You know, it’s both a blessing and a curse that vintage clothing is such a trend now! For one, there are many more adorable thrift shops so you don’t have to hunt as hard for amazing pieces. But then again, anytime I see someone else in some wildly wonderful vintage dress I think “AH! If only nobody was into vintage so I could buy it all and relish in its beauty.” But that’s envious thinking. So I try to turn those thoughts off and practice compassionate joy, as my mother calls it. I know some people aren’t into second hand clothing (luckily hehe) but I love that someone else created a story for themselves in a dress that’s now mine. I wonder sometimes what their story was. One time I found a dress wherein the girl who made it had stitched her name, Helen, in red thread. Needless to say, I still think about that dress and wonder about the girl who wore. I hope none of this sounds strange. HAH!
Both Millay’s dress and my jumpsuit were purchased at M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona. If you ask any Davidson girl where the best thrift shop in Barcelona is, she (i.e. Millay, my mother, or I) will tell you about Barcelona’s little gem of a store! IT resides on a street, Riera Baixa, particularly dedicated to vintage shops! GENIUS, right? However, M.O.T.E.L. is special not only because of how wonderfully everything is displayed and how well curated the boutique is but because the woman who owns it is something special herself! She’s the grooviest dressed and kindest thing from any of our haunts in Barcelona. When I tried on the jumpsuit that day and loved it, she was as overjoyed as I was. After we made our purchases and chatted her ear off for a half hour, she tucked a hat in our bag that we had been admiring and smiled. If you’re ever in Barcelona, don’t miss M.O.T.E.L., whose dueña is as beautiful as the clothes she sells.
Naguisa / Relatos del calzado EL YUTE from Pablo de Val on Vimeo.
I first saw a pair of Naguisa shoes through a window late one night when we were in Valencia. After that moment, I had been dreaming about them until the day I walked into one of my favorite boutiques in the Born district of Barcelona and saw them sitting on the shelf as part of their new spring collection! Spain is known for their craftsmen shoes; 90% of the time, when you flip a shoe over, it will say handmade in Spain. I love that! I love reading the words handmade especially since we live in a time when so many things are mechanized. I love the idea that by purchasing a pair of handmade shoes, you’re also purchasing the creativity, imagination, and delicate hand work that went into producing them. And even more than that, you’re enabling an artisan to continue the work he/she loves.
Yes, yes. The video’s in Spanish. So I’ll explain a few key elements. David, the narrator, is the son of Naguisa‘s founder who’s been making shoes for 30 years. He talks about how shoe making is an art form. With 5 basic yute models (the rope material on the bottom of the shoe), they can make many different designs, but each requires a significant amount of close hand work. He talks about how frustrating it can be to be a part of a craftsman shoe business when some people want to export the process of shoemaking to other countries where they can be made by machines completely and more cheaply. He talks about how proud he is of his family’s company and its legacy and how he doesn’t understand why people can want the same kind of product without the same kind of care and artistry that his family’s company puts into every pair of shoes.
The few pairs of handmade shoes I’ve invested in here, excite me more than any other shoes I’ve purchased from malls or large department stores in the past. I think that Spain has spoiled me and turned me into a shoe snob! Hah! But I’ve come to love this art of shoe making . . . there’s a part of me that wants to change my declared major;)
There are so many other equally AWESOME artisan shoemakers in Spain that I love. I wrote this post about Kokua shoes a few months back. And I also love this post about the importance of investing in handmade items that Secondhand Sundays wrote recently.
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn
So basically I have a passion for finding little vintage shops wherever we go and seeing what treasures they hold! I know some people think it’s weird to wear things second hand but it’s my favorite, especially when they’re years old. At a vintage shop in LA, I once found a gorgeous vintage prom dress that had a name hand stitched to the inside, Helen. Although I didn’t purchase it, I liked to think about this Helen girl and how her night was when she wore that dress however many years ago. Was she the talk of the night in that gorgeous dress of hers? Could her date not take his eyes of her?
