TIPS FOR VINTAGE SHOPPING

IMG_1439One of my favorite activities to do when traveling is going to markets, antiques, fleas, food and beverages, all sorts of them. Buying vintage things always gets me excited, I enjoy the whole process. First I research the place, locate it, start the hunt ( to be honest bargaining I dont enjoy much), find a hidden treasure, something forgotten, ask many questions about origin and history, take it with me while imagining it’s whole story, where it’s been, who it belonged to. I also think about where will it go after me. So my closet and house are decorated with all the halves stories  I was told and made up plus the mistery they enclosure, which makes me love them even more.

Vintage vs Antique: The main distinction between those terms is time. In order to be considered vintage the piece must be at least 20 years old. To be considered antique it must be a 100 years old. In fashion, the majority of the things offered are vintage or simply second hand. Another term that is important to understand is “retro”, this things are manufactured in the present but with a nostalgic feeling or style to them.

Advantages of shopping Vintage:

 

  1. It is a form of sustainable living, complying with the 3 R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recicle ( the tree hugger in me talking here)
  2. It’s unique. At times where everything is produced in large quantities, you get something special, different and with history.
  3. Great quality. Not only many things in the past where handmade and with better quality than now, but a vintage ítem has already passed the test of time.
  4. Support the independent business and entreprenours. Also, many times second hand stores benefit different charities and NGOs.
  5. Save money. Usually vintage items are priced 20% or less than brand new.

 

If you are shopping for small things, with low prices I think the best approach is to go with what your heart desires. Let your self go and choose the things that you like the most. But if you re going to make an investment in a special ítem, is better to be well informed, to avoid counterfeit objects.

 

My advice as follows:

– Know the brand you are buying vintage. I try to buy only brands that I am very familiar with.

-Buy from a well know  and stablished seller. This places usually have experts to detect counterfeit objects. In my post “Vintage Shopping Address Book”  you will find a list.

-Once you buy the ítem, bring it to the brand store and ask them to inspect it, most of them will. Also if your item is in less than perfect condition, many of them will give it mantainance for a small charge.

-Some brands have a security code. In my post “Vintage Shopping Address Book” you will also find this important information.

Among my favorite places to shop for vintage things are Saint Ouen Market in Paris and Alfies Antique Market in London. Make sure you check their maps before going, because they are huge.

In Japan, stores have the best variety of items in great condition. I love Amore Tokyo and Rag Tag.

When in Madrid, my usual place is Corachan y Delgado, is a wonderful store owned by Pedro Almodovar movies’s stylist.

You can check the complete list in the address book that I posted, and if you know a place worth sharing, please write me to include it.

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Vintage Shopping Address Book

London:

 

Alfies Antique Market: 13-25 Church St, London NW8 8DT, GB

www.alfiesantiques.com

Camden Market: Camden High St, London NW1 8NH, GB

www.camdenmarket.com

 

Paris:

 St Ouen Market: 143 Rue Rosiers

Open only: Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

http://www.marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com

Didier Ludot: 24 Galerie Montpensier – Jardin du Palais Royal

75001 Paris

www.didierludot.fr

Madrid:

 Pepita is dead: Calle del Dr. Fourquet, 10. Madrid

 www.pepitaisdead.es

Corachan y Delgado: Calle Vicente Martin Arias 26. Madrid

Milan:

 Mania Vintage: Via Fratelli Bronzetti, 11, Milan

Humana Vintage: Via Capellari, 3, Milan

Berlin, Barcelona and Vienna:

 Humana Vintage (look for locations on internet)

 New York:

 Ina Soho: 101 Thompson Street

What Goes Around: 13-17 Laight St.

Cadillac’s Castle: 333 E 9th street

Los Angeles:

 Decades Inc: 8214 Melrose Place Ave

Shareen Vintage: 1721 N Spring Street

Tokyo:

Rag Tag: 6-14-2 Jingumae, Shibuya

www.ragtag.jp/english

 

Amore Tokyo: 5-39-2 Jingumae, Shibuya

www.amoretokyo.com

Hong Kong:

Once Style: 1/F 80n Wo Lane, Sheung Wan Hong, Kong

www.oncestyle.com

Miami and West Palm Beach:

 Palm Beach Vintage: 3623 So Dixie Hwy West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Back on the Rack: 219 S Olive Ave West Palm Beach, FL 33401

pbbackontherack.com

Consign of the Times: 1935 West Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

consignofthetimes.com

Buenos Aires:

 Juan Perez Vintage: M. T. de Alvear 1441, Recoleta.

