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In case Mega Mega Vintage and Underground Kidz wasn’t enough to satisfy your vintage-hunter habit (however overpriced), another one has joined the fray, located at the mouth of Jiaodaokou, catching shoppers right before they can make it onto Gulou Dong Dajie.
The scene in La Bella Vintage is a familiar one: racks of button up polyester blouses, floor-length patterned skirts and dresses that look like they’ve been pulled from forgotten Japanese closets, tacky wallpapered walls, and retro mannequin busts. Mixed in are pieces that even a less-than-seasoned shopper would recognize as being far from vintage and easily snagged from a local market or even streetside – fuzzy Korean style sweaters, tacky oversized sunglasses, costume jewelry, and a few Tibetan trinkets (huh?!). Knickknacks complete the space – a children’s music carousel music box and a few frilly plastic dolls give it the tired look of a grandma’s living room. A repurposed phonograph in the corner plays “Home” by Michael Buble. So there you have it. Vintage? We think not.
But doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few treasures to be found among the eclectic selection, especially thanks to a few really irresistible pairings. A rack of colorful winter worker coats and woolen tweeds are paired so nicely with sweaters that it was difficult not to wander out with the whole selection. Just check prices first – a cute blouse poking out from under a sweater could cost as much as RMB 350 for the set, with one of the cheapest things in the store being vintage (or so we think) silk patterned scarves (RMB 85). Sometimes, though, holding out for those thrift stores back home is just too difficult.
La Bella Vintage
Daily 10.30am-10.30pm. 2 Gulou Dong Dajie, Dongcheng District (152 1052 2978)
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Photos: Mitchell Pe Masilun
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