I spent this weekend in my hometown, Knysna, soaking up all the Garden Route goodness, along with substantial amounts of red wine, Patron, good coffee and Knysna hospitality.

And I also managed to sneak in a visit to one of my favourite vintage haunts, Sam’s of Knysna. That makes it sound fancy, which it really is not, but Sam’s treated me well this weekend and I want to return the love. The problem with being a workin gal is that whenever I return to Knysna it is either a weekend or a public holiday, which means all the vintage shops are closed! They seem determined to keep odd hours and make it difficult for me to pillage them. If this means that the secrets of their treasures stay hidden for longer, then I suppose it is a good thing that the old biddies that are the keepers of the kaftans and kitsch are so fickle and pushy.

Many times I have dashed into the charity store minutes before closing time, the tires on my car still warm from the N2 tar, and either had dirty looks cast my way, or piles of ugly polyester and knick knacks foisted upon me.

Once, and I tell you this story because it is FUNNY, I was lingering in the shoe section of one my favourite haunts, when one of the biddies at the front of the store held a hideous pair of skorts up to the light and, gesturing to me, said to her blue rinse consort, “Evelyn, won’t this be perfect on that young girl?” Evelyn politely and audibly nixed the idea, saying that I was too HIPPY for said skort. Hippy? Not the long-haired, beaded variety, the type with big hips. You can understand my irritation, considering that I have always been utterly and regrettably hip-less. Having endured taunts from friends about my lack of derriere and hips in highschool, I fixed Evelyn’s pal with a dirty look of of my own and left in empty-handed defiance.

But I digress.

Look at the beauties that Sam’s yielded!

Nude leopard print blouse (sucker for leopard print since birth) accompanied by 50’s full pleated skirt that I have stolen from my mom. The fabric is beautiful and stiff and inspires twirling.

My new absolute favourite, cropped black velvet jacket with wildly puffed shoulders and tuxedo-style points in the front. It basically combines all of my favourite things in one jacket. I am in love with it.

Velvet evening coat – extremely plush and luxurious with cropped sleeves and a big velvet-covered button at the neck. I love the length, it’s quite unusual. This is going to be a treasure-forever piece. The inside is cream, quilted and ancient. Love at first sight.

Oh oh ohhh… this was a strange and lucky find. The label is in Japanese, but the entire dress is printed with Serengheti animals, giraffes, specifically! Truly bizarre, but I abolutely love it and feel that it’s one of those fateful unions. Love the contrast of the tight, silky ruffled neck with the jersey knit, and the very fitted almost corporate style with the fabric.

So basically, I am delighted. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, and you land the vintage jackpot, then it is a happy weekend indeed.

And for those interested, the results of my Big ‘Do (thanks Lourens!) :

* The dress I am wearing is a sight to behold, a handmade evening gown from the 40’s in the most beautiful fabric ever, with a low-low back and the most elegant cut. I wore it around the house this weekend, just to get a chance to live in its beauty for a while, because occasions very seldom come round for her to be worn.


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