There’s a brilliant little article in this month’s UK Vogue, July 2013. It’s the ‘Ageless Style’ issue, and four sets of women and their grandmothers have been interviewed about fashion and clothes across the generations.
What caught my attention about this article was not just one, but TWO references to Burda magazine. See below:
The grandmothers are more interesting than their granddaughters, who mostly just reel off a list of labels. The older women have fascinating stories, from Natalyia, who was born in the USSR at the start of the 1940s and owned just two dresses, to Katholiki, who grew up in poverty on Rhodes and had to use petrol oil mixed with water to style her hair.
Most of the grandmothers are pretty sceptical about current clothing trends. All of them grew up either making their own clothes, or having clothes tailored for them, but this is not something any of the granddaughters have ever experienced.
My favourite bit is this quote on how sewing turns you from a ‘consumer of fashion’ into someone that makes fashion ‘work for you’. It’s kind of a radical statement to see in a copy of Vogue, which is all about the dream of the £5,000 dress.
The grandmothers are able to describe the clothes they’ve worn and made in their life in so much more detail than the granddaughters. You can visualise them perfectly.
I love written descriptions of clothing, don’t you? I’ve always enjoyed reading about ‘sprigged muslin’ and ‘biscuit coloured pantaloons’ in Georgette Heyer novels, even though I have no idea what the hell they are.
The pictures are nice too. Check out the shoes and handbag on the left of this photo, belonging to a lady called Dora Yang. She was born in Shanghai in 1928 and always had tailored cheongsams made for her.
It seems unusual for Vogue to cover such a wide spectrum of clothing options. I guess the fact that it’s all in the past makes it okay. I can’t see them writing an article about sewing your own clothes in 2013.
Anyway, it’s worth picking up for a read, or flicking through in WH Smiths if you don’t want to spend £3.99 on a copy.