Friday, February 22, 2008

The huntress

I've always loved hunting for vintage treasures. There is nothing like wading through a thrift store or pages of ebay offers for just that one perfect thing. Even the negative sides of thrift stores, like that "smell" (what IS it exactly? Decaying fabric I suppose because it always the same....), the occasional crazies or how jammed packed they are with mostly trash is somehow (almost) endearing. Perhaps I merely like the bragging that goes something like "Wow, I love your knee-high vintage boots/folkloric skirt/gold lame Dries van Noten dress." "Thanks! I got it at Goodwill for 5.99!" Because you have to work for it, it also seems like you've earned it. You can't just waltz into The Salvation Army and find the most amazing handbag of your life, you have to stay a while, browse through the rack, let it sink in. I impressed my husband two years ago in Santa Barbara. We went to the Goodwill there that I already knew about but he was instantly overwhelmed. He wandered, a little lost, for a half an hour, sure he didn't want anything whereas in that time I not only found a few great things for myself, but also two shirts and a sweater for him plus a pair of shoes which are now one of his most favorite. Still, I am nothing compared to my sister. If you told my sister I need a black dress to wear to a party with a v-neck and a hem line of 18 inches by a well known designer or brand she will be able to find it for you in under ten minutes. I swear! A natural talent, she has also had plenty of oppurtunity to hone her skills. A few years ago she did an advertising job for the San Francisco Examiner in a pretty ghetto part of the city. Since it was ghetto, there was no where to really spend her lunch hour and like hell was she spending it in the office. She soon discovered that there was a Goodwill in the shopping center next door, started going there to pass the time, and soon a love was born. No one ever asked her why she often came back from her lunch break with a big plastic bag full of clothes, but then her co-workers sounded pretty strange themselves. Later, after she had quit the job and started studying psychology, she discovered Goodwill's flagship San Francisco store, on Mission and Van Ness (or maybe South Van Ness.) San Francisco is famous for a lot of things, but not everyone knows that it is really full of a lot of rich people. Rich, spendaholic women who cast away great clothes and shoes they only wore once if not at all. My sister loves to pick up their leavings, as do I. About 75% of my wardrobe is from trips to that Goodwill I make when I visit my family in California. I've been having a lot of fun doing it here in Berlin. I'm starting to offer vintage items in my shop (actually, I'm even thinking of opening a new shop specialized in vintage)and find that Berlin also has so many treasures. People here are also traditionally more into crafts (for example, it is not at all uncommon to meet someone relatively young who cans preserves)so a lot of the pieces are hand sewn which is really cool. Then they are truly one of a kind. Anyway, here is a slide show of some of the pieces I have now. I will be adding a lot more in the weeks to come. As I stated in an earlier post, I also plan to start altering vintage. (The dress I added the buttons to turned out cool, but I ended up giving it to a friend!)

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