Monday, 5 March 2012

Shop Ettiquete cont....

Aside from understanding what's expected when you enter a premise, there is also an understanding that you will handle the merchandise or property with care. Remember until it's yours all due care is required.

We at Retro Metro from The Bald Guy, Ms Jones through to The Mean Seamstress all work tirelessly sourcing, laundering, repairing and merchandising our garments so that they make the rack in the best possible condition they can be.

One of our greatest frustrations is watching people attack the racks, pulling, tugging and cramming our beautiful vintage dresses like fancy rags. What they don't realise is they are potentially damaging our stock.

When you have put your heart and soul into a restoration, then watch as it's pulled from its place and shoved back with its hanger inside another garment, it can be a little soul destroying.

As an example to time spent restoring a garment. The Bald Guy found a beautiful Christian Dior lace dress, I spent 48 hours monitoring, refreshing and hand-washing this extremely delicate garment. The Mean Seamstress did a 10 hour overhaul. Needless to say this frock does not hang on the rack, it's up high out of harms way.

This is the same for the change rooms. Why do people hang things on the floor, what is that about? Perhaps a reflection of their own wardrobe. I bet their mothers would slap em if she'd just washed and ironed it. Coat hangers and hooks are there for a reason. Know how to use them, it's not brain surgery.

Which brings me to a little instore demo video (4 actually) compiled by myself and The Mean Seamstress. There may be some over-acting and they may be a bit cheesey but there is a point. Roll film.........

Please note we used T-shirts for the "How not to use a hanger" video cause we just couldn't do this to our dresses.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Shop Etiquette

Every establishment you enter from your local park, bar, swimming pool etc. has conditions of entry.
Some conditions are clearly signed and others are just simply common sense or social norms.
You would expect something similar in your own home.

Having said that, I am constantly surprised by how some people behave in our shop. Perhaps the whole "used" tag sticks.

Perceptions I have gauged, real or imagined:-

This shop should be smelly, ugly, funny and cheap. Their behaviour is exactly that.

This shop is very expensive but second-hand who do they think they are. Treat Ms Nebraska Jones (formerley known as Tamzen)
like she's both stupid and poor.

School Holidays. "I'll pick something for you and you pick something for me to try on....just for fun!!!!" 20 garments later, on the floor,
inside out, trodden on and a million facebook photo's later. WTF!If you have ever wondered why we put up "Absolutely No Photography in store" signs, this is the why.

We actually don't mind the photography (except for teenage fb moments) but feel much better if we get asked first. Personally, I just think
that it's polite. Can't you get arrested in some countries for taking pictures willy nilly?

My personal favourite.

Early 30 something lady blasts through the shop, pulling and tugging at every garment in her wake, (delicate, lovely things)
yelling loudly "over-priced crap!!" looks at nothing understands nothing and leaves.

My least personal favourite.

Junkie girl, parts my racks and vomits behind the pidgeon holes that house our shoes. Lovely.

Just one of those days at Retro Metro.

To be cont......

Friday, 2 March 2012

I decided to Google Retro Metro the other day, as you do, (a bit like googling your own name) I came across a site called Yelp! Interesting....there were a number of reviews of our store, not many but a few, mostly favourable but some not, that's ok, an opinion is an opinion.

Reading these reviews got me thinking about some of the comments made here and I kind of felt compelled to write this blog, should anyone actually read it. I guess the purpose of this is to give some insight into the world of Retro Metro. Why we do what we do, how we do it and why we love it. Also to dispel myth and rumour and hopefully to provide an understanding of what Retro and Vintage fashion truely is.

The most important topic I'd like to clarify is the difference between Retro and Vintage.

Ok here it is! Retro Fashion is original clothing from the 1970's, '80's, and early 1990's i.e. it must be over 20 years old. (Retro is an abbreviated form of the word retrospective.) Vintage Fashion is original clothing from the early 1900's through to the 1960's i.e. it must be over 50 years old. Anything earlier than that would be considered Antique.

Having sorted that one out, I'd like to voice a personal peeve.

People, please stop slapping a "vintage" label on things that simply aren't, it is incorrect and misleading.

Enough said.

The second most important topic for discussion is the difference between second-hand, Retro & Vintage.

Your Antique Silky Oak chest of drawers, your 1950's teak sideboard, your Great-Grandfathers teaspoon collection worth $5000 are all second-hand, used and pre-loved.

There is no hiding the fact that retro and vintage clothing is "pre-loved" (most preferable term). Having said that, in the shop we have quite a number of garments that have in fact never been worn. NWT (new with tag). Pretty exciting stuff in my world. Back to the point.

Yes! This clothing has been worn before, but it is now a piece of fashion history. It has value for that reason alone, especially so if it is beautiful!

How should Retro and Vintage garments, accessories, etc. be valued?

Condition and quality first, rarity, collectability, desirability. Obviously designer retro and vintage will always fetch bigger price tags for those who love labels, but even handmade vintage garments depending on quality will also reflect a higher price tag due to beauty and rarity.

Within every fashion era there is both good and bad fashion. It takes a discerning eye to know the difference between fashion and that '70's show or the last costume party you went to. This also adds value.

This applies to all retro, vintage, antique and collectable items.

I am very lucky to work with someone who has an extensive knowledge of collecting esp. fashion, boasting over 25 years experience in fashion retail and all manner of collecting.

I am equally as lucky to work with an amazing seamstress and friend who repairs and restores all of the beautiful garments we have in our shop.

Not to mention my good fortune to have found an incredibly talented and loyal stylist, visual artist, friend and advocate for all things fashion based to be the face of Retro Metro.

Being passionate is a very enabling emotion. It also should command high standards.

Back tomorrow........