I recently purchased a vintage, 1950’s era, black patent handbag. It is in perfect condition which leads me to believe it was used only for ‘special’ occasions. Its size is just large enough to hold some loose change, a lipstick, pressed powder and some tissues; the few items a ‘lady’ of the ‘50’s needed to carry. Inside the handbag I found a ticket stub from an old Hamilton, Ontario ‘big band’ night club. I envision couples sipping on cocktails and dancing to the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I get many complements on this handbag and I believe this due in part to the sense of nostalgia one feels looking at this handbag. It is very reminiscent of days gone by when times were simpler. When women were ladies and men were gentlemen. When automobiles were large and solid with lots of shiny chrome. And furniture styles were simple, with clean lines and organic forms. Colour was embraced in everything from Naugahyde® vinyl upholstery to laminate. Designers like Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen led the way in the modernist style furniture that has become the design classics of the 20th century. I envision elliptical tables, molded plastic chairs, armless sofas, curved plywood/leather loungers, curvy sectionals, and tubular chrome furniture. If ever I had the chance to travel back in time it would most definitely be to the 1950’s. And all this while looking at a handbag.
The 50’s were simple fun but classy times. An evening get together consisted of chips and a coke with lots of laughter. Dancing was everywhere with your favorite cocktail.