Jan 092010

This afternoon, Mr. Nothing and I were on our way to document the rally at the Windsor Hotel, which as been transformed from a valiant attempt to save it from civic demolition to a grassroots movement to get the ol’ dear listed as a municipal heritage building.

Then we realized we were an hour late (whoops!) and there were only about 10 people of the original 80 left, so we kept driving…

Out to the (relatively) new Berns & Black, which not only is the co-brainchild of Winnipeg hair whisperer Kitty Berns, but also home to the satellite location of ooh-la-la Lilac boutique, Cha-Cha Palace. (Need I remind of this coat?)

Located, perhaps somewhat incongruously, next to the good ol’ Woodbine Hotel on Main Street, the salon and shop sits in what used to be Birt Saddelry, which I remember as a place of pony-lovin’ fantasy from my early childhood.

We had been told by staff at the Lilac Cha Cha that the Main Street shop had a wider selection of men’s shoes. Since Mr. Nothing has a hunger for Fluevogs (and really, who among us doesn’t?), of which Cha Cha Palace is one of the very few carriers in Winnipeg, we figured it was time to pay a visit.

We were a little disappointed that the stock was much smaller than we had assumed: just a few dozen shoe styles and some accessories. (If you’re in the market for some distressed-leather biker boots, though, they had a sick pair, as well as a nice selection of Fly London.)

But all was not lost.

As it turns out, one of Berns & Black’s stylists (either Lori or Laurie, I decided to take my weekend off work for all its worth and refrain from asking for the spelling) also makes some pretty damn adorable hair accessories.

See? How cute are these?

Headbands with lace and feathers; headbands with flowers; and that sweet little crimson velveteen headband witht the flat bow, at left.

The same creator also made a selection of pretty feather and peacock earrings.

Best part? The headbands were a very reasonable $15. And they look very, very cute.


But we weren’t done there.

I’ve already written in praise of Vintage Glory on Albert Street, so I won’t belabour the point. We stopped at F&Q, the sister store of Osborne Village staple ParaMix, for jeans and a floral quilted jacket… thing, a thing that shall undoubtedly feature in future What I Wore episodes.

And then I found these.

Modelled here by the dessicated corpse of our white pine Christmas tree, these earmuffs are one of a delightfully varied series at Ragpickers.

Made, apparently out of recycled materials, by a local imprint called D&Y (which I can’t find any reference to online: does anyone know who these guys are?), this pair — a candy-coloured plaid — were only $16.

Other prints included red houndstooth and black houndstooth… and if you’re looking for earmuffs that aren’t tacky, fluffy and strapped by chintzy plastic, I must insist you go buy a pair.

And yes, they are quite warm.

To close today’s edition of shopping success in downtown Winnipeg, a What I Wore. I seriously dig this outfit, and it marks the debut for the red plaid skirt:

Hat: Not mine! It’s a delectable black, blue and red feather contraption at Vintage Glory for $30.

Tank: American Apparel, the world’s best basic cotton tank. Washed at least 100 times, has kept its black and its shape.

Waist cincher: Lucy’s Hidden Closet.

Plaid skirt: Vintage Glory

Buckled stiletto boots: ParaMix

Chain necklaces: Set from ParaMix from last year… that they had back in the store last week!

Scarf: Silk scarf that was used as a bag by Dahlia Drive, the most incredible dress designer in Canada

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • MySpace
  • LiveJournal
  • Technorati Favorites
  • Share/Bookmark
Jan 022010

The only reason I didn’t start this blog earlier is that I could never figure out what to start with. Now I have, and here we are: my name is Melissa Martin, and I need to kick this blog off by talking about this place.

 Vintage Glory, man.

 The buzz is out there, but there’s still an unconscionable number of people who stare blankly when I mention it. That’s changing, though: despite being right around the corner from one of the most recognizable shops in the city — Ragpickers Anti-Fashion Emporium on McDermot - Vintage Glory at 88 Albert has been getting its own spotlight.

It’s a clean shop, and mercifully uncluttered. Unlike most vintage stores, the racks aren’t bustin’ out. You have to come often, because there’s not much stock on the floor at once. But that’s fine: after your first visit, you’ll want to go often.

That isn’t what makes Vin-Glo (may I call you Vin-Glo?) special, though. What makes this store special is that, while they have among the most breathtaking vintage treasures in the city, their pricers don’t seem to know that yet.

You don’t need to take my word for it. I bring proof.

To start, let’s talk party dresses. At many vintage stores, on Etsy, and on eBay, any pre-Feminine Mystique party dress of a certain silhouette that doesn’t reek of mothballs will sell for at least $150. That’s understandable: they have a big market. Deep down inside, we all want to look like Betty Draper.

The first time I went to Vintage Glory, I stumbled on that Ladies Home Journal glow in purple polka-dots for a mere $35.

After that, I was hooked.

Next purchase was a leopard-print tote: $20. It’s actually a jewelery/make-up travel case, but it feels oh-so-Carrie Bradshaw to use it as a purse. I have never seen anything quite like this in my life, and I sort of hope that I never will. It needs to stand alone. 

But this… THIS… is the piece d’resistance.

If you bought this leather jacket outright now - and you certainly could, cuts this flattering are never passe - you’d be shelling out at least $200. At Vin-Glo, it was a criminally low $40.

Forty bucks. For the first and only leather jacket I will need of the decade. For a jacket that came in mint condition, without a single crinkle at the waist. That’s not just a bargain. It’s a miracle.

Now, the point of this isn’t to brag about my sweet, sweet Vintage Glory hauls. What I’m trying to say is that this bounty, too, could be yours. What I’m trying to say is that this little Exchange District shop is a rare gem in vintage shopping… not just in Winnipeg, but even in comparison to the raddest of the rad vintage stores in other, sexier metropolitan centres. (That said, I’d give my left Fluevog for Winnipeg to get a Black Market, but that’s another post for another day.)

We, as Winnipeggers, need to band together, buy their shit, and keep them in business.

Oh, and about that price thing. You might think you’re stealing from Vintage Glory’s owners when you snap up this frisky raspberry coat for a mere $35. (I didn’t buy it, because I already have a bright pink coat. Someone needs to take that baby home, however, and post many celebratory pictures.) You might think you’re getting away with embezzlement if you bag the vintage Pucci shirt they’re selling for a shocking $95.

Don’t worry, they know.

“Think of this Chanel scarf as an investment,” the fashion-savvy Saturday salesguy said, as I wangsted over the $45 silk beaut in the display case. “If you don’t wear it, you can hang onto it for awhile, then sell it for $200 on eBay.”

He had a point. (So did my husband, who noted that I’d get $45 of value in just telling people I owned a Chanel scarf.)

You can guess how this ends.

Lookit that, I just made my money back.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • MySpace
  • LiveJournal
  • Technorati Favorites
  • Share/Bookmark