Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good Energy

I heard once about a woman whose aunt warned her not to wear vintage clothing. She said that they carry "bad energy". If that's true, what kind of energy do you get when you wear department store clothing--"exploited Malaysian seamstress" energy? I'm not buying it.

To me, the energy that comes with vintage clothes comes with the stories that that attach to them. For instance, a few weeks ago Liz bought over a hundred pieces of clothing from the estate of two sisters who lived together in Sellwood and died in their 90s.

The sisters liked to shop, and they bought the good stuff: black silk dresses from I Magnin, rayon 1940s dresses in gorgeous prints, coats in Balenciaga-esque designs, and beautifully finished suits from the old Nicholas Ungar and Charles Best department stores downtown. Most of the clothes are in immaculate condition and show a life full of lunches with the ladies, high-end office work, and swanky parties. Liz even found a bottle of Tigress perfume in the estate.

From looking at the clothing, one sister must have been smaller, from size 2 to 6, and the other was bigger, from size 8 to 12, depending on their ages. I think the smaller sister was a redhead since so many of her clothes were gold, green, or brown. But then again, she wore a lot of blue, too, and she loved polka dots. The larger sister liked blue, pink, and flowing dresses and had more conservative taste. Both sisters had a keen eye for pattern and quality. I wish I knew them.

So many of the clothes at Xtabay have stories like this. The clothes have lived through love affairs, break ups, new babies, family dinners, and road trips before the interstates were built. Just think of all the cocktail parties alone the dresses here have been to! If this is "bad energy", I say, bring it on.

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