August 14, 2014

What is vintage fusion?


No, it's not a type of top secret Cold War era nuclear technology, nor is it is a blend of cuisines from different eras. Instead, vintage fusion is a term that I coined a while back and have been using in the context of my own life for some time now to very accurately describe my wardrobe, and, I believe, the wardrobes of many vintage fashion wearers the world over.

Like a good deal of you, my closet is a joyful mix of vintage, vintage appropriate, vintage reproduction, 1980s does 1940s and 1950s, and related styles (such as the occasional rockabilly piece). Earlier this month I shared a new YouTube video that broadly outlines what each of these types of clothing is (save for "1980s does" fashions - that's going to be a topic I cover in one or more videos in the future), which if you haven't seen yet, you can watch either below or on YouTube itself.

 


 
In that video, I briefly mentioned the term “vintage fusion” and today I wanted to share more about it here as well. In a way, it's rather self-explanatory, but as with most things in life, there's more to it than meets the eye.

I'm a firm believer in a statement that my wise and wonderful friend Sara from the blog Lilies and Remains said in a guest post she wrote for Chronically Vintage a little earlier this year: "It doesn't need to be an authentic age to be an authentic style."

Now, of course, I madly, passionately, immeasurably love vintage clothing and accessories and have no shortage of such things in my wardrobe, but tucked amongst the 1940s crepe frocks, 1950s platter hats, and 1930s novelty brooches, you will find a fairly decent number of pieces that look the vintage part, but in truth are far newer, hailing from the 1970s right on up to being produced in 2014.

I've said it before (such as in the post Dress like a cupcake should feel), but I'll say it again, I am far too eclectic a soul to simply stick with one type of vintage or vintage style clothing and in addition to mixing old and new, old and repro, old and 1980s, and so and so forth, I'm also keen on, sometimes, combining pieces from different decades together to help create a look that intentionally channels the styles and spirit of a given decade or time frame (such as the make do and mend, typically minimalist types of styles seen during the years of WW2).




{A selection of four of the many, many looks I've sported over the years that blend more than one type of vintage and/or vintage-like clothing together to create a unique vintage fusion ensemble.}



In fact, while I have mad love and respect for those who are dyed-in-the-wool vintage purists right down to their ankle garters, it's personally inconceivable to me in the scope of my own wardrobe that I wouldn't blend a variety of different types of fashions from various sources and eras (in which they were created, that is) to put together the types of vintage styles that make my heart skip many a beat.

Vintage fusion takes place anytime you mix two or more types of vintage or vintage style garments and/or accessories together. It is a fabulous, exciting act and one that really has limitless possibilities and ways in which it can be worked and reworked until the cows come home.

There isn't a recipe or magic formula for success when it comes to vintage fusion, because any outfit that you love and feel good in while wearing a resounding success unto itself. However, I would say, that - assuming such is what you're aiming for - the key element it is to bring together an assortment of pieces that all work in beautiful harmony together to create an overall picture of having an authentic vintage look and feel to it.

This can be done, I promise you, with entirely new pieces, a blend of old and new, 1980s does 1940s or 50s and vintage, repro and vintage appropriate - you name it! Shuffle the proverbial deck of sartorial cards and have at 'er! Let the vintage fusion sparks fly and know now, my fabulously lovely and endlessly stylish dears, that there is now officially a term to describe the way in which so many of already dress, if not day in and day out, than at least some the time.

To borrow and slightly adapt an oft used catch phrase from one of America's most beloved domestic goddesses, Martha Stewart, vintage fusion: it's a very good thing!!!




31 comments:

  1. Ive been on blogger break so I haven't been by in a while but what a great video! You explain the terms very well and I agree with everything you said

    retro rover

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very true - as a life long vintage wearer I have "mixed" eras, worn vintage pieces with designer and high street for years and as a stylist do this constantly with my personal shopping clients and in photo shoots.

