Be my, be my baby.

My mom and I spent yesterday morning in the little hamlet of Sedgefield, raiding the small (but potent) clutch of vintage and collectibles establishments there. Sedgefield, if you’ve never had the privilege of passing through, is certainly nothing to write home about on the style front. Its inhabitants are most likely to be seen strolling or pedaling the high street in Crocs or some other form of painfully functional footwear, sometimes accompanied by a mullet, and other times, tie dye.

But Sedge, as we affectionately like to refer to it, does possess a kind of sleepy, farmer’s market charm. And it is because of this unseemly sleepiness that the vintage gems lie in wait, glistening quietly until days like yesterday, when I pluck them from obscurity, hold them up to the light, and get a little high.

Among other finds that I’m still too covetous to unveil, this gleaming little 1920’s handbag stole the show. It is sealed with a metal contraption that expands and contracts, allowing you to stash your essentials within its dainty belly. I’ve never seen an evening bag this shape and my mom and I both fell in love with it, so we plan to share it. This may be problematic, with me returning to Cape Town this weekend, but hopefully we can be mature about it (and when I say ‘we’, I mean me).

My other once-in-a-lifetime find for the day was a floor length 60’s evening gown with a paisley brocade skirt and a black chiffon bodice. The collar and cuffs are also fashioned from the brocade, and are embellished with black crystals that dangle and gleam. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes, and I’m still too overwhelmed to share anything more than this little peek. It’s part Jane Birkin, part Twiggy, part Foxy Cleopatra, and it was R30. No, really. Someone, invite me to a retro ball, now. I will wear a beehive and Edie Sedgwick eyes and I’ll do all the old dance moves.

Two other classics that have been resurrected are a pair of perfect brown peep toe heels of my mom’s, another Knysna vintage find, and these 60’s style sunglasses. Rediscovering vintage pieces that you haven’t worn in a while is almost as good as finding them for the first time. The joy and luck you feel is profound, and usually results in a glowing sense of self-congratulation. Weird, but true. I really do believe it’s fate.

That’s exactly what happened with these sunglasses. I found the groovy patterned frames in a box of abandoned old glasses at my optometrist’s office a few years ago. Between Buddy Holly classics and decaying cat’s eyes they lay, waiting to be restored to their former glory. I had them fitted with dark brown lenses and have only recently started wearing them again.

They make me feel like a shoo-wop girl.


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