Vancouver Vintage, Madame Runge – Mid Century Designer

by Sheila T. and Louise D.

How do we define VINTAGE?

Generally speaking, clothing produced before the 1920s is referred to as Antique and clothing from the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered Vintage. Retro, short for retrospective, or “Vintagestyle” usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era.” Wikipedia

In Vancouver, we are fortunate to have a fair number of small vintage clothing shops. Some supply the movie, TV and theatre industries. Others find a niche selling secondhand designer labels or cater to a creative clientele who love to work with and wear quality fabrics. Others appreciate historical clothing design as an art form. And then there is the growing trend away from fast fashion that brings people to proudly shop secondhand, recycle and repurpose styles of the past.

But remember, shops discussed in the above link are “Consignment”, not charity shops and you will find that their considerably higher prices reflect that. At The HOB though, clothing is DONATED to us. While we appreciate all donations, from time to time, we receive the most exquisite antique, vintage and retrospective (retro) fashion and jewelry items.

In this BLOG, we feature two fine examples of the vintage Vancouver label, Madame Runge Ltd. From the late 1930s to the 1970s, women seeking an exclusive shopping experience visited Madame Runge’s shop on South Granville Street. Her collections were known for their style, detailing and exclusive fabrics. “Most of the clothing was commissioned and made by Montreal designers”, says Valerie Hayes, Quiet Quest 2016.

Featured above – a Madam Runge 1970s full length black velvet hooded cape, fully lined and fastened with three rhinestone buttons. In this dramatic piece, one might imagine making a grand entrance at The Phantom of the Opera or sweeping into an elegant 2018/19 New Year’s Eve event. More than a few Halloween 🎃 options come to mind as well!

Also featured – a Madame Runge petit 1960s two-piece mini length wool coat and matching dress in red and navy. Did Jackie O have an outfit like this one in her closet? (check Facebook or Instagram for prices).

Our dedicated volunteer staff hope that HOB shoppers will be able to discover and appreciate a vintage gem or two amongst our many thrift shop finds. While we do our best to highlight items of interest on social media, marketing emails, or on our display mannequins, the ol’ fashioned thrift treasure hunt continues to be a rewarding part of HOB fashion fun.

Join us soon!

NOTE: This beautiful Madame Runge fox trimmed wool suit was donated last season. We are happy to report it was able to find its new owner within days of being featured in the BLOG last month. 👍

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