Sunday, September 15, 2013

Walk in the Past

Yesterday afternoon, our family spent the day rummaging cleaning out our great-aunt and -uncle's house, as my grandpa, who used to live there, is moving back to San Francisco full time. This allowed the older kids present (my cousin Meghan and I) to explore the previously unvisited, mysterious Upstairs. 
And boy, it did not disappoint.

Rooms with vintage floral wallpaper and walk-in closets and steamer trunks and vintage newsboy caps. Old luggage and wool and fur coats and a perfect matching set of twin beds and a vanity. Retro heels, some still new in box and nestled in tissue paper, unworn, and the loveliest vintage purses and dresses you ever did see. 
It was a vintage lover's dream.
Unfortunately I don't have photos of it all--I didn't come prepared, as my mom, aunt, and cousins swept me up from my dorm room and whisked me off to lunch as soon as I awoke (to be fair, I had been up until 5 the previous night, and woke up at 12, but that's a story for another time). Over the course of the day, we snacked constantly, explored extensively, divvied up clothing and purses, and even managed to put on a lengthy fashion show, in which my Auntie Lea suggested dresses; I modeled my great-aunt's aforementioned dresses; my grandpa told me I looked smart and to take them all; and Meghan begrudgingly snapped a few pics.

My Great-Grandfather Henry's newsboy cap | His luggage | My Great-Aunt Katherine's dress, purse, and heels | My Great-Uncle Bill's belt

I ended up taking home the above muted chartreuse dress; the purse; the belt; a slightly oversized gray and magenta houndstooth wool shift (it actually looks pretty modern couture); a super mod hot pink statement sleeveless shift with big pink buttons all down the left side of the back; and a black dropwaist pleated dress with a matching black, ecru, and celadon striped blazer. Each piece is so perfectly vintage and unique in its own way, yet I can definitely see designers today being inspired by the silhouettes of the past. I can't wait to wear them! 
I absolutely love exploring and trying on vintage clothing, especially when it once belonged to my relatives. Exploring the old house made me feel as if I were walking straight into bygone days, walking back into decades past where the times were simpler and fashions more modest. Wearing my relatives' old things makes me feel as if I have some sort of connection with them, and makes me wonder at the stories stashed in their--and their clothing's--pasts.

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