[Ramsay’s] a really fun character to play, but the thing is, he
really loves what he’s doing. He’s got a zest for life, but, you know,
even though it may be through a pretty dark angle. Iwan Rheon with Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1 (x)
Here at WIS (oh the unfortunate acronym strikes again) we currently cater for the ladies, stocking only girly clothing and accessories. Plans for expansion are a little far off to be asking boys what they want to wear themselves, but there seems to be an untapped resource of vintage opinion in what they want to see on us. I asked 4 very different gentlemen for their opinions on vintage:
What image does ‘vintage clothing’ conjure up in your head from a boy’s POV?
Matt Rawlings- It depends on how vintage we’re talking, and how tastefully it is handled within what is now considered to be the general fashionable consensus. If it is handled with balance and aplomb I think “taste” and “cool”, if it’s over done or vintage without any concept of modernity, I think “Hipster with an ironic bike”
Sean Cosgrove- I think it’s a fairly pretentious term, and I think that a lot of girls say they are into vintage clothing to sound cool. I think that there are probably few people that actually search through charity shops or vintage wholesalers for clothing because it requires a bit of effort! So I think that when most people say 'oh I’m into vintage clothing’ what they really mean is 'oh I’m into vintage look clothing’.
Connor Dornan- Well for me I can’t help but conjure up a slightly rockabilly style but that’s just personal preference. I think vintage just means clothes and styles that have lasted through the decades, a classic look that won’t die.
Nick Ramsay- Isn’t it pure hipsters and that? No really, I think it’s smart clothes that look old. Something that’s vintage is usually something classic enough to stand the test of time, but a lot of the time these days folk will just call anything vintage to give it status. Things that are truly vintage will outlive us all.
Would you prefer a girl who wore high street mass made clothing, or a girl who had her entirely own individual style?
Matt- I think that the variety offered by most of the high street shops as well as their quickness to respond to ingoing and outgoing trends means that if you work your way around enough shops in order to assemble your outfits, you can create an own definite image amongst your group of friends and still stand out in a night club. However, with vintage clothing, it’s a bit like playing with a bigger lego set. You’ve got more variety and pieces to choose from, as well as different earmarked fashion trends of years gone by that still make their mark alongside newer and less individual clothing options. So to answer your question, I would like the girl who is more comfortable and more able to carry what she is wearing. You can have the nicest clothes in the world from a boutique or custom stitch a dress together and still look like a corpse.
Sean- It depends really I don’t really dig on the girls that look like they’ve had a doing in Topshop because they all just look the same. Everyone wears the same stuff because it’s much easier for them to go into town and head into New Look and get something they’ve seen someone else wearing. But conversely I wouldn’t be into a girl who turned up to a date wearing mis-matching wellies and a tinfoil hat… I think it’s nice when a girl has her own style thats slightly off the beaten path, and knows how to stand out from a crowd but is still happy with what they are wearing and not just wearing something extreme for the sake of getting noticed.
Do you think vintage clothing is a bit of a minging concept, what with the clothing all being second hand?
Sean- I mean I guess if you buy it from a vintage retailer who cleans their clothing and doesn’t buy things which are manky, then it’s all good but buying like second hand tights or something doesn’t really sit too well with me…
Matt- I think that often “vintage” and “old” can be mistaken for the same thing, be it by people without a grasp for fashion culture or even people who pertain to breathe aesthetic perfection. When I walk down the street and see a lanky student in skinny jeans wearing an ironic t-shirt with pit stains that says “Blue Peter Water Appeal 94” I don’t think “Wow, what a fine vintage”. I think “Wow, your parents pay for every single facet of your ridiculous existence as you sneer at the idea of Topman and opt instead for the pit stained, stretched out ugly world of post-90s nostalgia” I think that one of the great things about true vintage clothes (i.e. 70s chic) is that they can so easily be applied to today’s current fashions that you can simply create styles of your own with their history and massive influence. By taking the iconic images of the past and pairing them with our modern frivolities and niches, I think it makes for a far more tasteful approach to being noticed or simply looking presentable. I would prefer a girl with a touch of elegance and presentation, with an honest affection for the clothing itself rather than how it makes her boobs look, to looking at a neon-clad fake tan diva marching down the street to the beat of her bouncing cleavage.
Connor- Not at all, obviously not every piece of vintage clothing is going to be pure gold and some of the styles for men can be lacking but the whole reason I feel vintage clothing is making such a strong comeback is because people love the concept, it’s a strong look and personally I look forward to more girls looking like they’ve stepped straight out of the 1950s or 60s.
Nick- In the wrong hands, sure, it’s all subjective, right? But in the right hands, it’d be pretty awesome. As for second hand underwear, I don’t know, it depends I guess but I wouldn’t wear someone else’s underwear….
Wow guys, I think we’ve actually learnt a lot from you. I was so surprised doing these interviews to find that boys actually have decent and wordy opinions on our fashion choices. I think the main things we’ve realised here is that they DO appreciate the effort involved in shopping vintage, and know that although it is so easy for us to pop to the high street and grab an entire outfit, it’s often more appreciated (by them AND our bank balances) when we make the effort to create an individual look through vintage. A final word from Sean to round this off beautifully;
“I think there’s a fine line between buying something vintage because it’s nice and rare than just buying something so that you can say you bought it in a vintage store, when in fact its fucking hideous and they stopped making them for a reason”