Walter Alice Store Blog

  • Getting Lost In Inspiration

    What, wait, where is the time going?
    Where did January go!  I am one of those people who think there are never enough hours in the day and plan to get up with the birds but never quite make it.  I also plan to go to bed hours earlier than I do, but that never happens either!   Lets not even talk about time to exercise who has time for that!  If I go for a walk my mind is telling me to go back as there is sanding to be done.  I know I know I've heard it all before "I must make time", well I don't want to... thanks anyway... I am more of a Sunday stroller than a weekday walker. (past the shops on the way to the Cafe).
    Photo Cred: Les Anderson
    Colour Inspirations
    Right now in my ever changing office space I have two lush velvet chairs, one is Emerald green Art Deco style (this one is my own), and the other is a bright yellow mid century rocking chair (sold - awaiting pickup)
    green velvet chair, yellow velvet chair
    Everytime I walk into or even past the room I am hit with the colour of these pieces of furniture I have reworked and my  mind wanders off to the far far reaching places of possibility.  They are not deliberately put together as this is a temporary holding space but I think they look so incredibly beautiful side by side.
    Just in case you haven't seen enough of the Rocking chair I recently completed on social media yet, (yeah right) here it is again...  I just loved this restoration!

    Set Style
    You think you have a "certain style" until you start scrolling through pages of "Green Velvet Chairs" on Pinterest, then all of a sudden your mind is opened up to other imaginations and huge injections of inspiration.
    Below are two rooms I came across out of hundreds, and while sunlight is an absolute priority for me in a home, I couldn't help but be mesmerised by the dark hues in the first living room.  Maybe it is the very small detail of a bright yellow coffee table that just says "sunny" that makes it appealing to me.  isn't it completely amazing how the mind works...
    This light and airy room below however is definitely more "my style"; Vintage mixed with Mid Century and new.
    Photo Cred: The Spruce
    Current Project
    I always love to visualise a piece of furniture in a room before I choose the fabric... I am restoring a big beautiful Queen Anne sofa at the moment, this is my inspiration for it here:  Mustard Velvet... eeeek!  Its going to be so lush, with green cushions! 
    You can see just by looking at the green and yellow together above, I have been totally inspired to recreate the colours in a different way.  My own sofa at home is a lush green velvet with deep mustard cushions, so I am reversing this look in the current restoration. 
    I love this process, it feeds my soul!
    Left: Current WIP, Right: One corner of My living room
    To follow the progress of this restoration, make sure you are following on Instagram or Facebook (Instagram is better though!)
    Here's a couple of links to show you what can happen when you simply type Velvet furniture living room or Retro Living Room into Pinterest, the possibilities truly are endless...
    For more inspiration I was going to show you a couple of my favourite Instagram Accounts, but it was too hard!  so here is this months absolute stand out... (mustard velvet!!) and look at all her Tretchikoff prints!  
    Oh ok here are just a couple of others - seriously check them out:
    Craftykin_ and her gorgeous craftykin_shop,
    unearthedvintageandretro (a fave on Cuba St Welly),
    the very styley Mr Cigar 
    and just look at the hastag #jungalow its freaking awesome
    oh and one more!  No Brand New  and the hashtag #recyclerestyle
    Blog posts and emails will be few and far between as I get in more workshop time, so Instagram really is the best place to follow me...

