Wednesday, February 10, 2016

And I am keeping these vintage buckles why?

I am keeping these vintage buckles, even though I don't need them and may never think of a good opportunity to use them.

Mostly I'm just grateful that I found them in our recent major cleanup, because over the last few years I've gone looking for them - not to use them, just to admire them - and I had no clue where they'd gone.

When I first started designing hats, I did one with a buckle on it that was accepted by Interweave Knits, which was pretty much the most exciting moment of my creative life.  I've had short stories published too, but: Interweave Knits??? I'd been a fan of that magazine for pretty much ever.  Talk about getting a sense of validation.  The point of this anecdote is not existential value though.  It's that I didn't have a nice buckle of my own to use for the hat sample so I hunted on eBay for something suitable.  And once I started buying some, I couldn't stop.

Obviously.  Do you feel like this is a lot of buckles yet?

It's amazing to me how ornate some of these things are. And how tiny. I mean I think they were mostly used for belts, but any belt narrow enough to work with such a small buckle would hardly be worth the trouble of making it and/or putting it on - it must have been just such an expectation of a dress or pants to include a belt back when these were in use!  Now, you can do without a belt a lot of the time.  And in fact may prefer to.  I wonder if the ratio of belts in fashion is related to that of girdles...

Okay, so I think I have established my case for this being an awful lot of vintage buckles.  And every one of them (apart from the pink ones that are still on their card and were never used, apparently) represents a tiny fraction of the dresses and jackets that incorporated them.  Isn't it wild to think of how many clothes required fancy buckles in the past and now many don't, today?

Isn't it crazy to think that this is enough of an excuse to keep them even though I'm trying to get rid of everything I don't absolutely need?

I'll tell you what I think would be very pretty - a shadow box with a few rows of mother of pearl buckles lined up inside it, hung on the wall in a sunny spot so people can admire how beautiful they are.  Maybe I'll get around to doing one, and maybe not, but I am pretty sure it's a convincing enough reason not to have to question myself too closely.

Why would you keep these vintage buckles, if they were yours - or would you move them on, like I should?


Bonny said...

What a beautiful collection of buckles! Why not use some of them?

The biggest ones could be used to secure the ends of a shawl to keep the shawl from slipping off your shoulders. Same for a scarf, knit or silk or cotton fabric.

Use a long scarf and a unique buckle to make a quick belt by threading the ends of the scaft through the buckle then tighten as much or as littlt as you like.

Add a smaller buckle and ribbon or smaller neckscarf to make a hat band. Change colours to coordinate to your outfit. Same idea for a cardigan that has no buttons.

The ideas are almost infinite. You could add buckles to your knitted items, gloves, hats, belts, cardigans, socks - why not?!

Su said...

Too right I'd keep every one of those buckles if they were mine. William Morris said 'keep nothing that you know not to be useful or beautiful' these buckles are truly beautiful. Displaying, at least some of them, in a frame would be lovely and is something I intend doing with some of my odd, vintage buttons. Enjoy those buckles!

Mary Keenan said...

Oh man you guys, thanks for reassuring me I'm right to keep them ;^) Bonny, I love all these ideas! The mother of pearl ones wouldn't cope in the wash so I've been reluctant to sew them onto knits (too lazy to remove them for washing when the time comes) but you're right, I could totally do that with them and definitely with the plastic ones.

Sue, there is going to be a bare wall at the top of the stairs just before my office in the new house and I've been thinking all day about doing an art piece with a ribbon that threads them all into neat rows on a long board, like a vision test - largest to smallest!

Mary Keenan said...

Gah, of course I totally meant to type 'Su' - sorry about that!

Su said...

Oh, on velvet ribbon! That would be lovely.

Mary Keenan said...

Yeah, I'm thinking of a soft and buttery colour to set off the mother of pearl :^)