Tag Archives: shopping

an ardent admirer of antiques

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last few years, I have developed a passion for antique and vintage items, whether it be furniture, clothing or random knick knacks. I mentioned when I bought the vintage sailor dress that I love the idea of objects having a life before I encounter them, and while this is the main attraction I have to them, there is more to it. Things made in years gone just tingle my senses more. I find them to be infinitely more attractive when they’re from periods I admire. Of course, every era has its embarrassments – some of the brown and orange stripes of the 70s were pretty hideous, or the neon of the 80s. But it also had its definitive style statements – the beautiful art deco of the 1920s or the fabulous mod dresses of the 1960s. They’re so stunning that my eyes begin to water when I look at them.

Over the last year I became obsessed with a massive antique warehouse 15 minutes from my house, where I’ve forked over a good deal of money on beautiful furniture and homewares. The furniture needs a little restoration, but that’s why I’ve been getting such good deals on them. Including the couch pictured below, which needs quite a bit of restoration to the woodwork, springs and covering, but had such a lovely frame (and price) that I couldn’t resist.

Jacobean sofaJust think of what its life could have been, and now I’m bestowing the gift of regeneration on it.

Is it any wonder, after all this, that I’m thrilled to be going to a bar filled with antiques, candlelight and chaise lounges in the near future? I think not. To me, there really could not be a better bar.

 

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lusting after beautiful clothing over the internet

I used to have a problem with window shopping. I couldn’t walk past a shop without mentally spending more money than I have on beautiful clothes and underwear.

Now that I have a Paypal account and debit card, this problem has only grown through the medium of the internet. Etsy, eBay, random online boutiques…they’re all going to be the death of my bank balance.

I think perhaps the worst of all was my introduction to Fishpond – an Australian shopping website with far better prices than Amazon for books and music. Since my first purchase in late 2011, I have given hundreds of dollars (probably thousands really) to that website, and now have the giant safety hazard of books beside my bed. I buy almost all my books there now, even my textbooks.

And my wishlist contains some 60-70 books I still want to purchase. Just like my eBay watch list and my Etsy favourites. It’s terrible.

Right now I’m going crazy over gorgeous lingerie, pretty party dresses, abundant knitwear and photography guides. And I’m waiting on so many items – an 1980s film SLR, sunglasses, a costume for a booze cruise, clothing, books and cds.

A lot of it seems to be useless stuff that just clutters up my life needlessly, but I love buying it. And when I click the ‘commit to buy’ button, I truly believe I need it.

But I feel this is society today – gathering together all these things we don’t need, but convince ourselves we cannot go on without. We are perpetual consumers, never content with what we have. It’s a cycle that never ends.

And my bank balance is tired of it (even if I’m not).

A credit card, the biggest beneficiary of the ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hungry for a costume party

I’m not an extroverted person. But somehow, I still love dressing up. Maybe it’s my inner child, or maybe it’s the fact that when you dress up, you get to leave your own personality behind. So when people see you, they’re just checking out your costume. And getting their appraisal is easy, since all you have to do to ace a costume party is go as something totally original, deck yourself out completely as your character or just a combination of both.

And these means easier conversations for my introverted self –  a simple starting point becomes discussing the costume, how someone arrived at it and maybe getting them to explain references. You can easily bond over shared interests, such as if by some amazing chance you end up going as Princess Leia and there happens to be a Han Solo there.

I actually do have a costume party coming up (mathletes vs athletes), but unfortunately the people invited tend to prefer to be ‘pretty’ versions of the costumes. You know, put on a normal outfit and some glasses and that’s it. They still look relatively normal.

And it’s a narrow theme, which doesn’t require a lot of creativity. Athlete is easy to dress up as, you just need sportswear or workout gear of some sort. And the geek/nerd theme is so common these days that everyone has some version of it that they’ve worn somewhere.

Not that this is a bad thing, it makes preparation easier and extremely cheap.

It’s just that it doesn’t satisfy my hunger for a real costume. I want to create something, spend ages google searching ideas for how I’d be a Harajuku girl (almost dressed up as one once, but I changed my mind last minute), or how to perfect my smurf makeup.

But it seems despite many of my friends turning 21, parties are lacking, and costume parties are even more endangered.

The owner of a vintage sailor dress.

Image

I bought this dress off Etsy, on one of my many online shopping sprees. There’s something about vintage clothing that seduces me, and who can resist a classic nautical design.

I’m fascinated by how previously owned items have an enduring life. They have a story of their own, and, oh, the tales they could tell. I just love to think of the things they have borne witness to – this dress could have been the star in a summer romance, attracting the eye of some man as the owner danced about all night, her eyes glittering with good humour. Or perhaps earlier in its life it was worn by an aspiring singer, who wore it to audition for the role in a musical (maybe Pirates of Penzance or Guys and Dolls). 

Or maybe someone only wore it one special occasion, and from then on only took it out of the closet to study it and relive the bittersweet memories of that golden occasion (memories are always bittersweet to me – the bad are inherently bitter but sweet when they’re gone, the good are sweet but you become bitter because it’s over and the memory is all you have left).

The point is, the dress is not a part of my life. I am a part of its experiences. And I won’t be the last person either – this dress has a future ahead of it.

So, today, I am privileged to have the possession of a beautiful dress to make memories of my own in.