Vintage thrills – Merchant Archive launches online

Most people who care about fashion salivate at good vintage pieces. There’s something undeniably thrilling about knowing you have a piece of clothing that has a history and that you won’t see anyone else wearing it. Vintage jewellery especially invokes images of decadent cocktail parties where the women were covered in diamonds and lace and smoked cigarettes in long gold plated cigarette holders. Probably all completely untrue but it’s part of the fantasy that we subscribe to.

This is why I’m excited that Merchant Archive, a vintage boutique run by Sophie Merchant, has launched online at http://www.merchantarchive.com.

The site is a pleasure to visit, complete with gorgeous pictures of antique rails laden with vintage wares. I was particularly happy to see a haberdashery section where you can buy ribbons, silk thread and vintage tassels (and the like) to add a vintage twist to modern clothes. The shopping experience on the site is simple and clean – you can sort through clothes by designer, by pure vintage or more recent designs or by item of clothing.

The other thrill that comes with such a site is knowing that it will never be the same every day in a row (depending on how regularly its stock is updated!). However, for the less cautious among us, or those doing a bit of drunken online shopping, the knowledge that once a piece is gone there won’t be another clone waiting in the stock room provides a terrifyingly strong urge to buy buy buy without thinking. At least with vintage shopping you can convince yourself it’s an ‘investment’!

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