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The Rusty Zip, Botanic Avenue, Belfast
The Rusty Zip has just celebrated 15 years in business and it's safe to say I've been shopping there since the beginning – hopping on the train to Belfast as a teenage goth to avail of their fantastic stock which ranges from 1950s handmade pieces to modern high street pieces for both men and women.
On my last couple of visits I spied two Diane Von Furstenberg dresses, a few Mulberry pieces, Moschino jeans – and bagged myself a Yves Saint Laurent slip for 20 quid!
therustyzip.com 028 9024 9700
Yellow Submarine, Botanic Avenue, Belfast
Botanic Avenue is certainly becoming the perfect spot in Belfast for a spot of vintage shopping. There are now 10 vintage or second-hand clothes or book shops along this road – the Yellow Submarine being the most recent addition. This reminds me of the vintage shops that I loved in Dublin's Temple Bar in the Nineties – a cool, eclectic mix of clothes, vinyl and furniture at very reasonable prices. The layout of the shop is spread over a number of floors so you could easily lose an hour browsing. The clothes range from 1950s pieces through to vintage-inspired modern high street.
Oxfam Vintage, Castle St, Belfast
Oxfam Vintage specialises in womenswear, menswear and accessories. Its clothing range spans 50 years of fashion and can only be described as eclectic, with everything from statement dresses to off-kilter retro pieces. You can find the odd very special vintage piece – I once discovered a stunning 1950s bridal dress in the original box there. I've worked with Oxfam Vintage on a number of fashion shows over the years, and there have been near-riots backstage when models spy desirable pieces that they wanted to buy.
Hope and Gloria Emporium, Railway Road, Coleraine
Hope and Gloria Emporium is a not-for-profit shop selling fashion, furniture, home wares and accessories and is a delightful addition to retail in Coleraine. This is pretty vintage as a lifestyle, rather than just a fashion boutique. They believe that 'while food is necessary for the body, art is necessary for the soul', providing a shop that is beautiful, creative, inspiring and friendly. Sometimes they throw free tea parties just for the sake of it. They have a nail bar and sewing workshops, if you're looking for pampering or new skills. They also host fabulous events like jazz nights.
Young Savage, North Street, Belfast
Young Savage is hidden down the back of Cafe Wah and together with Good Vibrations record store and an art gallery, makes up a very cool little collective, adding a nice bohemian feel to that end of town. It stocks men and women's retro clothes, shoes and accessories, specialising in classic denim. The overriding aesthetic is late-Sixties, early Seventies and rock 'n' roll – I picked up an amazing faux-fur coat that could have been straight out of Anita Pallenberg's Stones-era wardrobe.
Stylist and illustrator Sara O'Neill has worked on campaigns for Italian Vogue, Tatler, the Sunday Times and Belfast FashionWeek. Her work can be seen at saras-designs.co.uk.
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