The best site for help and support on vintage fashion, with online resources, articles, forums and membership. the Vintage Fashion Guild (VFG) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the education, promotion and preservation of vintage fashion.
Androgyny in fashion-the idea of dressing by how one feels comfortable rather than by society's gender stereotypes-is a constantly recurring theme. The evolution of androgyny in 20th-century fashion spans Chanel's and Poiret's early masculine silhouettes for women, the 1930s' and 40s' independent women Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn donning suits and pants, Yves St. Laurent's Le Smoking collection and the emancipated women of the 1960s and 70s. Dandy men of the 1960s, following their 18th, 19th, and early 20th century brethren, transformed from drab to debonair in makeup, long hair and gender-neutral silhouettes. David Bowie's profound impact on androgyny pushed boundaries then and continues to influence modern fashion.
In the 1980s, notable pop icons Prince and Boy George boldly embraced effeminacy, while Grace Jones and Annie Lennox 'power dressed' in sharp structured suits and close-cropped hair. Avant-garde designers Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo celebrated androgyny as a design aesthetic. The 90s brought Kurt Cobain frequently wearing tulle prom dresses and a tiara onstage, flouting the macho norm.
This week we are gender-bending our vintage parade: Dietrich's tuxedos and top hats, David Bowie-worthy maxi dresses, feathers and furs à la Hendrix, Kate Hepburn's favorite trousers and collared shirts, Annie Hall-style vests, ties and floppy hats, non-binary suits, poet blouses, gender-fluid spandex and stiletto heels from Prince's closet, kilts and cloaks, and even the everyman's/woman's uniform of a simple T-shirt and jeans!
In 1875, when Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. founded the Kentucky Derby, horse racing was a rough affair in the United States. Clark and his wife sought to dignify and ennoble the race by inviting high society families and issuing a dress code. Hats were a necessary part of dress at the time, and the elegance of the attendees clothing was much noted in the press. The emphasis on hats as part of a coordinated outfit for the Derby lasted into the 1960s, when hat wearing fell off in the general public.
But then, instead of disappearing, Derby hats became a singular force, with flamboyant toppers for women and men a main attraction at the race. With ebbs and flows, the tradition has continued, and even increased in recent years. This week of the 145th running of the famous horse race, the VFG celebrates Derby hats with the most splendid hats from all eras available in our shops.
April showers bring May flowers! Come rain or come shine, vintage clothing and accessories suited for April’s wet weather will have you chasing rainbows. This week share your rainy day best raincoats and ponchos, hats, umbrellas and accessories. Save it for a rainy day in vintage.
Many nice vintage items just came up for sale and can be seen in the public forums of the Vintage Fashion Guild. Please stop by HERE to see this week’s offerings. Meanwhile, below is one clickable photo from each participating seller.