For 20s Gatsby Glam
Don’t let the fact that Kris Jenner practically owns the 20s theme post-sixtieth birthday fest deter you (and lets be honest, the whole K-clan did look amazing that night) – the 20s is a fashion era that always has currency. Catering to our craving for deco-style sequinned capes and faux-fur jackets is Zoo Emporium in Sydney’s Surry Hills. (It’s also a treasure-trove of vintage accessories to finish the look). If it’s the real deal you’re after, make an appointment at Vintage Now near the Mornington Peninsula, for a hand-beaded flapper dress based on traditional jazz-age silhouettes – they’re surprisingly affordable, too.
For 30s and 40s ladylike
We can thank Olivia Palermo for many things in a sartorial sense, but one of the most significant is her contribution to making elegant ladylike dressing feel edgy. Printed mini-dresses and structured bags are both timeless and multi-purpose. To own the look, head straight to the experts at The Vintage Clothing Shop in Sydney. Owner Lorraine stocks 30s floral tea gowns, 40s crepe dresses and costume jewellery from both eras.
The Vintage Clothing Shop, 7/80 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW
For 50s Marilyn fabulous
No, we’re not talking bombshell, nude dress Marilyn – we’re talking that elegant, off-duty Marilyn wardrobe that was mirrored by (or perhaps from) Grace Kelly at the same time: Capri pants, cat’s-eye sunglasses and gingham. Henry Vintage on Perth’s William Street is jam-packed with racks of 50s day dresses. If it’s pencil skirts and pillbox hats you want, try Circa in Melbourne for a seriously authentic outfit. Just add barrel curls and a red lip – because who wouldn’t want to dress like a retro-chic pin-up?
For 60s Alexa mod moments
When it comes to channelling Twiggy, it pays to go vintage – the best minis came straight out of the decade that gave us Biba and bouffants. When fashion icon Alexa Chung touched down in Sydney several years ago, we spotted her hitting up vintage hotspot Surry Hills. First stop? The legendary Grandma Takes a Trip on Crown Street, with more mod shifts than you can poke a charlotte Olympia Stiletto at. If Alexa had done Melbourne, she’d have gone straight to Velour in St Kilda for her fix.
For 70s trend authenticity
It’s no secret the 70s have been a key runway trend the past two seasons. Paisley, flared jeans, tassels, anything suede – they all belong in any current street style collection. So it’s a good thing Adelaide’s Irving Baby! is on hand at That Dapper Market for a dose of 70s luxe (think bold printed shirts and jackets lined with faux-fur). Or for a Penny Lane moment, head to retro metro in Brisbane’s La Trobe terrace, the city’s vintage epicentre, where you’ll find jumpsuits, maxis and printed kaftans galore. You’ll be all set to snare your own rock star at Coachella 2016.
For 80s back again
They call it the decade fashion forgot – but something must have jogged its memory because we clocked our fair share of boxy jackets and metallic pants on the AW16 runways. Desperately seeking 80s action? Check out the Shag website, or either of the stores in Melbourne and Sydney, where sequinned, ruched and bold graphic pieces are always in stock. You’ll even find original 70s Emilio Pucci pieces and other designer treats if you’re lucky. If it’s the accessories you want (like wide belts and bright sunglasses) Fat Helen’s on Melbourne’s Chapel Street is the place. Be prepared to rummage.
For 90s Nirvana edge
Sorry, but the 90s are officially vintage (scary) and stomping back into our fashion psyche with combat boots and puffy parkas that allude a young Kate Moss. On the flip side of grunge, the preppy plaid that showed up in Spring/Summer 2016 collections says Cher Horowitz in Clueless all over again. Cream on King in Sydney’s Newtown and online, has a bona-fide artillery of leather jackets and boots, while the warehouse-like Retrostar in Melbourne devotes countless racks to old band tees alone. Both stores are unisex – because flannies are just better from the men’s section.
Updated from article originally printed in GRAZIA Australia 2012
Vintage Fair image credit: Hobbies Sudoneighm