Following on from my recent trend of making my titles about as concise as one of Russell Brand's sentences, today we have 'vintage clothes that totally look designer'. The idea for this post came after my Auntie sent me a bundle of my Nana's old dresses that she found amongst her things, one of which was a beautiful silver, high-necked, floor length gown. A couple of weeks after receiving, and falling in love with, the dress I noticed about five different incarnations of it trotting down the runway during fashion month. It occurred to me, due to fashion's cyclical nature, that I must have at least a few more pieces in my vintage collection that would have fallen back into favour in recent seasons. My hunch was right and it turns out I've got a 'designer' wardrobe ready and waiting. I expected a few similarities but after cross referencing my vintage wares with what I felt were the most likely corresponding designers (i.e. sifting through Vogue Runway), I was surprised to find a few pieces were almost identical. Let's assess the results... This silver dress has become my most treasured piece of vintage. It fits like a glove and is testament to the fact that my Nana must have had serious style back in the day. Silver and metallics were a big deal for AW16 but this Valentino number was the closest in terms of cut.
Left: Vintage, Right: Valentino AW16
So far, so similar. Next up is a jacket that I saw, left, regretted leaving and then happily found again on my next visit. When this happens my reckoning is that 'it was meant to be' and I immediately buy it. It might not have the wavy quilting but it was giving off Miu Miu vibes left, right and centre, so it was an obvious choice for this challenge.
Left: Vintage jacket: Right Miu Miu AW14
This pinstripe skirt was originally loaned for a shoot but after trying it on, it fit so perfectly that I had to buy it. Consequently, I managed to pre-empt the current season pinstripe penchant. Bonus points: my vintage skirt cost £8 and the DKNY version is currently selling for £335.
Left: Vintage skirt, Right: DKNY SS16
You can't walk three feet into the highstreet without coming face to face with a pleated skirt but, like most current trends, this one comes via Gucci. This was the last photo I took and, by this point, I was losing the will to stretch my limited pose repertoire so I decided to have some fun and play dress up rather than follow the runway look to the letter. Pleats abound at all of Alessandro Michele's shows, but I opted for this pre-fall look as my muse.
Left: Vintage skirt (and clutch), Right: Gucci Pre Fall 16
This final look is undoubtedly the most similar to its designer counterpart. I discovered this 90s gem just as I was about to give up my search at a vintage kilo sale. At £15 per kilo, this dress probably amounted to the grand sum of about £2 or £3. Despite the high end credentials of Lanvin's version, I prefer the chunky silver hardware of mine.
Left: Vintage dress, Right Lanvin AW16
This represents just a small selection of vintage pieces that have been mirrored on the runway in recent seasons but any more time spent photoshopping myself next to professional models and I would have developed a complex. Not only does this 'vintage that looks designer' situation make me feel like a style soothsayer, it also means I can wear next season's clothes now and the pile of cash that could have been spent on designer clothes can instead be spent on more vintage, food and presents for my cat.