Sunday, February 3, 2008

So You Want to Be Jackie O.

I used to love vintage the way interior design buffs love antiques till my mother asked me (pointedly) if it ever creeped me out that some old lady might have died in my new jacket or cashmere sweater, for example. That must have happened 15 years ago and, until I got a grip on my anxiety, it was new stuff all the way.

Then something happened. I found a fur pill box hat at a consignment shop, obviously half a century old and in perfect condition. And when I put it on, miraculously it fit my frankly tiny head, which nothing had theretofore fit snugly without many alterations. And then I haggled the price down - was I truly prepared to walk? - and next thing I knew I was the proud owner of a previously loved heirloom.

Still, I kept my vintage urges in check. It skeeved me out to wear some unknown woman's silk dress (like that's better than a hat?) or a sweater. But a bag? A bag I could do. A lady-like skin fronted (zebra patterned) brown and taupe satchel. We hope, despite its mid-century Italian provenance, that the zebra was dyed pony, but the pattern is eerily spot on. Not too big, not too small. In perfect condition. You can see where this is going.

There were other purchases in other places - Toronto having a number of vintage shops displaying well-maintained, "original" pieces - but I didn't truly re-embrace the reducer, reuser and recylcler in me until I came upon I Miss You on Ossington at Queen. I can see that a popular refrain on this blog is going to be "I could go on for hours about...", but truly this store is a find. Focusing on things from the 50s to the 80s (yes, that is vintage at this point), everything is in excellent shape and is beautifully displayed. Since I found this space, I have purchased coats and bags and jackets - and the list goes on. Which is to say nothing of the purchases of friends I've coerced to go with me...

Here's a cropped-sleeve, bell-shaped royal-meets-navy blue 1950s blazer I picked up for 50 bucks:

You really should see it front-on for the full effect, but I couldn't get a halfway decent shot and I do have my vanity to consider.

Jacket was made in Montreal and, great mystery of mysteries, the label is original (and obviously has the original yellowing and slightly fraying stitching) while the lining is in such perfect shape I cannot believe it's not new. Wonder how that happened...


  1. I love vintage stores and haven't been to one regularly since high school. ahh the smell of wet wool and cigarettes of the Kensington Market shops....can we make an outing of it one day?

  2. We have got to - next get together. If only you were available on a Saturday! It's Kensington Market for us, Marth.

    PS - Thank you so much for leaving comments. I love that!