In Vienna, Austria, I purchased my two glasses at a cute vintage shop called Little Joe’s Gang (isn’t that so cute!?) and I love them! I like to wonder who’s nose they sat on before mine, what they saw when they were wearing them, and how they ended up in the shop I purchased them at! It may sound weird but when I die, I’d somehow like to hunt these people down and say where did you travel while you were wearing these glasses, what did you read, how many years did you have them?
I’d also like to know who wore those interesting sunglasses!?
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn
Quite a few months back, before my family had even considered moving to Barcelona, my mother and I were in raptures over a post about Kokua on Design Mom‘s blog. Fast forward to a few days ago, during one of our many walks through the city. My mom and I turned a corner, and the very boutique we had been dreaming about for months stood right before us!! I must have done something good in life because my karma was at its maximum capacity, I believe!! I love love LOVE that there are a million designs of the same simple shoe in every color, pattern, texture, and material! OH that I could have a pair for every day of the year!! The only problem would be picking which pair would be on my feet the day I die, for I would be a happy angel with any one of those pairs!! Unfortunately, they don’t sell shoes online but if you go to their Facebook page here, you can see more photos of these marvelous shoes and may consequently decide to come visit Spain!!
As my mother so eloquently put it in her blog post about these shoes, “Move over, Dorothy. Your ruby slippers are so last century.”
Provecho! Tessa Lynn
Is there anything that gets your heart racing?? Anything that your thoughts keep turning to?? Usually, my mind races a million miles an hour, but anything vintage can hold my thoughts like nothing else can!! A few weeks after we arrived in Barcelona, I sat down for an evening and googled all the vintage stores in Barcelona and filled two pages!! Many vintage boutiques are in downtown Barcelona, but luckily, one of my favorite shops is on our street. Magnolia Antic is a dream for vintage collectors, let me tell you!! They have a wall filled with vintage hats like nothing you’ve seen before!! Because they’re a higher end vintage boutique, the owners of Magnolia Antic are cautious about the photographs taken in their shop. So, if you head over to their website, you can find more images of the shop as well as this season’s collection:) Also, I just have to say that I’m in love with their glowing sign out front! So cute right?
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn
Tucked away on Riera Baixa is a store that’s not only vintage, but spanish vintage. This wonderful store is FILLED with vintage costumes and Flamenco dresses!! I absolutely adore the dresses and would LOVE to start Flamenco lessons just so I could wear one!! Well, I would wear one of these gorgeous dresses anyways:)
I love finding stores like this one and can’t wait to find more!!
Today I wandered on down to a flea market just a few street down from our apartment. There is trash and treasure all over this two street long flea market. You can basically find anything you want and things you didn’t even know you wanted!! Everything I see gives me ideas for things I want to make and do!! It’s quite exhilarating!!
I’d LOVE to purchase a typewriter and take the keys off to make gorgeous bracelets like these.
I’ve also ALWAYS wanted to make a silverware chandelier like these and I love the idea of using antique silverware (after they’ve had a thorough cleaning of course).
I have also always wanted to make a glass bottle chandelier after I saw one in an Anthropologie store. I’m imagining something like this one or even this colorful one.
These are perhaps the coolest things EVER!! I’d love to hang them on my wall and put hooks in them to turn them into coat hangers:)
I also adore these little artistic boxes!! It’s just a shame they’re awfully heavy because they’d be a hassle to fly home with.
And these were just hands down adorable!!
I’m so glad that this wonderful flea market is so close to home!! I think I will be a regular there. What DIY crafts or project ideas have you had recently?
In the very bohemian neighborhood of Raval, in downtown Barcelona, is a magical street called Riera Baixa, just waiting to be discovered by vintage-loving Americans *cough, cough*. This narrow side street is filled with ONLY vintage stores!! Upon discovery, I felt as though I had walked into one of my dreams!! There are so many great vintage shops and I plan to dedicate a post to each one because they are all so beautiful:) So, cheers dear readers and have fun tagging along!
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn