... is without a doubt the mother of all vintage shops in Brussels. It's not exactly dirt cheap, but wouldn't you sometimes rather spend a little more money in a nice environment than go through heaps of synthetic clothing just to find one nice piece? That's the one selling point of good boutiques, isn't it? You might pay a little more, but in exchange you get individuality, a carefully picked selection and an inspiring setting. And believe me, if you leave Gabriele Vintage uninspired, you're either a die-hard modern minimalist Jil Sander-kind of gal, or you're heartless.
What can you expect at Gabriele Vintage? The clothes were all made somewhere between 1920 and 1980. Meaning that there's lots of variety style-wise: from twenties glamour to fifties girl-next-door to eighties neon. Always wanted to go to a party in an old-style prom dress? Eat your heart out. If you cross a small patio, you'll find a small boudoir with the really glam dresses. Girls planning on getting hitched soon might even stumble upon their perfect wedding dress. Vintage sizing is tricky (plus you can never tell if you'll fit into a garment or not), but Gabriele is very obliging and can tell in a flash whether something will suit you. She's very knowledgeable, and you can rely on her with any questions about origin, style and alterations.
The best thing about Gabriele Vintage, however, are the accessories. She has shoes and purses, and they're pretty much your typical vintage selection. But if I were to own such a collection of hats, jewelry and gloves, I would be compelled to play dress up all day every day. Feathers and pearls and lace everywhere! Seriously, I wouldn't even go outside. I'd just order some fancy china on the internet, organise fancy tea parties and recite Oscar Wilde to whomever would be crazy enough to show up. I'd be like a character straight out of Fay Weldon's debut, The Fat Woman's Joke. Only slightly less fat and disturbing. But just as lazy and greedy. I have no problem with lazy and greedy. So anyway, if you haven't visited yet, plan on it. I mean it!