Vintage style menswear, it can be so much fun! I am full of ideas and thoughts and with every piece I make, I create a new idea in the same time. So this keeps me going. When I started this I never thought that creating menswear can be as much fun as ladies wear. Today is a quiet day after our photo shoot yesterday. I have to clean my studio which is rather messy after working on the fall/winter collection and preparing for the shoot. So it gives me time to stop and think about what I have been making, look back and contemplate. The first pair of trousers I have made were kind of conservative. I was searching for the original 1930's shape, and looking for typical vintage features and re-create them. Now I like to go for more daring fabrics, and be bolder in combining colors and fabrics.
Along the way I noticed that there are men who have fun with their vintage style wardrobe, who dare to combine. Maybe the whole barbershop trend is helping that as well. Men grooming their beard, conscious of their appearance, taking care of their wardrobe and finding their own personal style is rather a new thing maybe, but for me has is highly associated with 19th century England. With the Victorian Gentleman who was well dressed and eloquent, elegant in clothes and manner. Oscar Wilde could have been called a dandy, and George Brummel (1778-1840) must have been the King of dandies. In the essay "Du dandyisme et de G. Brummell" french writer Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808-1889) looks at Dandyism as a cultural-historical phenomenon. The dandy is self-assured, confident, completely independent, and revolting against mediocrity and uniformity. I think I rather like that kind of fellow! A common mistake is that a Dandy is confused with a snob, however a very distinctive characteristic is his way to relativize himself.
There were female Dandy's as well. I believe Marlene Dietrich could be called a female Dandy. To synthesize: a Dandy has his own style and is not bothered with conformation.
I can only proclaim that we all find the Dandy within. Please don't think about what fashion magazines dictate. In the vintage world of dancing and clothes, some people tend to go over the top I think. Not in what they themselves choose to wear, but in judging others. Should you really care if your hair is or isn't exactly 1940's or 1950's? Should you be bothered where you find your ideas? Internet, fashion mags, the haut couture or the street? Find your own style and be yourself! Why not mix old and new, punk and vintage, rockabilly and steampunk? Lets all start thinking outside the box, and please do not color between the lines. This is what makes people interesting!
Sunny van Zijst
I am maker of vintage inspired couture. I was trained as a designer for theater costumes. Now I enjoy making vintage inspired clothing for men and women.