After a very, very long year of school, it’s finally summer vacation! Nothing you didn’t already know. What better way to celebrate freedom than to go across the country? No better way. That’s how I ended up on the west coast, chillin’ by the pool, strolling down Hollywood Boulevard, watching some quality plays, eating very American food, and of course, shopping like a freaking madwoman. No, that’s not actually true. I haven’t got enough funds to shop like a madwoman. But I am slightly masochistic in that I torture myself by going to incredible thrift stores and flea markets when I can’t buy anything. It’s great.
A few weeks ago, while reading Madeline Pendleton’s blog, Jean Greige, I was watching a video she made about where she buys most of her jewelry. A lot of her stuff came from a place called the Melrose Trading Post, so I looked it up and found out that it’s pretty rad. It’s a flea market that takes place every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. behind Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, California. Since I was going to be in the area on a Sunday, I decided to take a walk out there with my family yesterday to check it out. We weren’t really feeling like paying the two dollar admission fee to go into the entire market (plus it was really hot out; we’re east-coasters), so we just stayed near the entrance and explored the stalls there. It’s a good thing we did, or else I don’t know if we would’ve stayed so long at a store called Vintage Redeux.
Vintage Redeux was started by two cool chicks named Rachel Quiles and Megan Balthazor in 2010. They take vintage and thrifted clothing and rework it into unique and trendy pieces. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Can I get a “holla!” to that! (Sorry, my sister has been wearing her Will Smith shorts a lot recently and I think it’s influencing my word choices a little bit). I saw some cool crop tops just chilling on hangers from afar, so I went over to check them out. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they had either studded or silver-tipped collars, or chains with crosses or horses connecting the collar tips. I’d never seen anything like that before; my interest was piqued! I continued to peruse the racks, and I found that they had some incredibly original-looking items.
Rachel and Megan’s store had a plethora of studded, painted, cut off, destroyed, embellished, you-name-it denim shorts. They had some overall shorts (I like to call ‘em shortalls) made of denim, velvet and corduroy. Vintage Redeux also had plenty of those shirts I mentioned above—and when I say “plenty,” I mean like, a bajillion. My sister went kind of insane in that department and tried on maybe half of their selection. The comical part about the experience was that the girls had forgotten their normal mirror that day and had a fun house mirror instead, so no one could accurately see what they looked like. I trusted my mother’s judgement on the floral ‘90s shift dress I bought. I’ve been scouring the Earth (namely American Vintage on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s roughly the size of a small planet) for a shift dress, and when I saw that one I knew instantaneously that we would be best friends forever. I wore it later that day, in fact.
I could go through all of the things that were purchased by members of my family, but that’s no fun. I will, however, talk about all the awesome things that you could potentially purchase at Vintage Redeux’s Melrose Trading Post booth or Etsy store. They have some snazzy floral maxi skirts, perfect for just throwing on and headin’ out to go about your business. Their reworked jean shorts are super special, one-of-a-kind, where’d-ya-get-that sort of pieces. I spotted some with American flags painted on the front, perfect for our upcoming 4th of July day of patriotism. I also saw several in many colors with spikes sticking out of the hips: these are ideal for when you are on a crowded subway in the summer and you want those sweaty jerks to stay the hell away, thank you very much. Then of course there’s the assorted tops and blouses that add pizzazz to any outfit. Vintage Redeux also sells a bevy of shoes, bags, and pillows respectively.
If you happen to be around West Hollywood on a Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you should check out their booth. Also, a disclaimer: Megan and Rachel didn’t ask me to write a review about their shop, I enjoyed their stuff so greatly that I asked them if I could do so. This ain’t no sponsored post, y’all!
By Odelia Kaly
Photos by Odelia Kaly