My Name is ________ and I’m a Junction Junkie.
A green double breasted slim-fit leather coat made in Hong Kong was my first find at Junction a few years ago. Since then, I’ve made enough visits to the shop to know that the male dress forms the manager sets out on the sidewalk are my size. I can eyeball a blazer set on one while cruising down U St. and know in an instant if the piece belongs in my collection.
Store manager Megan Gay and I talked about seersucker during one of my visits this summer and it lead to plans of showcasing Junction finds in the fashion show following the Tweed Ride. Last week, while meeting with Megan and store owner Shannan Fales, I noticed their individual tastes for pairing items and creating sharp looks and enjoyed watching them collaborate. As I listened to them converse about clothes, I could see how their personalities were reflected in the make-up of the shop.
I left that evening with the perfect fall waistcoat and a desire to return with my camera. They’ve just set out their best items for tweed minded shoppers. Read a bit from my Q&A with Shannan and stop by Junction this weekend.
How long have you been collecting and selling vintage clothing? How did you catch the bug? S.F. – I’ve been buying vintage clothes for myself since the mid 1990’s. I’m originally from Massachusetts and befriended the owner of a shop near Cape Cod called Circa, one of the best vintage stores I’ve ever been to. Everything in Circa is amazing. It’s hard to leave there without something in hand. That’s honestly where my passion for vintage began.
What is your favorite era of vintage clothing ? S.F. – If you had asked me this a few years ago, I would have said the 1970’s. I love bell bottoms and have been wearing them since I started collecting vintage. And the classic Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress is such an iconic essential. But lately, I’ve been drawn to the 1950’s. I love the hourglass silhouette and exaggerated shapes of this era like Dior’s “New Look” – a fitted jacket with a nipped-in waist and full calf-length skirt.
Tell us about some of your favorite finds. S.F. -Over the years, I’ve definitely had some amazing finds. From a $3 Pucci jacket to a $5 Valentino blazer, I’m always amazed when I come across a designer piece wedged between an old Gap sweater and a top from Target.
One of my greatest finds is a turn-of-the-century beaded purse that I came across in a dress drawer at an estate sale. It had a 1904 newspaper clipping inside about a Christmas party that I like to believe the owner attended. The purse is very delicate but in amazing condition and I keep it in a shadowbox frame.
Has the business of selling vintage clothing changed in recent years? S.F. – I don’t believe the actual business of selling vintage has changed, but selling at Junction has definitely changed. When I first opened, I would bring in pieces that were eccentric and unique and they would sit on the racks for months. It was very discouraging, so I started to add more conservative pieces to my inventory to meet customer demands. But I’m happy to say DC has been taking more fashion risks with their personal style in the last few years and the more adventurous pieces are being snapped up.
What are the unexpected or not so obvious items folks should look for when shopping for the tweed ride? S.F. – Tweed as a fabric is defined by its weave but tweed as a concept encompasses so much more. The words proper, sophisticated, smart, and classic come to mind. So less “tweed obvious” items for women are bow tie blouses, crisp shirts, mid calf-to-knee length skirts, silk scarves and long gloves. And for men – modest vests and blazers, chinos, pocket squares, slim-fitting sweaters, leather gloves. It’s about the style, not just the fabric.