29 Nov 2017
"What are you wearing there again?"
My mother, as charming as ever. I love her, especially for her straight and honest nature.
As she loves me, among other things, for having my own mind and style. At least basically - because until recently she couldn't unterstand in any way why I dress myself referring to an ideal dating back almost one century. The answer, I would be just myself this way, did not satisfy her at all.
I could be myself comfortably, she said, but does that mean I had to look like grandma Gisela?
No, I don't have to. But for heaven's sake - I want to!
It has been a long road to what the mirror shows me today. And first of all it has been a fight - a fight with my own body, with the people surrounding me and a fight with my wallet.
When I think back, a tendency to nostalgic aesthetics always mobbed me. Already at puberty I loved old black an white photographs, heard jazz and rock 'n' roll of long dead musicians and saw my icons in film divas from the 30s and ambitious pin-up models. But I never held the thought in mind of having an even rudimentally elegant radiance.
Until I was 20 years old, I still dressed myself rather casual, I danced in hip-hop classes in baggy pants and sneakers, wore baseball caps on every possible hair color, loved diy-painted gym bags and neon colors. The fashion of the 90s carried me along once again and brought me a pair of great platform shoes in my closet, before I began 3 years ago to dress in rockabilly style, related to the 1950s. I felt more comfortable, but fussy patterns, dots and dazzling colors someday seemed to look too tawdry on me. My interest had been already devoted a long time to decades far longer ago, but it took one more year until I finally had collected, bought and sewn my wardrobe together to dare dressing in the style of the 20s and 30s, and to establish it in daily life. Since then, more than a year has gone by, and I can say proudly, that I feel indescribably comfortable in my skin and clothing. The mirrow now shows me, who I am and who I want to be.
Though all confidence it might throw me off the track if I have to declare myself in front of someone.
So, after more and more askers, I couldn't help asking myself the question:
Let's have a look at the specialist literature: The word Vintage is English and means as much as old, classic, old-fashioned or from a certain peiord of time. On paper, primarily furnishing, clothing as well as everyday objects from between 1920 and 1970 are designated as Vintage, everything before that is antique, as everything afterwards already belongs to another style of the modern age. However, in reality this is often labelled or summarized in a different way, reagrding my own experience.
So, do I now devote myself in style and life to a certain epoch, and moreover to one I have not experienced at all, this comes very close to a kind of nostalgia. Because nostalgia is the yearning devotion to the past, no matter if self-experienced or not. Especially among psychologists it is often seen as an corrective, a kind of mental healing process, from which strenght can be regained and an emotional escape can be found, when the patient is bothered with an imbalance or depression.
Maybe this is, in the broadest sense, already answer enough.
Maybe the devotion to a past time helps me and many others to handle the incidents and daily challenges of the modern age. Possibly our euphoric nostalgia gives us a feeling of safety in a constantly and furious changing world, while it brings us out of the mass of people who live a contemporary or even futuristic attitude.
A risky explanation could also be the identification with bygone social circumstances - so the open emancipated woman of the 1920s possibly inspired me in my own way of life.
But apart from all that, the nostalgia just forms an excitement, a love.
Every human being is searching for happiness, for pleasure, for something that makes his life a beautiful one. There exists a kind of wholeness-longing in every soul - the desire for an own completeness, related to the permanent search for it. And no matter in what we might think to find it -in collecting antique things, in wearing of yellowed silk dresses or in looking at paintings of never known artists - it is wonderful and does not need to be justified, as long
as it satisfies us.
There is barely anything that could innerly stimulate me more than an attendance of a flea market, always hunting for relicts of gone decades with a keen, educated eye. Barely something calms me down and at the same time inspires me more than dusty literature of great thinkers and writers, which tell me stories of a time I would love to make mine. And there exists an item clothing feeling so beautiful and adequate on my body than one dating back to the 20s or 30s, which still emphasizes femininity without exposing the silhouette.
The style I am living in extraverts my inner self and reflects my aesthetical feeling - just what I consider as extraordinarily beautiful.
I am able to be myself and I have found my future, at least concerning fashion, in the past.
My mother gets along with it very well by now.
And grandma Gisela also finds it pretty wonderful.