Thursday, October 8, 2009

Melbourne Vintage Shopping: Part 3 of 3

Click here to read Part 1 of Melbourne Vintage Shopping

Click here to read Part 2 of Melbourne Vintage Shopping

And now for the third and final instalment of my vintage shopping in Melbourne saga!

After experiencing the delights of Gertrude Street in funk-tastic Fitzroy, it was time to broaden my horizons and explore Brunswick and Smith Streets, which both intersect Gerturde and have the same groovy-vintage feel to them.

Here are my highlights.

Brunswick Street - Top Pick:
Clara Fox

479 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, Melbourne

Take the tram up Brunswick Street to Clara Fox, a tiny shop jam-packed with treasures. Their stock ranges from 1920's to 1980's but the bulk is 1940's, 50's, 60's - which is heaven to me.

The shop is physically small, and they've got a LOT of inventory, so be prepared to dive in deep. Clothing runs the gamut from eveningwear to daywear and bedwear. There's quite a good section of nighties and slips.

Day dresses, vintage fabric and a cubby hole
stashed with mint condition vintage girdles and bras

nighties, slips and bedwear

Dresses and gowns - that's an original 1930s
yellow crepe dress for a mere A$125

I trawled through the entire shop from top to bottom - and had a grand time doing so. Sadly none of the vintage girdles fit me or I sooooo would have bought one. I also found a fabulous mint condition 1940s dress that would have been mine had it not been a size too big. Ah well, the life of a vintage enthusiast is often fraught with disappointment.

If you go to Clara Fox be sure to check out the display cabinet full of treasures:
I was able to look at a gorgeous and fully vintage white ostrich feather burlesque fan - just like what Sally Rand would have used! It was LOVELY, and I'm sure it will see its way back onto the stage someday when the right person comes along.

Smith Street - Top Pick: Lost and Found Market
12 Smith Street (near Gertrude Street)
It's called "Lost and Found" because
you will probably get lost once inside...

This place is gi-normous. Be prepared to get lost in what feels like a huge vintage garage sale. This really is a 'market', representing many vendors who each have their own 'area'. This means that the inventory is organised by vendor, not item, so each area features clothing, knick knacks, accessories, etc, and you'll have to traverse the entire place to find what you're looking for.

But if you've got the time, it's a fun place to wander around.
Lovely blue kimono

Totally cute vintage shoes -
why is all the good stuff always a size too big?

Other places of interest:
Let me just say you could spend days trawling the area, and there are many, many vintagey shops and wonderful bookstores, cafes and the like - far too many to mention. Here are a few to look out for.

Brunswick Street:

377 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, Melbourne
As the name suggests, this is mostly an Austin-Powers-Groovy-Baby sort of place. It was a bit too mirror-ball-and-platform-booty for my liking, but they claim to stock 40s and 50s stuff so it could be worth a look.

Sheila Vintage
382 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, Melbourne
One of the many, many vintage stores on Brunswick Street. I didn't find anything on the day I was there, but it looks like a shop that's worth checking out every now and then.

Smith Street:
Book Shop

Smith Street, near Gertrude
The name says it all...

There are so many cute little independent and secondhand bookstores in Melbourne! I popped into this one - I'm not sure if it has a name other than 'Book Shop' - and picked up two wondeful books on Art Deco Fashion and 1920s Writers - links are at the bottom of this post.

Vicious Venus
346 Smith Street, North Fitzroy, Melbourne
A sort of rockabilly-meets-gothic-princess store, their mainstay is the huge variety of custom fancy corsets - the kind you are meant to wear on the outside. They do, however, stock a limited range of retro reproduction dresses, including popular brand Stop Staring. I had about 10 minutes in this shop before I needed to high-tail it to the airport, which was just enough time to squeeze into this pink Stop Staring number:
I feel like Joan from Mad Men,
only somewhat less well endowed...

The Stop Staring dress was A$300 (yikes) but a friend of mine pointed out that they're less expensive to buy online from (where it works out to A$162 plus about A$40 shipping).

Cnr Smith and Johnston Sts (across the road from Vicious Venus)

I only just ducked my head in here, but it's a large-ish shop, laid out nicely and is definitely worth a look.

I hope you've enjoyed a taste of Melbourne Vintage Shopping - the city certainly holds a wealth of opportunities and I only managed to make the tiniest scratch in the surface! If you've got your own recommendations for Melbourne vintage hotspots please feel free to comment.


Ms. B said...

Ooh that pink dress is adorable on you!!!

jewlover2 said...

Last year, I met a girl from Melbourne at the ROckabilly Weekender who brought 1000.00 w/ her JUST to spend at Stop Staring in LA. She bought TEN dresses for that. :)

Funny story: Today I posted an intro to a new series I'm filming on my Youtube channel where I re-create requested hairstyles from classic films. I guess I subconciously remembered your blog name when I titled it 'Diamond Dames'...LOL I realized what I did later and changed it to 'Diamonds and Dames'. I feel sheepish. :) I promise I didnt intend to 'rip you off'. haha

Sharon said...

Mrs B - thank you for your comment, you're very kind!

Jewlover2/LisaFreemontStreet - I'm looking forward to your new hairdo how-to series on YouTube. Thanks for 'fessing up about the name similarity - I'm glad you sent me a message before I saw the video otherwise I would have raised an eyebrow for sure ;-P I think you're going to be inundated by viewer requests - you may have your work cut out for you!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for the tips - I have never heard of these shops before and the clothes look devine!

jewlover2 said...

Sharon...this is kind of funny as well: My first name is Sharron. LOL

Seriously, does the similarity in title bother you? I will mention your blog if you like, in an upcoming video, and we can think of it as an homage...hee hee. But if you prefer, I can change the title completely, certainly. :)

Sharon said...

Cakelaw - I'm glad to be of service! Definitely check out Circa and Clara Fox - they are fabulous!

Jewlover2 - Your name is Sharron? Crikey, I thought your name was Ashley. Where did I get that from? I must amend my post about your video series! The Diamond Dame name similarity doesn't bother me - we all get inspiration from others' endeavours and I only would have been miffed if you hadn't have contacted me about it before I noticed! A mention of my blog in your video series would be a lovely way to pay 'homage', and would be much appreciated :)

jewlover2 said...

I go by Ashley but my first name is Sharron. So you were right about the 'Asley'. I don't think many people know it. My full name is Sharron Ashley...:)

Thanks again, sweetie!

jewlover2 said...

I go by Ashley but my first name is Sharron. So you were right about the 'Asley'. I don't think many people know it. My full name is Sharron Ashley...:)

Thanks again, sweetie!