VPOD: Vintage 1950s Will Steinman Cocktail Dress and Vintage-Inspired Dresses

Vintage 1950s Will Steinman Brocade Cocktail Dress

I’m feeling very inspired this morning. But I’m not feeling very vintage-inspired.

During LA Fashion Week recently, I attended a fashion show that featured a line of vintage-inspired dresses. And while the silhouettes were all right, the fabrics were all wrong. They looked cheap and—dare I say it?—gaudy.

Which isn’t to say all vintage-inspired lines are cheap and gaudy, but…well…even the best vintage-inspired lines…anyway you slice’m and dice’m, they just aren’t vintage.

And I get it. The market moves to fill a need.

When women see their favorite Hollywood celebrities wearing vintage, they’re inspired to wear vintage, too. But finding a perfect vintage dress isn’t easy. It takes time and it takes PATIENCE.

And in our hurry-up-I-want-it-NOW world, a lot of women prefer to take a short-cut and buy vintage-inspired dresses that they can order in the size they need and that can be delivered to them the next day.

Just don’t kid yourself. If you choose to wear a vintage-inspired dress, you are not wearing vintage.

And that’s perfectly okay.

But let’s all call a spade a spade and let’s not call vintage-inspired vintage. Let’s be sure to include that very important “inspired” qualifier.

I am so irritated when I see vintage-inspired dresses in the eBay vintage clothing category, particularly when it’s hard to discern from the descriptions that the items aren’t authentic vintage. (I report these sellers, by the way, as these items should be represented in the Vintage Reproductions category).

I cringe when I hear a celebrity interview and the actress proclaim she’s wearing a vintage necklace or a vintage dress by (fill in a contemporary designer name here).

My blood boils when I see ads for stores like H&M declaring “Wear Vintage” and promoting their poor quality dresses that were made overseas and will probably not last the twenty years required to be considered authentic vintage by most vintage enthusiasts.

Ladies, there’s pure vintage available at all price points—whether your bank account reads H&M or Hermes. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing vintage-inspired if that’s what you choose for you. But please don’t try to pass it off as the real vintage deal.

Pure vintage dresses like today’s VPOD serve as inspiration for many vintage-inspired knock-offs, but not one of those imitations could possibly compete with this original beauty on price or quality.

This vintage 1950s Will Steinman cocktail dress is pure vintage bliss with gorgeous damask fabric, boning, and an attached inner crinoline. It has beautiful construction with a price tag that is actually less than you might pay for, say, a vintage-inspired version from Banana Republic or Anthropologie.

Which makes it a clear and obvious choice for a Vintage Crusader!

Available at Hemlock Vintage.

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© Mary Kincaid 2006-2009