Saturday, October 3, 2009

Linda Wink's Antiques to Retro

"Where's my pink hat?" Linda says, searching the store front.  Julia and Mare chimed in, "Oh! The one with the bird?".  "I love that one."  Julia models a 40's silk dress that is modest in style, sensual in cut and so distinctly feminine that one doesn't even notice that the tiny print of the fabric is one of foreign cultures waging a war on horse back with one another.  It is complete with spears and thick forests.  Mare wears an early 30's wedding dress that Linda has just procured.  Once a week the girls come in to try on these new purchases so Linda can size up what alterations need to be made.  The models make the clothes come to life.  What looks good on a hanger, looks amazing on these vivacious girls.  Wink emerges from her nook with a pink hat with veil in front and dove perched on top. 

Linda Wink is owner and curator (of sorts) for her store, Linda Wink's Antiques to Retro.  She is fun, vibrant and to walk through her door one will find this persona contagious.  Her store in Willow Grove is a step back in time and haven for every antiquer, rockabilly, fashionista, and yes, even historian.  Trying on any article of clothing one can not help but feel she or he is playing the part in some Marlon Brando, James Dean, Grace Kelly, or Ginger Rogers film.  
So it was on this day that I found myself in her store seriously debating about purchasing the candy striper uniform that was a mere $20.  I thought, "This dress would look great on me!  A white tank underneath and, oh, it has pockets too.".  Linda had to explain to me that this was uniform dawned by nurses aids in the 50's (the equivalent of a CNA now).  I held the dress up to myself and imagined a young girl in the fifties scurrying around a hospital filling water pitchers and bringing clean linens.  This dress had another life prior to myself and prior to this store and now it could have a completely different identity in my closet.  Linda proudly exclaimed, "I was a candy striper." I smiled.  There was that contagious enthusiasm again.  I imagined her scurrying around a hospital...
It's difficult not to get lost in this world of possibility and imagination.  To put on a hat, try on a pair of shoes, pin a broach, is to dress a part - almost costume one's self.  It is to preserve a little piece of history and display it - to be the wall on which a piece of art is hung.  
In this day and age of mass production of the exact same pieces of clothing, made by underpaid hands in foreign countries, it's nice to find something unique. You'll find just that at Linda Wink's.  
See the complete photo shoot at my flickr page:

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I didn't know I was that much fun! Thanks for all you kind words and GORGEOUS photos of my shop. Stop in anytime! I COULD TELL YOU STORIES!!!!! Thanks again. I do appreciate your interest in my shop.
    Linda Wink