Sunday an old friend and I attended the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show. This is what I wore. Yep, I finally, finally mustered my courage and wore one of my vintage hats… out in public. I love vintage hats. But, I buy them, plan an outfit around them, and then at the last minute chicken out before I make it out the door. Not this time.
|On my way to the Vintage Clothing Show, in black and vintage.|
My old hat looked great with the colours in the new scarf that I bought recently at Chatsworth House in the UK. And the green in the scarf is the exact shade of a Prada wool sweater I bought in New York last year. So, I’d say the outfit was a match made in heaven.
Besides, if you can’t wear a vintage hat to a vintage clothing show…where can you wear it, eh?
|Hoping this hat stays on all day|
Years ago when I started shopping for antiques for Hubby’s and my home, or for vintage jewellry, I learned a lot from my friend Mary as we browsed through country antique fairs. When an item interested her, she’d pick it up, carry it over to the merchant and say…”Tell me about this.” I love that approach. It elicits all kinds of surprising detail and information about the item’s value and provenance. And sometimes quirky stories about the object’s history.
“Provenance” is a word usually reserved for rare and valuable antiques where the chain of ownership must be proven since it has an effect on the object’s monetary value. To me it just means the story behind the object.
Each and every item that my grandmother or my mother has passed on to me was accompanied by a story. Stories about dances my grandmother attended as a girl. Stories about my father and his and my mum’s life together before I was born. None of my treasures is particularly rare or valuable, as far as I know… except to me. I know the “provenance” of them all. And knowing the story behind the object, gives it a greater value to me, and makes me feel connected to the original owner.
My friend with whom I attended the Vintage Clothing Show on Sunday is currently down-sizing; she and her husband plan to sell the family home and move somewhere smaller. She has jewellry, and crystal, and china which she’s had for years. Some of it belonged to her mother and grandmother. On Sunday she collected business cards from vendors who expressed an interest in buying some of her things. Because, she told me, her daughter and her daughter-in-law are not interested in owning any of her treasures. I’m told the same story by other friends. “Young people today don’t want our old stuff,” one friend said recently.
Really? I don’t understand that. Okay, maybe young couples don’t want a complete silver tea service, or a set of china with twelve place-settings, but why not accept one piece of silver? A tea pot, maybe, to be lovingly polished and used on special occasions, knowing it belonged to someone who knew and loved you. I have a china sugar bowl which sits in my cupboard and which I use every day. It’s chipped. But it belonged to my mother-in-law who died in 1991. It sat in her kitchen cupboard. And every day it reminds me of her.
Maybe I’m just too sentimental. Maybe the children of my friends are simply not sentimental about family things. After all, they are just things. But I loved the fact that there were a lot of young people at the show on Sunday who seemed pretty excited about buying old things. It makes me happy to think that someone’s grandma’s fur stole will be loved again.
And I’m equally happy that I have a couple of nieces who are sentimental, and who love old things as much as me. I know when the time comes some of my treasures with a story to tell will go to a good home.
|All ready to shop for vintage… in my vintage hat.|
Now… I should probably go and dream up some outfits to go with my other vintage hats. I don’t know folks; some of my hats are pretty … well… out there. To wear them in public, I’d probably have to “screw my courage to the sticking place” to quote Lady Macbeth.
Then again, there’s always next year’s Vintage Clothing Show.