Pearl’s Precious Gems: Rita Van Tassel

This bold blue dress is as close to a neutral you’ll find in Rita’s closet. She’s styled it here with a chunky vintage necklace, colourful vintage scarf and of course her prized vintage Kermit phone. The Kermit phone is a special item to Rita, she has a full vintage muppet show collection, and it’s a big part of her aesthetic. 

Rita Van Tassel is a Lunenburg local who’s been thrifting her entire life. She sees it as a way of life rather than a passing trend. She is an artist and her creative spirit always shines through her funky wardrobe, so we sat down to chat vintage fashion.

What’s your favourite piece you own?

A 1980’s cobalt blue shift dress. It’s super bright and punchy. I’ve owned it for the better part of a decade.

What’s your favourite way to style it?

I’m obsessed with accessories so I can accessorize in a bunch of different ways. It makes a great base for chunky jewelry, scarves etc.

How does it make you feel?

It’s such a feel good piece and makes me feel more powerful when I wear it.

“Vintage and thrift is everything, it’s the way it’s always been on the South Shore.” 

– Rita Van Tassel

Where do you get your fashion inspiration? Any local fashion crushes?

Hands down, Iris Apfel. Iris Apfel and her whole mantra, wearing whatever she wants and dressing for the fun of it. 

Locally, Daina from N9. She always has the best mix of things that are vintage and thrifted. She accessorizes like nobody’s business and she takes risks but it always works, she just seems to know and understand her style so well.

Any hot thrifting tips?

Go with a friend, who is preferably not your style or size, you can cover so much ground that way. Double up the coverage of the thrift store, divide and conquer.

Eilidh MacDonald is owner and operator of Pearl’s Vintage & Thrift at 11 King St. in Lunenburg.


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