Thursday, May 02, 2019

beauty and the beaded bag

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was close myself in small spaces--blanket forts, closet forts.  Probably up til junior high, I would clear the floor of my bedroom closet and set up residence in there until the clutter took over again or I got bored with it, whichever came first. I also liked to spend time in my mom's closet. amidst all her clothes, which I'd borrow shamelessly and occasionally on the sly.  I took a liking to wearing her oversized shirts, pure 80's style with leggings tied over a tank top at the waist.   One of my favorite discoveries in her closet was her wedding purse. By then, handling it had made it unravely and the beads were falling out.. The handle was busted already. I'm guessing it was considerably vintage even by the early seventies.  The inside was a stained satin lining that smelled like lipstick and perfume, as so many vintage bags do. I was obsessed with it, and she'd let me play with it in the house, but I wasn't allowed to take it out--it was too sentimental, too fragile. Too pristinely white.  I have no idea where it ended up eventually.  She might have given it to me, but by then it was unusable, falling apart. and she probably threw it out.

It's one of the vintage objects I later became enamored of, the finely beaded purses...mostly from the 50s & 60s  Not necessarily all white, but usually with colored embroidery. I love the heft of them, their little clasps. The cool satin lining inside.  Somehow, they feel extra luxe and  exquisite. Granted, while I have nearly 30 bags, I use them only on the rare occasions where I actually need a purse (mostly I carry a large leather tote or messenger bag to and fro from work/studio and home. )  I only bring out the purses for date nights or special outings---and get weirdly excited about taking the purses out on the town beforehand (a couple weeks ago this one got to go to dinner and a movie).    As such, the leather and embroidered bags get some use, but the pretty little beaded ones, not so much (these would require much fancier destinations I feel--weddings or swanky ballroom antics.  But I have a few--the one above which is sort of fragile itself, a similar one with green flowers that's new, and this lovely, which is super tiny and not useful for carrying much. (which I suppose works only in the fanciest vintage lady scenarios where you's only need like lipstick and your keys..and not a bunch of books and a ton of art supplies like I usually carry back and forth from home on the regular.)

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