Wednesday, August 7, 2013
First of all I'd like to apologise for the weird, alien-tinged-greenish-hue that has infected all my photographs. Believe me, I'm as annoyed about it as you are (but I might be getting anew camera). Anyway, I took these photographs of the Retrostar vintage store in Cathedral Lane in Melbourne. Everything is arranged by clothing type, eg. play suits, prom dresses, denim jackets, duffle coats... you name it, they have it stored somewhere in a huge floorspace or offsite in their warehouse. Throughout the store there are also neat sections dedicated to handbags, hats, accessories such as sunglasses and slogan buttons, and even cute glasses sets for the home. It's basically a magical vintage wonderland run by unicorns found only in my hometown. And that makes me incredibly proud.
Pros: Everything is neatly organised and arranged, the smell of old clothing is kept to a minimum and there are free magazines run by cool photographers like Vice outside to pick up. Often there's a selection of different colours of the same clothing type available because they buy deadstock as well. I feel spoilt for choice when I walk in here; overwhelmed by such a hoard of vintage goodies. In all honesty, it makes me a little sad I don't go to university in the city, since there's always something new to discover when you walk in here. Whoever picks this stock has incredible taste, if I want to find good vintage clothing easily I would head here without a shadow of a doubt.
Cons: The premise of this business is to buy things cheaply from thrift stores and inflate the prices in order to create a profit margin. Not only does this mean finding true vintage prices is incredibly difficult and competitive in thrift stores due to these poachers, but if I want to wear a great vintage piece I have to pay commercial prices. In this universe of all vintage clothing, you really get to choose what style and era you like the best, but it warps your perception and in the end maybe you won't wear that crinoline skirt or vintage prom dress when grocery shopping because everyone else is conservative and boring.
Even though I feel totally giddy when I walk through these hallowed halls and racks of vintage clothing, after having spent the last through months rifling through *actual* charity stores and paying four dollars for clothing and 30cents or a dollar for magazines and craft supplies I feel pretty aware I'm being ripped off when I shop at Retrostar. It's a great place to feel inspired and figure out what it is I'll keep an eye out for when I browse Etsy, Asos Marketplace and locally but I probably wouldn't buy something from the Retrostar unless the piece was totally unique, one of a kind and fit like a dream. Something I forgot to mention was that it can be a little depressing to shop true vintage clothing, a time when 24 inch waists ruled and you naturally have a bigger frame. Stay realistic about the way you feel about your body, and don't buy something that won't fit you if you have to go on an extreme diet, that's my advice.