It all started one lazy Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1987 when my friend, Susan, introduced me to La Di Da, a vintage clothing store in the hip Five Points area of Jacksonville, Florida. While many of my classmates were shopping just down the street at Edge City (the progenitor of Punk, New Wave, & Goth styling in Jax), my funky sense of style was honed in the overflowing racks of vintage silk dresses, pencil skirts, Bakelite jewelry, & faux mink stoles of La Di Da.
I found my greatest sartorial coup to date at this little shop, a silver Moire taffeta 1950s dress from Furchgott’s that June Cleaver herself would have coveted. I may not have been the fanciest belle at the ball that night, but I was damned sure the coolest! While my days of dressing solely from thrift stores & vintage shops are long behind me, I still retain a style accented by a hint of vintage – a bag, a scarf, a bracelet, a jacket – and if I did find myself in need of an ensemble for a fancy dress party, I wouldn’t hesitate to seek out the nearest vintage clothing shop.
That opportunity came when I discovered Blitz, just off Brick Lane in the heart of East London. Touted as a “Vintage Department Store,” it fills five rooms and two floors of an old furniture factory, offering a range of neatly organized retro items — clothes, accessories, books, art, clothing, luggage, movie posters, crockery, and more. And taking me straight back to the 1980s was the impressively large selection of Swatch Watches. From Victorian to Flapper to Mod to Punk, it’s all here at Blitz and certainly worth including among the likes of Camden & Portobello Markets.