I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published July 28th 2014
Take a nostalgic journey down Memory Lane this weekend
What goes around, comes around. By and large, the majority of popular fashions, accessories and home decor designs are never entirely new, with most taking inspiration from one or more eras from the past. While once upon a time our fascination with items and ideas from years gone by usually only embraced the more distant past in the form of antiques, over recent years the popularity of retro and vintage design has skyrocketed, with retail outlets specialising in it popping up everywhere, not to mention the ubiquitous local opportunity shop where many a gem can still be unearthed.
Here in Perth we have more than our fair share of cool retro retailers with Fremantle, Northbridge, Maylands, and even down-town boasting quite a few good places to leisurely peruse. The following pages present several of Fremantle's best destinations for vintage shopping. As we all know, Freo is a veritable treasure trove of groovy small independent retailers - just up the alley of most dedicated vintage shoppers. By no means is the list complete as, due to the nature of small business, there are new ones opening all the time and unfortunately old ones closing. These shops are just a handful I discovered as I wandered the Port City's historic streets recently. However, please use them as a starting point for your own vintage odyssey, and feel free to add any of your own favourites that I've overlooked, in the comments box below.
Vintage in Wonderland
One of my favourites out of all of Fremantle's vintage shops, Vintage in Wonderland is a groovy little establishment situated in the Atwell Chambers at 7 Cantonment Street, and a visit to it is more akin to entering a 1960s time warp than just another retailer. Quirky little touches such as the retro popcorn machine on the customer service counter, vintage typewriters, and genuine 1970s furniture provide it with an authenticity that's hard to beat. However, be sure to check this one out while you still can. I heard on the grapevine that the ownership of this building has recently changed hands, so it's hard to know whether it will still be around much longer.
Situated at Shop 15a, 28 Cantonment Street, Retrieval is a beaut little shop with a great range of cool retro goodies such as clothing, jewellery and accessories. Creatively decked out with vintage props, it's got a great atmosphere and the staff members are lovely and very helpful. While it's small in size its central location, close to public transport, means that it's very easy to get to.
To find out more, check out Retrieval's Facebook page or give them a call on 0449 882 170 . Best still, drop in and see what's currently in the store as stock is constantly changing.
Kurious Nestled in a corner of The Piazza, just off South Terrace, this sweet little shop is owned by a mother and daughter, and is a great spot to head to for vintage-inspired fashion, accessories and bric-a-brac. It also stocks a great range of vintage records, novels and other bits and pieces. To find out more, take a look at their Facebook page or give them a call on 0404 506 279.
Corner Store Like many of Fremantle's small designer stores, Corner Store purveys a delightful variety of vintage-inspired goodies and is definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. While it doesn't stock a huge range of fashion items it does have some very cute little dresses and blouses which nostalgia buffs will be sure to love. In addition, there are quirky (and charmingly weird) gift items such as the bunny book-ends, whoopee cushions and cupcake toothpaste, vintage-inspired books with titles such as Happy Home and My Cool Bike, and lots of other cool albeit off-beat stuff. To find out more, check out the Corner Store website or give them a call on 08 9336 3010. Better still, drop in. Corner Store is located at 25 Market Street, just down the road from Fremantle Railway Station.
Another small boutique with a definite retro vibe is Saffi Belle, located at 28 Market Street. Open seven days a week, it purveys an ever-changing array of cool and quirky fashion items including pretty vintage frocks as well as off-beat gift items and lots of other unique, hard-to-get phantasmagoria such as henna, bindis and groovy sunglasses.
Located at Stall Y102 at Fremantle Markets, Vintage Delhi is a wonderful little shop selling all sorts of gorgeous bits and pieces. As its name indicates, the items to be found here incorporate a fusion of eastern and western influences, and there are some gorgeous vintage-inspired goods up for grabs as well, many utilising elements of Asian, and specifically Indian, fabric and design. However, the store's creative owners haven't limited themselves to one particular era or geographical location, so there's always an eclectic, ever changing, array of products to be found. Whether you're looking for unique albeit casual day wear or something breathtakingly stunning for a special evening out, this is the place to head for. In addition, Vintage Delhi stocks gorgeous beachwear, accessories, upcycled fashion, boho tops, kaftans and much more. Check out The Vintage Delhi Facebook page to find out more.
Frermantle Op Shops
Most veteran vintage shoppers are also big fans of the humble op shop, and Fremantle has no dearth of these wonderful little budget-friendly charity retailers. Fremantle's Retro Vinnies is one of two in the Perth area and as the name indicates, is affiliated with St Vincent de Paul and. Specialising in vintage second-hand wares rather than in general cast-offs, Retro Vinnies definitely isn't as cheap as your average local op shops but it does filter out the good stuff and therefore make the job of trawling for goodies that little bit easier.
Not only does Retro Vinnies stock genuine vintage fashion, accessories and jewellery but it's also the perfect spot to unearth true-blue vintage table-ware, kitchen ware, vases, books, trinkets and lots of other bits and pieces. As part of the huge, Australia-wide Vinnies network, the stock at the Retro Vinnies stores is constantly being replenished, so if you regularly visit Freo this is a spot to return to again and again.
Other op shops to check on a vintage shopping odyssey in Fremantle include the Red Cross shop at 37 Market Street, Anglicare at 181 High Street, St Pat's Rack at 72 Adelaide Terrace, Diamond Aps Men's Recycling Boutique at 8 Wray Avenue and Save the Children at 272 South Terrace in South Fremantle.