I very recently made the difficult decision to leave a job and a workplace that I loved and this meant parting from some excellent work colleagues. Over the years working together you gather little treasures of information about each other. After all, these are people that you know intimately on a professional level, we may not necessarily know the many personal dimensions of our work friends. I think this creates an interesting relationship of respect, in that, you respect that the person has a completely separate home/personal identity that you do not know.
There are little things that my work mates know about me, like the fact that I am a cyclist and that I love fashion and writing letters (I would always have colourful hand addressed mail in the external mail). As a parting gift, one of my workmates wrote me a beautiful letter on stationery she had saved from a hotel on Broadway in New York.
In the letter she told me how when she was in her early twenties, her mother had made her a simple red dress. She loved the dress and wore a simple black brooch with it. At the time, she bought two black brooches, one was a parrot silhouette and the other was a bicycle. The bicycle, she bestowed on me as a parting gift.
As you can imagine, I was at once happy and sad. All that affection for these people I worked with and here was one reminding me why I had loved working there and why it was so hard to leave. I absolutely adored the brooch and have worn it regularly since. It brings my total of bicycle brooches to 4.
I was excited when Fleur de Guerre (of the Vintage Mafia) posted the above photo on her Facebook page not long after I received the gift. See the lady in the middle? She is wearing a bicycle brooch identical to mine, except for the colour.
The teams I had worked with also gave me some vouchers for Modcloth as a going away present, with which I purchased this skirt (which I love very much! Thanks ladies and gents!).
My grandmother passed away last year. She was a prominent figure of my childhood and a great confidante and friend throughout my teenage years. Many Saturday afternoons were spent rummaging through her clothes playing dress ups, dreaming of the day when I would fit into her clothes.
After she passed away the ladies of the family set to helping my grandfather organise her things by identifying what clothes could be donated, what could be stored and what we should keep. She had a lot of clothes. So many clothes they were practically holding up the walls of the house. There were plenty of clothes we didn't know she had but then among them we would find little gems which I would remember donning in my childhood during dress ups, or sitting next to her in church paying more attention to her brooch than to the church service.
The handling of her clothes gave us all the chance to share strong memories we had of her and to remember everything she was to us. This is one thing I really love about vintage clothes. This hat I inherited from my grandmother but it came with a story of travelling out from England with a black and caramel suit.
The hat is a part of my family history and these markers help me to remember who I am, and who the family are that we can now only cherish by memory. Vintage clothes are as much about timeless style as they are about timeless love.
Hat: Inherited from my Nan.
Top: C Wonder
Skirt: Breathtaking Tiger Lillies Skirt - Modcloth
Location: Hyde Park
Photographer: Stu Rapley
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