Wednesday, 22 July 2009

FASHION PROFILE: Chic and Unique, Stockbridge


Vintage costume jewellery and beaded bags hang against pretty pink walls while breezy 1940s tunes play overhead. One swift look around can feel like a journey back to glamour eras gone by with statement pieces aplenty that would look fitting adorning the necks of the likes of Audrey Hepburn. Antique beauties by Haskell, Robert, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior light up the room. Handmade Venetian carnival masks beg for a ball. Rentable classic 1950s tiaras sparkle. Among the many hidden gems in Edinburgh, there is Chic and Unique.

Moira Teale began the vintage costume jewellery boutique after being made redundant from a massive insurance company. Tired of being head of the complaints department for 16 years anyway (shocking!), Moira decided to ditch the office life for good and find solace in a business in which she could happily devote her heart and soul. She developed a passion for collectible vintage jewellery after growing up with a father who showered her mother with secondhand art deco pieces that Moira never forgot. Her love for such pieces progressively grew and she began her shop using her own personal collection. Five years later, the shop is fully stocked with pieces sourced worldwide and she admits that some are still hard to let go.

It's easy to understand why one would get so invested in a work of art that has survived for so many decades. As Moira explained to me, each piece has a history and is a testament to the lives of their creators as well as the previous owners. Every item has a story. A gorgeous beaded canary yellow handbag catches my eye and she tells me she bought it because it reminded her of an almost identical white one her sister carried long ago. A girl brought in a silver cuff that originally belonged to her aunt who was popular with the boys in the 1920s and this cuff was a gift from one of her lovers. A stunning necklace studded with green jewels is believed to have once belonged to iconic American actress Ann Miller, who passed just five years ago.

With her dream space full of so much richness and character, Moira's endeavour to offer the "best of the best" and "something different than what you get in town" is remarkable.

Chic and Unique also houses extraordinary accessories like brooches, clips, hair accessories, clutches, perfume bottles, bijoux items, hat pins, cufflinks, compacts and bracelets. "Anything that's pretty," she says.

Chic and Unique
8 Deanhaugh Street
0131 332 9889

Also published in Bite Life Magazine, August 2009

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