Vintage Binge

This weekend coincided with payday and a visit from my parents, which meant lots of food (homefangled ginger cookies, champagne and camembert, in no particular order), lots of laughs and of course, a little shopping. My mom was already mooning over a pair of 50s-esque vintage Prada heels she had spied at Stock Exchange, so I allowed myself the indulgence and had a browse.

I walked out with a really soft navy silk blouse splashed with bright blurs of blossom. It has fetchingly drapey sleeves and I see it was a) denim short shorts and ankle boots a la Alexa or b) skinnies to work. The sunshine-yellow beaded necklace is the result of a project that employs struggling women in Knysna to create jewellery and it was a gift from my maman.

My mom walked out with the chunky little Pradas, which, we told my toe-tapping father, are an investment piece (obviously). They have a Marilyn edge to them and are truly sassy, in the good, old-fashioned sense.

Breakfast at Superette compelled us to pop in at The Cat’s Meow in Woodstock – as one does – and I found my mini bag soulmate, hip yet regal, waiting for me on a shelf amidst attention-seeking lurex and puffed sleeves. I smoothed my hands down its little leather body, caressed the tortoiseshell handle and rivet detailing, and instantly started plotting an outfit around its sleek shape for dinner later that evening. At R170.00, it simply reaffirmed my belief that The Cat’s Meow is well-priced, and that Barbara and Laura’s taste and passion for vintage sets their little shopette apart.

My mom had been telling me about a secret vintage haul she had made in Knysna last week, and when she unveiled this super retro one piece in vibrant paisley and with those truly old-fashioned breast cups, I was smitten. We marvelled that girls in the 60s and 70s surely had completely different shapes to our own, with fuller hips, daintier waists and breasts like rockets. Seriously!Needless to say I tried it on and it looked and felt great – like I should’ve been poolside in the old How to Make an American Quilt movie scenes, but it is returning to Knysna in no uncertain terms.

The final item – and a truly novel one at that – was a black-as-night kimonowith a hand-painted silk lining. From the outside it looks simple and precisely cut, but the lining is a story unto itself. A hand-painted tiger and dragon, one resting on the shoulder, the other, the shoulder blade, guard some kind of totem and a serious of foreign characters. I love the idea that the entire garment hides a secret.

A most satisfactory vintage binge.

If you’re a vintage fiend or you’re looking for something special, do yourself a favour and check out:

Stock Exchange for hand-picked designer vintage one offs – find them at the top of Kloof Street opposite Manna Epicure and Caffe Milano. Go armed with either a post-payday purse or some serious willpower.

The Cat’s Meow for a broad selection of vintage accessories, clothing and a boudoir-esque space at 210 Victoria Road, Woodstock – right next to Ye Olde Biscuit Mill.


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