In those days a vanity case in hand added status to a girl coming out of a plane. It also added value to a bride who was given such a case as part of her "peng" or bridal gifts. Thus even before her marriage if a girl owned a vanity case it would have indicated she had money and understood good breeding. One could see vanity cases every where in Sibu in the 60's:in the motor launches and in the hair dressing salons and even in the coffee shops. Several of my aunts owned very good vanity cases to indicate their wealth and awareness of beauty regimes.
Sometimes one could even catch a lady of the night (wink++)riding away in a trishaw with a vanity case in hand. Ha....those were the good days...
But all these years later I continue to wonder about vanity cases. Do all the brides end up happily married ever after? Must all girls own a vanity case? Are they really that important? A friend even told me that "Happiness is a Vanity Case" (re: Peanuts) And would a girl with a vanity case make all that difference to a man?
May be many of my friends did not know that I got married in a rented genuine cotton (Swiss?)lacy gown . My bouquet was top of the crop - White Borneo Orchids from Mrs. Ho Kah Moh. My shoes were handmade (yes at that time we had a simple street cobbler who could hand make tiny shoes for the likes of me with tiny feet at around twenty dollars). He was my
Vanity cases always remind me of the beauticians of Sibu. There are even more now. Like coffee shops they have sprung up everywhere. But beauticians no longer carry these leather vaniy cases. Looking at all the slimming and beauty centres you would like to think that every woman wants to look good and there is a great demand for services of beautician. One aunt told me once that a cosmetician or beautician would never starve but instead get a good catch. I am also thinking of the Helen of Troy who set sail a thousand Greek ships and caused one of the longest wars known to mankind!!
Recently almost all my teeth (not a full set mind you) dropped out as the saying goes when I found that a relative's wife is collecting vanity cases for her exotic treasures!! And so one afternoon last week I was invited to tea with the group of happy women and have a look at cosmetics and other things which can "attract" men!! hahahahaha.....
But three of her vanity cases in particular brought back lots of memories and nostalgia for this old girl who grew up in the 50's and 60's....and dreaming of Prince Charming to help me make a beautiful home on the banks of the Rajang River....The red one is the one I had envied and wanted to own...I believe a few of my Sibu friends still keep their bridal gift of a vanity case.
Enjoy the photos!
This is an Echolac Vanity Case.
this is a Diplomat Vanity Case.
By golly! It's a Coach!
This must be