My Vintage Living Room
Last week I was honoured to join the renowned fashion writer Maggie Alderson and my local vintage clothing guru Nicole Jenkins, in a panel discussion on Paul Barclay’s show Australia Talks on ABC Radio National. While for many of you, like me, we are so immersed in vintage culture that we often forget that for the mainstream consumer, this influence is only a recent development.
Having been a treasure hunter and collector for the most part of my life, I’m one of the fortunate few who have amassed a collection of vintage paraphernalia before this recent trend took hold, pushing many pieces out of our reach financially. But before the advent of this wonderful thing we like to call the World Wide Web, finding others who shared the passion only really occurred when at swap meets, or when I got chatting to antique store owners and ladies at the CWA. Now, we’ve become a world wide community of crazy people obsessed with beautiful old things. Their collection, display, restoration and all consuming pursuit. What a wonderful thing it is.
It is because of this amazing community that we have the chance to share our stories, to have someone who understands the rush of finding that missing coffee canister to your Nallyware set. (N.B: I’m still looking for one of those…) It is this community that opens up a whole new world of treasure hunting possibilities as we trade 1930’s girdles across the Pacific, and trade those heartbreaking stories of love and loss.
While there is indeed a strong commercial element to the new ‘Vintage’ craze, (the bastardisation of the term simply for profiteering boils my blood) there is a silver lining. You won’t find me in high end vintage furniture stores eyeing off labels and forking over a months salary for something that is, at present, the height of chic. But you will find me, tape measure in hand, rummaging through boxes at a car boot sale in the country. You’ll find me with a dust mask and bug spray at the clearing of an old warehouse. And you’ll most certainly find me always up for a cup of tea and a chat to discuss the merits of a little old hand knit.
And that is why, oceans apart, Maggie, Nicole and myself all knew a kindred spirit when we heard one. Just as I recall dressing in my grandmothers knee high, hook and eye red suede boots as a 12 year old girl; I could imagine Maggie doing just the same and knew at that moment, exactly the measure of her passion.
It is these moments when you talk with someone, or when you leave me comments to tell me the stories of your finds and treasures, that bring to light that special warmth that is to be found in marvellous vintage. A pleasure shared in a pleasured double, and even though we now compete with many more for our special finds, I like to look at it as if our neighbourhood is growing. Fancy popping over for that cup of tea now?
To listen to Candice DeVille, Maggie Alderson and Nicole Jenkins on ABC Radio National talking vintage, just follow the link to the official podcast. Or you can download the podcast to listen to later here.