A tantalising tweet from @BritishVogue the other day led us to an article by Laura Milligan on Vogue and the Gown, described as
"a collection of some of the most beautiful images ever featured in the magazine, sorted and narrated by former features director Jo Ellison into an encyclopedic reference of not just the dresses themselves but the imperceptible emotions behind the fabric that make them so special."
Are these the most beautiful gowns ever made? http://t.co/ysbl8p6Xd5 pic.twitter.com/aR2pEZuuH7
— VOGUE.CO.UK (@BritishVogue) October 15, 2014
The article did not disappoint and lifted our vintage spirits significantly. We especially loved this observation:
"Looking at a beautiful model, in a beautiful gown, in a beautiful location, the world seems a better place," Ellison explains of the garment's restorative powers - and therefore our fascination with it. "Gowns are a palliative on dreary days, an escape, and a wonderful indulgence. Trousers aren't."
Still dreaming of the glamour of bygone eras, we came across a feature in Eco-Business via a link tweeted by Fashion Revolution @Fash_Rev, which fired us up for entirely different reasons: How fast fashion is killing the earth and our taste in clothes (see page 12).
Can an industry which is dominated by #cheap low-quality #clothes produced by the millions ever be #sustainable?... http://t.co/4T7xTy5PSP
— Eco-Business (@ecobusinesscom) October 16, 2014
In stark contrast to the timeless charm of the Vogue gowns, it painted a depressing picture of the fast fashion industry, which is founded on the exploitation of both people and planet, yet is still shamelessly promoted - as we have previously posted - by those who should know better.
Think about this as you fill your wardrobe with throwaway threads from cheap chain clone stores: "Fast fashion brands on average produce more than one million new clothes a day." How can that be sustainable?
As Christina Dean, chief executive of the sustainable fashion charity Redress, points out:
"With the invasion of fast fashion, many consumers' expectations around prices have gone down so much that it has become even more of a challenge to shift consumers from the 'buy less and buy better' mentality."
The frockers have been here before, of course, with Slow fashion: winning the race for hearts and minds? (also inspired by tweets) and Landfill fashion: what a waste; but we'll leave the final tweet to Vintage Alterations (@splendidstitch), who are every bit as 'slow' and sustainable as we are, in the nicest possible way!
Just had to unfollow someone who proudly tweeted about their @Primark haul. I clearly had misjudged their character #hatesweatshops
— Vintage Alterations (@splendidstitch) October 15, 2014