Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Top 5 Vintage Shops in York

This autumn I am planning a short trip to the UK. I will be going to York again and, naturally, I'm very excited to visit my old haunts. So I decided to post these lists of my favorite places to shop for vintage in York.

Bowler Vintage 
52 Fossgate
This is by far my favorite store of the lot. Not becasue it has the best wares, but becasue how stylish it is. Every time I'm there I just feel instantly glamorous. Even if I hadn't washed my hair and I'm wearing my lazy day jean, when I step over the threshold, I become Bette Davis or Norma Shearer. There are two floors to the store, first one is dedicated to men's fashions, and the second has a collection of modern repro clothing (they've got all the usual suspects with Hell Bunny, Collectif and Dancing Days by Banned) as well as vintage pieces. And the atmosphere is lovely - the store is bright, with a lovely old display that contains accessories, wooden chairs, low hanging lampshades and bag-scarf-hat combos decorating the shelves.

Dog & Bone Vintage 
28 Castlegate
While I love Bowler Vintage for the atmosphere, I love Dog & Bone for the stuff. And, boy, do they have some nice stuff! It's also two floors of shopping delight. The ground floor has men's clothes and lifestyle things - cards, games, cups and books. You need to go into the basement to see the women's clothes, and they have plenty. The lights are low and it's a lot more crammed, but they do have some of the best vintage dresses I have ever seen from blue chiffon prom dresses (perfect for cosplaying 1950s Cinderella) to delightful novelty prints cotton frocks that seem to be from the days of rationing.

The Flax & Twine 
20 Shambles
This is what I would call a bric-à-brac store. It has an assortment of the most wonderful things from old typewriters to parasols, from hats and purses to little brushes to remove crumbs from your dining table. I cannot recommend this place enough! You can spend your whole day there looking at little treasures and once you're tired of that, you can head to the second floor and take some tea with cake in their cafe. I am still very sad that I bough nothing there since the things were either too big or too brittle to transport them back home with me.

12 Walmgate
This store was on my regular to-visit list since it was right next to the bus stop that took me to the University. They mostly have the usual rockabilly stuff, which did not strike my fancy. I did, however, feel very drawn to an assortment of sweaters, which had been made by the owner's wife based on authentic 1940s patterns.
Sue Ryder Care 
28 Goodramgate

I loved this thrift store (or as they call it in the UK - a charity shop). Unlike most other thrift stores in town that had a pretty indifferent collection of old Marks & Spencer sweaters and ugly shows from the early 2000s, Sue Ryder had a vintage section on the second floor and some of the things there were divine. I have come across some really beautiful hairbrush and mirror sets that were in good condition and cost a fraction of what you would have paid for them in the vintage stores. I bought a pair of cream colored embroidered gloves there. I would have bought a hat, but I had no way of transporting it back home.    

Hope you liked this post. In my next one, I will list my favorite York cafes.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tarot Cards Photo Shoot

Finally, the photos from our summer Tarot Cards themed photo shoot are here. It was a lot of fun and I'm very happy that I can share the photos here with you.

My first costume was The Star
It's the 17th card of the Major Arcana. It tends to show a naked woman kneeling next to a pond or a river and pouring out water from two jugs. There is usually one or more stars above the woman.

In divination, The Star signifies spirituality, hope, inspiration and serenity.

I had my own interpretation of the card and was very much inspired by the beautiful Hedy Lamarr and her star dress. More on that here. I picked a really lovely spot next to a small fountain with the bay behind me. However, the day was very windy and my hair lost most of the curl and the dress was a little hard to manage. Still, I am quite happy with how the photos turned out.

For my second costume, my friend and I went for Two of Cups

It's a card of the Minor Arcana. It usually depicts a man and a woman standing face to face and holding cups as if they are toasting each other.

Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot
In divination, The Two of Cups means relationship, attraction, unified love and bonds of friendship.

We decided to create two shield maiden characters, who are drinking from goblets at the end of a long day's fighting.

I am particularly proud of my tunic which I made from a bed sheet and then embroidered. I used my woven belt that I had bought during a Times & Epochs historical reenactment festival in Moscow a few years back. The gold medallion was something I'd found at a thrift store and the sheep skin vest was a souvenir from Greece. My friend made her tunic out of a dark blue crimped material and trimmed it with faux fur. She's wearing an old Kalevala necklace and a pair of men's boots she'd picked up at the Opera flea market.        

I still wish we had more time to work on the costumes. And the weather was a little grey and indifferent. I have learnt a valuable lesson, though, if you use body glitter, be prepared to find specks of it everywhere for the rest of your life.

Photos by Salomon Marttila 
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