GRANDMA HAD IT, MOM THREW IT OUT AND I BROUGHT IT BACK
By: Sandile Zikhali
A few years ago I saw a tall dude making noise on TV wearing a funny looking shirt that looked like he borrowed it from his grandfather. I said maybe he is just short of clothes.
I didn’t know that a few years later wearing grandpa’s pants would be regarded as the coolest thing. I soon realized that “vintage” was taking the city of Durban by storm.
Vintage is more than just a collection of old clothes- the youth of today have turned it into a lifestyle. Old being new has become a very popular style in Durban. The style leaves some people confused on how things that were once worn by your parents can be turned into fashionable items and very trendy garments.
Vintage is the word on the street; it’s the most trending term in the fashion industry. The greatest thing about this fashion style is that it is cheap, affordable and most of the time you don’t need to go to a shop to buy vintage clothing. You just have to think of any piece of clothing in your grandparents’ wardrobe and imagine how you would look wearing it. Floral t-shirts, Scottish skirts, dungarees and animal prints garments are things you have to have when you want to fit in with the “vintage cool kids.”
This unique style was ushered in by fashion icons and celebrities the likes of Syabonga Ngwekazi, who is the co-founder of the urban street label called Amakipkip which is recognized as one of the hippest and coolest brands to come out of South Africa. Tol A$$ Mo, real name Mongezi Ngcobondwana ,who is known for his loud and hyperactive personality, is one of the fpeople who played a big role in bringing back the old and looked good while doing it.
Akhona Mbanjwa and Andile Dlalisa are vintage collectors and fanatics who have been collectoring ever since the vintage fever hit Durban in late 2011. They said that they sell their collection since the market is good. This weird and unique fashion scene somehow in a way allows the youth to build a connection with the past.
“This is a very unique style and the youth seem to love it. One of the reasons why this style is trending is that what you can find in your grandparents’ wardrobe can be turned into a very stylish and simple item at no cost,” said Dlalisa.
There are shops that sell antiques and vintage garments. Items range from grandma glasses, old school girl shoes, dresses and handmade wool jackets. Nnana Mthethwa from Andy Vintage Collection said that they have gatherings where they showcase their collection. During these gatherings people come dressed in their vintage clothes and are entertained by good music.
“We believe that our style is more of an art than fashion; that is why you would find that at our gatherings we are in the presence of art. You find painters and poets and then we display our collection so everyone could come and look at it and possibly buy some things,” said Mthethwa.
The vintage lifestyle has taken over in such a way that there are events that are dedicated to it. One of the well-known events where vintage lovers get together is called Cool Out Vintage which is a reflection of what vintage is all about.
The event takes place in different venues around Durban every last Sunday of the month. This event features many vintage collectors that showcase their collections. The showcase caters for both genders.
People usually say that you can tell one’s personality by looking at what they are wearing. When it comes to vintage, it is quite difficult to judge by looking at someone.
I have always thought people who are into vintage are boring and old fashioned. People who are into vintage spend a lot of time picking out colours that will complement the look they want to achieve and this requires a lot of thinking and an artistic mindset.