Wednesday, 28 November 2007

>>> OLD for NEW <<<

Shopping wise, I thought I had all bases covered. Like a tube map of obsessive purchasing, my brain is home to a well-ordered London guide; vintage, high-street, regular sample sales, carboots, markets...hitting them with military precision on a weekly basis. I'm sure I should be attending some sort of therapy group, although those monthly credit card bills should be deterrent enough. What with ebay as well as an endless list of online boutiques, my choice of NY resolution should be obvious. However, it's November, I'm not ready yet. Especially after rediscovering The clothing exchange.

The MVE (Music video exchange) group has been a London staple since I can remember, as a skint teenager it was my second home, swapshop come to life, a new purchase and not a penny would leave my purse. However, for some reason I rarely visited their clothing exchange (Retro Man/Retro Woman) in Notting Hill and after stumbling upon it a few weeks ago I'm now hooked. A tenner for a gorgeous muted tartan Daks blazer, a tailored winter coat for a fiver...vintage designer, menswear, bargain basements and more shoes than you can shake a stick at, their 5 fashion focused locations (4 in west London, 1 in Soho) understandably do a roaring trade. Keeping prices low is the key however the real selling point is the voucher system. Take in your unwanted garms and receive cash OR get double the value in coupons which can be spent in any of their stores, be it on books, CDs or a new cashmere cardi. As an impulse shopper and subscriber to whim-buyer's weekly i always have surplus of unwanted clothes. Some go to the charity shop, some on ebay with the rest now being reserved for swap action.

A similar setup over at BANGBANG in Berwick and Gower street are def worth a visit. Personally, their womenswear doesn't really do it for me, a little old-fashioned and Nicole Farhi heavy. However the mens shop is an absolute gem and is currently feeding my over-sized knit addiction nicely. Plenty of Dries, Raf, Marni, Demeulemeester...a mish-mash of vintage and designer, priced much more reasonably than their women's store. It remains to be seen if these new discoveries will become my own personal recycling revolution or just another outlet for my compulsive shopping...