Australia’s first vintage clothing bus now has its own store at Kidman Park.
Resplendent in a ‘70s lounge vibe, Dulcie’s has opened on Grange Rd, brimming with ready-to-wear styles spanning generations.
Curated by vintage and second-hand clothing enthusiast Amanda Blair, the multitude of garments, costume jewellery, shoes and accessories has for years been homed on Dulcie’s Bus.
While the much-loved bus will continue to pop up at events across South Australia, the shop offers a permanent space for the collection, amassed over seven years from wardrobes, donations, antique dealers, auctions, deceased estates and garage sales.
From the oldest piece – a black 1940s opera jacket with bell sleeves and silk lining – to tea-length swing dresses of the ‘50s, peasant blouses from the ‘70s, through to the eclectic colours of the ‘80s, Dulcie’s is full of hidden gems.
Visual artist-turned shop manager Emma Grierson has grouped them according to colour and style on upcycled hospital racks, in keeping with Dulcie’s overarching message: making do, mending, reusing and repurposing.
“We are more expensive than an op shop but we’re cheaper than a vintage clothing shop, so we sit in the middle,’’ Emma said.
“We’ve got an incredible amount of stock, and it keeps coming. I ordered 2000 tags for the shop and we’ve only got 400 left.’’
Emma points to the wall of deadstock ‘80s jewellery displayed behind one of two hero curved timber counters.
“It’s from a lady who had it in her garage for 30 years; she used to run a jewellery distribution business, but she’s in her 90s now, so she sold us all 80,000 pieces.
“We’ve got some beautiful silks from a lady in her 70s who lived in Malaysia as a child and has been hanging on to her mother’s collection. And there’s a stack of 1920s table linen which is just beautiful.
“I love hearing the stories behind the pieces that come in.’’
Dulcie’s design tells a story too.
The site has been a bank, a Christian book store and most recently a call centre, but it has been given a new life by Jonathon Oxlade and Renata Henschke, prominent Adelaide set, costume and production designers.
The duo donated their time to the project when COVID-19 hit and their theatre work stalled.
Fashioned from a former bank vault and papered in florals snapped up at a vintage store, Dulcie’s change room is a destination in itself.
“For years I kept saying, wouldn’t it be great to have a shop one day,’’ said Amanda, who has raised more than $100,000 for Centacare and the Hutt St Centre through Dulcie’s Bus.
“Now that we have one, I think all the things we’ve wanted to do around our overarching message are going to happen.’’
Find Dulcie’s at 326 Grange Rd, Kidman Park. For more information, phone 0406 616 101.