Shadows of iron gates
Cast on sidewalks of deep space
Burning like a black hole lace
As mica turns to milky ways
I don't remember a distinct point when I fell in love with vintage, but it must have begun with my mother who passed down many of her preowned pieces. My earliest memories were her brass earrings, makeup brushes and silk scarves. My mother, born and raised in Shanghai, is a stylish woman. Surprisingly, some of her best vintage pass-me-downs were gifts from my father during their courtship. I can only wish my father's fine taste would have continued on today. The world's shift to a more sustainable lifestyle is an unavoidable topic. Reclaiming clothing is truly an excellent way to not only reduce waste but also give your style a retro flair which is always popular on the runways anyway.
With so many vintage collectors all over the world, there must be good reasons why anyone would make a conscious choice to adopt and preserve something old and aged. With most vintage clothing accessories made from genuine leather and delicate fabric, preservation is even more challenging in humidity which speeds up material deterioration. But I believe the delight in collecting lies in weaving stories embedded in the object with your own.
The mini backpack I'm carrying, which belonged to my mother, has the most beautiful steel hardware that is impossible to find in today's mass manufactured market. Its smooth grain leather has faded over the past two decades to a deep brown. On the other hand, some vintage pieces come as they are with no background story, leaving a void for the owner to fill. I found this dusty pink dress in a thrift shop for a whopping S$6. Even though much of its thread was already falling apart when I discovered it, it was easily repaired. The silhouette, fabric and colour of this dress are so beautiful to me. I'm glad its owner had decided to give clothing a second chance.
Wearing a vintage dress, mom's vintage backpack, c/o O'ORO Accessories earrings, GH Bass oxfords, vintage Casio watch, Sephora lip rouge in Oh Oh. Photos by Mandy