Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I wear a lot of vintage clothing, and I'm always wondering about the people who owned the clothing before I did. Who were they? What were they doing and experiencing when they wore this sweater (or shirt, or pair of jeans, or whatever)? If the clothing could talk, what stories would it tell? Occasionally I'm able to find out the answers to those questions, as in the case of that vintage skating jacket that I was recently able to trace back to its original owner, but that's pretty rare. Most of the time I'm just left to wonder.

The folks at Racked -- a shopping web site that I just became aware of, although I gather it's fairly popular -- apparently wonder the same thing, and they've taken a novel approach toward addressing it. They recently hired a psychic and turned her loose in a Manhattan vintage store so she could tell the stories behind the clothing. The resulting video -- called, simply enough, "Vintage Store Psychic" -- can be seen above.

Frankly, it's a little disappointing. The psychic mainly comes across as a ditz, and the "revelations" she comes up with aren't particularly interesting or illuminating. But the basic concept of trying to find the stories behind old objects is a good one. And the concept isn't just limited to clothing, of course -- every old object has a history, a story to tell. That's the essence of Permanent Record.

Do you know the stories behind any of your second-hand objects? If so, post them in the comments, or feel free to e-mail them to me.

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