Jessica Vallenga has an eye for quality-made clothes; she is an artist trained in textiles, and she makes clothes. She turns embroidery into pendants and earrings, and she makes lingerie.
As well as making clothing, Vallenga keeps her eyes peeled for second-hand finds wherever she goes. Most recently, it was Seattle, where she found a whole bunch of great thrift shops.
She always picks up something for herself, and often some things that she won’t wear herself, but that she can’t say no to.
Vallenga sells her finds in vintage pop-up shops. She’s been popping up for two years, now. She started the endeavour with Evelyn Koh, who now owns Acacia Vintage in Haines Junction.
Vallenga took her trunks of clothes, jewelry and textiles to the Dawson City Music Festival last weekend to try to sales luck there – They’ll get lapped up! I say, imagining the lipsticked Montrealers who haunt Dawson summers. “I hope so,” Vallenga laughs.
She’ll be setting up shop in Shipyards Park this weekend, too, in the studio she rents from the Frostbite Society.
This round of pop-ups is the second she’s done without Koh, who Vallenga says has “incredible taste and such a good eye.”
Vallenga has learned that it’s better to sell vintage clothes during the Yukon summers because “it’s hard to get people to try on clothes when they’re wearing parkas.”
She says there is a taste that seems to be specific to Yukoners.
There is the obvious love of the finely-made parka, and a penchant for the Cowichan sweater. But Vallenga says Yukoners dress ruggedly to face the outdoors, but also love a chance – any chance – to dress up. “I’m just as comfortable in my xtra tuffs as I am in my ‘20s dress,” she says, to exemplify the extremity.
She says there is no pressure to buy at her pop-up shop. She wants people to come and try on clothes, and to have fun. “We don’t have the chance, always.”
This pop-up sale is really a opportunity for Vallenga to clean out her studio; she is taking a ninemonth sabbatical starting in April.
She has so many things that people have been asking her how it all fits in her studio, and she says, “I’m amazed it did.”
She will be selling ‘50s and ‘60s dresses that she adores, a mink stole, and parkas. She says it’s a clearance sale, and there will be “garage sale prices”.
Along with the second-hand clothes there will be the aforementioned Vallenga-made lingerie for sale. It was part of her contribution to the Northern Scene Fashion Show, and pieces are adorned with mohair, fur, silk and lace. They are vintage inspired.
Vallenga is drawn to vintage because of the craftsmanship involved. She notices the details, and quality. “I have a good eye for structure and pattern.” Vallenga will be parting with her sewing supplies and patterns, as well as textiles.
The Vintage Clothing and Textile Sale is on Friday, July 30 from 5 – 7 p.m., and on Saturday, August 1 from 12 – 4 p.m..
It’s in the log building with the red roof in Shipyards Park. Vallenga prefers cash, but she can tak