Off-the-track vintage – East Dulwich
Having lived all over London, Lana Clements is no vintage virgin, but was thrilled to find out that her new home, East Dulwich, is a particularly tip top bargain-hunting spot. Here she shares her favourite vintage haunts.
East Dulwich is a small middle-class suburb in south London, where expensive food delis, flower shops and Oliver Bonas and an abundance of yummy mummies dot the high street. But slightly off the frothy coffee trail is a small yetthriving vintage scene well worth seeking out.
You should go on a Saturday when a street market sets up home on North Cross Road, just off Lordship Lane. Peppered among the food stalls are a few vintage stalls, the largest is run by Kells who has been pitching up for about two years now. A man well-seasoned on the vintage scene (he also used to run the Dulwich vintage fair) he knows the value of his stock so you probably won’t pick up any steals, but nonetheless everything is fairly priced.
The stall has an especially good range of coats and jackets (averaging £50) – rails of fur, tweed and leather abound – and retro boots from around £40-65). I was a big fan of a beautiful red tartan jacket, but resisted this time round…
The market also houses a couple of smaller vintage stalls, usually consisting of a rail or two each, again selling beautiful coats as well as some dreamy dresses from days gone by.
Just off North Cross Road, on Felbrigg Road, stop to check out North Cross Vintage, which houses a collection of furniture, kitchen china, jewellery and other valuable bric and brac gems with lots of character. In particular I love the brooches and the mass of old postcards from the early nineteenth century.
As you amble up North Cross Rad you’ll come across two shop spaces where the wares spill out on to the pavement. Officially the shop is called Junk and Gems, but as of yet the name has not been painted on the shop.
Predominantly selling vintage furniture, there is a usually a handful of clothes which the owner sells for a good price. I bought a red Seventies’ Chinese style dress for a very reasonable £20 after being taken with the exquisite detailing on the material.
From Junk and Gems you must head to Chi Chi Ra Ra – a little vintage haven packed with bargainous clothes to root through, selected by owner Heather. I’d been looking for a chunky winter-warming jumper for a while and Chi Chi Ra Ra didn’t disappoint, with plenty of woollies to choose from all at around £20 among some very glamourous dresses and coats. I walked away with a cream chunky knit cardie for £25.
As is the case with any affluent-ish area, it’s always worth dipping into the charity shops. In Dulwich you should pay a visit to St Christopher’s Hospice – two charity shops on the fantastically-named Lordship Lane which sell good priced second hand furniture.
I suspect that the vintage traders aforementioned regularly scour the shops for clothes as I’ve not managed to pick up any good bargains, although the general standard of clothing is high: lots of Topshop, Reiss and Oasis basics.
At the bottom of Lordship Lane, by the roundabout, there is also a Mind charity shop, which has quality second hand clothes, often with a few designer pieces, although they are accordingly priced.
I really am spoilt for choice!