Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Vintage Bag.

The Vintage Bag.
It occurred to me recently that I spend most of my money on vintage garments without looking at anything else. There is a whole other world besides the shoes, skirts, blouses and dresses that I covet, and it  was only when I was looking for a particular necklace for an outfit I wanted to wear to the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair that i realised I had never considered accessories to be important. Yet they are. The right bag can make a drab outfit suddenly look stunning.
I was fortunate enough to discover a vintage gem during my holiday to New York in 2012 in a very tacky secondhand shop called Beacon's Closet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Beacon's Closet chain are the equivalent of Beyond Retro in the UK. I had walked around the vast warehouse for almost three hours and was all but ready to give up when I spotted a bag hanging up on the wall. It was very striking but was stuck behind a monstrosity of an 80s creation in lurid green vinyl. I looked at the neighbouring bag which was similar and then realised that the catch to close the bag was broken.

Disheartened, I pulled bag the 80s bag and there it was. The beauty that changed my perspective of vintage. Hand embroidered with the most beautiful design of forest animals and a large flower, I fell in love with it instantly. I carefully examined it, finding the original purse and an unused mirror inside, and knew that I had to have it. I had visions of the price being very expensive so imagine my delight when I placed it on the counter and the assistant declared:
"29 dollars, please."

That was it. I was sold.

Since then, the bag has been with me on countless trips to vintage events all around the UK, and although it looks a little worse for wear for all its travelling, it has managed to withstand several spillages and collisions with ticket barriers. (Whoops!)
It also attracts a lot of attention from traders and vintage enthusiasts alike, and whilst this is good, it also means that I have to be very careful not to put it down anywhere as it might be sold off by mistake!
The bag was made by Eric Handbags of New York. Despite attempts to trace this brand I have yet to find any others. I  can only assume that the quality of the bag itself would merit an expensive price tag in the era. If anyone does know anything about it, please do contact me.

However, what I am really coveting, amongst other things are these beautiful 1950s baskets. I already have one, a Christmas gift bought for me from Mela Mela in Teddington.
This gorgeous basket is made by Midas of Miami. Very apt, I feel as the bag exudes sunshine and summer! It is lined in yellow silk and features the label as seen below.
The label is very collectable and these sell on etsy from between £50-£100.

The top of the basket, isn't it pretty?

A Midas label. Reads: "An Original by Midas of Miami, Handcrafts Inc. Miami, 47, Florida.

The full basket. 

These are just two of my favourites.
Holly x

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