[In]Tangible: Redressing Fashion

By Lorraine Smith

I’ve always had a fondness for old clothes. Whether I’m looking through my mother’s lovingly saved garments, rummaging in a vintage shop or browsing an antique market. Touching a piece of the past has always been my most powerful window into history. Whilst looking at images of what people used to wear is fascinating, being able to feel the fabrics and look at the construction has always filled me with utter excitement. Even the smell of clothing that hasn’t been worn for years is thrilling, because it’s the smell of discovery.

After reading Naomi Thompson’s book Style Me Vintage, I realised that I could tell whether vintage clothing stores were merely guessing the dates of the garments they were selling. Knowing when plastic zips became more common, and when fibre content was a legal requirement for clothing labels, is extremely useful when you’re working out whether a seller’s…

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