Vintage POP

From the fine people who bring us POP Montreal every year comes another project close to our hearts. Vintage POP is a pop-up shop hosting some of the city’s best second-hand clothing curators under one roof. Featuring men’s and women’s clothing, the sale will have an array of amazing pieces spanning the ’20s to the ’90s, plus a selection of vintage housewares and accessories. These girls worked hard to find the most unique pieces, particularly duds that will keep us cozy as the temperatures start to drop.

Where To Go:
OFF Interarts (5145 St. Laurent, in Montreal), between Laurier and Fairmount. The nearest metro is Laurier.

When To Get There:
Wednesday, September 7th from 11-7
Thursday, September 8th from 11-9
Friday, September 9th from 11-9
Saturday, September 10th from 11-7

Participating Vendors:
Young Captive , New Wave Natives, FAD, Hunt Club, Megacat, Cheap Opulence, Caesar Pony, Tarantula Sisters, Homerun, YARD666SALE, YeYe Vintage

You can get a sneak peek by checking out some of the vendors’ websites, but trust us, it’ll look better in person. So get out there and support local businesses by bring all your friends, but only the ones who don’t wear the same dress size as you!

text by Natasha Bigioni
pictures from popmontreal.com

Playing Fashion Detective: Chronicling a Vintage Garment

Look carefully just below the ad text and you’ll see the Woolmark®. When Pendleton created this ad in the fall of 1964, the Woolmark was very new, having been launched that year. Knowing about this symbol can come in handy when trying to figure out when that tweed jacket you picked up at the local Goodwill was actually made. A vintage friend was telling about a jacket she had. She was pretty well convinced that it was from the 1940s – until she found a little Woolmark tag. Knowing that the symbol did not exist in the ’40s led her to the conclusion that her jacket was a very good 1970s representation of 1940s style.

Woolmark is not a brand label; it is a label originally issued by the International Wool Secretariat to identify various quality wool products. The mark was designed by an Italian graphic artist, Francesco Saroglia, and was first used in 1964 to indicate that the garment is made from 100% pure new wool. It can be found on garments from Australia, the US, most of Europe and Japan.

I poked through some vintage 1964 magazines while thinking about what could have led to the creation of this mark. For some time, chemical companies like DuPont had been working to develop new synthetic fibers. By 1964, DuPont’s Dacron® and Orlon®, American Cyanamid’s Creslan®, Fiber Industries’ Celanese® and Kodak’s Kodel® were all major players in the fibers industry, as well as major advertisers in fashion magazines. It goes to reason that it must have been a time of panic for the manufacturers of natural fiber products. I’m guessing that the Woolmark was the wool industry’s way of trying to “brand” itself to better compete with the synthetics. Pendleton was one of the first US companies to use the Woolmark, and they even put it on their label. It’s a handy shorthand for indentifying a Pendleton product as being from 1964 or later.

photography by Amanda Legare

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Book Review: Horrockses

There is a particular dress in my costume collection that has always intrigued me. There is something about the way the fabric falls, how the print meshes perfectly with the cut, and how this simple cotton dress from the 1950s still looks like you could step right into it and feel perfectly stylish. After reading Horrockses Fashions, I know why. Horrockses dresses, mostly designed between 1946 to 1958, are of lovely quality and, not surprisingly, have been cherished by their original owners and collectors alike. The company showed its first clothing collection in 1946, based on the strategy of providing ready to wear clothing with an exclusive “up-market” allure. The signature look for the line was influenced heavily by Dior’s Corolle line in 1947: soft shoulders, nipped-in waist, and full skirt.

Christine Boydell, the author of this book, is a force to be reckoned with. She curated the Horrockses dress exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her work is meticulously researched, obviously a labour of love, as she passionately demonstrates how the company achieved their goal of creating an air of exclusivity combined with high quality, and how devoted their clients were to these special dresses. (There is a terrific interview with the author at the Fashion and Textile Museum of London in front of the Horrockses exhibit that she curated, which allows those of us who missed the exhibit to sneak a peek.)
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Remembrance of Things Past

Anybody who’s spent more than ten minutes on Tumblr can tell you that there is no shortage of love for vintage clothing on the internet. However, usually the retro image-a-thon tends to be restricted to wealthier white women of eras gone, erasing from history the styles of women of colour. Threadbared‘s Minh-Ha T. Pham has started Of Another Fashion, an online archive of images intent on putting a face (and an outfit) to the sides of sartorial history often overlooked. As she writes, “In providing a glimpse of women of colour’s material cultural histories – a glimpse that no doubt only begins to redress the curatorial and critical absence of minoritized fashion histories – this archive and the forthcoming exhibition commemorates lives and experiences too often considered not important enough to save or to study.” An exhibit of the same name is also being planned.

To contribute to Of Another Fashion, click here.

Photo by Clem Albers