Thrill of the Find
Contributed by Natalie Taylor
Remember that episode of Sex and the City where our heroine Ms. Carrie Bradshaw is introduced to the Vogue Accessories closet? A feeling of awe, disbelief and excitement overcome her upon her discovery of "...Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes!"
I had a similar reaction when I visited Thrill of the Find, located in the lovely brunch and shop hot-spot area of Leslieville. On the surface, this cozy vintage shop is like most: a mix of basic pieces mixed in with funky finds that have past its trend due date, available at decent prices. "We buy good pieces that are of good quality and that are not altered or damaged," says Mireille Watson who runs the shop with her son Joseph.
Soon after, Mirielle leads me into her back room, which is where she keeps her most valued treasures, mostly from her sources in Europe. This reminds of when I was led down a dark alley off Canal Street in New York, endangering myself, for knock off Gucci and Louis Vuitton accessories, a pseudo fashion drug deal.
As Carrie would say, I felt like I was in a couture candy store: Chloe, vintage Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim, Etro and Prada amongst other a-list brands and rare vintage finds are stored in the backroom for safekeeping. But if you're nice enough or ask, Mirielle will let you roam around the racks like a giddy school girl. For regular customers, she has even ordered special or popular items upon request. Watson claims that she's "not a stylist but you buy with an idea of who the clothes are going to fit."
My thrill was a 3 quarter length sleeved wool trench in bright canary yellow ($65). However, there is quite the jackpot in the accessories department: gently used Salvatore Ferragamo stilettos, funky leopard print Nine West heels, and a Hermes scarf or two. As Mirielle says, the best part about her hidden gem of a store is that "you never know what you're going to get."