Wednesday, 25 June 2008

End of an era

As of late July the in/famous Cornucopia on Tachbrook St in Victoria will be no more. Sadly, this treasure trove of vintage goodness is closing. At this point there is no exact date and no apparent reason, besides “I’ve been here for 40 years” (Jerry – Owner/Curator) so I’m guessing it's just time to go.

I’m a Cornucopia regular, however, this dusty, over crowed space is not for the impatient or shy consumer. You will need to a set aside a good hour or more to sort through the racks and racks of coats, suits, skirts and dresses - from personal experience, a lunch hour will never suffice. The coats are crammed so tight it actually requires strength to push them apart. There are so many chiffon shirts, that as soon as you remove the first from the downward slanting rack the others simply follow - onto the floor. The shoe shelves are a mish mash of what used to be some type of colour coded arrangement, oh and having a torch handy would also be an asset as light in this department is quite limited (just in case you had one hanging around in your tote).
If you fancy getting really involved, you best be prepared to ask for some major shop assistance. Hundreds of dresses from the yesteryear hang from ceiling rails and require a ladder, a hook, a grey haired man and a good 14 minutes for you to get even close. Accessories sit in a long glass display cabinet but cannot be seen for all the random bags, gloves, scarves and bric-a-brac that’s sprawled on the counter. The hats - well it’s nearly impossible to get your paws on those little gems, they sit on a shelf behind the accessories counter and only some serious go go gadget arms will get you a piece of that action.
Over all, it may sound like a less than attractive shopping experience but I’m not sure ‘user friendly’ was a term Jerry ever intended to have associated with his store. Simply put, Cornucopia is what it is, take it or leave it. An eclectic mix of second hand accessories to boot, true vintage beaded delights and quite a few diamonds in a whole lot of rough.

Sadly, it’s closure means an end to a tradition that has been handed from many a stylish mother down to her fashion savvy, vintage loving daughter. It will, however, remain in history as one of the best of it’s kind in our fashion capital.

Try to get in before it’s all over to grab yourself a bargain in the sale and experience a true vintage shop like no other. Do, however, remember to pack a sandwich, a torch and arm extensions. You're in for a long afternoon of delightful discovery.

18 people have commented:

CoutureCarrie said...

It is always disappointing when a one-of-a-kind store goes out of business. Commerce has become so homogenized!

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

so sorry to hear of one of your favorite shops that's closing. i truly love great vintage shops and find that they're harder and harder to come across. i'm sure you'll find a replacement soon enough! :)

Lady Melbourne said...

Oh this is so sad! Where will all the clothes go?

This sounds like shopping paradise to me. The more out of the way/hard to attain/mountain to climb hurdle I have to cross to get a vintage piece of clothing, all the better. I know then that it is mine, it has a story and no on else will have it.
Please buy one of those hat boxes, please!
LM
x

susie_bubble said...

I will have to make a few more trips before it finally closes...

Imelda Matt said...

let me guess a starbucks will occupy the old store :(

gracie said...

imelda matt,YOU have the best one liners i have ever seen on a blog page, you are the best I always have a laugh and "That is what the world need now"

Make Do & Mend said...

The best - nothing else comes close. The experince is pure proper finding and troving.

I must go to get a chiffon shirt and try adn find a pleated shirt too!

Laurel said...

Awh, a really lovely (and only) antique store here closed down a few months ago. So heartbreaking, it's being replaced with apartments. UGH... I hope you find a new store soon! That shirt of mine is poly/cotton blend and a bit aged, makes it a little more sheer. Thank you so much for the kind words, dear!

xxoxox

Make Do & Mend said...

PS I've tagged you!

Tea said...

Where is this place!?

Boy in Boston Now In London said...

Someone please answer tea? I breeze through Victoria daily..

Francis Girard said...

12 Upper Tachbrook Street, Westminster, London, SW1V 1SH

Its just wonderful - enjoy the hunt x

fashion herald said...

what a loss, I'm sorry!

coco said...

That is sad it's going. You must stock up!

Kat said...

That looks like a wonderful shop. I have never heard of it before yet i'm sorry to see it go.

gracie said...

I also love that hat box
If only the clothes could talk in that shop it is an experience you should not miss
The shopings centres would be all so boring after reading your distription of this fasinating shop.

Ash1314 said...

awww wish I could visit...a little far for me though...!!:s

Inspire the Starling said...

I heard this was closing...such a sad affair. I'm tempted to go pick up a few pieces for inspiration, but do you know if they do menswear? Cx