As we approach autumn, with its tangible change in season, beautiful warm afternoon light and cooler weather, we thought we would have fun dressing up vintage – inspired in part by the slew of period dramas on circuit: Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age, Belfast, and the elegant new Agatha Christie movie, Death on the Nile.
And of course 1000 Hills is perfect for that – with its picture perfect views, sweeping lawns, gracious homes and places of historical interest.
A procession of classic and vintage cars will be “pacing the train” on Sunday morning, 27 March, travelling alongside the Umgeni Steam Railway’s heritage train for the 8.30am ride – which is a perfect excuse to dress the part.
We had a fun vintage themed shoot with photographer Harry Lock and three gorgeous Roberta Alessandri models, with garments sourced from throughout the hills, but especially from the fabulous Mrs Pinkerton – to remind us of the timeless elegance which vintage evokes.
The shoot worked well against the backdrop of the Inchanga Station, which was built in 1892, and on the USR coaches with their high-back leather seats; wooden trimmings; sand-blasted logo on the old pull-up windows; polished metal fittings and faded maps.
Inchanga boasts a variety of history-inspired activities – located in the Old Station Master’s House, the Inchanga Railway Museum is a delight of railway artefacts – including crockery used by the British Royal Family during their trip to South Africa exactly 75 years ago.
Mrs Pinkerton, where we borrowed most of the frocks for the shoot, can be found in the Mushroom Farm and it one of the most comprehensive vintage-themed shops in the area with day wear end evening wear garments and accessories including jewellery, hats, bags and fans. Look out for their scratch patch of mother of pearl buttons – which can brighten up any bag, cardigan, jacket or jeans for an instant vintage feel.
In fact lovers of all things vintage should pop into Scarborough Fair at Macnut Farm at 13 Lello Road, Assagay, this Sunday 20 March for a feast of vintage and retro, up-cycled, antiques, collectables, art and treasures, all in a magnificent rolling garden with a tea garden offering light refreshments and market food; live music and pony rides for the children. Bring a picnic rug and make a day of it.
Other places who offer amazing vintage garments and accessories are Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves’ shop at SPCA Kloof. Both inveterate magpies, they have sourced an amazing range of covetable collectables in their gorgeous shop in the SPCA Village Green; and they have a great eye so can help create the look by pairing garments with accessories.
Shongweni Market has numerous vintage and retro stalls which can be visited every Saturday morning – look out for Uptown Funky Junk with a fabulous collection of all things quirky and whimsical; there is a great stall with super-affordable classic leather jackets, as well as plenty of accessories, garments and jewellery stalls.
There are vintage garments and accessories to be found at Pilgrim’s Rest and the Pot and Kettle – with their amazing views. In both instances, plan your trip to include a light meal and refreshments, and time to browse through the other stalls on offer. In fact, the books at Pilgrim’s Rest are worth a visit – there are some gems on the shelves!
Vintage is fun theme to be inspired by – a simple pair of horn-rimmed spectacles, a pearl choker or sun-hat can transform a look from the ordinary to the elegant.
Good to Know
Umgeni Steam Railway
For more information, bookings & schedule visit www.umgenisteamrailway.com
Month end March: Sun 27 @ 8.30am and 12.30pm
Easter April: Sat 16 @ 8.30am and 12.30pm / Sun 17 @ 8.30am and 12.30pm
Month end April: Sat 30 @ 8.30am and 12.30pm / Sun 1 May @ 8.30am and 12.30pm
Scarborough Fair – Macnut Farm, 13 Lello Road, Assagay, Sunday 20 March for vintage and retro, up-cycled, antiques, collectables, art food music and entertainment.
Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market: Lot 457, Mr551 Rd, Shongweni.
To find out more about the market: Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market – YouTube
Mrs Pinkerton @ the Mushroom Farm: Kassier Rd, Hillcrest
SPCA Kloof: https://www.kloofspca.co.za/ 29 Village Road
Pot & Kettle: 136 Old Main Rd, Bothas Hill,
Pilgrim’s Rest: 85 River View Dr, Crestholme, Waterfall