Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Old Hat Is the New Look; Reese Witherspoon Wore a 51-Year-Old Dress to the Oscars, Jumble Sales Are Booming. and Designers Are Even Distressing Fabrics for the Vintage Look

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Old Hat Is the New Look; Reese Witherspoon Wore a 51-Year-Old Dress to the Oscars, Jumble Sales Are Booming. and Designers Are Even Distressing Fabrics for the Vintage Look

Article excerpt

Byline: BECKY DAVIES

AT THE Oscars last week, best actress winner Reese Witherspoon was taking no chances. To avoid the same gaffe she made at the Golden Globes when she wore a Chanel creation seen on Kirsten Dunst two years earlier, Reese chose a 51-yearold, one-of-a-kind Christian Dior vintage frock. It was not to everyone's taste, but at least she was guaranteed to be the only one wearing it.

"It is a huge faux pas to turn up at a party in the same dress as someone else," says Emily Bothwell, one of a number of stylists and designers spearheading the move towards recycled fashion. Her collection of one-off vintage pieces, Peekaboo, is stocked at Topshop's Oxford Street and Kensington stores. Emily says when she started working with vintage clothing more than 15 years ago, " people thought it was a depleting market. Now it's stronger than ever."

Richard Gray, executive fashion director of style mag azine 10 , s a id : "Forget your preconceptions of charity shopping - it's not about students trawling the rails for the last pair of orange flares any more."

Instead, you'll find thrift queens such as Bay Garnett scouring the Red Cross shop in Chelsea for old Chanel and Pucci pieces for a fraction of the prices you pay in specialist vintage shops (although these precious finds are few and far between).

Designers such as Jessica Ogden, Robert Cary-Williams and the American design duo Libertine all rework old pieces of clothing by changing hem and arm lengths, the lining, sometimes deconstructing the whole thing and putting it back together again.

If you can't bear the thought of wearing clothes that someone else has already worn, Lanvin, Balenciaga and Chanel distress the hems on wispy fabrics to create vintage-inspired pieces, a particularly influential look this spring.

But if you are confident enough to set your own style agenda and are willing to put in the legwork, where else can you buy second-hand clothes? …

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