Vintage Fashion: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
Fashion is often a personal representation and interpretation of a trend or movement; therefore, achieving a definition for a particular style is arduous and open to interpretation. However, vintage fashion has a time-bound delineation, which confines its representative fashion garments and objects to a specific era (defined as from the 1920s to 1980s, but also described as anything designed and produced at least 20 years before the current fashion trends). The additional impediment of the diverse terminology attached to fashion from the past, which is also categorised as ‘antique’, ‘retro’ even ‘secondhand’, adds to the complexity surrounding this context. Vintage fashion and its extended notions described above have primarily been investigated within the confines of a cultural and national context. This research uses visual and traditional interpretative methods to explore transcultural attitudes of students of fashion from France and the UK towards fashion garments, which are not produced or representative of current trends and offering. Graphical and DAP (Draw a Picture) inspired methods are used to elicit visual representation of the understanding of this style, and more traditional interviews explore the dimensions of the concept through the lense of divergent cultural backgrounds. The results inform the debate surrounding the boundaries of vintage fashion, in terms of its cultural heritage and place within different cultural contexts. The originality of this research is twofold: firstly, the cultural dimension of vintage fashion has been largely overlooked in past research, and the elicitation of this facet of the concept is valuable for academics, students and practitioners alike. Secondly, the use of visual methodologies within cross-cultural research adds to methodological advances for contexts, which are traditionally complex environments from which to extract meaningful data from.
KeywordsCross-cultural perspective Vintage Nostalgia UK France China
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