DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

Is there anything better than a vintage garment that you feel was made for you?

You scan the rail and your eyes lock on it’s bright colour and pattern. It’s lust at first sight. You’ve been doing this long enough to know what you like and you can spot it within a 0.2 second scan. You skim your hand over and feel the quality and weight of the fabric. Not cheap, not polyester, not itchy or likely to make you sweat buckets. You pick it up and pull it out. No unexpected surprises in the form of ugly faux zippers, or cut outs. You eye it up and down, the width of the arms, the breadth of the shoulders, and you reckon, you just reckon it might fit. Maybe. Fingers crossed. So you take yourself away into the changing room. Slip off your current jacket. And slide your new crush off it’s hanger. You take a big breath and hope for the best. This is the moment of truth. Fingers, wrist, arm, elbow, all though the first sleeve. That’s a start. Keep sliding up past your fleshy upper arm, which so often is an issue on old garments – but before you even think about it too much, it’s up and on. Second sleeve. You panic as you feel a slight tightness and restriction across the shoulders. But you give the lapels a little outwards tug, releasing a wee bunch up and ta-dah. You’re sorted. It fits like a glove. Check your angles in the mirror. Do a little turn. As David says, Fashion, turn to the left! Fashion, turn to the right! As you do this you do a quick scan through the rest of your wardrobe – what will this go with, will it go with anything at all? Skirts and hats, necklaces and dresses flash before your eyes. You hit six matches and you stop. You’re safe. It’s a match. It’s better than that. It’s the vintage unicorn. Perfect in every way, to the point that you swear it was made for you in a past life and fate has now realigned the two of you. Swipe of a card. And now you are as one. Fashion soulmates.

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DAY 77: KEYS…

DAY 77: KEYS…

Around my neck I carry the keys to the world.

Antique keys that I seek out whenever I’m in another city that speaks to my soul. Old and rusty, strange and curious shapes, from eras and possibly buildings, belonging to people, that are long gone.

An intricate and ornate, swirling, gold plated key from the sprawling and labyrinth like Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen in Paris, fit for a mistress of Napoleon.

A slender and minimalist one with Bauhaus like, rectangular,  grid design from Berlin, from a surly stall holder, on the coldest and greyest of days.

A skeleton key for Brooklyn, bought on the banks of the East River, the Empire State building glittering across the water on a clear, bright, Autumnal Sunday.

A stout and rusty brass key from a glass cabinet, buried in the depths of New Orleans French Quarter.

And the smallest key of them all, rounded and gold, with Northeast engraved on it in cursive font, from a Christchurch building that did not see out the day on 22 February, a building that I will carry with me for my entire life. Now a part of our own history.

I like to imagine what kind of building each key opened. An apartment building, a bakery, a factory, a bank safe, a storage unit full of a thousand secrets.

I like to imagine who lived there, or occupied it. Who held that key? Where did it go with them? For How long? And how did it end? What life events and circumstances happened to make it end up on a table at a flea market, in my hands and around my neck, on the other side of the world.

And I wonder what will happen to these keys when I die. Will they end up in someone else hands? Will they look at them think they correlate to the buildings in my life story? Will they realise the journey and stories of hundreds of years, and hundreds of people before me, that I never met, that they represent? Or will they just go in the bin.

When I wear them, I jangle.
It’s a reminder of how big the world is.
How many came before me.
And how many more keys there are left to collect.

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