Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scroungers, Northcote

Scroungers is a few doors up from that familiar Northcote band-room and watering-hole, the Northcote social club. The Thornbury side of high street is a pretty desolate strip with lots of closed store-fronts and sun beaten buildings, Northcote is like it's colourful, slightly careworn other half. Scroungers is owned by the same couple who own and run Scavengers in Brunswick. Both shops cater for a slightly different brand of second-hand shopper.

It's a big barn-like space, with heavy wooden beams and burnt yellow walls. There is an open space at the back surrounded by racks of long taffeta dresses and mirrors draped with fabrics and scarfs. It was kind of fabulous, like Bette Midlers forbidden wardrobe.

Despite an excellent display, big old-fashioned counter and a huge collection of clothes, I was a little disappointed with the collection. It lacked the inventiveness of Scavengers. The clothes were a little older and everyday, there really weren't any great cuts or fabrics. Though a pile of 80's leather clutches and long and short lace and pearly gloves improved the selection of vintage items.

There were some good basics amongst the cardigans and shirts. Some with interesting variations, like a cardigan with sheer sleeves with ripples like an oriental fan. It was boosted by some sweeping long dresses and colourful 'dynasty' jackets with big shoulders. I also considered a denim one-piece and a spotty, shift top with this amazing shimmery texture. The good pieces were interesting at scroungers, if a little unwearable.

The collection of men's clothes is small, but dressy. Sharp suits and jackets juxtaposed with a mixture of long leather belts and pointed boots.

The prices are reasonable, you'll pay slightly more than an op-shop, though not the dizzying, Mt Everest high prices some Vintage stores charge. It's definitely a collection for a more low-key vintage shopper, with cheapish items and a few well-placed vintage finds.

** Make sure you check-out the fantastic collection of second-hand books. It's a highlight

where is it? 245 High St Northcote
how do i get there? No. 86 tram to Bundoora RMIT
will i have to wait for a change room? there are 2
whats on the stereo? Tony Bennett
i'm hungry? The Northcote social club at 301 Hight street has a decent kitchen at the back (looking over the carpark) Dips, tapas, burgers and big stuff

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