A couple of months ago, Rellik were asked to contribute their idea of a vintage range in the context of the 90's throw back pop up shop in Selfridges. At the launch I had a glance at goodies, and latterly wrapped up warm to venture across blizzard weather to Golborne Road to find out more. Fiona welcomed me in to her Aladdin's cave of foraged finds and took great care in explaining the whole Rellik ethos. It is this time and consideration put into the business that has established its name and kept it on the map for a decade. Funnily enough Rellik itself, was a product to be born of the 1990's! 3 Portabello market stall holders gravitated towards each other and struck up a kindred spirit amongst the scene. The entrenpeneurs joined forces and took a chance on an abandoned ground floor space of a tower block up the road. They uprooted their weekend wares and transformed bare bricks 'n' mortar into their own slice of sartorial heaven. The space is divided into their own 3 distinct signature selected rails and shelves. Despite the segregated buying, the store sits as a one-stop statement retail experience for keen customers who return time and time again.
I was shown the basement brainstorm compartment which is the sorting office and epicentre of the establishment. It is here that the new found gems are grouped and gathered into "stories" before their debut on the regularly replenished shop floor. Boxes are stacked high containing slips and shoes............a swamp of covetable chaos to a strangers eye but a meticulous organised mess to the inhabitants. Here you can see Steve's "World's End" archive which is a living and breathing active accumulation of Westwod's finest. I learn that designer's come to Rellik specifically to procure pieces to reinterpret and pilfer the patterns. Apparently this is of no grievance to Vivienne herself as she knows that no-one can replicate her jenesequois ......... no threat is felt in these sneaky investments.
One thing on my mind is to ask is how Rellik can part with precious pieces to misguided or unworthy trade...............surely the process is akin to the RSPCA rehousing pups to sanctified homes. I have visions of rare "Quoram" classics falling into the hands of celebrities with an enforced wishlist rather than a genuine passion of a bonefide frock fanatic. But I am assured that there is a distinct karma attached to garments connecting with rightful recipients. There is an almost unwritten rule in fate that archive apparel appropriates itself to a deserving investor as they are drawn to the piece for a special reason..............a connection occurs.
Another query I have is to what timeline quantifies something falling into the bracket "Vintage"? I know my dress historian tutor would have difficulty condoning anything less than 40's years old being deemed "vintage" but merely "retro". But Fiona's feeling is that anything from a past season can be vintage. It is automatically in the history of a label but equally still of relevance. Everything is cycicle, so whatever circle it falls in, the whole thing is constantly of significance. The interesting factor is how and when styles hit a resurgence. For example when Rellik first set up shop, Chanel was of little interest to foot fall and considered irrelevant...............but it is now currently a best seller?! There seems to be no rhyme or reason why particular genres have there 15mins of fame falling back into the limelight. Whether or not the fact we are exactly a decade on from the 90's means that it is naturally back in favour is open to speculation. I know that my tail feather has been ruffled at clubnight "Work IT" when kids in the que were actually born in the 90's as apposed to having enjoyed the tunes first time round.............but heck let's not get shirty with the new generation of Moschino appreciative shirt wearing youths.
So what's up for grabs on Rellik's rail in Selfridges? There's of course Moshchino as mentioned, Escada, Prada, Chanel, Alaia, Paco Robanne and a stunning Comme Jacket that is just sublime. The other piece that stands out to me is a Pam Hogg purple velour body con, floor length dress with cut away panels down the length. I half suspect that this may have come direct from the source and my hunch transpires to be intuitively insync as it has indeed homed into view from Hogg Heaven as the two camps are connected. Brilliant!
All photos from the Rellik boutique by me, except the Hogg Heaven number at Selfridges snapped by Rosy Nicholas, thankyou!