    Individuality is the key - and as you I love my 30's and 40's pieces but it is not always possible to wear original so here's to "vintage fushion"!!

    www.fabulousmissk.blogspot.com and www.fabulousmissk.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. great written jessica!
    now i have i word to trow at the folks who ask me what style i´m wearing: "vintage fusion".
    i din´t even have to translate it because anglicism are much on vogue in G. :-)
    and i really love this style - especially on you, but for myself too - i can wear what it´s totally me, not a uniform or costume. and i´m sure, if i was born in ca.1910 (hopefully with the chance to immigrate ´33) i had worn the fashion of the day my very own way too.....especially less stiff&stuffy then the fashion illustrations/pics of that time.
    hugs&kisses <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome, dear Beate! I too have had that exact same kind of thought. If I had been alive in earlier decades, I'm certain I would have reached further back in time for elements of my wardrobe, too. (Just think of all the Victorian and Edwardian treasures that could have been had in thrift and antique stores back then - my knees go weak at the mere thought! :)

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  4. I am loving that term! You have definitely mastered that style, I always like reading where you pieces are from when you post outfit shots.
    I use that term a bit differently and fuse vintage with my more modern looking pieces (I wear jeans almost 24/7). For me I will admit I tend not to like vintage reproduction items and would rather spend the money on an authentic item oooh I am picky that way!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Isn't it! I like to think that we have the best of all worlds nowadays and we can choose to do or wear whatever we choose!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had no idea that my slightly unorganized closet had such a cool name. "Vintage Fusion" yeah that makes sound much cooler then I am, thanks for the phrase!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gosh, what a sweet video, dear Jessica. And so much information. It must have taken you quite some time to shoot this gorgeous little clip. I am sure that it's going to be immensly helpful for those beginning to dip their toes into vintage. It's a confusing world out there in the vintage and repro thickets and it's easy to throw your money into all the wrong corners too quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, lovely Sascha, i'm delighted to know that you enjoyed this video. I wouldn't say that it took me long really. Save for one little fumble in the middle, which I cut and just kept going from, I did this video in one take, so including setting up and taking down the camera equipment, I'd say the whole thing was knocked out in a little under twenty minutes.

      Very true regarding the vintage/repro/vintage appropriate world being confusing for newcomers and/or those who looking to get into the scene in a far greater way. It's easy to take things for granted when you've been wearing vintage for ages and know the ins and outs of this side of the fashion spectrum, but new members join team vintage all the time and I really hope that my videos will be helpful to such folks, as well as to those who are veteran vintage wearers all the same.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  8. i love the term 'vintage fusion' and that would definitely be my kind of style. that and rockabilly. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excellent post! Knowing the proper terms can feel daunting when you first get into collecting vintage, as if there's a secret language or set of rules to it all. It's helpful for people to hear breakdowns like this!

    As a lover of 70's disco dresses, high waisted flares, and stacked wooden right-angle platforms, I most definitely include the 70's in my definition of vintage. But I must admit that when I was a teen first collecting vintage stuff in the 1990's, that was a time when 70's garments were only JUST becoming desirable items in vintage shops. And while I loathe to admit it, the amount of distance I felt from that decade at the time is the same distance teens feel today from the 90's! So I can hardly begrudge them use of the term, eerie as it feels. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. From my Grandmother, at an early age, I learned that your truly unique and well HOME will reflect the history of your life. It is a mix of beloved traditional family pieces, the addition of decades of change and the flashy bit of new trendy frou-frou. So too builds the individual's identity wardrobe.

    If we not(and most of us are not) prone to Spring Cleaning and getting rid of things... then our closets, jewelry and trinket boxes, shoe racks and handbag shelving will hold the story of all of our lives. We all, by the simple act of aging, without actually planning, HAVE the true Vintage Fusion right under our noses.

