On Sunday morning I was lazing in bed, idly reading Twitter, when an image posted by Bangs and a Bun caught my eye. Prada shoes! Lovely. But where from? The comment alongside the image said:
"In a random church hall in Leeds, someone's getting rid of their Prada."
She had my attention. Minutes later I had the address and was rearranging my plans, and at 12.55pm I pulled up outside the church. It was very quiet, but I headed inside and a lovely lady invited me in to look around.
The sale was run by The Dressmaker's Vault, and tucked away in this nondescript church hall were rails and rails of top quality designer clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. There was everything from Alexander McQueen to Temperley, all priced way below their original RRP. The lady in charge explained that people brought their unwanted designer pieces to her and she held these events to unite them with new owners. A bit like a cross between Bicester Village and a jumble sale...
Of course, although there were huge savings to be made, we're not talking jumble sale prices. I didn't spot much under £100, but everything was in perfect condition and some pieces had their tags still attached. I'm not really a designer dresser - I'm happy with the high street, eBay and my beloved charity shops. But I *do* like high quality leather goods - bags, belts, shoes and, in particular, jackets. So I made a beeline for the coats and jackets section at the back of the room, where I uncovered a gem...
Leather biker jacket, Sandro
The colour caught my eye first. I've been on the lookout for a light brown/beige jacket for an age, so the first glimpse of that caramel leather had my heart beating. Then I checked the price - £175. Gulp. But... an original RRP of £575, and it was completely unworn. I tried it on. I posed. I twirled. I gathered it up and headed to the till.
I've been to second hand designer sales before and they can be very hit and miss. Much of what's sold looks dated (people are loathe to sell on classic styles), there's rarely a changing room (I won't drop £100+ without seeing what it looks like on) and many don't have card machines (even charity shops have card machines!). But I was thoroughly impressed with the Dressmaker's Vault - there were a lot of classic pieces on offer, there was a changing area with a full-length mirror and there was a card machine. Plus, the lovely lady who looked after me knocked another £25 off my jacket, so the total was a very-reasonable £150. For Sandro. I know.
Leather jacket, Sandro via The Dressmaker's Vault | Vintage dress, Beacon's Closet NYC | Necklace, J.Crew | Brogues, c/o Bertie | Belt, Target | Bag, Emma Fox via TK Maxx | Sunglasses, Jigsaw
I was so impressed with the sale - if you're in the Leeds area, check the Facebook page for updates of the next event. For the rest of the UK, The PreLoved Designer Sale works in the same way and travels the country with its second hand goodies. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more sales near me... maybe I'll find a Chanel 2.55 next? A girl can dream, right?
Have you ever been to a second hand designer sale? Did you buy anything? What do you think of the concept?