March 4, 2013

Why I heart The Vanitas Collective

Photography by Antony Snape (see full credits at bottom)

You mightn't think it possible to find a shop as eclectic and individualistic as Miss Gladys Sym Choon NOT located in the heart of Adelaide, or even Glenelg for that matter. But then again, have you ever stepped outside of your comfortable shopping-pilgrimage to find out what else exists on the road less travelled by? (35 mins south of the CBD perhaps?). One of my all-time favourite poems, by Robert Frost can illustrate it more colourfully for you:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;       

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,       

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.       

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


For a while now I have known Bianca, owner and creative director of THE VANITAS COLLECTIVE, who's boutique (Shop 8 / 19-23 Beach Rd, Christie's Beach, 5165) I first discovered on Facebook a couple of years ago. I have truly admired her courage to start not just a boutique but another world you can lose yourself in.

Beautiful, bold, unapologetic, unusual and genuinely unique, the pieces she sources to sell come from designers and companies all over the world, most that you could never purchase from mainstream shopping and may never come across even online. I have purchased a few beautiful dresses and tops and have always been complimented on the style, colour, unusual cut or intriguing pattern of the piece, never dated or too far on-trend, just enough to hold its own against the others, define a female silhouette and be an original.

I have always loved styling fashion photoshoots to include original, quirky and bold pieces from The Vanitas, as they really are such interesting conversation pieces, not for the faint hearted. You feel empowered and liberated at the same time to be wearing something which echos Andy Warhol or something dream-like yet haunting like Salvador Dali; which reminds me, the actual shop itself is a living, breathing, curious collection of art works, from the floor to the walls and higher!

It is a wonderland of beauty yet still holds its own mystery and darkness which pulls you in and intrigues you. I'd also like to make a point of adding Bianca solely sells non-animal products, and does not sell materials such as leathers and furs; instead providing the shopper with alternatives, in order to discourage the fur industry and - as I hope and feel strongly about too - it will eventually bring an end to the fur industry.

I really hope you will check out this remarkable boutique south of Adelaide, also for its beautiful coffee lounge and lovely vegan treats you can enjoy whilst shopping. Take the road less travelled, dear shoppers. And support local small businesses!!! In this one-of boutique, you really do feel like Alice, after falling down the rabbit hole, and only then does the wonder begin.

Belinda x

Photography: Antony Snape
MUA: Lauren Parkinson
Hair: Rose Snape
Fashion: The Vanitas Collective

Vanitas Opening Hours:
Mon - Wed: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Phone: 0410 868 475




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