How can I begin to tell you how awesome this chick is???? Miss March is the ever captivating Becky Argent, and I am thinking I need to write up one of her sayings from this interview and pin it over my walk in wardrobe...."If I cant go vintage I go retro"......you're gonna love this gal !!!
What does 'vintage' mean to you?
Besides that I’ll probably love it….
Vintage means playing dress ups everyday!
I often wonder what the person that owned the particular item was like….was it a favourite dress that always made them feel happy when they wore it? Was it a gift from a charming gent? Was it a treasured item during the depression or war years? Occasionally I am very lucky to be given a special item that belonged to an aunt or grandmother of a friend – I guess folks like to think that someone appreciates it and it will have a great home. I’m starting to collect the stories that come along too…..like the 1940’s coffee cups stolen from and unnamed Grandmother’s place of work (circa 1946)or the mink coat that shall be forever known as “Aunty Sandra”. It would have been nice to meet the original Aunty Sandra. I feel like a have a responsibility to look after these gifts so that some will enjoy them when I’m no longer around
What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?
Probably my Grandmother Hettie. As a pre-schooler we spent many hours playing dress ups in her jewellery box.
My lovely Mummy Goldie held onto her favourite dresses from the 50’s & 60’s. As a kid I always looked forward to being “grown up” enough to wear (or perhaps “fill out”)those dresses….I think I was 11 the first time I got to wear her “first Big Girl dress”that she purchased on a family holiday (when she was 14).
What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways?
I’m not a purest- I wish I had that sort of dedication & time!…However, I do believe in re-using and recycling where-ever and when ever possible. I buy very few items brand spankin’ new….about the only things that haven’t been previously loved would be the majority my shoes (it’s so hard to find vintage shoes that fit), and my underpants! P.S.- thank goodness manufacturers have come to their senses and are producing big nanna pants again! There is something to be said for substantial coverage!
It’s not just about the clothes; cars, linen, knick-knacks, furniture…the works!
If I can’t go vintage I go retro.
Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever !
I have so many great items….it’s hard to pick just one…..so here are some of my favourites
A black lace boned strapless Catalina 1950’s bathing suit- just too fabulous to get wet!
A dress my Mum, made for her teenage self in the late 1950’s- it’s a white cotton strapless number, with a full skirt that has hand painted baskets of fruit around the heam- truly an original.
A 1930’s black watered taffeta gown with a plunging back and a train- it’s pure glamour
And last but not least a late 1920’s silk chiffon and diamante dress I discovered balled up in a corner of a second hand shop, which has been pain-stakingly returned to its former glory.
I also have an obsession with all things Lucite and Bakelite – particularly purses, jewellery and egg beaters
Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you?
Where do I start! Uniqueness, fit, design, quality, style, history, the fact that it’s still wearable or working.
I think the fact that until fairly recently in history people respected what they had, it wasn’t such a throw away society which lead to a certainly level of frugalness and creativity. Things were made to & treated to last. It’s something that I really respect- they way, particularly woman in the home, were so inventive (unfortunately mostly through necessity & circumstances beyond their control) in their attempts to be fashionable and feel good about themselves- I think you’d agree when you feel like you look good then you feel much happier on the inside – I mean can you imagine making your own mascara out of soot & Vaseline and curling your eyelashes with a tea spoon or making a “faux-straw” hat out of tightly rolled up newspapers?!
Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?
· Just have/wear/drive/appreciate what it is that YOU love, and love it for what it is….dent’s, scratches, moth holes, repairs ‘n all.
· However, just ‘cos something was produced in 1959 does not necessarily make it great- it’s ok to be a little picky….
· Don’t take it all too seriously (it’s not a competitive sport you know – it’s meant to be fun).
· Don’t be afraid to mix up your decades (but, obviously not in the same outfit!)
· Who says you can’t be all vintage all the time!
Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do.
Becky Argent- Research Scientist/Glamour Girl….not always in even proportions.
Finally, what or who inspires you and why?
Can you have too much inspiration! Inspiration is everywhere… It’s overwhelming at times…