The Great Vintage Pillage!

This weekend I went on an official vintage pillage in my hometown, Knysna. Knysna’s vintage gems remain safely ensconced in relative obscurity, which means that they are still well priced (compared to the exorbitance that is Capetonian vintage) and that there really are still some jaw-dropping bargains to be found. This weekend was a case in point.

I had organised for my favourite of the local vintage grottos, the Animal Welfare charity shop, to extend their opening hours to 12:00pm, to that I could leave Cape Town at 5am and get there with time to browse. I overslept, a nod to tradition I suppose, and made it there at 11am on the dot, ready for a high-speed blitz campaign.

I spotted the first item due to be stockpiled through the window before I even entered the establishment. I started slinging polka dot bowties, silk scarves and high-waisted skirts over my left arm briskly. ‘Do you have a basket?’ I asked the elderly lady behind the counter, whilst rifling through printed blouses, nylon, silk, viscose, silk. ‘What for?’ she replied, confused. I slung the rapidly expanding pile onto the counter. ‘I’m going to be buying a lot,’ I said, eyebrows raised. And a lot I did buy, all in the name of Rah-Rah.

{Please excuse the quality of these photographs, my camera has officially gone AWOL – Blackberry efforts!}

Amid the piles of silk shirts, button-trimmed skirts, prints and pleats, I also found two absolute showstoppers: a buttercup yellow Max Mara skirt suit, and a pair of high-waisted corduroy Escada jodphurs. The suit features a high-waisted skirt that buttons to one side, and a beautifully cut jacket, something you’d expect to have seen on Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I had been placing the clothes into two piles – definite and maybes – and when I handed the suit over reverently, the cashier said ‘Are you not sure about , this one?’ I said ‘Oh no, no, that’s a definite,’ a little too quickly, panicked, and hoped that she didn’t suddenly realise the magnitude of the length of buttercup fabric she had clutched in her hands. ‘It’s a definite,’ I said, more calmly, and nodded firmly, my knuckles white.

The Escada trousers are so pristine, I’m sure they’ve never been worn before. The exact shade of ruby red that’s big for this season, they taper at the ankle and feature a racy gold side button and a gold zip at the front of each hip. Both are fortunately a tad too small for me, otherwise I would have been forced to add to the rapidly expanding pile that soon became marked ‘MINE’.

Finds that I couldn’t bear to part with include the world’s most perfect navy maxi skirt, buttoned to the hem and with a wide swathe of a tie belt. It goes perfectly with a silky vest-style top, navy, with big white polka dots and a striped neckline, that I also unearthed at Animal Welfare. I also kept a pair of navy velvet wide-leg trousers, reminiscent of those spotted on The Sartorialist of late, an ever-so-slightly printed cream silk skirt, and a siren red full-skirted frock.

The piece-de-resistance is the pair of fully suede high-waisted trousers that are now draped over the foot of my bed. They are slightly too snug on the waist, but I WILL make them work. You have to see them to believe them.

If you’re interested in perusing the gems that I secured this weekend (along with new beauties garnered from The Spice Studio), then come to my third Rah-Rah Room sale this weekend. On Friday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, pop by for a post-work browse, or join me at my humble abode on Saturday from 11:00 until 2:00pm. This sale promises to be positively blossoming with vintage beauties!

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