Sydney's Vintage Revival Claudia hirst

This map may just look like any old map of inner city Sydney, but underneath lies an uprising in fashion. Sydney is going through a vintage revival, which is clear once someone spends more than five minutes in the inner city - brightly coloured shirts, baseball caps and boyfriend jeans all making a comeback. But why vintage? I went around this intersection of style and talked to some of the people at the forefront of the vintage revival.

U-Turn Recycled Fashion, Crown St Surry Hills

"I think that vintage and recycled clothing is the only viable option for the future, because the way fashion is going now is harming the planet, like the forced work and sweatshops that's behind it. There's nothing that people are going to design that's not already around - people have already bought it, already used it and it needs to be made cool again. Vintage is cheaper, and I kinda like that the clothes have a history before, like somebody had good times or bad times with it, like the energy is still in the piece which I think is nice. Its pretty different from retail, like you have 100 copes of the same design then 100 people have the same clothes, whereas vintage is one of a kind. Vintage makes your clothes look more interesting, and I see a future where there are more vintage and recycled clothes stores and less retail - people can have new ideas, but the way we're going isn't sustainable."

Miss Brown, Crown St Surry Hills.

"I guess vintage is a bit more durable, its pre-loved. its much cheaper and almost always better quality."

Cream on Crown, Crown St Surry Hills.

There's definitely a bit of a charm to it, the fact that someone has worn it before. And worn in a specific era too, they're like time capsules! You can get stuff, you'd never think you could find, like really really beaten up t-shirts, and I like the look of something that's been worn a bit to something brand new. I like the appeal of wearing a shirt from the 90s and jeans from the 70s. But vintage has become a bit mainstream, with the Polo shirts and stuff, so its really nice seeing someone with some really old clothes."

Emma & Lucie, Zoo Vintage Emporium Crown St.

Emma: If you look at it now, you're looking at vintage against high street, dare I say sweatshop manufacturing, so vintage is a more sustainable and holistic way to be a consumer, because you're buying something that's already been worn, it has a story to it - the craft, the design, the history, the nostalgia - its so lovely to buy into, rather than buy something that's wear then burn, something that has a two week turnover, like in H&M and other online stores. You can sleep easy with vintage! Media is saturated with image so everything is instant and everyone must be fed straight away, everything is just there for you - you don't have to think, you don't have to work, you don't have to be imaginative - you don't even really participate, whereas vintage is a feel-good experience. My favourite era is the 40s, because it was such a tumultuous time for women and fashion becoming more androgynous with tailoring and heavier fabrics, and the impact of WW2 historically. There's a lot of austerity, and people had much smaller wardrobes so there was more of an investment - these garments were cared for and loved, the cycle of fashion was much longer and you can feel that in them! Designers like Galliano and Chanel are reflecting this today because of the time and the care involved in the clothes, they last forever.

Vintage is great because it allows you to step out of the everyday and to be your own person.

Lucie: I was raised above an antique shop, so vintage is in my blood. I think the 40s was a really fantastic time for women, with tailoring and being influenced heavily by the war. Of course the 70s took a lot from the 30s and 40s as well... Its the quality of the fabric, and for me the stories of a piece - I cant say enough! Its a lifestyle, its all about self expression - and that's what we love. People come in and we can help them create a whole outfit and its not just a one-off costume piece, it can be pieces that are incorporated into their everyday wardrobe and still be completely unique in what they're wearing.

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Claudia Hirst
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