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A vintage stylist shops Sydney

Joanne Gambale, stylistCREDIT: Jenny Evans

Sydney-based vintage wardrobe stylist Joanne Gambale.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

A vintage stylist
shops Sydney

Joanne Gambale, stylist CREDIT: Jenny Evans

Sydney-based vintage wardrobe stylist Joanne Gambale.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Joanne Gambale is a Sydney-based personal shopper and stylist with a difference: she only shops for pre-loved clothes and embraces the concept of slow fashion. A vintage-fashion obsessive and veteran of Vogue Australia and Vogue Living magazines, she now sources unique second-hand pieces for the time-poor clients of her Slogue wardrobe styling service. Here she shares her top vintage shopping haunts in Sydney. 

As a stylist and professional vintage shopper, where do you go in Sydney when you’re sourcing for clients?

Newtown in the Inner West for sure. I live fairly close by and it’s probably the area with the densest population of vintage stores as well as op shops (you might know op shops, or ‘opportunity shops’, as thrift stores). King Street is Newtown’s main strip, but its north and south stretches are really quite different. The south end, to the south of Newtown train station, is better for bric-a-brac, antiques and furniture; and the north is all about fashion. There’s a great store, Fabrique Vintage [at 1 Wilson Street, just off King Street near the train station], run by this fabulous French guy Shawn Morière, who also manages nearby Vintage at 313 on King Street. Then there are two U-Turn stores as well (a store for vintage and a more contemporary store), and on Enmore Road is a store called SWOP, a swap shop that only accepts good vintage. There’s also a well-edited boutique called Bowerbird Vintage, which I often recommend to clients, since they have less time to rummage.” 

What’s your all-time favourite Sydney vintage shop?

 “It would have to be Lucie Blinco’s Zoo Emporium, a five-minute drive east of the city centre in Surry Hills. Just walking into the two-level shop makes me want to dress up and jump on a Mardi Gras float covered in sequins and Glomesh, but I have to rein myself in now that I’m buying for clients with less outrageous tastes.” 

Do you find many clothes in Sydney’s antique centres?

“Actually yes, more than you’d imagine. And since most visitors to these places are there for the furniture, and most of the dealers are too, you’re more likely to find something really special that the seller just wants to offload because it’s outside their area of expertise. My go-tos in Sydney are Lunatiques in Mascot, near the airport, and Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre in Alexandria [a 15-minute drive south of the city centre].” 

There are a lot of hip stores selling 1990s vintage in Sydney, but what’s your tip for lovers of truly vintage — pre-1960s — fashion? 

“Without a doubt it would be The Vintage Clothing Shop in the city; it’s the go-to for fashion editors. This shop has been loaning clothes and accessories to Vogue and other fashion magazines for many years. It’s also where I found a dress for the London edition of my wedding over a decade ago!” 

Vintage.at.313, Newtown CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple trying out clothing at Vintage.at.313, Newtown.

#ilovesydney

Vintage.at.313, Newtown CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple trying out clothing at Vintage.at.313, Newtown.

#ilovesydney

The Vintage Clothing Shop, Sydney CREDIT: The Vintage Clothing Shop and Marty Lochmann

The Vintage Clothing Shop in central Sydney is the go-to vintage store for fashion editors and stylists.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The Vintage Clothing Shop, Sydney CREDIT: The Vintage Clothing Shop and Marty Lochmann

The Vintage Clothing Shop in central Sydney is the go-to vintage store for fashion editors and stylists.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

What about stores that deal in high-end labels?

Di Nuovo, in the upmarket eastern suburb of Paddington, is by no means a vintage store, but it is top-notch for pre-loved designer labels. This is such a pretty part of Sydney, so it’s worth making a day of it. I’ve seen on their racks Comme de Garçons, The Row and Isabel Marant and Australian labels such as Zimmermann and Camilla, and there’s plenty of high-end and like-new accessories and shoes.” 

Sydney has its fair share of weekend vintage markets. Which one is your favourite?

 “In terms of my own personal finds and people watching, it’s got to be Surry Hills Markets [8am–4pm on the first Saturday of every month, Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, Surry Hills]. As a former Surry Hills local, I’m familiar with the sellers there, especially the gorgeous boys at The Crown St Project — Gav [Gavin Dee] and Addison [Marshall] have more knowledge of vintage fashion than any men I’ve met! There are so many super-stylish locals here too, not to mention real characters from every walk of life.”

Where would you wear all of your new finds? Is there a Sydney venue with a vintage vibe where you like to hang out? 

Hubert [Restaurant Hubert, in central Sydney] is my absolute favourite restaurant and bar, and it has such a classic vintage vibe, but without being themed and pastiche. You have to go downstairs from the street level, so it feels a bit like a speakeasy. It has the best French food, best cocktails and the best atmosphere — I mean, it’s got a grand piano! Enough said.” 

Where do you go outside of Sydney to hunt for vintage? 

“Most of the regional areas of New South Wales are wonderful for vintage. The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, makes for the perfect vintage-shopping road trip, as there are antique centres in almost every little picturesque town from Leura to Lithgow. I recently sourced a 1980s Chloé dress hidden away in the corner at Victory Theatre Antique Centre in Blackheath. If you’re travelling around the state, the best kind of vintage fashion to look for is a small or light item, and these antique centres are full of dainty gloves, pill hats, brooches and silk scarves.” 

Restaurant Hubert, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink at French restaurant Restaurant Hubert, Sydney.

#ilovesydney

Restaurant Hubert, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink at French restaurant Restaurant Hubert, Sydney.

#ilovesydney

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