I was whisked away to Phillip Island for a romantic weekend away with my boyfriend to celebrate our four and a half year anniversary, staying at his aunt's beach house in Cowes. It's a cute seaside town and I was looking forward to documenting my outfits in a new location but the weather was so hot and the outside of the house looked a little dilapidated so I never got round to it. I've become so used to shooting my outfits outside in natural sunlight that when I had to shoot inside I felt a little overwhelmed in my new environment. In my own home I know which direction the sun rises and sets in, as well as when are the best times during the day to take photos but here I couldn't get my bearings so I relaxed instead. It was nice to simply be in each others company and go out during the day and cuddle up on the couch at night.
So instead of taking outfit posts like I planned instead I brought my camera along when we went shopping at some of the antique stores. The first store we visited was simply called Collectable Antiques and we almost missed it entirely since it's tucked away on a little vacant lot with a gravel parking lot but it was by far my favourite store of our entire visit. I wish there was something like this a little closer to home (there probably is) and I spent a good hour or so walking around and admiring the various clothes and accessories. They also had a stack of comics, records and kitchenware which I also photographed. I know this is a predominantly fashion and style oriented blog but there were so many wonderful things so it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.
When Hamish said he had a few junk shops to show me I didn't know what to expect but I was blown away by both the quality of the clothing and the tight knit community of vintage stores at Phillip Island. The stores were absolutely huge and organised accordingly with entire sections dedicated to clothing, kitchenware, books, pop culture items. Basically it felt like I had found my own little slice of heaven or unexpected paradise but I noticed a couple of key differences between these stores and typical op shops and even vintage stores in the city. For one thing there was a better selection of pieces from certain decades and an overall sense that items were being curated with a lot more care and respect than you would find in your typical thrift store. As for comparisons to vintage stores in the big smoke I would say there range is a bit "prettier" i.e. where vintage stores in the city would have an entire wall of Dr Martens there was a greater emphasis on Italian leather heels and dress shoes.
Despite being housed in a renovated shed, the addition of pink paint and plush carpet made it feel like I had been transported to a ladies boudoir and as cliche as this will sound I found it did enhance my shopping experience. Hopefully these photos have also shown that everything was beautifully curated and tastefully organized which again added value to each item. Lately I've been so wrapped up in the online shopping phenomenon that I had all but abandoned and totally forgotten how much of a difference it makes when you are able to see how the clothes are displayed and try them on. It also brought with it the added pressure of deciding if I wanted to buy something then and there, and removing the ease of unlimited online access which I've come to depend on. It was strange being faced with the thought of having to leave certain items behind.
I bought a dress and matching coat in the same pattern for $95 which isn't too bad considering some individual coats were sold for the same price and I really liked the texture. I was meant to take selfies when we got home of my new purchases but the bathroom was a mess and by then it was thirty-five degrees outside so I was in no mood. Hopefully I'll get a chance to wear them soon but what I can tell you is that the pattern reminds me of a particular Issey Miyake pleats please top and the silhouette of the coat reminds me of Miu Miu's 2014 Fall campaign. Basically it's a match made in heaven- when I blurted these references out to the proprietor she assumed I was a fashion student which I found a bit flattering. Of course when I explained that I'm a science student doing honours in palaeontology, well she didn't have anything to say to that. Basically I think she thought I was a bit strange but passionate about academic studies and clothing.