Vintage chic never dies; it just fades away – literally. Yet seriously, anything vintage is treated uber-cool by most fashionistas but with thrift shops (or ukay-ukay as they are so endearingly called) dotting almost every street, alley, and neighborhood garage around, it doesn’t take much of an effort for anyone to pull off that retro look anymore.

Not all thrift shops, though, are the same. And certainly not every ukay-ukay store can give you a Joseph Magnin dress like Baul, a treasure chest of vintage finds tucked somewhere in the suburbs of Makati City. For starters, Joseph Magnin is an American designer who started a chain of luxury department stores in California during the 1960s. Think of him as Henry Sy for the fashionistas, selling anything exquisite from clothes to pottery. Apparently, some of his dresses circled the world and decades hence, ended up in Baul’s coffers but definitely not arriving in Salvation Army boxes.

Next to eBay, Baul is probably the next best place to look for an authentic Magnin dress. That’s because the clothes were owned by people who KNOW Joseph Magnin. Camille Villanueva, co-owner of Baul, buys them from owners (read: the rich and the fashionable from decades past) who have amassed an enormous stash of designer clothes during their jet setting heydays.

“Maybe some of them have grown tired of wearing too much designer clothes or these don’t fit them anymore. Or simply put, it’s not within their taste anymore,” says Camille, who herself was wearing a vintage Magnin dress. I chatted with her on a whim when I made a brief segue to Baul in between watching bands downstairs at saGuijo. The store, which feels like coming into an antiquarian dresser minus the smell of mothballs, is also replete with items (mostly clothes, shoes and bags) from more familiar brands like Chanel, Issey Miyake, Armani, Givenchy, Paul Smith and Versace (“Clothes bought when Gianni was still alive.”) Closer to home, Baul also sells vintage Patis Tesoro dresses.

Not all items, however, are decades-old; they just look vintage. The store also sells original designs from the like of Kate Torralba and Patty Eustaquio. There are also bags from Shanghai sold for consignment. And to top it all, Baul is probably one of few “proper” places around where denim-whores can score Seven jeans. There are also bowls, literally, of jewelry designed by Boy Montilla, a designer from Bacolod City whose creations have been worn by the likes of Tingting Cojuangco, says Camille.

Sometimes, though, the rarer an item is the pricier it becomes, and this applies to some of the pieces one can find at Baul. When I was there, Camille pointed at a Chanel jacket as the most expensive item on sale for around P2,500. The other items, though, are reasonable priced – men’s shirts go from P300-P500, for example. I spotted what I thought was a Fred Perry collared shirt (the kind popular among indie kids these days) but it turned out to be a Gucci.

It’s one thing to appreciate vintage for how it looks and another to actually walk in them. “There’s just something about the way they make clothes back in the old days,” Camille says in a somewhat nostalgic tone. But her mom would probably know better.

saGuijo is located at 7612 Guijo St., San Antonio Village, Makati City. Go upstairs to find Baul. The store is open around 7PM to midnight.