The Vintage Vulture is an enterprising yet exasperating creature. Smelling vaguely of mothballs and snorting through its pince-nez with derision in the general, but not exclusive, direction of Topshop, they parade their inimitable sui generis pieces around town. Some towns will let you get away scot-free with this threat of individuality; in many others, you will be laughed at, spat on and treated as though you rake bins and own upwards of five cats. You have to be brave to stroll through a typical town centre in clip-on art-deco style earrings and a Fair Isle jumper teamed with orange 60s patent boots, and I duly salute your courage. But – please – this is not an idiosyncratic affectation. Neither are you painfully alternative. High street stores have noticed the vintage trend and their ranges reflect this with eruptions of feathered trilbies, brogues and Mary Quant-esque gloves.

Us indie types were born in the wrong generation, we haven’t come up with a new genre of, well, anything since the 80s, so we are The Borrowers. Fashion, music, literature – everything is fair game, everything is an imitation of a bygone era; very occasionally modernised with a kitsch overtone. Yet this is anything but a vitriolic attack on vintage stores themselves – if it weren’t for the stroke of genius which suggested we become time-travelling eBay pirates of the fashionable seas, we’d be sat in our tracksuits with bubbles on our heads, or something like that.

There is no doubt that the clothes are works of art, well-made and pendulating off even the most abstract of frames with grace and charm. So appreciate the trend. Wear the pieces with no shame. Break the rules of colour and smash the confines of the decades. But don’t labour under the unfortunate pretense that you are a radical fashion revolutionary sticking it to the man. Because we didn’t invent punk, art nouveau, utility, op art, new romantic, grunge, or even power dressing. We invented confusing the fuck out of people by wearing it all at once.

Related posts: