Last month, Holly Foster hit the headlines in the UK for her comments about vintage fashion’s link to respect and propriety while contrasting it with Miley Cyrus. While most people concentrated on her comments, it raised awareness of something more interesting to readers of Back In Style, the existence of an official Miss Vintage UK. That’s the title Holly Foster won last August at the Twinwood Festival and the reason for her coverage. Thinking about great, vintage fashion, isn’t it time we had a Miss Vintage USA? And a Mr Vintage USA too!
The Twinwood Festival
For the last 13 years, the Twinwood festival in Bedfordshire, has been celebrating both the music and fashion of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Set in an old RAF airbase, the festival includes Vintage clothing stalls, museums, music venues, and accommodation. Everything is authentic and only music in the style of those decades is allowed. This includes, for 2015, acts like The Jive Aces, The Downtown Daddyo’s and The Swing Museum. The festival takes place over three days at the end of August and is one of many British vintage festivals including Goodwood Revival, Atomic Festival and Rhythm Riot.
Miss Vintage UK
In 2014, it was decided that the festival should host its first Mr Vintage and Miss Vintage UK competition. 10 ladies entered to become Miss Vintage, while 4 men vied to be Mr Vintage. The judging panel, including Head Judge Lola Lamour. Foster won the inaugural contest and will hold the title until this August, when there will be another. She shot to prominence in February, however, when she said that dressing in such attire was “the only way to demand respect from men.” She went on to say that modern fashion left girls feeling vulnerable and that it encouraged them to dress in such ways in order to find fame and fortune.
Does Holly Foster have a point? The fashion people wear may change the opinion others have of them, but it should not really. What a person chooses to wear should not define their personality and availability in such simplistic terms. This feeds into the idea that people, especially women, need to fit certain criteria. Foster may have a point about aspiring to be like idols who set bad examples, but more of a problem is that such idols, who are often photoshopped, set bad precedents for body image and health. They have been linked, along with unrealistic dolls like Barbie, with eating disorders in girls of all ages including first graders. That should be of more concern. Vintage fashion like at Twinwood is about embracing who you are and how you want to dress. Personal choice is a great thing, if it’s a free one.
The Twinwood festival runs at the end of August and you can find out more information here.