Have you ever been searching vintage photos online and gasped at the sight of someone that you thought looked like you? Or have you ever had someone show you an old photo, and proclaimed the subject your doppelganger?
I recently gathered up some of the vintage images that people said looked like me.
What do you think?
I don’t think so either! Oh to be so refined and elegant!
Then there was this lovely lady.
I’m starting to get the idea I look snooty!
I have been known to try to emulate vintage fashion images, and the nose in the air has been one of my go-to looks as you can see.
My favorite so far is this pattern envelope girl…what a friendly smile!
I enjoy striving to emulate vintage images so much that for several years I have participated in a just-for-fun challenge on Instagram, hosted by Tanith (@tanithrowan) and Nicole (@theartyologist_blog), called #myvintagecover. Last month I took a stab at Vogue covers from 1950 and 1953. Oh the fun of sistering up with these beautiful images!
You probably know about the craze around Google Arts & Culture App, the one where you get to find your painting look-alike. What’s the fascination for vintage lookalikes about anyway? Maybe because it gives the feeling of walking in the shoes of someone in the past. Maybe because you get to see yourself in someone else.
Then there are REAL twins. I recently ran across a series of photos of twin models Alice and Ellen Kessler and I thought how fun it would be to have a twin, a built-in doppelganger of not only one’s looks, but one’s temperament. I imagine you’d think everything from “So that’s what I look like when I sneeze!” to “Here’s how we can get through this loss together.” Would we think alike? Talk alike? Wear vintage alike?
I asked a real set of twins, Kym and Kirsten, what’s it’s like for them. Actually, I asked Kym, because she is the one who wears vintage. It turns out, her sister is not a fan of vintage. (Do I hear The Patty Duke Show theme song coming on?)
Here’s what Kym had to say:
“My identical twin sister and I always resented being dressed alike. In childhood it was such a visual betrayal for two very different people. We have the same faces and now the same pink footie pajamas? Ugh.
“We're older now, and haven't been called "Pete" and "re-Pete" in a long time (mercifully), so I think we’re past the battle for individuality. Or are we? Where our closets are concerned, I love vintage clothing and accessories and she couldn’t care less.
My sister is exquisitely stylish, and considers Lauren Bacall, Stevie Nicks and TV’s Rhoda Morgenstern fashion inspirations. AND YET! She cannot endure accompanying me to a vintage shop or to scour a thrift store. Browsing Etsy is like counting paperclips. Pure boredom. She's worn vintage once: a Halloween party (go-go dancer; orange shift).
No. Clearly, we are not identical in our sense of style -- but rather, in our sense of occasion.
So often, the vintage showstoppers in one’s closet stay put, waiting to be taken out for a laugh, a drink, a show. Luckily for me, my sister’s hero is the one and only Mame Dennis, as captured by the 1958 film’s quote, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
She makes everything a celebration -- from backyard cocktails to Broadway shows to unpacking a moving van. (Seriously). And she and I know, when it's time to celebrate, the dress code is "fabulous."
We aren’t sartorial duplicates – we don’t feel bonded because of our 1950s sundresses or 1970s outwear or 1960s baubles (believe me, I’ve tried!). But, we're connected by something more: She gives me a stage to be a true individual. And when she looks at me, I hope she sees the exact same thing.”
I guess there are many ways to twin with someone else, past or present. The look can be there, or the very outfit—or the even more important spirit.
So of course I must know: Do you have doppelganger from the past, a real-life twin, or a kindred vintage soul? Please let me know in the comments!