    Right, first Coffee...
  • My Little Restoration Workshop is Humming (Literally)

    Walter Alice Store Update...
    I am in full swing restoration mode and I now have a buying ban, I am not allowed to go near any op shops, garage sales, buy and sell pages or Trademe!  Just yesterday I went to pick up my new Tretchikoft vintage mirror (Ai Know!!) That I bought off Trademe and the gorgeous woman in her beautiful home (my dream house in Petone) said to me - oh you are the furniture lady, and just gave me a little antique stool!  Of course I had to take it!
    Full House!
    My little studio workshop at the end of the garden is FULL of furniture to restore!   I actually have to pull everything out onto the lawn before I can start work each day!  
    The work is humming along quite nicely when I am not at Mitre10 Mega, but the workshop also literally "hums"... I thought that some type of animal has decided to crawl underneath and take its forever nap, which is not pleasant on the nose...  I will be happily working away when all of a sudden I get a whiff of something naaaaasty!   HOWEVER the smell is actually coming from Penguins living under my studio! 
    Thankfully the weather here in Wellington has been so amazing (touch wood - haha - I have plenty of it!) so thank goodness I am able to work outside.
    What is this?  I thought you sold clothes!
    If you aren't up to date with what I have been up to, here is the link to my last blog post about why I am no longer selling Vintage Clothing.
    Constantly SOLD OUT!
    I have been so blown away by every single furniture item I have restored selling, some within minutes of posting on social media!  I can't work fast enough as items sometimes take weeks to complete with having to wait for stripper/putty/glue/paint drying times, so items for sale are few and far between! 
    Take a peek here at what I have been up to in my Before and After Gallery

    Restored vintage white cane chair
    Media Mentions!
    I was so chuffed to see my little "scavenging" Instagram post was featured in Stuff's Interior Inspiration Of The Week!  That was such a buzz for me!
    Even my amazing retro vacuum was gifted to me when I went to pick up a table!
    The Axminster carpet was definitely a dream score! 

    Axminster garden bloom carpet

    Right, better get back to it, lots to do!  I have little to no computer time anymore and was waiting for the next rainy day to do this update but it looks like that's not going to happen anytime soon - woohoo summer!!

  • Where's All the Vintage??

    Where's all the Vintage you may be asking?  If you are new to Walter Alice you might wonder what I am talking about. 
    For the last 2 years Walter Alice Store has gone from selling preloved clothing on Consignment to Importing Vintage and now to Restoring furniture.
    Why the big change?
    When I first started thinking about starting my own business, the first idea was to restore furniture, I knew how to do it, I absolutely love doing it... but the fear and anxiety of not being good enough got in the way... what if my work wasn't good enough?  What if people didn't like my style?... at least with preloved and Vintage clothing it wasn't about my sense of style it was about yours!
    However I have decided to get over myself and take the plunge... while selling vintage was so fun it was getting harder and harder to source the really good stuff as bigger than me companies started buying up large and vintage just got younger and cooler.
    A little look back...
    Since I started Walter Alice back in June 2015 so much has happened!  I read a book that changed my way of thinking and went to London which inspired me to no end...I've cleaned, steamed, photographed and uploaded thousands of items to the website, attended so many markets as a stall holder (never again), ran competitions,  moved house/studio - twice!  And took a million photos!...
    (All the best ones are here on the Walter Alice Instagram)
    I love looking back at how things have changed. 
    There have been a billion and 5 other things all in my personal life and in business... Its incredible what you can fit into two point five years!
    My poor husband Pat and boys have seen me stay up way past midnight finishing things, watch me fluster one minute and brim with excitement the next, they have been such amazing support throughout my journey, especially when I was (and still am) too busy to go to the supermarket or cook dinner - eeek, bad mum alert...  Will I get worse - probably!!
    I want to thank Georgia for being the beautiful face of Walter Alice!!,   Thank you Georgia!  xx
    We have had some great laughs and some great photo shoots!  Remember the gorgeous dresses from my neighbour Rosemarys Closet?
     Click through to view the galleries
    The decision to stop selling preloved on consignment and to start importing Vintage from the UK was the best thing!
    I was so so excited when I got my first delivery from the UK - it was better than I ever hoped for and you all went nuts over it!
    (And listened to me go on and on!)
    I gave Lenaire - Personal Stylist some very challenging vintage knitwear from one delivery,  I didn't know what to do with it!   She totally nailed it with the styling and came back and did it again with the next delivery!  - Thank you Lenaire! xx
    What the future holds
    I am excited to give this restoration a go for a living instead of for love... I have always loved doing up bits and pieces I find and I am excited in this change in direction to furniture instead of fashion...
    This will be me, covered in dust everyday....
    I am so grateful to the amazing Tamsyn at @clashnmatch for giving me such a versatile logo which means no change is needed!  Thanks Tamsyn!!
    However!  these were my final two... I love my round one, but maybe possibly I could change to the second one for furniture?  What do you think? 
    Not right now - maybe later!  
    I'm going to be a lot quieter...
    Updates to the website will be only when I finish a piece of furniture, there will be so much less computer time!, emails will be less frequent as I spend more time hands on restoring.
    But please do keep following me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
    Theres still so much to do behind the scenes, there are lots of places Walter Alice is listed as clothing - so next rainy day is a big sort out of all that stuff!
    Final MASSIVE Thanks!
    I want to thank all my amazing loyal returnee customers - you know who you are!  these gorgeous woman kept coming back and have been my main supporters for the last two years... I know you will carry on being extremely styley without buying clothes from Walter Alice and I want to thank you ALL for your amazing support!!
    (not my actual customers but the coolest girl squad I could find)
    Shontelle Xx
  • When Does Vintage Become Vintage?

