Reuse. Resist.
Stylist, costume designer, and founder of Moscow vintage store “Virgin.vntg”, Ksenia tells us why you should wear vintage clothes and not be afraid to customize them yourself.
FASHION StylIST & MODEL: Ksenia Sharonova Photographer: Kocmoc
It is 2021. We live in a world where society and media dictate to us how to look, what to eat, what to buy, where to travel, and so on. In this thoughtless pursuit of brands, new gadgets, and trendy clothes, we often risk losing our individuality and becoming faceless dolls stamped by the mass market. I have always loved having something unusual in my wardrobe. To find that unique look, I constantly searched through all my mother’s and grandmother’s closets. Also, since childhood, I found that my best inspiration for unique looks were French and Hollywood movies. In the early 2000s, when the film “Amélie” was released, I looked for clothes like the main character’s, and I also cut my hair to look like her. Many people chase brands and give their last cent for a bag or pair of sneakers with their adored, sought-after label. But these people are missing one crucial point. You don’t have to spend millions to look stylish! Finally, interest in vintage has gained momentum and became popular worldwide - now these are not “old, strange-smelling things,” but objects that adherents of non-trivial shopping happily hunt for. Well, let’s see why it’s worth abandoning mass-market consumption in favor of clothes with a history. First, vintage clothes are always unique. The chance of meeting a person in the street with the exact same piece is close to zero. Secondly, it is environmentally friendly. Today, more and more talk about the damage that the clothing industry is doing to the environment. The problem of overproduction is extremely acute now - 80 billion units of new clothes are bought annually in the world, which is 400% more than two decades ago. At the same time, most of these clothes sadly end up in garbage dumps.
The question arises: since we have inherited so many cool things from the past, why buy new things that you want to get rid of by the next season or that will simply become unusable in a couple of months? At the same time, the word “old” refers to their age rather than to their visual quality - it is quite possible to find vintage items with tags still attached, which have never been worn by anyone before. By giving new life to these clothes in your wardrobe, you (at least partially) can break the vicious cycle of production and consumption - especially considering the fact that 20-30 years ago this process was much more humane. I often modify pieces for myself, both vintage and modern, which are either boring or forgotten in the back of my closet. In my atelier, I have a lot of leather jackets, denim clothes, and T-shirts, which I have cut and dyed. I have also updated many of these items with newer, brighter linings. Tired of your leather jacket? Give it to an artist you know to paint or decorate with metallic studs in the best traditions of punk culture. Dig into your dad’s wardrobe; for sure, there is an excellent jacket that will fit you in an oversized aesthetic and will look fantastic. Feel free to experiment. Cut, paint, and sew on to different parts of these clothes. I really adhere to the words of Travis Barker, drummer for Blink-182, “I never dressed to show that I earn a lot. I will never stop being myself just for the sake of getting something, and I will break all stereotypes.”


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