Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grimoire: They buy it here

One of the most memorable lines from the Japanese Fashion panel run by Martha (of Moss Garden) last Otakon was her comment while explaining the main source of Dolly Fashion items in Japan:

They buy it here.

It struck me as true then - Dolly Fashion pulls many elements from vintage European style, especially from the Gunne Sax/Little House on the Prairie era, which is more common in vintage stock in Europe & North America than in Japan. It strikes me as even more true, though, looking at the Grimoire store blog over the last few days, where Hitomi (? I think) documents her recent shopping trip to Toronto, Canada.

You see the second photo of a Tim Horton's store in this blog post? The one with the Starbucks next to it? I GO THERE ALL THE TIME. Not even kidding. The Grimoire staff were buying stock in my city, probably even at the thrift stores I haunt regularly. Too funny!

Really, honest to goodness: They buy it here. Which means you can too.

(they also post images from "The Brand Upon The Brain!", a film by my favorite Canadian art house cinema director, Guy Maddin, in this blog post, which makes me very happy!)


  1. That is so strange. I find it funny too that our city would be such a vintage alcove that she'd need to visit. But, either way - she's going back to Japan to sell it for 3x the amount she got it for here.

  2. That's so cool! I love the Dolly style but I've always found it kind of weird that it's so centered around the one store. Although, like you pointed out, what's relatively common here (not that I can ever find gunne sax in used clothing stores! I've looked!) is probably a rarity there.

  3. Sonia: I think it's that Toronto is a major shipping & processing hub for a lot of things, including second-hand clothing. The Grimoire staff are probably going through those secret sorting warehouses, not actual thrift shops, to purchase bulk stock which comes in from all across Canada.

    Caro-chan: I guess it's because Dolly Kei is so focused on second-hand (rather than new) goods - it would be hard to have more than a couple of stores involved with the fashion, especially since stock is so unique/one-of-a-kind.

  4. Yeah, that reminds me of the conversation we last had about the whole commercialization of vintage. Hitomi is one lucky lady if she has first dibs on our valuable vintage that cannot be seen by local vintage shop owners. Man, I'd love to see what they are getting though the pictures on the site from her travels don't interest me as much as that suitcase she has full of crumpled clothes. I spotted a pink frilly thing.

  5. Thanks for mentioning my panel! <3 You'd be astonished at how many people still don't believe most of the clothes used in dolly fashion come from Western countries.

    I haven't been able to find many Gunne Saxe pieces in thrift stores either because they don't often trickle down to the retail level, but outdoor flea markets are a great resource. I went to one in Woodstock, NY a couple of months ago and spotted several items from Gunne Saxe and other vintage brands like Lanz and Young Edwardian. XD