Friday, 13 August 2010

When does second hand become vintage?

I wish I had known the term vintage when I was growing up. Had I claimed that my siblings’ hand-me-downs I wore at school were carefully hunted vintage numbers, I might have stood a chance of looking cool. It is true that the plan would have fooled no-one, as people couldn’t possibly have forgotten my sister’s extravagant choice of clothing, worn only a few years before.
The ritual didn’t put me off going for pre-worn garments, and I’m still quite happy to try my luck at Oxfam, always armed with the lie that I’m only going in for the paperbacks.
The fact is that I’m still unsure of the difference between second hand and vintage. I’ve heard that vintage refers to an item that is representative of an era. If that’s the case, I wonder if in 20 years’ time we’ll be hunting for Primark as if it were Biba. Then again, I’d like to see a Primark dress last 20 washes before we start considering 20 years.
Whether or not you can tell the difference between plain old and treasured vintage, a visit to the Goodwood Festival should make for a wonderful weekend.
Set in the Goodwood Estate in the Sussex Downs, Goodwood announces itself as a “music and fashion led celebration of creative British cool from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, featuring the leading DJs, bands, collectors, purveyors of vintage clothing and vintage vinyl from each decade
I’m not going to attempt to comment on the music line-up – I’ve been banned from even mentioning the word music after Mr Schmethical’s latest spot check on my ipod.Well, I’m sorry if Gloria Estefan’s Conga has a very uplifting effect on my morning commute.  - , but a look at some of the other attractions tells me this is one super groovy gathering.
My favourites:
choose your decade.
image borrowed from vintageatgoodwood.    
- retro make over at Lipstick and Curls;

- Ration books, Woolton tart and rhubarb fool at the Torch Club;
- The Lindy Hop! Dance partners throughout the decades;
- For the crafty: all-day workshops on clothes design and alterations; embroidery, jewelry making, knitting and other oh-so-sustainable creations.

But don’t reach for the baby wipes just yet. This may be a festival, but the choice of accommodation caters for a more groomed sort of punter. You can still pitch your own tent and count on higher than average standard of facilities, but Goodwood also offers their deluxe take on camping, or glamping, with luxury bedding, breakfast in bed and even pressing service. Although it is still a tent and there’s still no en-suite.

If I weren’t visiting the Carshalton Lavender Fields this weekend, I’d consider staying at the fabulous Goodwood hotel, or at one of the local B&Bs, although I’ll admit the glamping tents have a certain Out of Africa appeal.
And then I'd go for the full '80s perm and dance the night away to A-Ha. Oh, to be 13 again!
Have wonderful weekends, be it vintage, recycled or uplifted.

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