One of the few inhabitants I met here so far took me to Brooklyn's Smith-Street and Atlantic Avenue. With quite some efforts I figured out later that the name of the neighborhood must be Boerum Hill. The Atlantic Avenue in that section is full of glorious boutiques and antique shops. Pricey though.
And in between these I spotted the best vintage shop I've ever seen. I know how tiresome it is to name "best of"s at such frequent intervals as I have been doing lately - best food, best shopping, best arts etc... I swear that I will soon point out the not so sunny sides here to regain credibility.
The shop's name is Mafalda and it's named after the mother-in-law of the owner, Christina. Why is it unique? Every piece is chosen and presented with so much spirit and love that in your hands, it feels like an art object of its own.
The colors are vivid and the textiles in such a flawless condition that you are astonished how time could pass away without leaving any traces.
While the winter weather let me shrink back to the same gray colors for countless weeks in a row, I own a silk blouse for the next Miro- or Mondrian-visit since then. And a blazer in Yves-Klein-Blue together with a couple of flower-printed dresses (all these were on heavy sale) keep me asking: when did we ever stop wearing colors? And when will spring come along?
In such moments you bethink what's so great about vintage garments:
- It is timeless but still makes you aware of history.
- It makes you grateful to the unknown pre-wearer who has been handling the clothes so well that it still looks newly-made.
- It's fun to imagine at which occasions it was worn before.
- It allows you shopping / consuming without wasting new resources.
- After all, you get the best textile quality at an affordable price as clothes in the 50ies, 60ies, 70ies were meant to last a life long.
Christina told me that she bought her first vintage clothes at the age of 13. Thirteen. And she was the first person I encountered in this city talking about sustainability while packing my purchase in a simple unprinted paperbag. When I asked her if it didn't hurt to give away these treasures she revealed that the hunting part was the most fun. And the traveling involved with it in her case. How charming.
So thank you, Christina for the bargain! My pictures don't serve your place right but it was a lucky encounter.
Mafalda: 360 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn
Subway: Hoyt St-Shermerhorn St (A, C, G)
Bergen St (F, G)
Hoyt St (2, 3)
Picture of Christina taken from nymag.