    It is by following the styling tips of someone like you, my sweet, that we recognize its true potential!! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Superbly said, dear Nicholette, thank you. I agree entirely and could never imagine living in a home that didn't include old (from multiple eras) and new alike, just as I can't fathom my wardrobe being one sided and devoid of pieces both far older and much newer than I myself am.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  11. This post was the prefect compliment to your fantastic video! Very informative, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful and interesting post! I myself go from full on 1950's/1940's to completely modern to mixing it up (that includes eras!). I believe a 'passion for fashion' should not be dictated by purist rules. I also eschew those who think if it's not authentic vintage, it's not to be worn. Silly! Our unique looks reflect our unique personalities. Keep on rocking your sensational style dear Jessica. Erin xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellently said, dear Erin. I agree with you across the board and am so happy to hear a fellow canuck take the same viewpoint on such sartorial matters.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  13. What a clever term, 'vintage fusion', I love it! I think it very accurately describes your style. I haven't had time to watch your videos yet, but well done for taking that step, I know you were nervous about it, and it looks like you've had some wonderfully positive feedback. Hope to catch up on them this weekend. P xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, lovely Porcelina. You know, like a lot of things in life, once I actually jumped in (to making videos) with both feet, many of my trepidations instantly melted away. Yes, there's still some nerves at play when I get in front of the camera, and I will forever feel self-conscious about my teeth, but I'm enjoying creating videos so much that these things are taking a back seat very quickly. I hope that as time goes on, I'll continue to feel even more at home in front of the camera and will fully admit to being excited to see where this new YouTube adventure leads to in the long run.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  14. What an excellent post and video! I can particularly identify with your vintage fusion style and much of that has to do with the fact that I can't often afford to buy genuine or reproduction vintage. As much as I adore the fashions of decades gone by, purchasing them is, unfortunately, not something that I can manage at this point in my life. For now, I try to make some of my own and buy affordable items that have the vintage shape and general style that I like, and mix them with my few items of genuine or made-by-me vintage to produce something that is typically vintage inspired.

    I also identify with vintage fusion because my love of vintage is not restricted to one era! I love too many decades of style to always stay within one era in particular. (Though I do love a good through and through '50s outfit!) But I think that personal style should be a reflection of who you are, your personality, your ambitions, and what makes you happy. For me, that means mixing items of clothing, no matter the era, until I have one cohesive look that portrays who it is I am to be that day.

    Sure, in 1957 you might have appeared out-dated wearing your modern dress with 1940s wedges and tilt hat. But isn't the beauty of wearing vintage now in the 21st century that we *aren't* limited to one year or one decade?

    xoxo, Alesha
    www.oldfashionedwhimsy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marvelously said, dear Alesha, I agree with you across the board, very much including that creating a cohesive look trumps if everything you're wearing is straight up genuine vintage. It's high time that everyone, even within our vintage fashion realm, felt confident and comfortable dressing however their pleased without any flack or scorn from those whose approach to styling may differ from their own.

      Thank you for sharing your fantastic thoughts on this subject with me/us and for raising the excellent point that wearing vintage today is all the more enjoyable because we can avail of styles and resources from so many eras to help us achieve our ideal personal looks.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  15. You know what I love about your style dear Jessica is that you don't limit yourself:) If you like something that is in the 80s or even modern, you go for it:) I find myself sometimes limiting myself. I'll try to put together a look that is "pure vintage of the period". One thing I have noticed is that I do have a hard time buying current fashions. Of course, I buy basics like pants and solid tops but I have a lot of difficulty going into a shopping mall and buying a dress off the rack..I figure why do this when there is so much great vintage out there? I also must say that I am so very much enjoying your videos and my goodness the great places that are taking them. So fun! Keep us informed dear Jessica:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, dear Joanna. I like to look at things in the sense that there are various ways to achieve a vintage look. All have equal merit and can indeed create a very old school looking ensemble at the end of the day. I greatly admire those who are total vintage purists, but also readily acknowledge that for a multitude of reasons, such is not possible for all of us by any means and no one should be made to feel inferior because they utilize new and old pieces to put together their favourite kinds of vintage styles. We're very fortunate to have so many resources at our fingers these days and to pick and chose from those that appeal to us the most. Genuine vintage, repro, 80s does 50s, vintage appropriate - you name it, it's all good in my books! :)

      That's very, very sweet and encouraging - thank you!!! I'm excited to see what's coming next on the video front, too, as (so far) I haven't really been planning them in advance much. Just going with what's on my mind/inspiring me on a given day.

      Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  16. I am the same. I never could choose just one era to dress from. I love to wear 90s or 80s "does 50s" style clothes. Sometimes I don't really go for an era specific outfit, but rather a feel or a colour. Or there might be a specific style that was from collective eras that I liked. Like a horizontal striped jersey top or a cinched in waist... I really liked the definitions in your video and have shared it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! You should always go with what you're mood is telling you to wear. I'm often driven by colours, patterns, etc, too, and then my outfits just end up looking vintage by extension because the overwhelming majority of clothing I own is vintage or vintage inspired. I really appreciate the share and love knowing that this term and video spoke to you, honey.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  17. I enjoyed your video on this subject, I thought you explained all the terms really clearly which will be a great help to people just starting out. Vintage fusion is a great term, it says everything it needs to. It made me think what I consider to be vintage and I think for me that is the 1960's and back. I really don't think that 1980's is vintage, I would put it with the 1970's and call it retro. I find that I gravitate towards vintage inspired pieces when I am clothes shopping in everyday shops. My wardrobe is definitely vintage fusion!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would love to just wear all 50's stuff all the time, live in a home build in the 50's and decorated with all 50's items, etc... But I also love the 40's and that would take so much dedication! I love your term vintage fusion! It fits what I'm going for so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful, dear Lisa!!! I think this term accurately describes a huge number of us vintage loving folks and I'm sincerely hoping that it will catch on amongst our community.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  19. That's a great term. I think unless you spend a lot of money and/or are a seller of vintage clothing it is difficult to wear solely vintage clothes (and that's excluding underwear, tights, pyjamas...)

    I am lucky in that where I live I have a choice of affordable vintage shops and frequent fairs. I also sew so often buy vintage dresses which need repairing or remodelling. I once bought a 1950s dress on ebay for £5 because the skirt was in tatters but the black velvet bodice perfect. For £2 and an hour of sewing I put a new pleated skirt in. Similarly I picked up a Kitty Copeland dress with cigarette burns in the hem. I patched the holes from the back and put two bands of lace around the bottom of the dress to cover the patching. The polka dot dress I'm wearing today has daisies embroidered over the 7 small spot stains and are mostly hidden in the pleated skirt.

    While most of my dresses are 1950s originals because of my measurements (repro isn't curvy enough for me) and lack of time to make dresses from scratch myself (although I have done a few), the cardigans, tights, and costume jewellery I wear with them are all modern and from charity shops. My shoes need to be sturdy too as I walk about 35 miles a week so are modern all the way!

    It's so much more fun to just wear what you like rather than try to be historically accurate! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I liked seeing you again and totally agree on what you say on the vintage meaning - i think its being stretched out too thin. I too think it's gotta be at least 40 years to deserve the name.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great term that accurately describes my wardrobe too. I will be back later to watch the video since DH is reading so I cannot turn up the volume. And I'm still reading backwards in Bloglovin', I will not miss a single of your posts, dear. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, sweet Sanne. I think it works splendidly for a large number of us vintage loving folks and hope that it will catch on.

      DH and each have headphones (Tony is a bit of a headphone-o-phile, so his smoke mine out of the water, but I really like them all the same, especially since they were part of a birthday gift from him several years ago) that we use to watch videos when other is sleeping. It's so handy and ensures we don't wake the other up (especially me, as I'm the world's lightest sleeper!). Objectively, a couple really only needs one pair to share, as if they're both asleep or awake the need for headphones is largely moot. :)

      Oodles of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, questions, and opinions with me. I read and sincerely appreciate each comment I receive - they brighten my day like rays of sparkling sunshine.

♥ Jessica