Sunday, 6 February 2011

Afternoon at Affleck's

Today myself and my new resident photographer (a role she has taken on against her will) Miss J travelled from our industrial town to Manchester for a bit of shopping on a rainy day. After hitting the high street (and hard) we made our way off the beaten track and found ourselves entering Affleck's Palace, a quirky department store that caters to all people of all persuasions and budgets.

  There's a lot to notice in Affleck's Palace, so basically a big round of applause to the following to catching my discerning eye.

Vanisha's Design Boutique - 2nd Floor (near the body piercing shop)
The first thing I noticed about Vanisha's Design Boutique was the reassuring clattering of a sewing machine. As Miss J had a browse I went to the corner of the store and met Vanisha, who sat tucked in a corner embroidering a beautiful pattern onto a t-shirt.

At first I was confused, as the machine was sewing circles into the pattern without her moving the fabric by hand. Instead, she explained, there is a handle underneath the machine that moves the cloth while the sewing head stays in the same place. The result is a beautiful, delicate chain-stitch that can be used to create fantastic curved lines.

Vanisha draws the pattern on the fabric and then follows the lines with the machine.
I love the peace symbol/heart here

Her pieces really remind me of Laura Lees' designs and she's very unafraid to use pattern or designs over images that are already printed.

She also had notices around the store saying that she is happy to discuss ideas with people for custom pieces which I think is a wonderful idea; if you have a dress that you love the shape of but hate how plain it is, or if you want a name adding onto a gift item Vanisha is happy to do so.

Vanisha also embroiders her own labels which I find completely adorable.

Wanderland Boutique - 3rd Floor

As soon as we entered Wanderland we were offered champagne and told that the boutique was celebrating its second birthday and invited to look around and try on anything we liked (a changing room is a rare and welcome thing in Affleck's, so a big thumbs up for that alone).

Of all the store areas in Affleck's Palace, I enjoyed the layout of Wanderland the most. They are lucky to have windows, creating a really light and airy space amongst the series of cluttered areas. The store makes more of its space by having less, which gets rid of the jumble-sale aspect that I find some vintage stores can have.

There are several shelves and inglenooks that are used perfectly to display select items. I loved this way of highlighting individual pieces, grouping looks together and also giving the store a really quirky, homely atmosphere.

Another thing I loved about this store was the prices, which were incredibly reasonable for the quality of the items on sale. On accessories they had group sales promotions on the already inexpensive pieces, so you definitely get more for your money.

I love this suitcase, used here to display earrings.

Wanderland strives to stock only the highest quality and most beautiful handmade, vintage and brand new items, which means they have a lot of variety in a small, ecclectic area.

One Man's Trash - 2nd Floor

I loved the selection of vintage, up-cycled and bespoke items on offer in this store and I especially loved the name as well as it speaks volumes about vintage fashion.

The shop was another one with a glorious layout, displaying clothes, accessories and various homewares clearly and with character. They also don't mind when you try things on.

"You look like Elton John" - Miss J

There were also a lot of places that had bits and pieces of Jewellery on display, a lot of it using handmade fimo clay pieces and some using new, found and vintage charms. Unfortunately due to the jumbled nature of Afflecks I was unable to get brand names for these items but I'll update as soon as I find out.

Love these fimo clay charm bracelets, especially the fruit and Peanuts characters!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah hitting the high street hard, I did not walk into a wall in Wilkinson's haha.