So last week I made my first vintage purchase. Yes, first. But in my defense, there were no vintage stores where I grew up in Qatar, or at least while I was there there wasn’t.
On an afternoon stroll through Montrose with a couple of girl friends, we stopped by some cute little boutiques, including this vintage shop. Of course, I’ve been in vintage shops in London, but I will admit I never really *looked* looked around them. I would appreciate a few cool objects and wait for my friends to be done and head out.
This time, maybe it was the feeling of nostalgia, the smell of the store making me feel like I was back in London, making me want to stay in there and properly look around.
I found this adorable purse. When I saw it, I thought it had a Dolce & Gabbana feel to it with the rich colored flowers embroidered over the black canvas.
I love clutches and small purses. Especially unique ones. They’re the cherry on the icing to an evening look, whether you’re heading to a dinner, cocktails, a soiree.. And from a practical standpoint, they force me to carry less things. The bigger my purse, the more things I carry, you know, just in case someone needs a kitchen sink or something.
Anyway, back to this little beauty. Analyzing this purse with my girls, we thought it would look nice with a chain handle too. I asked the lady from the store about this purse, and mentioned about the handle, and she said, in an almost horror at the thought of it, not to change it. She told me about how this piece is from the 1950s and lucite at the time was a luxury. She was extremely sweet and attentive to answering our questions about certain products.
Knowing a little more about it I assured her I would not change a thing about the purse. And me being me wanting to know everything, I went home and immediately researched about lucite and the 50s era of purses.
Lucite is actually the brand name for the acrylic, developed in the 1930’s by DuPont, eventually leading to rival companies starting to produce the same, the main competitor being Rohm & Haas.
This material was used by the military at the time, and following WWII was when it was widely being used to make a variety of products such as jewelry, handbags and furniture.
Post-war, materials such as zippers, leather and metal frames were in short supply. So creating designs with plastic was the solution.
The appeal of lucite was that they could easily form it in to unusual and unique shapes, and it was easy to add embellishments to this material.
Handbags made completely from lucite were popular amongst films stars and people from higher societies, and would cost more due to their popularity. For more cost effective solutions, other materials were also used for handbags, with an added lucite handle to give it a more distinct look and feel, and still adhering to the popular lucite trend of the time. Like in today’s society, we see trends on the runways of fashion weeks, and high street stores will create more cost-effective designs for the wider masses.
There’s such a wealth of knowledge out there and too much to put in to one post, but I will certainly post more blogs on such topics, especially now that the vintage bug has bitten me!
What’s your most favourite vintage find?