“The strangeness of past is something we can’t escape from, so we might as well embrace and learn from it.”
I’m obsessed with the old-fashioned way of doing things. Then, the culture and style was awfully awesome. Once, I told my mom that I wished we were still in the era when we wrote each other letters. I wasn’t born into that era but I have had heard so many stories my mom had carefully narrated– of the letters, she and first love who died of cold in Italy, wrote to each other. And the ones she had exchanged with my dad while he was in London ( I would later find out my dad even kept a diary).
We had a telephone which was kept in my grandma’s room. Anytime, my mom’s sister who lived in Chicago called, we had to run from our room to hers to receive the calls. I enjoyed picking up the phone and yelling for my mom to come. Of course, technology have relegated “telephones,” and cell phones have taken over our personal homes.
But I’m such an old-fashioned kind of girl, I still craved those old moments. Perhaps, a balance between the past and the now. The past in itself is alluring. And this is reflecting in our style too. The new ‘fad’ of the last two years, this year and probably the many more years to come is the Vintage Phenomena.
The world of fashion is taking references from the past to make statement pieces for the now. Which is what I describe as the ‘Old Skool craze.’ An fusion of the retro with the modern style that had led to the expansion of secondhand as collectible. And have largely coincided the idea of style becoming more accessible and affordable.
The Vintage Style is arguably one of the easily accessible fad. So do you have any clothing laying around the house, riddled by few holes and ravishing rips, now is the time to wear it. I remember the summer holiday I had gone home, and had some of my mom’s old denim skirts cut and ripped to create an in vogue style.
The resurgence of the vintage trend was next to afro wigs, puff sleeves, cluottes, mules and 90s cut jeans. At first, they made appearances in 80s and 90s themed parties and events. I thought it was one of the phases of exclusivity styling. Until I realised it wasn’t and started seeing them pop in street style. How did the once overlooked mules known as ugly now something everyone raved about?
They became unexpectedly chic and versatile. Centuries ago, these shoes were worn as bedroom slippers and not in public. Not until another century when they were made popular, and became the zainest thing a young millennial owns. Everyone wears them, even Carrie Bradshaw wore mules in Sex and the City.
As a teen, I had an ugly mule my dad had purchased for me during one his trips to Cotonou. I didn’t like how noisy the heels were; I couldn’t walk on marble floors without people tilting their head my way. I wore it a few times to church and some outings before I abandoned it. Yet, I find myself loving them this season, though I prefer the open-toe pairs. They can be worn with jeans, skirts, or shorts, even mid and silk dresses. In fact, anything if styled the right way.
Oroma Elewa wearing Gold mules.
Another similar craze is the cluttoes. This was also a massive comeback; and we thought they looked funny while flipping through old photos of our parents, uncles and aunts.
I had a denim culottes I adjusted to become a skinny jean. Then, every teenager had skinny jeans, and I wanted to have one too. Culottes are now my favorite retro-fashion clothing. Love the way they trace every curve of the upper body, and are loose at the ankles. They can be worn with a hat, a shirt, T-shirt, or a sexy top and matched with a mule, boots or high heels. Culottes are designed for church and high class events, or maybe a casual outing requiring a touch of simplicity and class.
Velma rossa wearing Culottes.
The rise of the trend and deep dive into ‘vintage’ phenomena is a fascinating conjunction of the past and present. It has the depth of history and the charm of modernity. Groundbreaking or not? It’s here to stay.