Gallivanting around West End you become familiar with the eclectic style and diversity of the underground fashion hideaways. My senses go into overdrive when I sense vintage.
If your stomach turns at the idea of looking like a fashion clone, you should simply play it safe and stick to vintage. West End has the cream of the crop with an array of vintage clothing and accessories that will make even the most dedicated fashion snob look twice. The wonderfully quirky West End culture underscores the relevance of this fashion niche, that has been born from it. Vintage’s unique and eclectic style requires a canvas to artistically exhibit its best pieces and West End provides the perfect mount.
Vintage stores in the area are a celebration of all things West End, many of which are hidden secrets waiting to be discovered by the most discerned vintage shopper. If you haven’t yet been foraging at West End, you’re missing out. The suburb easily has the best collection of vintage finds Brisbane can offer. West End’s vintage exotica comes in the form of a colourful, some might say gaudy, array of historic gear. If you have a hankering for a neon jumpsuit, fluffy angora jumper or even vintage fabrics and haberdashery, these psychedelic art forms trump any high street fashion strip and certainly stick two fingers up at any form of decorum.
Discover this for yourself at places like the secluded dress-up box from heaven, Box Vintage, on Vulture Street, where the swag dates from 50s prom dresses to 80s print tees and 90s leather bomber jackets. Annerley Road’s It’s Vintage Darling offers a foolproof recipe for anyone new to the vintage game, those seeking nostalgia, and a sophisticated alternative for veteran shoppers. Lucia Good Gear, a nifty op-shop tucked discreetly on Boundary Street is the rough diamond of vintage but is a treasure trove. The best part is that West End’s love affair with the original is evident in these beautifully presented shops, with no jumble sale piles, moth bitten rags or dusty corners in sight. The concept of these stores makes them more than just a shopping destination but a true vintage experience. The end result is a fabulous retro concoction of style, art, accessories and the odd mounted stag head. Gone are the days of gaping holes and suspect stains, sore feet and parched palates.
My other find has been the West End Markets, which provides all the attributes I have come to anticipate from West End’s vintage shopping experience. If you’re in the market for the irritatingly cool ‘I’ve-just-thrown-this-on’ aesthetic then, steeped in pastiche and a masterfully crafted selection of embellished kitsch accessories, this sprightly accolade to vintage lovers is your go-to.
West End’s vintage constellation plays a large role in the building blocks of its alternative style and reputation. The best part is what my love for vintage is founded on, that every piece you buy is truly unique, just like our beloved West End.
Images and Words by Meg Waskett