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BEYOND RETRO
By Anisa Topan
Anisa Topan takes a trip down to the East End in search of some vintage glamour at ‘Beyond Retro’.
 

In the heart of the East End, tucked way past the bridge down on Cheshire Street lays ‘Beyond Retro,’ a treasure trove of delights. The store is in a converted warehouse with a huge selection of vintage clothes on sale at prices that your grandmother wouldn’t baulk at. Before my trip to ‘Beyond Retro’, the only other place I’d seen such a vast array of vintage clothes from all eras was in Canada, at a converted supermarket, the infamous ‘Value Village’ where there are rails upon shelves literally stacked with vintage hand-me-downs at the most ridiculous prices.

Back at ‘Beyond Retro’, upon entering I was greeted by a charming gentleman dressed in mod-style, complete with thin lapelled suit. It seems all of the staff adopt a melange of different eras and wear them in a distinctively modern way; they are all educated about their era’s and can help you put the best look together in five minutes flat. A girl in a beret adorned with a silver snake brooch, impeccable make-up and high-waisted jeans with an old American diner shirt (complete with braces) symbolised what is so great about Beyond Retro. Its dress up, but not as we know it.

Everything imaginable is sold here. From embroidered vintage kimonos to eighties ra-ra dresses, anything goes, as I glimpsed brightly coloured bermuda shorts en route to sample the vast array of vintage shoes. There is also menswear; vintage ties, jeans and unique t-shirts hang ready to be brought to life.

   

The real joy in buying vintage is its unique appeal. There’ll be no risks of running into somebody at a party with the same dress as you – I like that. In fact, I think I’m in love with ‘Beyond Retro’ right now as  it’s a refreshing change to all of the other more pretentious vintage stores dotted around the East End.

Helped by the vast warehouse setting, it feels like you are in a giant dressing up box, which encourages you to be naughty and try things on you normally wouldn’t event wear for free. (I was seduced by a metallic boob-tube and at only £4 it didn’t break the bank) Other gems I found included a white and blue striped all-in-one, jeans coated in shiny black pvc and I also bought an indigo ra-ra dress that made me feel like Beyonce’s stage alter-ego. You just don’t feel like this in H&M.

Beyond Retro is at 110-112 Cheshire St, London, E2 6EJ

 

 
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