patch1It is an undeniable fact that London is the UK’s home for all things vintage. With its markets, charity and vintage shops it is a haven for those treasured collectible pieces any fashion lover would like to havein their wardrobe. So what happens when you don’t live in London? Luckily for some, there are boutiques around the UK that take pride in flying the flag for vintage. SpyBaby Vintage situated just outside of Southampton is one of them. Vikki Hancock took a closer look.

If ever there was a perfect location for a vintage shop, SpyBaby Vinatge has taken it. As soon as you walk through Peter Rhodes Bookshop in Portswood there is an immediate feel of warmth and character as various individuals sip on their coffees whilst indulging in a spot of light reading.

Stepping downstairs it feels gloriously mysterious as trinkets such as handbags, beautifully printed scarves and belts hang from the walls. Entering Spybaby can only be described as what one’s imagination would conjure up if Princess Diana, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn shared a wardrobe.

As I turn to my right there is an old chest full of antique gold brooches, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. There are about six rails packed with clothing from Seventies prom dresses to Fifties skirts and a wide diversity of jackets. Shoes sit on the tops of the walls, and there are two rather large colourful piles of an assortment of clothing. Catherine Wright, owner of Spybaby, apologises for the mess: “We’ve got so much stuff, we’re trying to organise it all but as you can see there isn’t a lot of space.”

Catherine started her business with her own collection of vintage, her “one day I’ll wear this wardrobe”, which she initially sold on eBay, opening the Portswood shop in 2008. She says: “I think I have a good eye for fashion, and I don’t like to buy brand new clothes, I think vintage understands more about fashion and in some ways its ahead of the fashion trends. Spybaby is a part of the British Boutique Movement and I’m proud of it.”

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2 Responses

  1. Catherine

    How lovely to read this article about us – only we moved and changed our name at the beginning of this year! Please come and visit Hepwright’s Original Vintage soon, where we have an even larger selection of top notch genuine vintage clothing.

  2. Katherine

    Spybaby has become Hepwrights Original Vintage and boy do I love it.
    Firstly we have wallowed so long here in Southampton without a vintage clothes shop (sorry but Beatnik Emporium is too fancy dress for me) secondly Cath is so enthusiastic about the business she’s in. She loves everything about the clothes she is selling and enthuses you in turn about what you are buying.
    I am wearing my latest purchase right now!

    long live hepwrights…