When I lived in the city, I used to walk everywhere, drink black coffee, wear clunky chunky shoes (by the usual suspects like John Fluevog or Dr. Marten) , and shop vintage (or try to anyway - more on that in a sec). Then I moved to the suburbs. That's when I developed my taste for lattes with the mermaid logo, driving absolutely everywhere and shopping at chain stores. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to give up my Starbucks or my J.Crew jeans, but sometimes I do feel blah and out of touch-ish and find myself wanting something a little different style wise.
That's why yesterday, after lunch at Venda (with a someone who used to be a client back when I sold clothes for a living but is now definitely a friend) on Atwells in Providence, I spied Diva's Palace and decided to stop in. Now, I know Diva's has been there for about 16 years, but in the past, I'd rushed by, waving it off as just another vintage store. (Don't hate me too much vintage fans. I can - and will - explain.)
And what I found out is that the owner/designer Michael IS doing something pretty damn cool and different: He takes vintage fabrics (and other materials) and uses them to create new clothes (and jewelry too) that combine retro sensibilities and attention to detail (high quality linings, special seams, etc - Details you won't find in most mass market items these days.) with flattering fits. A huge deal because in my experience (In my 20's, I shopped all over the East Coast for 2nd hand denim, suede, dresses and more...I can see my sister cringing as I type that last line btw. ), actual vintage clothing is lovely and amazing to look at and touch, but it can be a real biatch to actually fit your body into. So many times, those clothes just don't look good on a modern woman's body, especially if she (like me) has curves or is, to quote the one and only Beyonce, bootylicious. (This is the part where I mention that most woman are a diff size on top and bottom, making it challenging to wear any dress, jumpsuit or romper, let alone one made decades and decades ago.)
In addition, know that Michael cares so much about all his clients - aka, wants them to look their fabulous best - that he offers free alterations. Again, as someone who used to make their living selling clothes, that's another HUGE deal. #Holla (He also offers custom options for anyone who has a special event coming up or who just wants a stunning and glam outfit made just for them.)
Me? I'm going back for a dress, but yesterday afternoon, I did buy the bracelet with the blue stones that you see in the pictures above and Michael even customized the fit for me while I waited. True Story: I have a tiny wrist. Try not to be too jealous about that now.
Ciao For Now,
Find The Diva's Palace at 299 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02903
Photo Credits: All photos except Venda courtesy of #PattyJDotCom