Walk into Varga Girl one day and you may find a Roman Empire style fit-out, complete with chariots and metal helmets. A couple of weeks later, the place could be a punk-rock paradise, with plaid, chains and leather, and anarchy signs on the wall.
Owner Leith Groves takes these installations seriously, teaming with super-stylist Robert Marshall to create a new look for the shop every three months. No wonder Perth girls still have a crush on Varga Girl, even after all these years in business.
The shop opened in 1995 after Leith met an American girl selling 501s at a Melbourne flea market. Why not source vintage denim from her USA travels and sell it in Perth, she wondered? The move made her one of Perth’s first vintage sellers, and certainly one of the coolest.
A few things have changed since she set up shop all those years ago. Varga Girl no longer solely carries vintage and has moved from King Street in the city to chilled-out Leederville.
But an avant-garde spirit and love of design remains, with local designers sharing space with international labels as far-flung as Denmark. And, yes, still America.
Make sure to hunt for vintage gems sprinkled throughout the shop – we’re talking real vintage, such as impeccable ‘70s Missoni and Versace, not pilled cardigans from last decade.