If you've ever been to Venice, you know the shopping is mostly about Venetian masks and Murano glass products (if you haven't been, the beautiful Elegance in Exile exhibition is more than enough reason to go). In the past year little second hand, vintage and consignment shops – from cheap to very expensive – have begun popping up at every corner, permeating the dense atmosphere of Tradition and making the city more in sync with those of us who keep returning to it yearning to be surprised by something new.
Though I rarely wear accessories other than bags, jewelry displays always catch my attention. I took this photo through the window because the shop was closed. It was just before Halloween, hence the zombie ring contributing to a most charming selection. It would be uncharacteristic for Venice, but I'd love if the shop was still there (and open) the next time I visit.
This Carolina Herrera dress was my first ever vintage find. I bought it two years ago at Hairy Mary's, a super fancy boutique in New York's Lower East Side (in the meantime they've relocated to Brooklyn and changed the name to Sharon London). It was love at first sight both because of the Japanese-style collar and because it fit so well. The dress - reportedly between 25 and 30 years old - was in semi-terrible condition, but when I got back to Ljubljana, I took it to a seamstress and she did a fantastic job repairing it.
I wear this dress very rarely because I'd like it to last for quite a few more years, but as it's one of those dresses that make you feel like a better version of yourself (have to write about this "phenomenon" one day), maybe I will wear it more often now. I wore it two days ago to a New York Philharmonic concert because given its place of origin, it felt like the (only) right thing to do. Oh, nostalgia, you'll be the death of me.
A couple of months ago I found out about Jane Doe vintage shop browsing Serbian fashion forums and immediately made a mental note to check it out the next time I'm in Belgrade. A real vintage shop (stocking only items from before the 90s) in one of my favorite cities sounded incredibly promising; I believe every city with an identity has its share of highly specific clothes - you'll come across a piece and it'll hit you how very much it's reminiscent of a particular time and place (the insane "Lepa Brena at the culmination of her 80s kitsch" black and gold blazer with extremely puffy shoulders, glittery dots and bows that I bought at Jane Doe, perfectly conscious of the fact that I'm probably never going to wear it, is the very embodiment of this concept). I went to other Belgrade vintage and second-hand stores prior to my venture to Jane Doe, but the latter was the only one that really lived up to my wishes and expectations in terms of both selection of items and atmosphere.
Many stores, regardless of what they sell, aim for that "make yourself comfortable" and "feel like at home" character, but very few of them actually succeed because it's rather difficult to maintain cozy mood if your employees aren't genuinely interested in making it work it too. What I liked best about Jane Doe was that it made me feel like I could stay there all day just browsing racks and trying on clothes. Its owner, Bojana, is super nice and puts a lot of energy into interacting with vintage/fashion enthusiasts visiting the shop. Bojana is in her 20s and runs Jane Doe completely by herself. She was the first one to take the plunge into opening a vintage shop in Belgrade, a gesture that has definitely paid off as she's established a steady base of regular customers.
Jane Doe (located on Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 161a) sells clothes, shoes, bags, hats and jewelry; the entire place (including the little front yard) is lavishly decorated with trinkets such as old magazines, illustrations and toys. The philosophy behind the name of the shop is that without an owner, every piece loses its identity and gets the label "Jane Doe". When you buy the piece, you give it a new identity and remove the label. Although I think the "Jane Doe" label suggests quite a bit of identity due to the shop being an all-around inspiring abode, I was happy to remove it from two blazers. Needless to say, Jane Doe is now one of my favorite places in Belgrade.
P.S. It's official: Dressful's first giveaway will be announced next Monday, September 20!
I'm currently on my annual trip to Belgrade. Seeing approximately 99,99% of women sporting sky high heels when I've deliberately limited myself to flat shoes as I spend most of the day walking is less devastating than I thought it would be (I own nice heels too, you know?), maybe because my sneakers are covered with black sequins and therefore look awesome. However, they're definitely not the only object of my sartorial affection:
I bought this cropped blazer in a vintage store yesterday. It looks far better on the body, but my webcam refused to cooperate by providing photos in demented hues and I had to shoot it differently. I don't have much experience with vintage shopping yet, so the feeling when you find The Item on a seemingly endless clothes rack or buried under an avalanche of clothes of dubious taste is still new and amazing to me.
In other news, I'm going to host Dressful's first giveaway very soon. The prize is unisex, didn't want to limit it to the girl crowd. I like it a lot and I'm sure you will too. Stay tuned for more news!