Sunday, December 20, 2009

Salvation Army Op-Shop, Bourke St, Melbourne

The Salvos in Bourke St, Melbourne is relocating and closing down. It’s closing down so soon (Christmas Eve, 2009) you may read this post and all the second hand items may have already been shipped off and recycled to other stores across Melbourne.

It's one of those rare op-shops on a main rd in central Melbourne, and the facade is now obscured by scaffolding and plaster board.

It’s impeccably organised across two levels in a narrow space towards the Spring St end of Bourke St. Everything is 50% off until closing, and it does have that empty half-lived in feel of a house that is being moved out of.

There are some ok pieces amongst the clothes and plenty of basic shirts, slacks and pants. I liked a narrow, sleeveless dress that was crocheted in multi-coloured fibres, there were also a couple of sparkly shift dresses and a cream, transparent baby doll top with crepe rosettes around the scooped collar.

There were some interesting shoes in an alcove, towards the back wall of the lower floor. Leather pumps with little gold studs across the top of the foot, camel mary-janes with cork heels and white-peep toe heels with brass sequins stood out in a well put together collection of vintage shoes and lace-up boots.

Heavy suit jackets, boot-leg jeans, shorts, bright button up shirts and a lycra marcel morceau one-piece rounded out what was left of the half-priced clothes.

Upstairs had been almost emptied. The shelves of homewares were half-bare but there was a gorgeous floral serving tray with little porcelain cups and a milk jug from the same pattern. There was a big, but diminishing collection of cookbooks, novels, sports books and children’s books in wide bookshelves along the back wall.

Not an outstanding collection, but a few good items and books amongst the thinning collection. The half-priced items make an already reasonably priced collection, even more reasonable. The shop does close at the end of the day on the 24th of December (Thursday.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yooralla Carlton Bargain Shop

It's big wide windows, facing out into Elgin St, Carlton, are crowded with old electrical appliances, dvds, vhs tapes, vases and grand fur coats. The jumble is a fitting precursor to the grungy op-shop inside.

It's a big, mostly flat shop with old wooden ceilings. There is a bit to sort through and the collection of secondhand items is pretty diverse. While there was a lack of incredible vintage finds, there were some really cheap, functional pieces. Men's and Women's pants, jeans, slacks and trousers were $5. I liked a pair of seem-less navy slacks with no buttons or hooks but wide flares at the heel.

T-shirts were $3, and they could be ripped, cut or modified with embellishments or into mid-rift tops (think American Apparel.) There was an eclectic jumble of dresses, I'm all for wearing nightwear as evening or day wear, especially if its a beautifully well made as this cream nightdresses cut from a ruched stretchy material, with fringing around the curve of the hip and sheer, long white sleeves.

The other dresses were plainer and had simple cuts. But some chunky 80s jackets in neon pink and blue and impressive shoulder-pads rounded off the collection. Despite the low-key display, the shoe collection was inspiring. Highlights we flats with round metallic toes, little burgundy heels with laces and a bright green instep and navy, slip-on ankle boots.

Scattered through-out the shop is a big collection of miscellaneous items. Cutlery, glass-wear, vhs video tapes (including the entire die-hard movie collection), boxes of records and cds, cricket jumpers, thermos flasks, handbags and an old clock radio - Like an elephant graveyard, its where electrical equipment from the 80s and 90s goes to die (and possibly be reborn?)

Oddball highlight were two George Foreman grills, from $30, they looked about 10 years old (judging by the picture on the box) and seemed to be in good condition.

FINAL WORD - Lots of secondhand clothes and items, its a little overwhelming. A couple of top of the notch finds (shoes and jackets the best) and scores of random electronic artifacts from the 80s and 90s. Also the place to go for second-hand Christmas decorations.

where is it? 134-136 Elgin St, Carlton
how do i get there? Catch the no.1 and no.8 tram to the intersection of Elgin and Lygon St
will i have to wait for a change room? there are 2
whats on the stereo? No music on the stereo :(
i'm hungry? there is a fantastic sushi shop I'd almost recommend to anyone a couple of stores up on Elgin street towards Lygon.

Emils Shoe Repairs, Windsor

Yes, I know it's an unlikely title for a vintage shop, but Emils shoes at the Windsor end of Chapel St has an impressive display of second hand boots and shoes.

Doc Martens are being embraced again as fashion from the nineties is coming back. An older, worn pair of docs has more appeal than a shiny new pair. In it's sidewalk collection, Emils' have docs with covered in craft glitter, coloured laces, scuff and texta marks and blue and snakeskin material.

There are chunky ankle boots and blundstones (for men and women) with and without laces, and cowboy boots with reinforced toes and elaborate carved patterns from the foot to calf.

Emils does have a substantial collection of new shoes, which are displayed inside the store. The rows are vintage shoes are on tiered racks on the sidewalk and are a worthy, but expensive (a pair of second-hand docs will set you back $95 minimum.

In the window were a pair of Bally pumps with a white leather around the side and heel of the foot, bleeding into a beige material around the toe. There were also a pair of little leather ankle boots, the leather was so soft it looked like felt.

excellent range of vintage footwear, but it will hurt price wise!

where is it? 153 Chapel St, Windsor
how do I get there? catch the Sandringham train to Windsor station, walk on the same side as the station, down chapel street towards High St rd.