Emporium by I Miss You
Emporium by I Miss You has nothing of the dust-collecting chachkies vaguely suggested by the words vintage and emporium. Nor does it have the Value Village-salvaged trinkets suddenly turned retro-chic by a Queen West address. Rather, it offers a small, perfectly honed collection of real vintage treasures from the early 1900's up until the 1950's.
Until recently, the space beside I Miss You Vintage was home to Philip Spark's extended trunk show. But in the time since the designer's departure (for new digs around the corner), the space has been revamped and restocked with finds that are a few decades older than what you'll see next door.
Owner Julie Yoo is responsible for both spaces, using her keen eye to select pieces that epitomize their era of origin. I Miss You has a reputation for stocking only immaculate-looking garments and accessories, and I quickly see that its new antique emporium certainly tows the line. There's brassy gold jewellery from 1910, character-laden clip-on bow ties ($20) from the 1950's, and gorgeous period pieces including a stunning beaded flapper dress from the 1920's ($650), currently displayed in the shop's window.
Never one to divulge their secrets, I speak to a staff member who suggests that "maybe Julie has a time machine," to explain Antique Emporium manages to find such gems. Of course, Julie is not there when I drop by, or else I would have asked her myself.
I proceed to take a self-guided tour of the shop (which, granted, is pretty expedited based on the square footage), noting the impressive selection of leather purses, woven belts, and vintage lockets with with era-appropriate (and genuine, says the staff) photographs. While there are plenty of black and camel clutches and purses for around $20 to $35, I'm invariably (and unfortunately, for my wallet) drawn to the more expensive items; for one, the elegant deco alligator and bakelite clutch from the 1930's ($149), and a smart tan Coach briefcase for $200.
Though there are a few strictly decor items — such as a pair of antique dog cast bookends ($55) — most of the pieces at Antique Emporium are for wearing and showing off; vintage cufflinks ($15), brooches ($30), and antique hand fans ($40). Of course, there are a select few items, such as the 1890's cut steel bead pouch ($65) and the Victorian velvet bodice with steel buttons and lace cuffs ($325), that are intended to be worn, though I know I'd feel better about leaving them behind glass, simply to be admired. I Miss You has eliminated the thrill of the find, but is offering only the truly thrilling.
Photos by Morris Lum