On the hunt for vintage fashion
A Vintage Shopping Guide
by Kristina von Oertzen, editor & founder of myshoppingspy.com
London has established itself as one of the leading destinations when it comes to vintage shopping. No other city offers such a wealth of vintage boutiques, markets, fairs and events and no matter whether you live in London or just stop by you’ve got to check out a few shops.
With such an enormous offer it’s not easy to find the right place for you so let me give you some inspiration and come with me on a shopping trip to London’s finest places for vintage fashion.
House of Liza, East
Vintage fashion had its Renaissance when Versace re-discovered their bold prints. It started a worldwide hysteria with fashionistas desperately trying to track down shirts, trousers and bomber jackets with the signature flamboyant print.
House of Liza, situated just moments away from Hoxton station specialises in everything from the 80s and 90s including a huge selection of these very signature Versace prints, collectors favorite Junior Gaultier, Comme des Garçons and W<. All pieces are hand picked and highly collectable. They are in such perfect condition that it’s hard to believe they were produced before many of us were even born.
The boutique offers a perfect backdrop for the eccentric mix of clothing with its all white walls and gallery like space and if you want to invest into experimental and pioneering designers of previous decades then this is the place to go.
Store details: http://www.myshoppingspy.com/london/house-liza
Where House of Liza focuses on the wild and acid generation of vintage Atelier Mayer covers the Jetset of the past. The boutique sells rare archive pieces and contemporary vintage from the 40s to the early 90s with an impressive selection of cocktail dresses and ball gowns that will guarantee you a jaw dropping entrance at your next event. They can also kit you out with everything you need for your next trip to Saint Tropez including fabulous swimsuits, sundresses, bags and sequined tops.
Keep an eye on their website and sign up to their newsletter so that you never miss out on any treasure. Atelier Mayer is also the place to go if you want to get your hands on that Chanel bag. I spotted three of the sought after petit sacs on my last visit.
Store details: www.myshoppingspy.com/london/atelier-mayer
Bang Bang Fashion Exchange, Central
The best way to shop at Bang Bang is to bring your old clothes and ‘shwop’ them into something new. Apparently this form of economical shopping was in place at the boutique near Goodge Street long before Marks & Spencer came up with the idea.
But even if you don’t have anything to shwop Bang Bang is worth a visit. The store keeps in season and offers everything that is on trend and in season but at a fraction of the price. Right now you’ll find loads of neon, pastel and prints with labels ranging from Topshop right through to Miu Miu.
New stock comes in daily so if you happen to be there just when a delivery arrives you might be in for a treat.
Store details: www.myshoppingspy.com/london/bang-bang-fashion-exchange-0
Rellik, Notting Hill
Right opposite the infamous Trellick Tower in Notting Hill’s rougher part sits Rellik, a celebrities’ favourite and a London institution. Rellik presents vintage fashion in a lovely boutique surrounding with high ceilings and rails full of treasures in mint condition.
They stock an eclectic mix of vintage clothing ranging from the 20s to the 90s with a massive selection of gowns from the 70s and 80s. You clearly see that the owners love Westwood and Ossie Clark and its great fun to let them guide you through the shop.
Rellik has long been a favourite address for stylists, fashion editors and models. It has been featured in big lifestyle magazines but still the staff is as welcoming to mere mortals as they are to their A-list customers (rumor has it that Sienna and Kate shop here).
Check out their amazing collection of affordable designers and don’t forget to look at the vintage jewelleries.
Store details: www.myshoppingspy.com/london/rellik
Vintage Fashion Fair
Vintage fashion fairs have become increasingly popular and there are a couple of great events that happen regularly across the city. They range from small and intimate (Vintage Fashion Fair, Primrose Hill) to large events with 50 stalls and more including vintage tea rooms (Frock me! Vintage Fashion Fair), hair salons,
alteration services and live entertainment (Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair).
No matter whether you’re new to vintage shopping or a hardcore fan vintage fairs are a great way to browse a massive selection of frocks from past decades with likeminded people. Added bonus is that most of the stall owners know their business and can tell you nice stories about the pieces, where they come from, who was wearing them and how to style them.
If you’re tired of the uniform look dictated by big high street chains then vintage fashion fairs are a great place for inspiration or to find that little something to transform your outfit from ordinary to one of a kind.
The last vintage fashion fair before the summer break is on Sunday, July 8 th.
More info & all dates for 2012: www.myshoppingspy.com/events