Jean-Paul Gaultier, or for Iris Law model at the Bvlgari Magnifica Gala in a green outfit of Roberto Cavalli from 2004. Celebrities prefer Dior, Versace and Valentino dresses. Just behind the podium were Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent.
What is vintage
Maggie Rogers wore a 2014 Chanel dress at the 2020 Grammy Awards, later described as “vintage”. But should a project from six years ago really be called this? – The definition of this term has changed over the years. It was first used in fashion in the 1980s. Today, for a design to be vintage, it must be part of the history of fashion and inspire contemporary trends, explains Marie Blanchet, CEO of William Vintage. – It has been accepted that an item should be at least 20 years old to qualify as vintage, and an antique must be at least 100 years old. In Nordic Poetry, as “vintage” we denote projects created between the 1960s and the first decade of the 21st century. If the creative is unique, it is placed in this category. This makes customers understand that she had a previous life and, more importantly, that they won’t find her anywhere else, adds Amelia Lindgren, founder of the popular London vintage store Nordic Poetry.
Unique and ecological
The broadening of the definition of the term “vintage” shows its growing popularity. One of the causes is the climate crisis. “Celebrities use their influence to promote green fashion,” says Lindgren. – Sustainable development is not the only reason. It’s also about having something unique, preferably made locally and by hand, adds Blanchet. Celebrity stylist Dani Michelle emphasizes that “originality makes vintage fashion luxurious”. Even big fashion houses have started offering customers their own second-hand designs – Gucci has partnered with RealReal, a vintage fashion site where you can find used or archived designs from the Italian brand. The fashion house undertook to plant a tree for each item sold. Burberry and Stella McCartney also collaborate with RealReal. Ralph Lauren works in a similar way with Depop. Archival creations will be on the red carpet more and more. Archives remain open.