Portobello Vintage: Paraguay 1554, Recoleta.

Sao Paulo:

Popchic: Galeria Ouro Fino, Rua Agusta, 2694

ONLINE SHOPPING

www.therealreal.com

www.designer-vault.com

www.yogiscloset.com

www.fashionphile.com

CHANEL:

Before 1986 – No Serial Numbers

1986-1988 –  7 digit serial number sticker starting with a 0

1989-1991  – 7 digit serial number sticker starting with 1

1991-1994 –  7 digit serial number starting with 2

1994-1996 –  7 digit serial number starting with 3

1996-1997 –  7  digit serial number starting with 4

1997-1999 –  7 digit serial number starting with 5

2000-2002 – 7 digit serial number starting with 6

2002-2003 –  7 digit serial number starting with 7

2003-2004 –  7 digit serial number starting with 8

2004-2005 – 7 digit serial number starting with 9

2005-2006 – 8 digit serial number starting with 10

LOUIS VUITTON:

Louis Vuitton made in the early 1980’s had three or four digits only and

Louis Vuitton made in the late 1980’s had three or four digits followed by two letters. Some vintage handbags have one letter followed by 5 digits

Date codes were only widely used after the 1990’s.

Date codes since the 1990’s consist of two letters followed by four numbers. The first two letters tell you the country where it is made and the numbers tell you the month and year it was manufactured.

For definItion of letters*:

France: A1, A2, AA, AO, AC, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, CT, DU, ET, FL, FR, MB, MI, NO, ND, RA, RI, SD, SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, VI, VR

USA: FC, FH, FF, LA, OS, SD

Spain: CA, LO, LB, LM, LW

Italy: CE, MA, SA

Germany: LP

Since January 2007, Louis Vuitton has yet adopted another serial number reading system. Instead of first and third digit being the month, it now means the week of the year the bag was made. For example, VI 2007 translates “Made in France 20th week of 2007 meaning around the third week of May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Road Trip with Edward Hopper

Untitled 1925

We had a very important event to go to. The address was 100 Lyme St, Old Lyme, Connecticut. According to our search, the journey by car would be 2hrs14min, from our place in New York.

Since I was a little girl, it happens to me that images of paintings, movies or books hunt me. My mom used to call me “absent minded” or “wanderer” because of that, as a matter of fact she still does.

Our car was equipped with GPS, which limited my copilot responsibilities to look outside the window and snack on the cookies we brought along for the ride. So it was inevitable for Hopper and Baudelaire to seize my mind.

It wasn’t by chance really, we had been the day before at the Whitney Museum and seen many of Edward’s Hopper pictures there. I also had read recently Baudelaire’s biography, and Hopper was a big fan of him. It’s Baudelaire’s poetry who inspired the american painter to take six moths per year for road trips around USA looking for scenes he would later paint.

On the other hand, Baudelaire*, was a frustrated traveler, you can tell it from his poems. He was never comfortable living in France, any other place in the world was more appealing to him since he was a child. He dreamt of leaving his country and moving to another distant place, somewhere far away so it wouldn’t remind him of his daily routines.

“Carriage, take me away with you! Ship, steal me away from here!

Take me far, far away. Here the mud is made of our tears!”

 As an artist, Hopper was always painting about traveling related situations and capturing the state of mind that travelers are usually in. His characters embody hope and sadness at the same time. His paintings perceive and reflect the idea that when people are in transit become both vulnerable and clearer. As if transitions helped us gain perspective. Don’t you feel airports and train stations have a particular energy?

My wandering was interrupted for a little while, when we stopped for gas. Since I wasn’t hungry, I stayed in the car gazing trough the window at the gas station and the people having lunch inside. The gas station was stunning, pure Americana style, totally worthy of an Ed Ruscha or Hopper painting. I took a pic.

