Flick through any bridal mag or wedding website you’ll notice that the season’s style is all about old-world glamour, delicate lace and intricately detailed beading. If you don’t have an heirloom gown tucked away in your nanna’s closet and Vera Wang’s not returning your calls, take matters into your own hands and hunt for hidden treasure in the very places stylists and designers go to for inspiration.
The Rokit Gallery, 80-85 George Street, The Rocks, (02) 9252 0460
With everything from Victorian to psychedelic ’70s, the pieces are of the highest quality and the prices reasonable.
What you’ll find: Pristine wares that come with a story as well as an impressive range of embellished hair accessories, fans, gloves and bags, perfect for if you’re after the classic ‘something old’.
The Vintage Clothing Shop, 147 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, (02) 9267 7135
A well-known Sydney establishment, The Vintage Clothing Shop has a client list that reads like a who’s who of vintage doyennes. With a reputation for outfitting films and magazine shoots, you never know who you might run in to or who might have worn it first.
What you’ll find: Passionate staff who’ll measure you before delving into their archive and appearing with armfuls of pretty, delicate pieces, making for a perfect bespoke shopping experience. Shhh! If you’re having trouble committing (to a frock, not the man), head out to the warehouse in Redfern for a wide selection of items for hire. Perfect for bridesmaids and guests.
Mrs Press Dressing Room, 36a Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, (02) 9331 7732
A former Vogue fashion editor, Claire Press has that innate ability to spot a trend as well as an eye for detail. Press has been known to rework a piece to restore it to its former glory, she even worked her magic on her own wedding gown.
What you’ll find: An well-edited selection of feminine, floaty and frothy delights which will delight the bridesmaids and inspire the bride.
Retrostar, First floor, Nicolas Building, 37 Swanston St (cnr Flinders Lane)
Venture into Australia’s largest vintage store to find fashions from the 1940’s through to the 1980’s which are sourced from around the world.
What you’ll find: Affordable prices and an extensive collection of vintage afternoon tea dresses and accessories make Retrostar the perfect hunting ground for bridesmaids and wedding guests after a something special.
American Rag, Southgate Complex, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank VIC 3006
A firm favourite of the fashion savvy, American Rag is known for truly unique pieces, mostly imported from the USA.
What you’ll find: Quality vintage garments at reasonable prices along with a selection of new clothing and accessories.
Adornments, 145 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, QLD, (07) 3369 2033
This gorgeous store is styled to look like a wardrobe from the Victorian era, making for a truly special vintage shopping experience. The collection of fine and costume jewellery is just the thing to add a vintage touch to your look.
What you’ll find: A mix of treasures, Adornments has a wide selection of beautiful clothing, shoes, handbags and even some homewares.
The Brisbane Vintage Fashion Fair, Souths Rugby Clubhouse, Davies Park, Cnr Montague Rd & Jane St, West End
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned vintage shopper, the Vintage Fashion Fair has something for everyone. With over two levels of fashions from every era, be prepared to rummage. Your efforts will be rewarded with collector-quality evening bags, gowns, jewellery as well as a selection of men’s vintage.
Find a glorious array of gowns, beaded evening bags, lace, buttons, lingerie, embroidery, shoes, hats, textiles, men’s vintage, needlework, necklaces, gloves, trimmings, jewellery, compacts, combs, parasols, fans , collectables and more - over two levels of our venue
What you’ll find: Quality items from passionate storeholders. A great hunting ground for truly unique wares; think Victorian parasols and chic 40’s compacts which will add a special touch of vintage to your day.
Recollections Recycled Designs, 10 Times Square, 337 Stirling Highway, Claremont, Western Australia, (08) 9383 3377
A world of designer fashions at ridiculously reasonable prices, Recollections is a label lovers dream. Their selection of accessories (think Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton just to namedrop a few favourites) is just the thing for guests to update their look for an upcoming wedding! If you’ve seriously nothing to wear, there is an impressive range of classic frocks and tops from the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Missoni, Easton Pearson and Christian Dior.
What you’ll find: Recycled designer fashions and accessories in pristine condition.
Not a Claremont local? Second Hand Posh, the online extension of W.A boutique Recollections Recycled Designs offers high-end vintage fashions which are just a mouse-click away:
Last but not least, as any vintage aficionado will tell you, mix old and new pieces to avoid looking like you’re in costume. It’s the perfect excuse for a new pair of shoes, not that you needed one!
By Bonnie Blackburn