I have recently been buying items from on-line consignment platforms. The fabulous Dior brown mules I am wearing in this photo are from one I tried for the first time. It is a great way to be sustainable and it also gives me a way to obtain pieces I admire when the original ticket price is somewhat beyond what I want to spend. This made me think about the possibility of starting an on-line consignment store for some of the clothes I no longer wear or are not the right fit. Among the many questions these musings implicated one was, “What would I hold on to and what might I let go?”
It got me thinking about how these kinds of decisions are made and then ironically in an interview yesterday someone asked my thoughts about why a person might decide to keep a piece in their closet for a lifetime. Of course there are those pieces you do because you collect and adore a particular designer (like Yohji or Rei) and you think of those pieces as part of a collection you have similar to art. Then for me there are those pieces to which memories are attached. Sometimes when I go into my closet I find a piece I haven’t worn for a number of years and as I bring the garment closer I can smell a faint scent of the perfume I wore at the time and a flood of memories of people, places and things takes me over.
The shirt I am wearing above was given to me by a very special woman I had the pleasure of meeting on a trip to Savannah. Wondering out of the tourist part of town, at the far end of a park where real life began, we came upon a cafe and went in. Seated at a table holding court was a tall, beautiful and statuesque woman putting me in mind of Pat Cleveland, albeit a few years older. As I walked by she engaged me by commenting on my outfit. Upon hearing we were visiting, she invited us to join her table of artists and other interesting folk from Savannah. She had been an illustrator for a greeting card company until she retired and now was spending her time making the most exquisite dolls. It was a wonderful afternoon and we abandoned all other plans for the day. We learned the city’s secrets and we felt as though we had been inducted into a Savannah secret society.
We saw her a few more times before leaving and on our last day she met us to say goodbye and presented me with the shirt I am wearing in this picture. It is spun of beautiful silk with the most exquisite open weave sleeves interspersed with knotted silken cords. She could not remember when and how she had obtained it, but it was from Japan and she clearly knew that it now had to belong to me. Though I do not wear it often, it is not a garment that will ever go into my possible future on-line consignment shop because of the memory it holds for me of this beautiful woman and the lovely experiences in secret places she treated us to that week.
What makes you “hold on” to your garments?