I find 2nd-hand shopping is as much about the experience as it is fab found fashions. Don't get me wrong, my heart races a little when I come upon a bit of retailing chaos. From the depths of disarray true treasures are often unearthed. However, a shop space that is light, bright and well-thought out is a special pleasure indeed. And none more so than Blue 17 CLICK HERE, not far from the Holloway Tube Station in North London.
Shop owner John has been in the vintage business for decades, getting his start selling his mum's stylish frocks. He fondly recalls the Flip sales model - the first shops that sold American second-hand in the UK. Indeed the sale of 2nd-hand clothing has changed over the years, in fact John feels the availability of quality, stylish vintage has decreased, not just for buyers but for sellers like himself.
But against the odds, John is gathering up the good stuff. The perfect fusion of thoughtful organization and colourful commotion, Blue 17 offers an impressive selection of men's and women's vintage. As we chatted John's poetic refrain, "Retail is detail" seemed to describe his shop vibe perfectly. The light, large dressing rooms curtained with heavy vintage tapestry fabric are a lovely touch, for example.
The collection of 40s, 50s and 60s frocks is second to none. If prints give you palpitations then please pop in. Ranging in price from approximately £35 to £95, this is dress heaven. Full skirts, A-lines, bracelet-length sleeves, pleats, pearl buttons, fitted bodices - it seems there's something for everyone. Including Huntress.
This sheer 50s dress fit perfectly, like it was made for me. Fashioned from a water-colour flower print reminiscent of a Monet painting, I'll often dress it down with white brogues or occasionally doll it up with silver mary janes. At just £65 this Blue 17 find is my idea of 2nd-hand 7th heaven.
Blue 17 is a Sponsor of
Re:Tale a New Play by Anmarie Bowler
CLICK HERE for details