Lovers of vintage style, this is going to make your heart skip a beat: this new boutique in Joo Chiat is the fashion treasure trove you’ve been waiting for.
We all know that great vintage goodies are like gold dust here in Singapore. If, like us, you’ve got a thing for fabulous retro fashion, delicious accessories from another era and old-school decor, we’ve found your new mecca on Joo Chiat Road: A Vintage Tale.
When we spotted The Vintage Tale at one of our fave flea markets in Katong, a trunk overflowing with colourful pieces, a badass denim boiler suit on display and amazing colourful pieces pulled together from Brooklyn to Milan, Miami and back again, we almost hyperventilated. And came home with quite a haul.
Founders and partners in vintage fabulousness Azzurra La Mantia and Jasmine De Brauwer just have opened their own boutique at 277 Joo Chiat Road, a technicolour space filled with unique pieces they’ve hand-picked around the world. From vintage Chanel jumpsuits to pristine 80s’ era handbags snapped up at the markets in Italy, pop pieces bought at a market under the Brooklyn Bridge and some retro-fabulous homewares, this could be dangerous…
We had a chat with Azzurra and Jasmine about living the vintage life in Singapore:
Ladies, we get the feeling you’re a little obsessed with vintage…
Azzurra: What we love the most about vintage fashion are the styles and silhouettes of the past as well as the lovely fabrics and patterns: the optical, geometrical and floral prints from the sixties and the seventies and the oversized style of the eighties. Pieces were often beautified with rare sequins and unique buttons, and are impossible to find nowadays. Another important fact about vintage is that it is one of a kind: you can be assured that you are wearing a unique piece.
Jasmine: We also love homewares: cups, teapots and glasses with fun and colourful prints! Silver trays and others are accessories that remind us a lot of having dinners at the houses of our grandparents. It brings us back in time.
So what sparked you to bring this boutique to life?
Azzurra: When we arrived in Singapore coming from Italy, A Vintage Tale existed solely online. We were participating in different events and vintage fairs. Then I met Jasmine, who was running JazzyStar Vintage and we became friends. In only a few months we realised we could achieve greater things by combining forces, so we decided to open up a showroom together.
Jasmine: We chose Joo Chiat as a location because of the vintage ambiance of the neighbourhood with all those colourful shophouses. Around our corner you always see tourists taking pictures of the Peranakan houses in Koon Seng Road. We think our vintage showroom fits in beautifully with the rest of the neighbourhood.
Tell us about your backgrounds: what did you do before opening your Joo Chiat boutique?
Azzurra: I moved here with my family at the beginning of this year from Italy: I worked in Milan for Stella McCartney. I adore her and her focus on the environment and animal rights.
Jasmine: I’m originally from Belgium’s fashion capital, Antwerp, and used to work in events. I’ve been living in Singapore for about 12 years. We both believe that by wearing vintage we recycle clothes from the past and as such we, and everyone else who wears vintage is contributing to reducing our reliance on natural resources which is the case for fast fashion clothes. We are also proud of the fact that 90% of our showroom interior consists of locally sourced vintage furniture.
And where do you source your pieces?
Azzurra: We love to hunt: there’s such a thrill when you find that special piece! Most of our pieces are sourced in Belgium and Italy, but we often source from other countries in Europe and the US as well. That’s why we call it the World’s Wardrobe.
Any myths about vintage fashion you’d like to debunk?
Jasmine: Sometimes people think that vintage is only for certain sizes, but that is not the case at A Vintage Tale, we have clothes in all kind of sizes from super slim to beautifully curved.
What are your most treasured vintage pieces of all time in your personal collections? Where did you discover them?
Azzurra: Unsurprisingly, we both have large personal collections with unique pieces we consider our treasures. My favourite is a famous velvet blue and yellow Bangonghi bag by Roberta Di Camerino. It’s a bag I bought from an Italian collector: a very particular lady who lived quite far away from me. I travelled a very long distance just to get it as I was so in love with it and still am today. It’s a very special piece.
Jasmine: My most precious item is a wild silk skirt by Dries Van Noten – a designer from my hometown.
And what’s the best vintage find in the boutique – what’s the story behind it?
Azzurra: A shiny black raincoat decorated with colourful gemstones from the 80 so you can stay glamorous in the rain as well. We got it from Chelsea Market in New York, a great place to buy vintage in the Big Apple.
Jasmine: I have a soft spot for one-of-a-kind home decor. We have some Art Deco tiles that belonged to an old factory in the south of Belgium, which are very rare and their history makes it so special.
Do you have any styling tips for vintage lovers?
Azzurra: Every vintage lover needs to have a couple of must haves in their wardrobe: a vintage Gucci or Chanel bag, and pair of big earrings in plastic or mother of pearl – the important part is that they need to be big to enrich your features.
Jasmine: A colourful silk shirt by Gianni Versace to combine with high-waist jeans, the ideal look from morning to evening. Also a polka dot mini skirt or with a flower pattern, or a circle skirt, both wonderful pieces to wear to a Cocktail Party. Certainly we should not forget headwear: our favourite ones are fascinators to further enhance your silhouette.
A Vintage Tale; 277 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore #02-01, Singapore 427531
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