Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vintage Faux-pas?

 I have come across many people who are firm believers in doing what you want with your vintage. Get it altered to fit you, add a new trim, paint it, decoupage it, turn it into something new/ give it new life, and whatever else you can think of. The point being, with clothing anyway, that if it doesn't fit you properly, or at least the way you want it to fit, you probably aren't going to get the use out of it that you should be getting. Even if you absolutely love the color/style/print/texture/what have you. Makes sense right? After all, it's your score, your awesome deal, or extravagant treat to yourself!...ultimately something you saw and fell in love with, and knew you just had to have. Maybe you even had the idea of altering it right from the start. However it happens, altering the item from the state you received it in is part up-cycling, part personalizing, part letting out your inner creative, and wholly a step towards the sentence, "oh my gosh, this is my favourite thing ever!"

...Or else it's a Cardinal Sin of the how dare you ruin a piece of history variety. While I have met many people who are enthusiastic about making that vintage find "yours" in every way, I have met many, many, more who would sooner roast you over an open flame than congratulate you on the time, love, [blood, sweat, tears, erm...] and effort put into your creation. And I can't blame them. When you think about it, you are "destroying" a piece of history.

For the record, I'm in the first group, and prefer to think of it as remaking a piece of history. Maybe it's my need to personalize everything I call my own. Or perhaps it's because I'm still standing on the shores of the oceans upon oceans of vintage out there. Either way, I plan on hanging on to these items for a long, long while. Feel free to read read that last bit as: "Until potential future offspring (that I may not even have) decide they want it. Or someone else's future offspring... or offspring's offspring. Okay, okay, you'll have to pry my stuff from my cold, dead hands." I like finding items I think will have a long shelf life, and having them work in multiple outfits. Or altering them to make them work. And while I understand most of the reasons someone would disagree, I see no problem in doing so.

Which brings me to the point of this post, in my usual roundabout way. If you've read this far, I'd really love to give you a batch of cookies, haha. I came across this lovely vintage bag on Modcloth a couple days ago. This bag is just my cup of tea. It has fun and quirky shape (compared to what I'd find in current shopping outlets of course). It's too cute. The color is there without being in your face. It looks like it has it's own face.
Vintage "My Thoroughfare Lady Bag" Circa 1960s on Modcloth
It's also thisclose to being a dead ringer for a bag I bought awhile back at Value Village for $2.99, and the above reasons are probably why it's hanging in my room right this very second. There are some minor differences like the way the handle attaches to the bag, but you have to admit it's pretty close. Mine also had feet,  but one was cracked so I've taken them off until I can find a replacement. Other than that there were no visible marks or scuffs or any signs of wear really. Side note: I'm actually really lucky this was a VV Boutique find (not literally. That's just what my family has started calling Value Village since their prices took a major hike). If this baby had come from Goodwill it would have had the price written on the bag itself in red, white, or yellow, and whatever they use is near impossible to get off. It irritates me to no end, but more on that another day. I never even thought of trying to date the bag because my thirst for vintage hadn't exceeded my drooling over overpriced vintage boutique merchandise, both on and offline, at the time of purchase. I just thought it was a really neat bag. As did my supervisor when I waltzed into work the next day with it slung over one arm, variety store coffee pressed firmly to my mouth so as not to lose suction (which, of course, would effectively break the caffeine stream into my nightowl-who-needs-her-morning-coffee-more-than-air body) whilst climbing the flight of stairs up to the office.

The bag was great just as it was. But I didn't have anything in my wardrobe that really went along the way I like. And I am usually not a fan of plain anything.  I was not about to let my new love disrupt my personal style when I was... well, so in love with it. So I agonized over the design I would be placing on it, feeling the need to make it work for me. I wanted a statement piece. I wanted a work of art. Literally. That lovely blank rectangle under the zipper was a canvas begging to be painted, and paint it I did. Or set out to do. Over the course of two moves and keeping up with life I let my labour of love get pushed to the back burner, and left myself with a giant white rectangle on what I now know to be a vintage bag. Too late to turn back now. I've been drawing in inspiration from a number of places and hope to finish this in the near future. Hopefully it'll look as awesome in reality as it does in my head. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Stay Scary,

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