Talking About Loving Vintage in Australia

candice devilles living room Talking About Loving Vintage in Australia

My Vintage Living Room

Last week I was honoured to join the renowned fashion writer Maggie Alderson and my local vintage clothing guru Nicole Jenkins, in a panel discussion on Paul Barclay’s show Australia Talks on ABC Radio National. While for many of you, like me, we are so immersed in vintage culture that we often forget that for the mainstream consumer, this influence is only a recent development.

Having been a treasure hunter and collector for the most part of my life, I’m one of the fortunate few who have amassed a collection of vintage paraphernalia before this recent trend took hold, pushing many pieces out of our reach financially.  But before the advent of this wonderful thing we like to call the World Wide Web, finding others who shared the passion only really occurred when at swap meets, or when I got chatting to antique store owners and ladies at the CWA.  Now, we’ve become a world wide community of crazy people obsessed with beautiful old things. Their collection, display, restoration and all consuming pursuit. What a wonderful thing it is.

It is because of this amazing community that we have the chance to share our stories, to have someone who understands the rush of finding that missing coffee canister to your Nallyware set. (N.B: I’m still looking for one of those…) It is this community that opens up a whole new world of treasure hunting possibilities as we trade 1930′s girdles across the Pacific, and trade those heartbreaking stories of love and loss.

While there is indeed a strong commercial element to the new ‘Vintage’ craze, (the bastardisation of the term simply for profiteering boils my blood) there is a silver lining. You won’t find me in high end vintage furniture stores eyeing off labels and forking over a months salary for something that is, at present, the height of chic. But you will find me, tape measure in hand, rummaging through boxes at a car boot sale in the country. You’ll find me with a dust mask and bug spray at the clearing of an old warehouse. And you’ll most certainly find me always up for a cup of tea and a chat to discuss the merits of a little old hand knit.

And that is why, oceans apart, Maggie, Nicole and myself all knew a kindred spirit when we heard one. Just as I recall dressing in my grandmothers knee high, hook and eye red suede boots as a 12 year old girl; I could imagine Maggie doing just the same and knew at that moment, exactly the measure of her passion.

It is these moments when you talk with someone, or when you leave me comments to tell me the stories of your finds and treasures, that bring to light that special warmth that is to be found in marvellous vintage. A pleasure shared in a pleasured double, and even though we now compete with many more for our special finds, I like to look at it as if our neighbourhood is growing. Fancy popping over for that cup of tea now?

candicebannerfinalswirl 300x68 Talking About Loving Vintage in Australia

To listen to Candice DeVille, Maggie Alderson and Nicole Jenkins on ABC Radio National talking vintage, just follow the link to the official podcast. Or you can download the podcast to listen to later here.

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Candice DeVille

Specialty Vintage Stylist, Blogger, and Presenter; Candice DeVille has been writing Super Kawaii Mama since early 2008. Based in Melbourne, Australia, she's always in search of the next glamorous adventure. Bringing you vintage style, glamour and inspiration for the 21st Century.
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  1. I heard you ladies when this went to air and thought you all sounded great! And you have a lovely radio voice Miss Candice!!

    I must admit that the bastardisation of the word “rockabilly” (in actual fact a style of music – NOT a fashion genre) also gets me outraged!!!
    Sue recently posted..Hula Christmas

    • Super Kawaii Mama /

      Sue: Thank you! :) Oh the terms that are misappropriated in the name of sales…! My current hate is the way the term “50′s” is being bandied about and more often than not, to illustrate things that have no remote connect to 50′s style whatsoever. A dress that has a waistline? My god.. it must be 50′s! Someone bothered to brush their hair nicely? My god.. it’s 50′s again! I even saw a whole spread in a recent top name fashion mag that was all beehive hair and short skirts listed as 50′s Fever… Arghhh! ( Can you tell I am rather sick of this misuse?) :)
      P.S: Can’t wait to catch up with you properly next I’m in Sydney. Xx

  2. Your lounge suite is just gorgeous! It must be lovely to be able to enjoy a taste of the past while you’re relaxing in your lounge.

    I think country op-shops are the best things around. There are so many treasures to be found there plus they give you a great excuse for a daytrip!
    Katie recently posted..To Uphold the Absurd

  3. Amanda Bond /

    Hi Candice,

    I believe that the current trend defining popularisation of vintage has both positive and negative aspects.
    I consider myself new to vintage appreciation. BUT I have always held precious my Great Gran, Gran and old aunties aprons and doilies. I have been fascinated that these were given as handmade Christmas gifts, yet only a couple of generations later are so easily chucked out! I am now interested in collecting more of these items and learning more of our cultural history in the process.
    As a regular hairdresser client I was intrigued to read in a publication (possibly Vogue) that the “Wash and Wear” hairstyle has lasted for the past couple of generations and fashion now determines that the “up do” and set hair is now overdue a revival…yay!! I love that my son now appreciates the music of the forties, fifties and sixties, thanks to Mad Men and will just as happily listen to Eastern FM as Nova. So far all positive.
    The negatives we can discuss another time as this post has become so long, sorry. Now for that cup of tea…from a tea pot thanks, white and one!!

    Kind regards,

  4. margarita /


    You have a great vintage living room.
    Vintage is a old thing that is manufactured between 1980′s. But now a days vintage is now one of the best things that you can turn into a very fashionable ways.

    Many other who are also a fan of vintage things as what I am.

  5. One the one hand, I like that the popularity of ‘vintage’ has brought lots of interesting people and products and events to the fore; on the other hand, I can’t wait for the craze to pass so I can buy little vintage things for prices that aren’t outrageous!

    I also detest that anything dating from 1940-1980 is labelled “Eames” on eBay if it looks vaguely mid-century modernist.
    Vivat recently posted..Some bathings suits get really wet- Esther Williams and Sally

  6. Mrs Aunty Leroy /

    Dear mrs Super Kawaii Mama,

    Once again I commend you on a wonderful website. I find your posts illustrate your piercing intellect and a real instinct for style. Your appreciation and value for fine this of today and eras past is demonstrable of a very sensitive nature. A nature not bent on ridicule and derision. Your generosity of spirit in sharing your op shop bounties is a source of much joy here in Aunty Leroy Land (Cane Toad County) SE Qld, May I take this opportunity to to impart my gratitute to you for your contribution to the relief appeal. Leroy household was on stand by to evacuate but we dodge the bullet it would of been a struggle with the Weewoys and Mr Aunty Leroy in the US. Thank you for being you and if I may be so bold as to ask once more for a tip on how to resurrect a lipstick that has been trashed by my 2yo miss weewoy – oh woe is me when I have to dig out treasure vintage pink with a bobby pin and laborious apply it with a brush, Have your Super Kawaii – lings ever ransacked your expensive make up and is there some sort of 12 step process to get over it.

    Don’t stop being you,

    Fondest regards your Mrs Aunty Leroy

  7. I have been fascinated that these were given as handmade Christmas gifts, yet only a couple of generations later are so easily chucked out! I am now interested in collecting more of these items and learning more of our cultural history in the process.

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