Saturday was the first rain free day in Johannesburg all week. I thought I’d take advantage of the sunshine and make my way to Second Opinion Vintage Wear’s much anticipated end of year sale. I’d gone there hoping to detox from a… let’s call it an “unfortunate” end for some poor bottle of gin the night before. Say “hello December!” On arrival it turned out I’d gone to just the right place. The SecondOp ladies had promised a day of good music, cup cakes, drinks and clothes and there was oodles of just that. The view of Joburg the enchanted forest was just what the body needed to ease its way back to life; or rather it would have been had the punch not had me on the backslider so early in the game- I lost and I blame it on the strawberries inside, they lured meh!
DJs Nok, Cap2 and Lami decked out summer funk beats… or as I prefer, music that makes the neighbours not want to call the police… and true to form many had their doors open and jamming along. It could have easily turned into a party, but there was a beautiful fluidity and chill to the situation, there were never too many people there at any one time. There was just as much attention to the clothes as there was on the social aspect of things.
The line was impressive, with items for all seasons from stock accumulated throughout the year. There were beautiful, versatile dresses perfect for day to evening switch-em-ups, raw silk shirts with bold prints, rompers and onesies and did I mention dresses? If you love a good, timeless dress for all occasions, you missed out on a leopard print chiffon dress I swear would look amazing on just about anyone.
I clean missed it and I still ache inside but thankfully, SecondOp is not short on versatility, which is refreshing in a sea of retail scene clothes made for a generic body type and at throw-away quality. There was definitely something for everyone, which can only be credited to skill and a good eye in a vintage clothing seller, as the clothes tend to taper, be highly shaped or really narrow at the waist, true especially of skirts. Speaking of skirts, there were a few really good pencils on sale, a staple for any wardrobe.
At the height of summer, you’d be crazy to be investing in a winter wardrobe but then again the beauty of vintage clothing is its timelessness. The issue of stuff being dated by the time the appropriate season rolls around is greatly reduced, so it’s not so crazy to snap up some amazing tweeds and wools if the opportunity arises, even if its hotter than the hinges of hell outside. But if you still can’t get with that, you would have loved the fresh beadwork by Frida, in unique lumo yellows and pinks and every possible colour the beader at the market doesn’t have. If you love accessories, be sure to get you a set. The pieces actually make amazing yet economical Christmas presents, I picked up a few and there are still a few days for you to organize some. A lot of the pieces are easy to rework and can even be worn by people who aren’t into accessories or prefer to keep a clean, neutral look.
A fresh touch to a mixer for good oldies, was live T-shirt printing courtesy of 25Hours. Having tees made on the spot to one’s specifications is fresh-out-the-oven hot.
It definitely added an interactive and creative element to the event. Revolutionary in all aspects no doubt, look out for more guerilla t-shirting from 25Hrs in the future and get in touch with them at www.trueglue.co.za . And good call on SecondOp for bringing them through, way to bring old and new together. The only drawback is that there was not much available for guys, which is usually the case in Joburg’s vintage wear scene. But on the bright side, vintage is an adventure, you never know what’s out there looking for you, for clothes are romance, they should feel like they’ve been searching the ends of the earth for you.
I most def found love at SecondOp. You should have been there and you know it. But all is not lost. SecondOp is back at it again in 2011 with promises of exciting new developments too, so keep your ear to the streets and your eye on the interwebs for updates. There’s also news of old stock that might be marked down in preparation for the new year. Get in touch with SecondOps’ front lady, Smangele at 0726636906 to find out more and do visit their facebook page for previews of the clothes.
Don’t forget to also visit my little lair of self lovery and fabulousness over at artofkawaii. If not, then see you right here on Jucy. But in the meantime and in between time, merry Christmas, party safely and a 2011 filled with all the things you wish for. Oodles of love and Jucy fros!
Melody Lisolam Ngobese is a writer, analyst and teacher who studied international relations and english literature at Wits University. Based in Johannesburg, she recently returned from Japan where she taught english and witnessed a tsunami. She runs an awesome street culture, fashion blog called artofkawaii. Follow her hilarious tweets here