    Who can truly say what the future of Vintage will look like? I know the term ‘future Vintage’ sounds like a bit of a contradiction. But it really is an interesting thought. When we are old and grey, (I mean really old and grey, not just a couple of rogue greys we are currently hiding with strategic trips to the hairdresser), what will be considered Vintage then?
    What will our grandkids pull out of our cupboards and add to their own wardrobes?  To be honest there is not much in my wardrobe that will be worth keeping, but did our grandparents realise they were sitting on gold?
    It’s fascinating to think about it really.
    Photo Cred: @tarachandra_
    The Question Of Vintage
    Fashion of the 70s was not vintage in the 70s, it wasn't even considered Vintage in the 80s. But was it considered Vintage in the 90s?
    There is no denying that 90s fashion is back in a big way. But is it back as Vintage clothing, or as something else? That is a point that is up for debate in the Vintage Fashion community.
    The Vintage Equation
    When does Vintage clothing actually become Vintage? This is a question with no real answer, but a few people in the know have tried to pinpoint it.
    There are a lot of words floating around in the clothing space that relate to clothes worn in days gone past. Antique, Vintage, Retro… do they all mean the same thing? The answer is, they kind of mean the same thing but with some distinct differences.
    • Antique - This is the only term with a cut and dry definition. Antique means old, like really old. It is widely accepted that something can only be called an antique if it is more than 100 years old. If it can’t be officially dated as more than 100 years old, then it doesn’t make the cut as an Antique.
    • Vintage - Because Vintage is a term that was coined to describe wine, it is very much linked to years. So it makes sense that to be considered Vintage, clothing must be distinctly categorised as belonging to a certain time period. So you can have ‘Vintage 70s’ clothing, or ‘Vintage 20s’ clothing.
      No one truly knows what can be considered Vintage and what can’t be. But it has been suggested that anything more than 20 years old can be considered Vintage. So the majority of the 90s sneaks in there! Which is like totally cool (see what I did there).
    • Retro - Retro is the term for any item of clothing that looks out of place in today's fashion, but is not old enough to be considered Vintage or Antique. So it could be something from three years ago, or it could be something from 15 years ago.
    It appears that there might be some overlap between the Vintage and Retro categories as the definitions are not absolute. So I think personal opinion comes into play when defining if something is actually Vintage, or if it is Retro.

    I don't know about you, but when I think of Retro, I think late 60's-70’s and nothing else!


