Taking inspiration from the last century, the Autumn / Winter 2013 catwalks were awash with re-incarnated fashion history that all of us vintage-loving ladies and gents will love. Calling through the decades of vintage fashion, the trends of yesteryear were adapted and re-interpreted for modern day wear. Melissa, who writes Vintage Tea Roses, reports.

If you’re visiting Queens of Vintage with a love for vintage fashion alongside an equal uncertainty of how to incorporate vintage style into your modern wardrobe, the AW13 trends will dissipate those worries. What goes around comes around, and with it being increasingly difficult and expensive to get our hands on genuine vintage, aren’t we all happy that this is the case?

Twenties in AW13
We’ve seen a significant return to Twenties fashion throughout 2013, with a huge amount of hype surrounding Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. While some of the AW12 and SS13 collections looked like carbon copies of the Roaring Twenties, the nostalgia for this decade has not completely disappeared for AW13.

Revealing a slightly different side of the Jazz Age, Emporio Armani highlighted the accessories in the form of cloche hats, bowler hats, bold brooches and knee-length hemlines that distinctly characterise the decade. Straight, loose and flowing lines of coats, blazers, trousers and low-waisted dresses also provided a noteworthy nod to the Twenties trend of wearing more comfortable clothes with less restrictions on the body. The popular velvet of evening gowns was also worked into the daywear, which provided an interesting combination of Twenties day and evening styles.

Meadham Kirchhoff also added to the mix of the Roaring Twenties trend, displaying more of the same. While the collection has whispers of the decades before and after the Twenties – the floor length, puffed shoulders of the late 1800s and the simplified utility fashion of the Forties – the collection evoked the style and decadence of the decade n its use of intricately patterned and textured fabric.


Thirties in AW13
With the impact of the Great Depression and World War II, fashions became more conservative again in the Thirties and would carry on through to the Forties. Skirts became longer once again and the natural waist was emphasised on dresses. Quickly, the trend toward wide shoulders and narrow waists had eclipsed the emphasis on the hips of the later Twenties. Looking to AW13, the puffed sleeves dominant in Giambattista Valli’s collection are reminiscent of Adrian’s puff-sleeve gown for Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton.

In evening fashion, the emphasis turned to the back, with halternecks and backless evening gowns becoming the popular style. While Elie Saab has a distinctive soft, yet striking, aesthetic that has become consistent over the last few seasons, we can see the influence of this time on his AW13 evening gowns. The low backs and the bias-cut of the Thirties featured heavily in the collection, while the fabric and embellishment spoke more of a Twenties influence. That said, Elie Saab managed to transcend all eras across the collection, providing couture gowns with an array of classic, vintage silhouettes from the Twenties to the Fivties. Put it this way, there were dresses on show that you wouldn’t be surprised to see on an episode of Downton Abbey…


Forties in AW13
Both the day and evening fashions of the Forties had their place in the catwalk collections of AW13. The showcased line from Bottega Veneta exuded Forties charm, completed by models who were styled with exaggerated Rita Hayworth hair. With the theme of the AW13 collection purported “to create embellishment out of poverty,” the frayed hems here and there definitely spoke to the ‘make do and mend’ mentality of wartime utility fashion. With strong shouldered jackets and shorter hemlines that all had the impression of being artfully sewn together, Bottega Veneta updated Forties fashions with daringly unauthorised pleats.

Mui Mui presented a collection that combined a sense of utility ad folkloric nostalgia, evoking the essence of the decade. Structured coats and tied neckerchiefs added Forties drama to modern fabrics.

Nina Ricci presented a collection that spoke to the ‘New Look’ collection showcased by Dior in the late Forties. With a combination of tea dress full skirts, structured pencil skirts and hints of peplum, the collection spoke to the drama of  eveningwear showcased by Hollywood starlets.

Entering the boudoir of Hollywood’s stars, Louis Vuitton’s collection had a clear Forties eveningwear influence behind it. The glamour of this sumptuous collection was subverted by a disturbing undertone of boredom and depression. The silk and fur adorned starlets looked somewhat lost in life… Like a Forties Velma Kelly…


Fifties in AW13
Dior returned to its iconic ‘New Look’ this Autumn/Winter 2013. Many designers have been inspired by the New Look of 1947 that dominated fashion throughout the Fifties and the influence of this monumental pivot in fashion history is once again being resurfaced for AW13.

This mid-century style has emerged as a firm season favourite, featuring prominently across several collections. Designers ranging from Prada, Lanvin, Rochas and Oscar de la Renta all featured mid-century tailoring in their AW13 collections, adapted for a contemporary audience through the use of graphic prints and heavy embellishments.


Sixties in AW13
The Sixties really made a comeback during SS13 in the collection of Louis Vuitton. It was hard to ignore this standout line, inspired by the bright, bold checkerboard geometry that the Sixties provided – not to mention all of the messy beehives! For AW13, the emphasis has changed a little bit too less geometric, but equally bold, graphic patterns throughout many collections. With Valentino, the shift dress silhouette was a staple cut of the collection, invoking the spirit of the Swinging Sixties with blocks of bold colour to match.

Consistently presenting a bright Sixties aesthetic, Orla Kiely’s collection toyed with the shift dress, drainpipe jeans and the cute cardigans of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Combining winter brights and styled with a mini bouffant, with this collection it’s easy to see the influence of the decade at work!

Melissa, who writes blog Vintage Tea Roses is a country girl living a city life in the vibrant city of London. Inspired by the classic tea roses, the elegant tea parties of the Fifties and vintage fashion from the Twenties through to the Fifties, she takes daily inspiration from the trends of yesteryear. Regularly found with a large mug of tea in one hand, and a pen and paper in the other, Melissa finds comfort in rainy days and vibrant debates.


3 Responses

  1. Mlle Marie

    Excellent report!
    Thank you Melissa!
    What should we do without people like you…