Okay, Jenna, here it is! Your favourite vintage wear from our motley past:
Genuine, sixties and seventies homegrown patchwork!
Nothing said, “I made it myself” like patchwork. It was a hippie icon that went mainstream in the seventies. We made little vests for our uniforms in Pioneer Girls (a Baptist organization for teens) from fake patchwork material. They weren’t regulation uniforms, but we looked rather smart marching in the Veterans’ Day parade in our brown and green and burnt orange vests and skirts, with brown berets and white gloves. This was about 1972, I think. I suspect that if we could glance back to that parade day, we would look like pixie escapees from the pumpkin patch.
My mother was opposed to denim patchwork. Too hippie-ish, perhaps, or just too country:
I longed for a denim patchwork skirt. Mom did not relent. There would be no cutting up good dungarees for that!
I had classmates who took old jeans and turned them into skirts. The best were frayed on the edge, trodden down on the back hem, and were real tight across the hips. Cool girls wore their hair straight, parted in the middle, with little granny glasses and light pink lipstick. We wore Missoni style flame pattern tops, or white cotton peasant blouses. I was allowed jeans (decent Levis, or worse, J.C. Penney’s junior size no-fade denim slacks. Oh, horrors…) Still I wanted to make a skirt out of the Levis -but got a very firm “no.”
Denim is not the only possible patchwork material for cool clothes. There is real patchwork.
I would definitely have worn this, although it looks like it was made from an old curtain and some neckties.
This is bright, really bright, Yellow Submarine trippy bright. I bet someone sewed this by hand while headed for Haight Ashbury in the back of a cross-countrying VW micro-bus. No one could be unhappy wearing this skirt. It wouldn’t dare rain on this skirt. It is all sunshine and lollipops.
I think the black and white lace-trimmed model is winsome. I would wear this as a petticoat now. It reminds me of the three sirens washing their clothes in the river in the movie “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?” Yes, a sort of indecent winsomeness.
Then patchwork clothes started to get mainstream. The one below was labelled “vintage hippie patchwork” but honestly – this mother-daughter duo is far from the flower child, free love kind of patchwork. They are posed in a very upscale countrified fake Victorian setting.
The counter-culture always gets co-opted and ends up just so respectable.