New energy in vintage fashion

Designers are reworking old clothes to express their style


By Mateo Muego

Young designers are energizing the vintage fashion movement in Vancouver as they combine old materials and tattered clothing through “upcycling.”

Upcycling describes the reuse of vintage clothing to create new designs through reworking, redesigning or completely transforming pieces.

Anna Dinh, an applied science student at Langara, is a designer and clothing stylist who uses old fabric to inspire her fashion creations. 

“I always try to work around capturing the essence of the pieces and the life that they lived before,” said Dinh.

The popularity of vintage clothing is growing in Vancouver and the vintage fashion industry worldwide is expected to grow 11 times faster than the “fast fashion” industry by 2025, according to a report by Vestiaire Collective, an online marketplace that sells used luxury clothing. The report says buying reworked and recycled items saves 90 per cent more of the environmental cost compared to buying new clothes. 

Dinh uses secondhand fabrics and new materials in her designs to stitch together unique pieces. “A lot of my work is really trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce,” said Dinh. 

Bring back the vintage colours

Montreal fashion designer Braden Quinn, who sold his design pieces at a Langley vintage market event in February, said his designs revolve around the theme of human connection. “One of the biggest problems in the world is a lack of connection, like connection to yourself, connection to the people around you, connection to the earth,” said Quinn. 

Quinn said he thinks deeply about the properties and quality of clothing, including items others see as trash. He experiments with unconventional materials like leaves, to create designs that emulate nature on clothing.

“I think that if we dress to look more like nature in a way, we’ll feel more a part of it,” said Quinn.

Former Langara fashion instructor Gio Amenta said that he believes young designers will help vintage fashion “trend upwards with a twist.” Amenta said upcycling will be a major channel for new designs inspired by the past eras in fashion. 

“Just because that era is done, why not bring some of the pieces back, some of the colours back,” said Amenta. 

When art meets fashion 

Amenta said he wants designers to create new art on top of vintage garments because older fabrics and materials used were of higher quality. 

“There’s a lot more natural fibres and fabrics, which I think are way more comfortable for people to wear,” said Amenta.

Young designers use these fabrics to create original designs that allow them to express themselves. Quinn said creating his fashion brand is a way for him to find his true self.

“Clothes are just what makes you feel like the best version of yourself. It’s like having your outward expression matches your ideal inward expression,” said Quinn.   

Amenta hopes that people start buying from individual artists who are making unique pieces rather than buying from large commercial fashion brands.

“The line between fashion and art is going to be blurred more … and I think there’s a lot more creativity that will be allowed for fashion designers,” he said.


Comments are closed.

buy metronidazole online