Classic Fashion at the Grove Vintage

Located just east of the Harvard Square Café, The Grove Vintage is a fresh new arrival to the Village. The vintage shop fills the space previously occupied by Backwoods Vintage. But the Grove is no Backwoods; its sparkle and variety are more than enough to merit the trek into town.I was first lured into The Grove Vintage by a monarch butterfly balloon waving in the breeze and a mannequin in a short black dress and pink leather jacket. Impressed by the full racks, the quantity of sequins, and the lovely arrangements of vintage suitcases that dotted the room, I had to ask if this was the same store. That’s how I became acquainted with the new proprietress, Miss Donna Ray Daniels.I take a seat across from a poster of a younger Madonna, looking just as hot as she does now, while Daniels tells me about her experience with fashion and the vintage market. As a stay-at-home mom, she began selling antiques on eBay for extra cash, which soon snowballed into a full-time family business. The treasures in the Grove have been relocated from a booth at the Pomona antiques mall, and Daniels explains that it is a dream come true to have a space where she can do anything she likes. All of the pieces truly are one-of-a-kind vintage items. Daniels does not order from any retailers and says that she is quite picky about what comes in, mending or reworking many of the items herself. She pulls a simple polka-dotted summer dress off the rack and shows me where she’s replaced the “granny sleeves” withcute, modern cap sleeves.When I inquire about a Cinderella-come-mermaid dress draped over a chair, Daniels tells me it’s from the ‘80s. She holds the metallic teal bodice to her shoulders and shows me where she’s going to cut the long tulle skirt, making it short “like a ballerina.” Not only does Daniels make some pieces more modern, she also does alterations right in the store: For me, she hemmed a bright fuchsia dress in a matter of minutes, free of charge. And then she gave me her ten-percent student discount.Daniels does not rework pieces indiscriminately, though; she knows and loves the history that vintage clothing embodies. Pulling a delicate dress from the racks, she tells me it is by Diane Freis, a favorite designer of bohemian style icon Stevie Nicks. She says she could never alter it because it’s “like a little piece of history.” She admits to loving old movies, watching them over and over again and always seeing something new. Her knowledge, eye, and inspiration make her suggestion that she is “kind of a stylist” seem quite true. Even for those who don’t shiver with joy at the sight of vintage dresses, the Grove has much to offer, including a selection of leather jackets, sweaters, jumpers, sunglasses, and jewelry.With today’s green conscience, Daniels’ window painting that reads “reduce, reuse, recycle” is a reminder that vintage has environmental and social benefits, too. She points out that vintage and thrift are “the ultimate recycling” and explains that much of her inventory is originally scavenged from Salvation Army and other organizations that put their profits toward noble causes. Whether you want to simply swoon at vintage glamour, rebel against Urban Outfitters, be a little more sustainable, or all of the above, a look through The Grove Vintage is worth the walk.

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