The beauty of vintage Vintage, retro, antique? Whatever you want to call it, turning to the decades gone by to get the sought after look of today is becoming ever more popular with fashionistas around the globe. Stella McClure, a former Top Shop fashion designer and stylist, who now owns online vintage shop The Stellar Boutique is writing about the growing importance of vintage. Vintage clothing is fast becoming the ‘trendiest’ way to shop, and with today’s most prominent fashion power-houses continuing to look to the past to create future collections, it seems vintage clothing is the way forward. It’s no secret that vintage clothing has been sought after by avid vintage collectors seeking iconic pieces for the last 30 years now, but these days it seems everybody’s doing it. Whether you love to dress in Fifties clobber and nothing but, or you just want to add an original quirk to your high street ensemble, vintage clothing is available to all. And so it seems vintage is the new black! Of course, many fashion enthusiasts have long been scouring the racks of charity shops and trawling through endless piles of old clothes to find that one shining diamond in the rough, but these days – since the birth of the internet – obtaining that one off piece of fashion history is easier than ever. With the ever present eBay and numerous cool vintage boutiques popping up on the web, vintage clothing has well and truly arrived in ‘The Fashion Hall of Cool’. So what is all the fuss about? Why the hype? I hear you ask. Let’s face it, anyone who’s really into fashion wants to follow the trend, yet doesn’t want to look like everyone else at the same time. In a weird fashion paradox, we are all striving to ‘be different’ at the same time as relentlessly following fashion magazines to find out ‘what we should be wearing this season’. It’s funny but true. This is where vintage clothing comes in. Fashion is rarely, truly original these days, it seams every few years we are looking to a different decade to choose the look of moment, and Eighties is the current ‘darling’. Who’d of thought five years ago that we’d all be crooning after high waisted, cut-off 501’s again! And worse still, putting it with a leotard and a checkerd lumberjack shirt? Yuck, you’d have shouted. Yet, we’re all loving it, me included, and somehow it manages to look modern and fresh. I have no problem with fashion skipping backwards. In fact, I love it. There have always been those key iconic pieces that never tire of looking good – the Chanel cardigan, the Chanel blue & white striped sailor top – lovingly reworked again and again by Jean Paul Gaultier – the Chanel chain bag, one of the most popular accessories of all time. and of course, the little black dress. In fact, come to think of it, Chanel has been single-handedly providing us with fashion classics for the last 80 years. And so it seems, when the Hollywood elite stroll up the red carpet at the Oscars, it’s always the coolest young starlets, noted for their beautiful vintage attire, that gain the most kudos – well in my opinion anyway. But let’s not forget the military jacket, the mini skirt, and of course, the denim jean – invented by Levi Strauss in 1853 and, arguably the most successful fashion ‘invention’ of all time. Revamped again and again, these items are always present in the fashionable undercurrent. These fashion staples have firmly placed themselves in our hearts and it seems we don’t ever want them to go.