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confession #000067

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Sunday, 30 June 2013

confession #000067

... or, the vintage virgin

as you may recall, about a month ago i flew over to london for a few days.  while there, i was hell-bent on visiting some shops specialising in vintage clothing.
i wanted to do this mostly because i wanted to change my opinion about vintage shopping.  i'm not 100% sure i managed, to be quite honest, as i have yet to make my first vintage purchase.  until that day, my only experience of vintage shopping was visiting the occasional parish hall bazaar back in malta, and i suspect that may have tarnished my judgement for good. after having read quite a bit about vintage shopping abroad, and lusting after celebrities' unique outfits and reading that they would be vintage, i thought i should or at least try dipping my toes into the whole experience.

and who better to accompany me on this than the queen of vintage herself, lara from boffism
i met up with lara in the spitafields market area and we headed along to brick lane where she showed me round the best vintage shops in the area.  while going round the shops and walking along the mesmerising streets, i asked her a few questions in the hope of getting a better insight into how one goes finding those unique items from a bygone day.  

where or how did your love for vintage clothes start?


"i was always quite fond of clothing that looked like it came from another time period, especially the forties and fifties. i used to ask my mother to make me clothes based on the decades' silhouettes and then i became aware there were actual stores selling such pieces."

how does one pick out the real vintage 'gems' from the 'junk'?


"i think it's always a hit or miss situation. sometimes vintage fairs / stores / stands are full of worthy pieces, other times they just 'suck' hehe. it takes a lot of patience as well as open-mindedness. i like to buy things that i can later alter as well."

what should one look for when shopping for vintage items? 


"i like to find things with a lot of character, a quirky print, nice fabric and a well-cut silhouette. always look at the tag at the back of the garment to tell how worn out the item is."

do you just wear vintage clothes 'off the rack' or do you re-process them (e.g. dry-clean / wash / etc)?


"i always clean them thoroughly but you have to be careful with delicate items. it really depends on the piece, some are in very good condition so a normal wash is enough!"

as i said, i've still to make my first vintage purchase.  the funny thing is that, over the years, i never thought twice about wearing say, a scarf given to me by one of my grans as an heirloom.  besides the obvious sentimental value of the piece, i suppose the fact that i know its 'origins' makes it somewhat easier to overcome the notion of wearing something 'used'.  having said that, the pieces i came across in brick lane were in such good condition that my trepidation was somewhat overcome.  i even tried a monochrome 60s maxi dress which alas was too big for me! and made friends with a dog on the day ... and being generally not too thrilled about canines, that was quite something! 

what kept me from buying anything i hear you say? well, i had a train and a plane to catch and my luggage was already bursting at the seams! nevertheless, just being in the spitafields market / brick lane area was more than enough for me: the young, artistic and relaxed atmosphere certainly makes it a place i will definitely return to on my next visit. 





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