We’re always longing for the past, dreaming of those “better days.” And sometimes, we just need a wake-up call to say, ‘Hello! I understand the rules from the past, but what about now?!
Well, Dalston Grey is that alarm clock ringing loudly.
Leah Gust is aware that the past is awesome, and realizes that those styles we long for are still relevant in our modern times. Her eye for vintage combined with her inclusion of contemporary lines in Dalston Grey is what leaves a shopper in awe.
Thoughts that may cross your mind while in Dalston Grey include, ‘You mean I can combine this contemporary bodycon skirt with this vintage oversized purple silk shirt?’
Why yes, yes you can. Gust’s ability to see a trend that is being repopularized in fast fashion and find the time where the trend was last made famous is impeccable. She brings vintage back and gives it a whole new modern life.
Gust is a true Torontonian, but she broke up with the city for a while to move to Dalston in London – not Ontario. Although family eventually forced her back to Canada, she learned about style during her time in London.
“People are risk takers in London. Even the guys there are super on trend. If people [in Toronto] can just feel comfortable with their instincts and what they would like to wear, that would be amazing. Sometimes people come in and say ‘I could never wear that.’ Obviously I would never want somebody to leave in something they don’t feel good in, but if you can find something that makes you feel good then wear it because if you have confidence you can wear anything .”
Gust takes risks with her own personal style and it would make any true fashion lover swoon. Her perfectly cut blonde bob accessorizes whatever look she’s going for. Colourblocking? Perfection. ‘60s shift dresses? Nails it.
Gust provides the shopper with the opportunity to find something that is comfortably within their style confines yet effortlessly chic. The black clothing racks perched upon brick floors display the neatly organized vintage garments, with the contemporary items separated on a different rack. Although the past and present are not combined, Gust has hopes that a shopper is able to pick up a bit of both.
“It’s how I would shop. I would never wear vintage head to toe, and I rarely wear new head to toe. I feel like it’s an affordable way to do both and to be very stylish. It’s like what Anna Wintour and the other Vogue people are saying – put the high with the low. Vintage can be costumey and I don’t think anyone wants to wear a costume,” she says.
Sometimes to a cynical eye looking in on fashion, it can seem costumey. Street style blogs are overflowing with women and men taking bold risks with their style and pushing the boundaries of the every day. But for Gust, it’s inspiring.
Gust runs her own personal blog that showcases the inspiration she finds on the internet as well as what she is featuring in the store. She is making her voice heard on the internet via Twitter, which is just part of living life in 2011. It’s an outlet for her to find looks she loves but also to keep herself grounded and aware of what is happening and how she can pull vintage from that.
“What I look at is what’s happening in contemporary fashion and then go back to the last time that was happening. I hope that it’s an alternative to fast fashion so you’re getting the same looks for similar price points without the environmental toll/impact,” she says.
And the prices at Dalston Grey are more than reasonable; plus, Gust has taken out half the effort of vintage shopping for a shopper. She has carefully selected trendy pieces, which will save hours of siphoning through musk-filled vintage clothing that can sometimes cause a fashion headache.
Dalston Grey is not only welcoming but also a comfortable, calm atmosphere to shop in. If you’re lucky enough, Gust will be working and indulge you in conversation on topics ranging from bloggers (she loves Tommy Ton) to TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress). It’s her adorable personality that will keep you there long after you thought you were done shopping and leave you with beautifully crafted and selected items of clothing that will become staples in your closet.
Dalston Grey in three words is contemporary, vintage and cool.