Published in Plaid Magazine Online, August 2011
Photos provided by Gadabout
Opened in 1997, Gadabout is a vintage haven that houses a profusion of odds and ends from the end of the 1800s to the middle of the 1970s. For all of us who are intrigued by history and love collectible memorabilia, or are searching for that perfect fashion piece, Gadabout is sure to have something that will spark your interest.
So what’s in a name? “It’s a word that was popularized in the 1920s. You’ll find it in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanon was a Gadabout, so, for that matter, were Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The actual definition is someone who roams about in search of amusement or social activity. Gadabout is formed from the verb gad, ‘to rove or go about without purpose or restlessly’” explains owner Victoria Dinnick.
Gadabout has an impressive fashion section, blessed with special clothing and an abundance of accessories-from jewellery to hats, sunglasses, scarves, brooches, hair pieces, and shoes- that are getting the attention of fashionistas now more than ever.
“[Women] are looking for pretty dresses again for daywear and shapely cocktail dresses to party in…I think that there’s a growing awareness that current fashion borrows heavily from the past whether it be a shape, a detail or a trend. The media loves to hunt out the vintage equivalent of the latest runway item and do a price comparison if only to prove that one can be “current” on a budget by finding vintage pieces. The public is also being swayed by well-known actors adding vintage pieces to their strolls down the red carpet and elsewhere…If you’re spending money, buy it to wear, not for shock value. It shouldn’t look like a costume, it should look like it was made for you.”
But vintage fashion isn’t all Gadabout has to offer- antique toys, postcards, buttons, concert tickets, sculptures, cards, games, fabrics, old books and many more things await your exploration. Time will fly as you rummage through the drawers full of treasures and sort through the clutter of curios. And there is a special men section too-antique sport cards, lighters, fishing gear, watches, and compasses are just some of the finds. Gadabout has also supplied the wardrobe and set design for countless productions.
Everything is personally purchased by Dinnick from thrift shops, auctions, and directly from homes. They are chosen for their “quality, individuality, desirability and scarcity.”
What is Dinnick’s tip for vintage shopping? “My best piece of advice is if you love it, buy it. Vintage stores usually only find one of that very perfect- for-you unique item and when you go back a week later after thinking it over, if it’s gone it’s gone and they can’t order you another one.” Unfortunate, but true- because that is what gives vintage finds its appeal. So don’t waste any time and take a roam around Gadabout and see what you can find!