Living in a fashion hub such as Florence, I find it hard as a foreigner to resist admiring the latest trends that people and stores publish in the center every day. While more high-end labeled stores band together on via Tornabuoni to flaunt the next season’s line, it may be beneficial to browse elsewhere in the city and uncover older and classic trends that have persisted. The Vintage Selection biannual event at the Stazione Leopolda hosts many boutiques and vendors throughout Italy to showcase their timeless collections.
The selection of immortal labels present included: Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Pucci, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few. Walking through the exhibits felt eerily similar to a cloudy day on via Tornabuoni. The trends that have resisted time still pop up in fashionable pieces today. Some trends I have noticed represent different periods in the last century. The 20s introduced heavy and intricate use of beading in geometric designs and shimmering metallic colors, imagine the costumes in The Great Gatsby. The 30s were represented by the delicate female silhouette, the use of lighter colors, and more conservative pieces that would become even more conventional in the 40s. The exhibit represented the time of the Second World War, with traditional and durable coats and boots. The now fashionable oversized army green jacket and Dr. Martens military boot were originally created for their functionality. The 50s created the popularity of jeans were present at the Vintage Selection, displayed with the many styles—from pants to shirts and jackets—and even the high waist shorts and pants are returning to modern style. Finally, the 60s and 70s were represented in bright colors, crazy print designs, the reemerging bell-bottom pants, and even the miniskirt.
Having knowledge of these retro collections and an open mind about the past can introduce new interpretations for fashion. The Vintage Selection events provide rare opportunities to step back in history and collect classic articles to incorporate them into a modern and individual style.
The Florentine shops that were present at this event included: A.N.G.E.L.O., via dei Cimatori 25r; Boutique Nadine, lungarno Acciaiuoli 22r; Ceri Vintage, via dei Serragli 26r; Gaudeli’s Vintage-Firenze, piazza dell’Olio 4; ShowMe, via F. Folli 18; and Street Doing Vintage Couture, via dei Servi 88r. Other regional boutiques have shops located in Scandicci, Prato, Pistoia, and Pisa. All information on the vendors can be found at theflr.net/vintageselection.