A hintage of vintage
In these financially trying times, staying in style, for most of us, is about the ability to make do and amend, be it by customising, re-styling or rediscovering the past in the form of vintage and retro. However, plumping for the vintage option can prove something of a double-edged sword: recycling looks from the past, in the face of an ecomonic downturn, is a good idea, charging the earth for archaic frocks your granny would have thrown out once she hit “the change” is not! And yet, even now, I’ve seen plenty of the latter, especially in trendy vintage boutiques and typical scenester hotspots.
That minor gripe said, I’m not knocking retro regalia in general, since some of it is truly fabulous and deserving of the term “vintage chic.” It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and there’s definitely a romance in nostalgia, as long as it’s done well. What’s more, if, for this entry, I wanted to be really pretentious, I’d bang on about how I learnt about the concept of looking to the past during my Art History lectures, back at university, and its significance. The theory of post-modernism suggests that every possible style that could possibly be has already happened, but that new sartorial statements can be made from the way a stylist combines the various different styles from different times, in an expressive “language” of clothes. There’s another point to me mentioning that here, namely that you can also make novel fashion statements by taking existing footwear and gluing pretty shapes on it, as with my current favourite vintagey item: The appliqued boot.
First step is to get the image to trace and cut out of leather. Here’s one I crafted earlier from the shoes, using Photoshop, by tracing around the different layers of leather using the pen tool. It’s my version of the parrot design All you have to do is print it out, making sure it’s as close to the size specified below as possible:
Okay, my example for this entry might be all about the parrot design, but why not try some other shapes and images, say of a prancing horse, or the layers of flame-like designs you get on vintage style cowboy boots – it’d prove so much cheaper than forking out for the originals, certainly from my experience!
Place your printout on top of some card, hold it in place and prod holes along each coloured line to make an outline on the card, for each of the layers of colour, including the parrot’s beak in olive green.
Cut around the outline with your scalpel and your templates should look like these. You might want to print and cut these straight out. They should look like these ones below, for each of the different colours:
Place them onto your pieces of leather, in each colour, on the wrong side. Draw around the templates. Turn the templates over so that they are facing the opposite way and repeat.
Cut your leather out with your scalpel.
Glue your pieces of leather on top of one another, starting with blue at the bottom, then jade green, then yellow, then red and finally the olive green beak.