I went inside the service plaza, and each corner seemed like a painting. Almost 100 years later, and in another century, the face expressions of the travelers where still there. At one table a lady, with a huge Coca Cola, was bitting the straw while playing distracted with her car keys, I tried to think where was she headed, was she happy to go there or had she just had a goodbye filled with sorrow. The lightly blurred faces that Hopper painted –quite critiziced– where so revealing of the feelings of lonelyness, anxiety and excitement of travelers, and they were there right in front of me, having Mc Donalds for lunch. Four tables behind, was a young man, dressed with what seemed like a DHL uniform. I thought that being on the road was probably his way of life. He probably drove many hours a day and this was his recess. I wasn’t able to make out from his face his state of mind, maybe he was tired. Maybe hopeful. All of them deserved a painting from Hoppe. I felt so sorry to not have any of his talent! I kept the images in my mind, so I could describe them to you to the best of my abilities.

I took a few more pictures, trying to portray with them at least a bit of the inspiration I received from that genious.

We resumed our journey and the gas station was left behind, so where Hopper, Ruscha and Baudelaire. We didn’t know it then, but in Old Lyme was waiting for us Pablo Neruda.

 

*Now that I think about it, Flaubert was also a renegade, he hated living in France and everything    french… Was there a histeria epidemic in France during the XIX century or just coincidence?

On our way to Old LYme

 

 

 

A day at the Meatpacking District NYC

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As someone who has the priviledge to travel to NYC often I am in an interesting position to see it. Neither a tourist, nor a local. Comfortable as home, but not quite to become used to it. Close enough to have a public library card, and a friend at the market downstairs, who knows how i like my tuna salad; but not so much to complain about the mayor or the masses of tourists.

That position helps me suggest a few interesting spots for people to visit when in NY. The problem for visitors is that it has so many options that is hard to decide and the traffic makes the transportation an issue too. So I preffer each day to stay in an particular neighborhood and enjoy all it has to offer.

The Meatpacking District.-

Is definetely one of my favorites neighboorhoods in town. I suggest to start the morning having breakfast either inside the coffee shop at the Whitney’s Museum or at the Gansevoort Market.

After breakfast, start at the Whitney Museum –its specialty is American Art so its interesting to do so while in NYC- the museum is big, start at the 8th floor, the terrace has amazing views of the city and the Hudson river. From them work yourself down to the 7th floor and so on. Make sure to don’t miss Edward Hopper’s , Ed Rushka’s, Georgia O’keefe’s and Basquiat’s art.

After that, you can walk to the High Line, the stairs are right there at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Street. Don’t miss checking the menu in Santina, because it ‘s a great option for dinner.

When you finish the High Line’s visit, I suggest to go down stairs at 14th Street, so you can walk a little and explore the shops there: Jeffreys, Joies, Levis, DVF, The Kooples, Kiehls, Asics. Here you will also find the Ground Zero Museum WorkShop.

Afterwards you can walk Washington Street that has the famous Bond Street Perfume, Scoop, Zadig and Voltaire Intermix, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Killiam Perfume.

To have lunch you can’t go wrong, there are plenty of options. If you want a fast lunch the best places are inside the Chelsea Market or the Gansevoort Market, all delicious, but if you want to sit down and relax there is The Standard Grill, Bagatelle, or Dos Caminos.

After lunch there is still plenty to do, if you are at the Chelsea Market you can check the rest of it, the building used to be the Old Nabisco Factory –birthplace to the Oreo cookie- there is a beautiful bookstore, an english specialty gourmet food market, the Fat Witch Brownie –best brownies in USA according to Oprah- and a Artisan Flea Market.

If you want to continue shopping you can check 9th Ave that has a corner Apple Store and many more. If not go to the Biergarden at the Standard, even if you dont drink beer –i don’t- the place is very cool. It’s open setting, with ping pong tables, a beautiful bar, it attracts lots of New Yorkers after office.

For dinner – try and make reservations earlier- Spice Market, Budakkan or Santina are all amazing options.

You can also check my guide at: http://townske.com/guide/8032/meatpacking-district

tomo hostel

Where? Victor Manuel Rendon 212. Guayaquil, Ecuador

What? Nice place to stay

Its a little oasis in downtown Guayaquil. Managed by it’s owners, who keep the service impecable.

Has several kinds of rooms, private suites and shared suites. All of them decorated with books -which is the theme of the hostel- many of the walls covered with quotes of famous novels, and also shelves with books waiting to be picked up by a tourist.

The best part is the terrace, all decorated in reds and whites, perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

They offer breakfast and internet service.