Remember when shopping at Goodwill and Salvation Army was something to be ashamed of? If you’re over 30, ya probably do. Somewhere around the mid-‘80’s or so, second hand sneak became vintage chic, and one of the stores responsible was the Melrose Avenue emporium known as Aardvarks.

The new American Vintage is worth a dig, you dig?

From those quirky plastic bags depicting cartoon drawings of the funny looking animals in various funky attire to its cleverly re-purposed clothing selection (scarves turned into halter tops, jeans swathed with vibrant retro fabric patches) to its groovy selection of old tees, jeans and dresses, not to mention the middle-of-everything Melrose location, the ‘Varks was as much a destination for its atmosphere as for its used gems. Unfortunately, the “Odd Ark” lost its mark the last several years, and other than Halloween-time humdingers, the finds became fewer and further between.

They obviously couldn't carry/afford the massive space any longer, and recently moved across the street to a smaller locale, though we hear their Venice and Pasadena locations are still going strong.

Bagging it up!

But for those of us who practically lived on Melrose during its biggest bustle and buzz period, the space with the movie star mural exterior on Gardner will always have special significance. Thankfully, the latest American Vintage store has moved in and last weekend, a music, food and drink-filled bash saw a renewed energy and new slew of cool recycled clothing in the space.

Miss Scarlett and DJ Filip rock the shop's furs (PETA be damned!) at AV's opening bash

Put together by party girl Scarlett Casanova (Hang the DJs, happening this Sat!), the gathering featured turntablists Dia (Club NME) and Filip (Ima Robot), plus a live performance by Little Red Radio, a sassy electro band with charismatic boy/girl vox and catchy beats. Locals and tourists like shopped while they bopped in the colorful new store. We scored a burgundy crochet dress and striped overalls at $10 each (for our lil one). Grown-up prices range from $17 for slip dress to $30 an embellished skirt. Not bad.

Little Red Radio rides the electro train

Like A.V.’s Hillhurst and Ventura Blvd locations (don't judge by the old Echo Park location which was bottom of the barrel), the Melrose store offers hordes of vibrant ‘60’s and ‘70’s dresses and skirts for gals, and a sizable selection of pants and shirts for guys at fair prices. From boho babe to ironic ‘80’s neo-waifers, most will find something to rock here, though less voracious vintage vamps might not have the patience to go through every piece on the packed racks to find it. Of course, for us hardcore thrifters, that’s half the fun!

Hey Mickey! AV employees got style…


Look for more parties at other American Vintage locales coming up soon:

AV Fullerton- 210 Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92832- Sat., Sept. 6

AV Sherman Oaks- 14438 Ventura Blvd., Sherman oaks CA 91423- Sat., Sept. 27

AV Los Feliz- 1750 Hillhurst Ave. (next to Home) , LA CA 90027- Sat., Oct. 4

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