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