    Maybe someone needs to come up with completely new names in the future for fashion that comes from the 80s, 90s and 00s. Are they Vintage, are they Retro, or are they something else entirely… or may be it just goes - Vintage, Retro, 80’s, 90’s and Double 0's, think about it, they are all very distinct eras… What’s next though? ‘Vintro’?’.

    We can pinpoint iconic looks through all the decades, but what is the fashion now? In 2017, we have embraced a lot of fashion from past decades, so what will be the lasting impression. Will this decade have its own style, or will it be homage to previous decades? I guess only time will tell!
    Are we currently in the # era of "Anything Goes"

    (always wanted an excuse to put Jared Leto wearing #Gucci into my blog)
    The Future of Vintage Shopping
    Twenty years ago, Vintage shopping was nowhere near as popular as what it is now. If you knew where to look, you could find amazing things, even designer pieces.
    But... the rise of vintage popularity has seen an inevitable decrease in availability. Often you will see the clothing racks at the secondhand shops filled with cheaply produced items from the last five years. Collectors hoard the amazing pieces, big companies with buying power dominate the space, and great finds often cost more than a brand new item.
    So what does the future hold for Vintage shopping? The great fashion pieces are still out there, but you are now more likely to find them online, and they are probably not available at your local Op Shop.
    As a buyer I am seeing this more and more, and the op shop ladies now know what the good shit is worth, so bargains are less and less likely to be had!  
    What Will Be Our Future Vintage?
    Here's a scary thought.  Before we know it 2017 will be Vintage!   What does that mean?  What will make the cut as vintage 25 years from now?
    Will everything be thrown into a recycling fabric/matter-obliterating machine that spits out a Star Trekish outfit that fits you perfectly, meaning there is no waste in the world and things don't get hoarded??
    Also, the way that clothing is produced has drastically changed. With fast fashion dominating the fashion industry with cheaper manufacturing methods, some items of clothing will probably not stand the test of time anyway.
    A brain teaser ending… The fashion from the 90s is back in now. So will that mean that vintage in 25 years will be 90s fashion from the 90s, or from 2017?
    Tommy Hilfiger
    Vintage or New Tommy Hilfiger- its all in...#alwaysnailingit (Photo Cred: TH)
     Written with some much needed help from Gemma Knight Writes

    Vintage Clothing Store, Online Only,
    Wellington NZ

  • A Sale And Some Bright New Arrivals

    There have been some beautiful garments added to the website recently... not many but there will be more coming soon.  I have two huge boxes of beautiful summer stock just waiting for some warmer weather.  
    In the meantime take a look at these new arrivals...
    (Click through to see the latest lookbook)
    And... there has also been a whole heap added to the SALE section at 50% off!!
    Vintage Ball
    We donated these absolutely beautiful vintage ball dresses gowns to the School Ball Pop-Up that was organised by the wonderful Wellington Womans Magazine.  This was a special event for girls who were struggling to cover the costs of the ball.  We also donated dresses on behalf of the wonderful Eastbourne community - Thankyou to those that donated to this amazing event... I really hope some lucky girls got to take these amazing dresses out for the biggest night of their teenage lives!
    Whats happening in the coolest little Capital in the world?
    Its certainly no secret that I adore living in Wellington.  At the moment the New Zealand International Film Festival is in full swing.  Every year I tell myself I am going to be more organised and go to as many as I can... this year I can only manage three movies, the first one I went to was The Final Portrait, a highly amusing movie, based on a true story where Artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffery Rush) invites young American James Lord (Armie Hammer) to sit for him for a portrait in Paris in 1964;  The artist was a grumpy old man but easily likeable and the subject of his portrait has to be the most patient human being of all time... Oh and I just love hearing people yell at each other in French (the movie isn't in French - just some parts), I loved every second!  
    Visa Wellington On A Plate is coming up!  17 days of yum all over the city, yes, it is an expensive time here in Wellington... But so fun, Movies and Food!  And then its Spring!

    Vintage Clothing Store, Online Only,
    Wellington NZ

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