A few months ago, we accidentally discovered a little shop in Melbourne called ‘Dames of Distinction‘. This boutique which was officially opened up in September 2013, is owned and staffed by two adorable and stylish women named, Jacinta Mellis and Margeaux Vallantyne. This cosy nest of vintage treasures is split into two sections, Jacinta runs the lingerie section, while Margeaux is in charge of the beauty salon.
Jacinta is very knowledgeable about shapewear and stockings and can advise any woman on the suitable foundations for her body. Not only does the boutique have all the modern treats such as, Rago and What Katie Did, but there are also some beautiful vintage foundations and nylons on display. You can also buy lingerie from the online store.
Margeaux runs hair and makeup workshops as well as one-on-one tutorials; however, if you’re just after a vintage inspired hairdo or makeup for an event, there is no better person in Melbourne to go to than this smiley lady.
I have asked both of these entrepreneurs some questions, please read on to find out more…
What are your backgrounds:?
Margeaux Vallantyne: I’ve spent time at design school (art, fashion, millinery) and did a stint at a makeup academy before moving to Melbourne. I’ve worked in fashion retail (in various roles) for as long as I can remember, waaaay too many places to list. Was involved with the Lindy Charm School, an invaluable experience which solidified my love for vintage hair and makeup.
Jacinta Mellis: I studied Fashion Design a few years ago and have been working in clothing retail since then. I’ve also been running the lingerie side of things online since January 2012.
What motivated you to start up your own shop?
MV: I’d been doing a some freelance vintage hair and makeup work and was finding it tricky navigating around Melbourne without a car. After meeting Jacinta and realising that we had the same vision, we decided to open up shop so that both her and I could have a bricks and mortar store unlike anything that exists at present.
I Love the idea of a drop in centre for women to learn about the vintage lifestyle – hair, makeup, undergarments, clothing, style, music. Anything. We want it to be a warm and welcoming space where we can learn and inspire one another. A place I wish had existed when I began this love affair.
JM: I’ve always loved lingerie and as soon as I started collecting vintage pieces I wanted to find good reproduction brands that could cater to a wider audience. We wanted to have a vintage store that wasn’t just another clothing store, but was somewhere that women could feel comfortable to come and visit and get excellent service, learn something new, or have a cup of tea.
Could you describe your individual styles?
MV: I Love Colour and defined waists!!! The 40s are my era of choice, more specifically the period of WWII (1939-45). It’s my favourite silhouette and is timeless (at least, I think it is). Having said this, I curate my own looks influenced from the 30s to mid 50s, depending on my mood. Sometimes I like to look like I’ve stepped off a film set and other times I like to put a modern flavour on it. My body’s the canvas and the clothes, hair and makeup are all combined to create art – something for passersby and friends to enjoy and (hopefully) smile at.
JM: I am in love with the 1930s, although you can find me wearing styles from the 1920s through to the early 1950s. I usually dress rather modestly and in more muted colours then Margeaux, but I am still always drawn to bold styles.