Seller Visit: Sweet Sorrow Vintage

We popped over to Bristol to meet a few of our favourite boutiques, including Sweet Sorrow Vintage, who let us rifle through her rails and rails of vintage clothing. Take a snoop around her studio and learn how to hunt down vintage like a pro...

Who, what and where is Sweet Sorrow Vintage?

Sweet Sorrow is owned by myself, Hannah Rowe. I'm 27 years of age and a History of Art graduate but have an undying love for fashion and vintage clothes. It has developed from being a passion and a side project to being my main objective in life! I'm based in Bristol but do vintage fairs further afield, in and around the West Country, and have aspirations of having my own shop in the not too distant future.

How did your obsession with vintage begin?

Probably as a child. Like any other little girl I enjoyed dressing up in my mum's clothes, old and new. I remember dancing around the living room in one of my mum's old sequin boobtubes but wearing it as a skirt - I was always fascinated by clothes, being opinionated and adventurous from a very early age. Through my teen years I was obsessed with classic Hollywood films and became an avid collector of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. And I think with those two loves combined, vintage clothes became an inevitable obsession. Basically I've been buying other people's clothes for well over a decade!

Do you have a favourite era?

I adore the '30s, whether it's the art, literature, film or fashion. Everything. But if we're talking strictly fashion, I'd say the '60s. It's such a momentous and progressive period, I think we'll forever go back to it to draw inspiration. Yves Saint Laurent was an absolute genius.

Any top tips for hunting down quality vintage?

Think outside the box. And don't give up lightly. For example, the mustier and more ramshackle the charity shop, the better (and usually cheaper) it is. More often than not they have no idea what treasures they have in their realms. I also adore anti-social ebaying, this however is only conducive to when you are your own boss and not working a 9-5. Trust me, I've tried to do that as well. And travel - don't be scared to explore. Europe has so many nooks and crannies of second hand shops and flea markets, usually at ridiculously cheap prices. Holidays can easily turn into buying and sourcing trips!

Tell us about your workspace!
I work from my small flat that I call home, surrounded by my beloved '60s furniture, mismatched kitchenalia, random illustrations and far too many books. Our second 'bedroom', or more realistically the boxroom, acts as my storage space, stockroom and office all-in-one. It's all a little chaotic but everything has its place - it works for me!

Your most treasured vintage find?

One of my favourites is a '60s Carven coat that's up for sale. Unfortunately it was just too small for me so I felt it should be passed on to someone who could fully appreciate it. Other favourites include a furry leopard print body con skirt I bought a few years ago from a vintage shop in Venice. And I also have a really amazing Versace-esque scarf print shirt in neon pink that I found in a local vintage shop, in amazing condition and a guaranteed talking point!

What have you been sourcing for Spring/Summer this season?

So far this season I have mainly be looking for the classic high waist boy cut jeans, 90s sportswear (particularly Nike, Adidas and Reebok, with a bit of Hi-Tec thrown in), cute button-down dresses and for the men hawaiian shirts and M-1 jackets. Soon I'll be adding prom dresses, clogs, high top trainers and acid wash denim jackets to the mix. Think, 'Saved By the Bell - The College Years', and you'll get the idea.

Inspired? It's time to stock up on vintage at Hannah's boutique, Sweet Sorrow!