I’m sure it hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention (least of all mine) over the past 18 months or so that vintage is back with a capital V.
From the clothes we’re wearing to the ways in which we’re choosing to decorate our homes, vintage is big news and influencing almost every single aspect of the high street and beyond.
And while I’ll raise both hands and admit that I L-O-V-E filling my wardrobe/house with as much imitation vintage gubbins as I can possibly get my hands on, I have to admit that the old saying about the originals being the best does ring true here; I’d rather pay over the odds for a chintzy china set that I’ve spent hours scouring the charity shops for than simply buy something vintage-inspired and unoriginal at the click of a button.
Which is why, when I was faced with the sombre task of having to turn down an invitation to the opening of a new vintage venture by the British Red Cross recently, I kicked myself. Hard.
Opening its doors to the public for the first time on 19 October was Shrewsbury’s answer to Aladdin’s Cave; a wealth of original vintage and retro treats all crammed under one pretty little roof…
Staff celebrated the opening of the shop – the first of its kind for the British Red Cross – by treating their brand new customers to a vintage-style feast of tea, cake and cucumber sandwiches whilst they shopped. I won’t lie, I literally died a bit inside when I heard about this – if I’d have been able to make it up there for the day then I guarantee I would have been bashing people out the way in a bid to guzzle tea and get my mitts on that b-e-a-utiful dressing table set below. And I probably would have weighed up the pros and cons of dragging that glorious dressing table, avec contents, home on the train whilst repeating the customary ‘I regret nothing’ mantra.
In a nod to the theme, the shop also had a team of stylists dressed in full vintage regalia who were on hand for the day to help people get into the mood and pick out some glamorous gems to take home with them.
Red Cross staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly in the run up to the shop’s opening, transforming the Tudor building on Shrewsbury’s Mardol Street into a vintage-inspired shoppers’ heaven, complete with historical Red Cross posters. And judging by these pics, I’d say they’d done a pretty damn good job at doing so too.
For those of you who don’t live locally or won’t be frequenting Shrewsbury on you future travels, fear not – this is merely the first in a chain of stand-alone vintage stores that the Red Cross are planning to open throughout the country; one may be coming your way throughout the course of 2012, so keep your eyes well and truly peeled.
I wish all of Shrewsbury’s local residents and fashion enthusiasts the best of luck in rifling through that menagerie of vintage wonder, because if I ever happen to “accidentally” get on a train and not get off again until it stops in Shrewsbury then I will be buying the LOT.
All of the above images are courtesy of Nick Robinson/APEX.