BOV style 2013: Style insider Melissa Ferreira spills top vintage secrets

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      Designer Melissa Ferreira has been reimagining recycled fabrics for the past 10 years at her brilliantly coloured, funky Adhesif Clothing Company. A die-hard thrifter (once paid as a picker for some of the city’s best vintage stores), she has a trained eye and a passion for sustainable materials and one-of-a-kind pieces. Three years ago, she added a retail store, at 2202 Main Street, to her duties, now bringing in other local and Canadian designers with an emphasis on handmade. Her own collection continues to evolve this fall, with everything from a doily-and-jersey-knit blouse to a stretch-velvet dress with a crochet collar, as well as new men’s pieces (think coolly reworked wool pants and suiting). Here are a few of her favourite things around town—with an emphasis on vintage.

      Best Place to Style-Watch Eco

      Fashion Week
      October 6 to 10
      Robson Square

      “That’s where I’ve probably had the most inspiration in the last couple of years. I used to go downtown every weekend in the ’90s; there was rockabilly, punk, goth, and interesting people walking around and strutting their stuff, but none of those people come out anymore.…The hot spots now are Main Street, Gastown, and Commercial Drive.”

      Best Accessories

      Front & Company
      3772 Main Street

      Adhesif Clothing
      2202 Main Street

      “Front & Company have usually got the best selection. I make my own clothing, so I find myself very attracted to the things I can’t make, to accessories, scarves, bags, hair accessories—anything trinkety. Their things are trendy and fun and of the moment, and they can make or break an outfit.

      “At my store, I also have a ton of customers that come in for our jewellery under $40, and Sweet Harriet is the best-selling in the shop. It’s vintage lockets and nostalgic pieces that she puts her own finish on.”

      Best Vintage Shopping

      True Value Vintage Clothing
      4578 Main Street

      Used House of Vintage
      831 Granville Street

      Erin Templeton
      511 Carrall Street

      “I was a vintage-clothing buyer from 18 to 27, and one of the stores I worked for was True Value Vintage.…You can find some beautiful vintage pieces but also anything and everything you ever needed to make things, like vintage buttons and skeleton keys.

      “Another great place is Used on Granville, above the original Fluevog. It has beautiful pieces from the ’20s to ’60s; they’re in very good condition at very, very reasonable prices.

      “And there’s also Erin Templeton: she makes leather bags and accessories out of salvaged leather, but she also has vintage in the front of her boutique. I used to pick vintage with Erin. There’s not a huge selection, but it’s a very well-curated collection.”

      Best Beauty Bar

      1025 Cambie Street

      “It’s a waxing boutique that’s been around for a number of years, and they offer everything from aesthetician services to things you can’t find in Vancouver. Like, they apply rhinestones to ornament your body and they last for about two or three weeks. It’s great for the people in the burlesque scene. Our spring-summer 2014 shoot was also shot at their location. The owner has decorated it to look like a 1950s boudoir with some beautiful vintage chaises longues. It has a modern sensibility with a ’50s pinup vibe.”

      Best Special-Occasion Dress in a Pinch

      Elika Designs

      “She does beautiful avant-garde formal wear, a lot of it catering to wedding attire but totally nontraditional and asymmetrical. She can get a custom piece whipped up in a day or two. She’s one of the most talented designers we have in the city.”

      Best Salon

      AOI Hair Salon
      520 Beatty Street

      “Vancouver’s best-kept secret is on Beatty Street. The whole team is Japanese and they provide some of the best service in Vancouver. I have been getting my hair cut for the last eight years there and I’ve referred a lot of people. It’s just the quality of service; you end up leaving with far beyond what you’d get at other high-end salons in the city. They do Japanese straightening, and if you have thick hair, they cut it so it’s easier to maintain. But they also offer massage and shiatsu and a bunch of other things.”

      Best Splurge

      “There is a black-leather motorcycle hooded trench that is my most expensive but favourite thing I have in my closet. It’s by a Montreal designer called Cokluch. We are also the only store in Vancouver to carry their line.…Every time I wear it, people stop me in the street and say, ‘Where’d you get that?’ They’re constantly changing their designs, but there are always jackets: I do have similar hooded leather bomber jackets in my store now. They’re fitted and polished, with edge.”

      Best Shopping ’Hood

      Main Street

      “I find especially in the last five or 10 years Main has become such a diverse place for food and fashion, and it’s a really exciting place to be for nightlife.…There’s something for everybody, and the majority of independent artists that do exist in Vancouver are pretty much on this street.”

      Best New Trend

      “I really like the graduated hemline that’s going on, so I’ve implemented it into my collection in terms of jackets. It’s flirty and edgy but still practical.”

      Best Bargain Shop:

      “Your local thrift store! That, in my mind, is the best bargain you can get. For me, it’s the thrill of the hunt. I’ll spend easily five hours at a thrift store just picking the place apart.”

      Best Shoe Store

      837 Granville Street

      “For five seasons of Eco Fashion Week they were in our fashion show. They complement the line.”

      Best New Designer

      Anna Talbot Design

      “She’s doing some intricate European looks. The photos she’s posting are, like, ‘Wow!’ And I’m not very easily impressed.”

      Best Fashion Market

      Nifty for Fifty
      April 6, 2014, at Heritage Hall

      “It’s like the Boxing-Day blowout, independent-designer extravaganza. This year we had 3,000 people walking through the door. Don’t miss it! It’s an amazing place to find out about your local designers, and you’re getting amazing deals.”