Friday, May 16, 2008

VINTAGE SHOPPING IN FLORENCE...


I wanted to check out some vintage stores here because when I lived here over a decade ago the concept really didn't exist. Okay, there were a couple of places you could buy pre-worn stone washed Levi's for the same price as new ones - and you could go to the Cascine market and buy a bag of old ladies' polyester housecoats for about a pound but that was about it.

A while ago I started to hear that there was great vintage shopping to be found in Florence. Even that English vintage shop owners were coming here to buy up mint condition stock and sell it at a huge mark up back in London. So of course I had to investigate. It's true that there are a lot of vintage shops here now and that the condition of the clothes is incredible. But as for buying cheap and laughing all the way back to London? I think not.

My first stop was Elio Ferraro - invariably described as "expensive, but the best" and I'd have to agree with that description.


Touted as more of a one of a kind gallery, they had delicate chiffon dresses from the 1930s that looked like they'd never been worn, clutch bags with lucite handles, the linings of which were as perfect as the outside. There was a big pile of vintage Gucci luggage that I didn't dare to go near, having already clocked the prices of everything else. Think an average of 300 euros for a shirt - not exactly the place to strike a bargain; but a beautiful shop with friendly staff who obviously love their vintage calling.

I went on to Pitti Vintage, in a little street called Sdrucciolo dei Pitti - Sdrucciolo apparently means slippery slope and I could see how that could work if you spent too long browsing in the shop.


I really liked this one. They had a few of the requisite labels: Hermes, Valentino etc; but it was really the unlabelled pieces that were a great representation of their eras in terms of cut, fabric and colour that did it for me. Oh, and the cute dog...


There was also a large men's section which is quite rare. Still, I balked at the prices. I think also I'm used to thinking of Italy as being really cheap and since the euro was introduced it's really not. It seems to have been a case of doubling the prices and adding a bit more for good luck when they had the changeover from lire.

Near to Pitti Vintage at via dei Serragli 26/r is Ceri Vintage, which was much cheaper but not notable for much except bolts of vintage fabric for 10 euros a meter and some buttons and trimmings.


They also had a dog but I didn't take a picture of it. It seemed pretty popular though (the shop, not the dog) so maybe I wasn't in enough of a rummaging mood, but the clothes I saw looked more "old" than "vintage".

More to come, much more. I ran my camera battery out yesterday - mostly taking photos of old Fiat 500s and those little tuc tuc trucks. It's lovely to be here and strange too, but also in a good way. I am a different person to who I was when I lived here; no doubt about that. You just don't get to notice that very often. Last night: fireworks over the river outside the Palazzo Corsini felt like they were for us. Florence is still magical. I'm so happy to be here and catch up with friends. But I must say ciao for now (harhar) and get out and about again. Venice tomorrow.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

well you are rocking italy like a banshee, aren't you? florence today, venice tomorrow...enjoy!
nancy

Bombay Beauty said...

Wonderful -- I feel you should keep traveling the world and sending us updates as you go! BB

Anonymous said...

that pug is so obese that someone should call animal abuse on that owner. it's just wrong. she can't even sit down comfortably she has so many rolls. or has had so many rolls, i should say... initially, you think the dog is so fat that she's hopelessly adorable, but deep down you can't help but realize it's pretty sad too.
cute italy pics though. we live vicariously through you! haha.

Lola Is Beauty said...

heh - strange but I didn't notice the dog being fat at all! she was scampering around the place quite happily - it could just be an unflattering angle with the harness and everything...and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I came across it during a google search for "vintage in florence". It is good to know some places that could be worth a look...though the prices do not seem promising in the least. On the Pitti Vintage' website I saw a bracelet there that I own [same brand, slightly different style] for 65 euro. Insane to me, considering I picked mine up for a mere $15 AUD = about 6.50 euro!

Please post if you have any other recommendations for vintage stores in Florence...particularly if they are not a rip-off!!

Lola Is Beauty said...

Try the market at Piazza dei Ciompi (Santa Croce) very charming - more bric a brac than clothes but it's not expensive. There are some pics from there on my flickr...Apart from that less expensive places are probably out of the city centre more in the suburbs but I didn't have time to look...