Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 36° Cloudy

Treasure Hunting

Bringing home vintage Versace

 (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
(Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

   Just off the Grand Place and not far from the iconic Brussels “Manneken-Pis”  (little man, peeing) fountain, the Hotel Amigo sits tucked into the corner of Rue de la Violette. And just a block or two up the Rue de la Violette, is one of my favorite treasure hunting spots.

   Episode (one of seven sister stores in Europe) is a long, narrow shop filled with second-hand clothing, big bins of vintage scarves, purses, accessories and luggage.  The music is loud and the clientele tends to be young and academic. And every time I’m there I find something wonderful.

    On my last trip to Brussels I had a couple of hours to myself and set out immediately up the hill to shop. After a few minutes I decided that while the people-watching was fun, I wouldn’t be bringing home anything fantastic this time. I poked around in the bin of scarves but everything seemed to be polyester, not the vintage silk I’d found in the past. I’d scored a beautiful worn leather satchel last time but this time the luggage was all standard roll-aboard bags. Nothing I couldn’t leave without.

    Finally, turning to leave, I stopped to take one last look at a rack near the door. There were so many items squeezed onto the rack it was difficult to get a good look at anything one in particular, but something caught my eye. It was a short jacket in a fine, vibrant, orange wool and I tugged and pulled and finally got it out of the crush of garments on the rack.

    As soon as I pulled it out, I laughed. I wouldn’t be going home empty-handed. I had my treasure.
    The short, aviator-style jacket was mint-condition vintage Versace, in a color that has become trendy again. Originally, it was probably part of a suit, but wearing both pieces would be a bit too orangy for me. The jacket was my size and, at 25 Euro, it was a still deal.

    Back in my hotel room, I folded it into one of the compression bags I always carry in my luggage to help me squeeze in “just one more thing”  and now it’s hanging in my closet.

    I haven’t worn the jacket yet, but with three daughters who shop my closet whenever they’re looking for something a bit different, I know it will have its day on the town sooner or later.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Spokesman-Review Home Planet and Treasure Hunting columns and blogs and her CAMera: Travel and Photo blog, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at


Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes about antiques and collectibles and the love of all things vintage. Millsap's Home Planet column appears each week in the Wednesday "Pinch" supplement and she is The Spokesman-Review's female automobile reviewer. She is a regular contributor to Spokane Public Radio and her essays can be heard on Public Radio stations across the country. Cheryl-Anne is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons."