I have a slight penchant for vintage clothing, which I am positive stems from two things; my obsession of playing dress-ups as a child and later on in my early teens trawling through the back of my my mum's closet, looking for the clothes that she wore when she was my age.
Here I found hidden treasures, silk hand made singlets and matching jackets, designer 1980's power suits, sequined mini dresses, long flowing boho chic dresses, amazing hand printed skirts, minis, fluro green spandex tube dresses, you name it she had it.
After stumbling across these little beauties my first thought was, "yes new wardrobe for me". Those thoughts quickly dispelled, when I tried to squeeze into the clothing, me a size 10 could not fit into a size 6-8 ( did I mention my mother was a models for majority of her life, hence the sizing) for me it just wasn't going to happen.
Thankfully not all of the garments were itsy-bitsy, I did manage to find some (which she must of had worn on her"fat days") that I could fit into.
These items remain in my closet still today, I simply adore them. There is such a noticeable difference between clothes made 30-40 even 50 years ago compared to those that we purchase from stores today. Just having these items still hang in my closest proves that they stand the test of time, not to mention the quality of the materials used, the precise stitching, the figure flattering cuts, the time and effort that had been put into perfecting these designs. The list could go on as to why I love Vintage and prefer vintage over today's mass produced items that flood our stores.
Which brings me to my encounter with the lovely Liz Power, the lady behind the online Vintage Store "Awoke on a Whale Heart". We met via FB when I placed a call out for local designers/ boutiques who wanted to dress me in their threads for a T.V interview that I was giving. Liz ended up lending me 20 gorgeous dresses, all unique and intriguing. I had a hard time choosing which one to wear, in the end I opted for a red number with a zip up front with a cute little gold sailing ship on the zipper clasp, I felt great a perfect fit!
Before giving the dresses back to Liz I decided that I needed to own at least 2 of them, at $40.00 each they were a steal! When I did end up taking the dresses back to Liz I noticed that she had a bunch of newbies hanging up, she explained she was in the process of taking pics to upload onto her online store. I was curious just, where did all these wonderful treasures come from?
I had to know more, so I asked...
How did Awoke on a Whale heart begin?
Awoke began on hiatus in Europe. I saw all these great vintage stores and markets in Berlin, Copenhagen & London and thought I wanted to bring a slice of the vintage pie back to Perth.
Where is the name derived from?
I grew up on the South West Coast so spent a large majority of my childhood at the beach. I had this ongoing fear that I would be accidentally swallowed up by a Hump Back, hence waking up on its heart.
But the name is such a mouthful, I regret making it so long. I’m trying to change it to Awoke Vintage, but I’m predicting that might be about as successful as when I was nine years old and I tried to get everyone to call me “Libby” instead of Liz.
What era/price point do you carry?
I carry a mix of eras and most of my stock I try to price under $50. I guess my main differentiation is in where my stock comes from. A lot of my stock originates from Japan. So the dresses are petite and stylish. I also come across some really great tag names such as, “Sanyo” – before theymade TVs they made dresses!, “Victoria & Albert Museum” and “Styling Girl”.
How often do you buy for the store--is it the same schedule/process as most buyers?
I am always on the look out for stock, I can’t drive past an op shop without wanting to stop. But I do a lot of buying trips overseas as well as visiting deceased estates.
Tell me about the Vintage sales that you hold, how were they established?
I established the very first sale to fund my trip overseas, and when it proved to be a success, (albeit a little busy) I decided to make them a regular thing.
I also like that vintage markets are a great way of cutting out the middle man, which means buyers can get vintage cheaper than they might in a retail store.
What vintage item should every woman have in her closet for SS 10/11?
Hmmm ok I might have to make a list!
Clogs, a good leather jacket, a pair of cut off 501s and a feminine minidress. Also going “Bra-man-doe”. Not wearing a bra. Not exactly vintage I guess, although perhaps a little reminiscent burning the bra in the 60s?
|Style Tip:Clogs with Feminine Mini|
What vintage item should every woman have in her closet forever?
A really good tan leather handbag & tortoise shell sunnies.
Anything else you would like to add?
I guess the greenie side of me would say that…
Buying vintage is a really good way to keep up with the trends, but at the same time you are reducing your carbon footprint because you are reducing, reusing and recycling clothes worn by past generations. If that 60s smock has lasted the last 50 years, it is a testament to its quality. I cringe to say this because it’s something my dad says all the time, but… “they don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
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