Thursday, 31 July 2014

The beginnings of my vintage life

When I was 14 I used to spend my Saturdays in Attica, a second-hand shop (this is pre-"vintage") in The Haymarket, Newcastle, lingering over the full-skirted 1950s dresses. The rails were bursting with them and they were £15 each. Why I never bought one, I cannot tell you. I spent so much of my time in there it's a wonder the owner never once said to me "Oi, you – buy something or get out!"

I remember a particular beauty with big orange roses all over it. Years and years later, I finally got a similar one, and I've just sold it on eBay. I never wear it, but it's such a difficult thing to finally let go of. Goodbye, lovely frock, I feel genuinely sad.

At the time I did buy: old leather hatboxes to use as bags, men's pyjama trousers which I wore as trousers with the flies sewn up and the hems rolled, men's pinstripe suit jackets with the back cinched in with a row of carefully-aligned kilt pins, defunct watches which I took apart and re-made as brooches (how very steampunk – I was ahead of my time!) and those kids' plimsoles (we always called them "sandshoes") with the elasticated inserts on the front.

Attica moved to the other end of the city and will be closing at the end of August.

Saturday, 26 July 2014