4 December 2017

The Paris End: for a very, very vintage Christmas

| Nina Gbor
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Miss Cherrybomb bringing in the holiday spirit. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Welcome to Heffernan Street, Mitchell, Canberra! Synonymous with style, fashion, and glamour.

Well you may not have thought so, but this is all about to change – and just in time for the festive season too.

Chris Huet, Anthony Bean, Miss Cherrybomb,and Jade Serpentine (Melanie Louey) decorating the Christmas tree. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

While we might not be decking halls with boughs of holly, sipping eggnog or listening out for sleigh bells in the snow, the more consumerist traditions of Christmas are still very present. We’ve changed a lot of traditions to suit our Australian lifestyle better, so why not this?

Gracing the Paris End shop is the ladies from Canberra Swing Katz: Molly Campbell, Shaanan Donohoo, and Casey Crockford. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Christmas shopping – it’s familiar, it’s big, it’s globalised. No wonder the pressure to find an original and meaningful gift creates a negative shopping experience for many. So why not turn this around? Let go of the pressure and embrace fun. Get out of the over-crowded, mind-numbing shopping mall and step into one of Canberra’s original and locally owned and operated retail businesses.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

The Paris End, Mitchell, is a sparkling example of just such a thing and a wonderful place to put on your Christmas shopping map. Inside, a treasure trove of vintage fashion and style. You’ll also find retro items including books, toys and vinyl and a range of jewellery, candles, teas and condiments from local makers. Upstairs, a small and wonderfully ambient art-gallery supporting local artists.

Jade Serpentine, Miss Cherrybomb, and Nathan Harris. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Fashion is an ever-popular choice when it comes to picking out a Christmas gift. The items at The Paris End are original, diverse and of high-quality – the perfect choice for a friend, family member or that stylish, special someone in your life. Their very well priced fashion range caters to both ladies and gentlemen.

Anthony Bean and Rebekah Biggs. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

We asked owners Anthony Bean and Rebekah Biggs about how The Paris End came to be and their mutual love of vintage style.

RA: How long has Mitchell had a ‘Paris End’..?

AB & RB: The Paris End was officially launched in May, but it has taken some months to get the business to this point. The Mitchell location was a good option for us and we’re wrapped the business is coming together.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

RA: What was the inspiration behind opening the boutique, bazaar, and gallery?

AB & RB: We’re passionate about vintage, and having run ‘Hummingbird Vintage’ at markets around the ACT for several years now, we found that customers were asking “Where can I purchase your stock through the week?” When the opportunity arose to open our own bricks and mortar store, we wanted to include the new friends we had made through the market scene and give them this same opportunity.

Canberra Swing Katz‘s Shaanan Donohoo and Casey Crockford. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Canberra Swing Katz’s Ellen Ryan. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

Members of Canberra Swing Katz: David Jamieson, Shaanan Donohoo, Dean Scott and Ellen Ryan. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

RA: How have you come to love vintage so much?

AB & RB: We’ve been collecting and wearing vintage for over 10 years. We’ve both had a great love of mid-century style since we were very young, from movies and architecture to cars, furniture, clothing, and jewellery. Items from the past just seem to have been made with more thought, more love, and more style. The clothing is generally of a higher quality and was made to last.

Anthony Bean of Paris End. Photo supplied.

RA: What’s your advice for men and women who want to dress vintage but don’t know how?

AB & RB: For men, we advise: start small and build your wardrobe piece by piece, don’t rush out to buy an entire wardrobe all in one go. Begin by adding a few essential items to your existing wardrobe, like a few retro shirts and a jacket – then build on that. If you work in an office, picking up a few vintage ties can be a great start. Further, all this stuff is very affordable.

Matt Gerathy, member of the Canberra Swing Katz. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

For the ladies, we say: find an inspiration, something you love – be it a decade, style, colour or lifestyle – and start looking for items that make you happy. If you love it and it fits, wear it! Anyone can wear vintage and you don’t have to keep within a specific decade with an outfit. Remember, with vintage nobody at the party will ever be wearing the same dress as you..!

Several members of the Canberra Swing Katz: Casey Crockford, David Jamieson, Philippa Reville, Shaanan Donohoo and Dean Scott. Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

RA: What plans or hopes do you have for the business?

AB & RB: We plan to grow, we’re always looking for new stockists and artists, as well as new workshops to run with interesting crafts and skills to learn. We hope to continue to support local micro businesses and become a “go to” place to shop for something unique and special. Artists interested in the gallery space should make contact ASAP.

Photo: Giovanni Armando Putra.

The Paris End is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. For a versatile Christmas gift: Vouchers are available in-store or call 0417 994 049.

This article is written by Nina Gbor and Nathan Harris.

Do you feel nostalgia for a vintage Christmas? Are you doing your Christmas shopping at Canberra’s old skool boutiques and local businesses? We’d love to hear what your plans are in the comments below!

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Rebekah Griffiths7:44 am 05 Dec 17

Congratulations on the launch of your new shop. If you would like to bring some fliers out to Material Pleasures we are more than happy to leave them on the counter for you as we often can’t help people looking for Vintage. Rebekah Griffiths

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