Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Vintage Goodies - A few of my Favourite Things

A couple of months ago, when I was first setting up this new venture, I got into a discussion on facebook about whether or not  'Vintage' had had it's day. Someone had been unkind about how everyone had bought into it and how foolish they would feel once it was out of fashion.

I took a fairly pragmatic view and replied that surely what was important was the concept behind Vintage that, during socially challenging times, we naturally feel the need to escape and take a somewhat romantic and nostalgic return to the past by focusing on what made that era special.  During hardship, isn't it natural to want to concentrate on beauty, fashion and ephemera and if it happens to be old, does it matter?

What I do love about the vintage ethos is the aspect of recycling, reusing and cutting down waste and how a new found community spirit has led to the exchanging and sharing of experiences and knowledge. There is nothing I like the 'homemade' aspect of writing a tutorial.

Having said all of this, I am not, and never shall be prescriptive.  I don't think Vintage is the only option. I feel very strongly that Brides should feel free to choose what they want and not be swayed by whats currently 'on trend'. If Gerbera make you happy, then have them. Flowers are beautiful, Vintage is beautful, but I don't think that's all there is.

Don't get me wrong - I have always been a terrible fashion victim, but I have been around long enough to recognise that trends are cyclical.  I have in my time 'distressed' almost anything that didn't move, only to store it all away once minimal became 'de rigeur'!

My own home is now a rather comfortable, if, ever so slightly tatty, (two kids and far too many parties later) eclectic combination of pieces from literally all periods of history ranging from Georgian through to current Ikea & Next! Is that Vintage? Well, yes and no! What's more important, is, its personal.

Anyway, so here's the point of all this ranting! I thought I'd start a new regular feature on the blog entitled 'My Favourite Things' which shows vintage items that I, and guest bloggers, have around in our possession - and the story behind them.

So, here's mine ...

I have a set of tiny cups and saucers which my Mother gave me a few years ago, which I absolutely adore.  There are six cups (two which are really badly cracked) and only four saucers and close up they have seriously seen better days and so really wouldn't warrant queueing up at The Antiques Roadshow! But I love them. Possibly  because of their condition, and possibly more so because of the story my Mum told me. 

During the 50's she worked in Oxford Street and had in a flat in Shepherds Bush.  Upstairs lived an elderly Jewish couple who had fled and survived the Holocaust.  My Mum used to do them small favours like get shopping, fetch things and generally help in a neighbourly way.  In return the lady taught my Mum to make the best Matzo balls and gave her these cups and saucers.  I have no idea of  the couples name, where they came from originally, or what they went through - but the tea set came with them.  And that somehow seems magical.

To be honest, I don't use the set as its now so fragile and its so tiny, I'm not even sure that it was meant to be used. It might just be ornamental - or a dolls tea set for a really wealthy family! I think, apart from its obvious intrinsic beauty, its the mystery that I love above this set.

So, what about you?  Thats my story, whats yours? I'd love it if you could tell me about your favourite vintage pieces, how you came by them and what they mean to you.

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