Best Vintage Haute Couture 2010 | Fashion by Robert Black | Shopping & Services | Phoenix
Robert Black's name was already synonymous with fashion in this city; he ran a popular modeling agency forever. Now he's sharing his good taste by dressing you in vintage wares. Housed in the landmark White Hogan building (once home to the famous silversmith), Fashion by Robert Black's got plenty of famous names on the rack — from Halston to Chanel to Oleg Cassini — at prices our friends-in-the-know swear are too good to be true. You may not wind up on the runway or even a red carpet, but you can still dress to the nines, dahling.
Love Child offers great finds for the stylish kid in your life. You'll find groovy treasures — a rainbow of kiddy sunglasses, brands like Justice and Gap, and baby gear — throughout the store, and the staff offers good old-fashioned service to all who walk through the door. Love Child is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Head over and love the child in your life with some new (to you) duds, or dump a pile to sell.
Come close, because here's the bargain tip all the moms of the Valley are keeping to themselves: a twice-a-year indoor flea market filled only with kid goods. This is a two-day venue where you can sell your children's outgrown clothes, toys, and gear. If you are in need of wares for your peanuts, this is the place to pick up some nearly new items in great condition. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.
One of our favorite things about college towns is the shopping. Such spots tend to be havens for tiny boutiques, tucked away off busy streets, holding sweet one-of-a-kind treasures. There's not enough of that in the town that houses one of the nation's universities, as far as we're concerned, but we are lucky enough to have Here on the Corner. Run by longtime Tempe types and featuring the work of local designers, this place doesn't pretend to be anything more than an indie shop for sorority girls. And that's just fine, considering it's located at the edge of Arizona State University. College girls on a budget can find cute hats and purses, drape-y tops and skinny jeans, and enough baubles to cover it all. And the service is friendly and prices affordable. Keep an eye out for such events as the regular fashion/food confab HOTC had going this summer with La Bocca, the Italian joint on Mill. Like we said, we could use more shops like this one.
We are accustomed to running into friendly firefighters shopping for dinner at our neighborhood Safeway, but when we spotted a gaggle of firemen near the front of the line at Last Chance on a recent visit, we got a little uppity. "Jeez," we said (luckily only to ourselves), "the bargains are good here, but really, shouldn't those firefighters be adjusting their hoses or waxing their poles instead of shopping?"Then we got close enough to see the victim on the floor. Given the pushing and shoving that goes on at this shopping mecca — folks come from all over the country (indeed, the world) to pick through the Nordstrom wares on sale at the one and only Last Chance outlet — you gotta figure that sooner or later, someone was going to pass out. We certainly hope he or she is okay, but we didn't stick around to find out. We were on a quest for a certain Prada purse that day. Whether it's Ugg boots or Taryn Rose flats, you just might find your dream item at Last Chance — for a fraction of the original price. You never do know what will be on the racks, and the selection changes all day long, so get a physical and get over to Last Chance.
Before her untimely passing early this summer, fashionista and paper curator Heidi Owens upgraded her already fabulous vintage clothing shop, turning it into a frankly jaw-dropping fashion emporium of the past. By moving into the large, linoleum-tiled boutique on West Indian School Road, Owens quadrupled her floor space and was able to fulfill her dream: creating a department store, circa 1964, that featured the best examples of fabulous fashion from the last half-century — and every last bit of it beautifully arranged on mannequins, in glass cases, and on racks as old and interesting as the stuff they're displaying. The place looks like a museum, but don't be fooled! Every one of those dinner jackets, evening gowns, circle skirts, and bola ties is for sale. A truly astonishing array of vintage paste and Bakelite jewelry is also for sale here, at this shop that will have you longing for the days when swing coats were in and mannequins were made of hot pink vinyl. Don't waste any time getting over there — with Owens sadly gone, the storeowners have announced they'll close when the merchandise is gone. Last we checked, everything was 50 percent off.
A while back, the rumor spread that Katie Wilson had packed up her boutique and candy bar for kids and moved the shebang to Scottsdale Fashion Square. We were happy to hear she was still in business, but a little sad to hear of another empty storefront in Old Town Scottsdale.We are happy to report that the rumor was completely untrue. Katie and her "body shop for kids" are still happily ensconced on Stetson Drive, and as classy as ever. On a recent visit we drooled over a candy-dot "dress" and a Hershey messenger bag, purple tutus, and enough accessories to keep the hair out of the face of every toddler from here to Gilbert. We also love T-shirts with messages like "Rebel with a Cause" and "Excuse me, did you say thank you?" If we didn't, Katie, that's our bad. Thanks for hosting the most stylish kiddy party in town!
Phoenix is notorious for less-than-decent vintage shopping. Poor us. We're just too young a city. Thank the fashion gods for Butter Toast Boutique. Somehow, they know where to snag some of the best vintage threads we've seen. The racks are packed with delightful polyester prints and more gorgeous purses than you can shake a bag of mothballs at. Every time we set foot in the place, even the patrons look ultra-hip. Owners Jasmine Jarrett and Traci Nelson also vend through their killer site, BillieGoatVintage.
Recycled since 1987, The Blue Jean Buyer's selection of denim looks how we'd like our asses to look: small and tight. With American-made 501, 505, and 517 classic Levi's, in addition to '70s bellbottoms, cut-offs, old-school Wranglers and Lees, bib overalls, and designer jeans amped up by local artists, denim devotees can easily score a blue bargain. Want to personalize your vintage purchase? Owner Steve Vizzerra, who calls himself the "Denim Doctor of Arizona," is happy to rip, stitch, distress, or dye your denim in tea for an old-school look that's anything but ordinary.

Best Place to Unload Your VHS Tapes for Credit


Don't laugh. We found, in our basement, a box full of old VHS tapes we'd been saving for some reason, and we figured no one would want them. Wrong! We took them to Bookmans, where we swapped more than half of them for store credit. Then we turned right around and bought ourselves (for free!) a hardcover copy of Catcher in the Rye and a three-volume set of Harold Robbins novels. We also brought home a VHS copy of The Gold Diggers, a silent picture not available on DVD. We couldn't help ourselves — Bookmans' selection of rare movies on VHS is unbeatable! You're welcome.

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