Glasgow’s Wee Vintage West End
Glasgow – a place for bar fights, asking people to repeat themselves, and affordable vintage wear. Admittedly, the Glasgow reputation only precedes the first two on that list, but the third is alive and well, and a pleasant surprise.
Byers Road is located in Partick: Glasgow. It’s home to Subways (the sandwich chain with a funny smell, and the transport system with a funny smell), a disappointing Waterstones that’s mostly café with barely any books, and small cobbled street brimming with vintage secrets.
‘Vintage’ is defined by the OED as ‘relating to or denoting wine of high quality’. Something tells me this isn’t quite the definition I’m looking for, so here’s mine: ‘Old crap that costs a lot’. That feels slightly more accurate.
Byers Road, however, seems to trump the trend (I use trump here to mean ‘overcome’ and not ‘spew racism’) and the bargains available, including a £10 coat rail, have led to some damage to my bank account.
Starry Starry Night, though ridiculously named, is a proper vintage shop. The rails are bursting, and they stock a wide variety of both moth-eaten and fully intact clothes. On my numerous visits I have found myself conflicted over a fox fur shawl, which repels my deepest moral sense – but it’s SO fluffy! I haven’t been able to convince myself to buy it, as even though it would match my hair, I can still feel the bones running through the tails adorning the lower edge. As far as tassels go, that’s pretty gross.
I’ll be honest, Pin Ups catches my eye. It’s hard for it not to. The cheeky sign (seen below) is adorned with the classic bombshell blond and a vagina-based pun. Two things that can appeal to just about everyone, I think. The studio in question isn’t something I’m a personal patron of, as I can assure you that my vintage hair and make-up skills are on point. However, it’s inclusion in the Byers Road lot shows the versatility of this vintage village. Clothing, jewellery, records, books, and the general tat of yester-year are all available on this strip; just brush off the dust.
And so Byers Road is now revealed, and I’m sure the place will be flooded in no time with hipsters looking for that perfect moustache comb (because they just don’t make them like they used to), old ladies trying to claw back their fading youth by purchasing 60’s colour block dresses three sizes too small and crying in the dressing room (it’s more common than you’d think), and me, looking through all the coat pockets to see if I can find another yarmulke (that last one is totally serious, there was a yarmulke left in a coat pocket). But before taking said yarmulke off to temple, I needed a lighter, it seemed obvious really. It was cheap and it was Scottish – the perfect representation of Glasgow’s hidden vintage avenue.