I love macarons, lavender, the click of high heels on marble floors, red lipstick, clawfoot bathtubs, golden jewelry, suntans, books, white linen dresses swaying in the sea breeze, Slim Aarons photographs, gelato, a new notebook, perfume, cashmere jumpers, timepieces, champagne, monograms, fresh flowers wrapped in brown paper, afternoon tea, candles, blazers, pearls…
These are all moments of joy, captured and wrapped up in the material. They are by and large silly. And my adoration of these little trinkets, lovely, beautiful but entirely unnecessary things may make me materialistic. I crave the tangible. To experience with all of my senses. And yes, as my mother so fondly calls me, I am her Cadillac baby, I enjoy the finer things in life and am willing to spend part of my budget in their pursuit. Aesthetics, pretty, silly purchases tend to be considered feckless. At times we receive the message that the love for the material is an indication of a lack of intellect or morals, or responsibility. It is my experience that women in particular get chided for this, whether outright or through the stares, scoffs and various snorts directed at their handbag, their fashion magazine reading material, or their animated discussion on what dress they’re going to buy for the office Christmas party.
Let me just say that no one is going to combat consumerism’s effect on our society by shaming sixteen-year-olds on a shopping trip. Or any woman of any age. Silly purchases are nothing to be ashamed of, nor is a love for beautiful things vapid, so long as they do not inhibit our ability to make meaningful connections with other people. Sometimes a new lipstick is a lifeline in the midst of a struggling dating life. Sometimes a ridiculously expensive box of macarons is the comfort and luxury we need when stressed. Sometimes we’re too broke to buy new clothes and so we swap wardrobes with or borrow an outfit from our flatmates, to get that new-clothes-new-me feeling. We exist in the material world, and so our relationships with these beautiful things are valid in their own right.
Each object, each purchase, has its own story. It contains a memory, whether clear as crystal or hazy for all the time since passed. While you can get that spark of joy from anywhere, I love finding it from those who have an equal appreciation for the curated luxury, the thoughtful treasures. Audrey Leighton Vintage, the eponymous e-shop by photographer, artist and blogger Audrey Leighton Rogers is a trove. These earrings beloved by her, and now beloved by me carry a bit of her style across the hundreds of miles from her home in Barcelona to my home in Scotland. It is kinship, resonance where mutual love of an object and a philosophy about fashion meets. Arriving a few weeks ago, they were nestled in a golden taffeta bag, cradled by brown paper, with a beautiful note from Audrey herself, all wrapped in black silk ribbon. “Clothing is poetry in motion,” it read. I’m sure these vintage faux pearl beauties will add a bit of glitz to many of my future stories. Flitting along with my footprints, through a life well lived, beautiful silly things well loved, and clothing well worn.