BEFORE we embarked on our vintage voyage I needed one essential item for the walk, a hat. Take note… survival kit for summer in Valencia begins with a sunhat and fan.
We popped into Sombrereria Albero for a classic summertime fedora for €20. A gem of a shop that has remained strong through generations of change. Real old school style featuring a wide range of classics in all the colours and all the sizes. Prices range from around €20 up to €215.
In a world of mass consumerism and gentrification I seek provenance.
Perhaps that is why nostalgia seems to emerge in my artwork . No matter what I do the importance of the old marrying with the new always presents itself in an elegantly opinionated fashion.
Removing myself and my family from our comfort zone five months ago has certainly heightened the senses and our attention to atmosphere and detail.
We need history for our future. Respect for the vintage and enthusiasm for the new.
We have the extraordinary ability to mark time with what we wear.
Fashion through the ages, from that first date ensemble to your wedding dress. A reflection of our emotions and surroundings. For me it provides an answer or at least an aid to the question marks.
This passion for vintage and a fear of losing connection with it is the reason I found myself one Thursday morning on the fringes of Barrio Carmen.
Like a hangover seeking comfort in a Bloody Mary, I find myself and @_cybr-girl_ being lured by the sepia shadows towards a vintage book store.
Please understand the reasons for our distraction from the task at hand…it was beyond our control.
To happen upon a vintage bookstore of such magnitude is most unusual these days. El Asilo is an organised chaos of books, novels, novellas. A history of the world complete with accompanying score, courtesy of a selection of vinyl for sale.
Fortunately, @_cybr_girl_ has inherited a finely tuned eye. Perhaps by process of osmosis, who knows, but she’s reworked it and gently moulded it into her own wicked style without quashing the the story or the history. So very fresh. The pureness of our passion has created an exciting common ground.
I laid down a challenge for this vintage warrior; to seek an outfit for €50 or less. She heartily agreed.
Without any nihilistic tribes at work this indie vintage culture is allowed to continue its synergy with the city’s tradition. We could feel the hum of creativity at our fingertips and all around us.
We had found our Zen.
Having extracted ourselves from the wonderment of El Asilo we kicked off proceedings at La Señora Henderson. A light and airy boutique as mouth watering as a fruit pastel.
There was a rich variety of stock ranging from maxi dresses to classic Levis. The store’s interior was rounded off with a fine display of accessories to compliment each chapter.
Our next stop was a real find. A bijou place big on style, not to be missed.
Needles and Pins first started online five years ago and in June last year opened this peach of a boutique. This lady’s selection dares to be slightly different.
Unique finds include tote bags from the 1950’s, a printed satchel from the 80’s and some fantastic wicker creations, all in excellent condition. As if all this wasn’t enough the owner is a skilled seamstress capable of remodelling where necessary.
Soho del Carmen is as deliciously naughty as an ice cold martini, straight up.
This place brings a bit of a London theme to Valencia. Probably the more pricier of the boutiques, but the stock ranges from high end pieces reaching right back into the vintage era. Their online shop opens in two weeks time, so in the meantime you can keep up to date via instagram:@sohodelcarmen and Facebook.
Sister Birkin is a very elegant store run by two friends who don’t just offer vintage, they also mix with some new pieces to accompany the scene.
Whilst trying different pieces the owners were quick to point out (in perfect English) any damage or imperfections which were reflected in their price. Their honesty was refreshing.
This quality teamed with their obvious passion for what they do has created a varied and regular clientele. I shall be visiting again very soon!
La Vespa Roja is Valencia’s answer to Rokit. Super friendly guys, lots of fun, we love this place. The best selection of jeans teamed with some great music. A true ‘girl about town’ experience. We sashayed out of the store feeling good, like we belonged.
Unfortunately, Trixies vintage Emporium was closed for the summer, look out for its reopening in September. A must visit for 1950’s delights, find them on instagram:@trixiesvintage
With every shop we visited it was apparent how each piece had been lovingly tended to, regardless of imperfections, with the utmost respect for their lengthy journey. Like weary travellers receiving some much needed R&R. Not one whiff of moth balls or grannies knicker drawer, everything had a fresh feel.
And so to our purchases….our booty…
From La Senora Henderson a black voile overshirt dated c.1950’s for €25.
This 1980’s jumpsuit was another find from La Senora Henderson at €35.
A fine silk knit navy polo shirt €15 from Needles and Pins.
A sheer crepe de chine dress with beautiful sunray pleats €29 from Soho del Carmen.
And so to @_cybr_girl_ and her €50 challenge…
Not only did @_cybr_girl_ win the challenge she left Sister Birkin with €15 in change. The button through skirt is a Guy Laroche no less!
And finally…before I go to bed I will say a little prayer that this unique and charming city is allowed to just be.
Be itself… creative, passionate and sensitive.