Articles by Lauren Thomas
Jul. 12, 2013
Brooklyn Flea Philly
Northern Liberties is rapidly becoming the Brooklyn of Philadelphia, with its hip bars, restaurants and shops catering to the new wave of twentysomethings invading the neighborhood. And what would Brooklyn be without its weekend flea market, the Brooklyn Flea, where shoppers can score handmade, vintage and antique items to outfit themselves and their apartments? Aptly titled the Brooklyn Flea Philly, the new owners of The Piazza at Schmidt’s decided to bring this element of Brooklyn culture to Philadelphia for a flea market every Sunday, rain or shine, to bring in foot traffic and support the businesses located at the Piazza. The Brooklyn Flea Philly opened June 2, just seven weeks after the idea was proposed. The owners spread the word through blogs and social media that the Flea was coming to Philly. The news quickly spread through the vendor community, and businesses that wanted to be part of it applied online. Brooklyn Flea Philly Market Manager Mark Vevle explained of the application process, “We probably accepted a quarter of the applications we got, and we select and curate this because we really want high quality and a good, eclectic mix.” For the first two weeks, Vevle said they filled about 82 vendor spaces, including food vendors, to make room for special events. Opening day featured DJ ?uestlove, and in the second week they set-up a bar with beer from Brooklyn Brewery in conjunction with Philly Beer Week. They have a variety of carefully curated items such as new and vintage clothing and accessories, handmade items, crafts and homemade items, and antiques and antique furniture. Food vendors include Brooklyn staples Red Hook Lobster Pound and Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, gourmet ice cream from Princeton’s The Bent Spoon, and local favorites such as Nomad Pizza and Joe Coffee. They have since expanded the amount of vendor spaces and do not require any long-term commitment from the vendors. Therefore the vendors at the Flea will change from week to week. “Occasionally there are going to be spots that open up, and that will give us the chance to kind of freshen things up,” Veyle said. “A lot of these vendors have product that moves quickly, so even though you have the same vendor here, they’re [to have] different product here from week to week.” As far as future plans for the Brooklyn Flea Philly go, the management is leaving it open-ended. “We’ll try to go as long as we can into the fall season and take it from there. If it’s a success, the Brooklyn markets have found ways to continue into the winter months. If we can prove success here, maybe we can move forward to something like that,” Veyle said. Check out the Brooklyn Flea this summer on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1050 N. Hancock St. For more information visit brooklynflea.com/philly.
May. 24, 2013
As students, there are certain physical and budgetary constraints that limit our shopping habits. However, whether you are looking to update your wardrobe for summer or make some extra cash by clearing out your closet, there are a few affordable and convenient secondhand stores near campus where you can buy, sell, trade and consign gently used clothes, shoes and accessories. Two great options are Buffalo Exchange and Second Time Around, both located on the 1700 block of Chestnut Street in Center City. Buffalo Exchange is a vintage and used clothing store that sells a wide selection of secondhand items at reasonable prices. The company has been around since 1974, but opened its first Philadelphia store on Walnut Street 12 years ago. According to Associate Manager Siobhan O’Neill, the store relocated to its current location 11 years ago, but longtime customers still remember the store’s first location. The store’s business model is “to be the most rewarding place for people to go for resale fashion and represent all customers.” The store carries gently worn and vintage men’s, women’s and juniors’ apparel from size extra small to plus sizes. The majority of the store’s inventory is made up of items purchased from customers, but they also source trendy new items from the Buffalo Exchange headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. Customers can bring in items from their closets and sell them for cash or trade them in for store credit on the spot, no appointment necessary. After the buyer prices an item, the seller has the option to receive 30 percent in cash or 50 percent in store credit on the spot, although for more expensive designer pieces, the store will occasionally sell on consignment. When asked what the store’s buyers look for, O’Neill said:, “It really does just depend on the style and condition, first and foremost, but the labels that tend to sell the best for us are well-known mall labels like Gap, J. Crew, Express, things that are just recognizable and popular. We also take designer pieces, but we’re also all very educated on trend-specific things, so even it it’s a piece that has no label, if it’s got a certain trend we know is going on like studding or retro vintage or something like that, we’ll take it as well.” Looking to purge your closet of cold-weather items to make room for your summer wardrobe? Buffalo Exchange carries clothing for all seasons. “For the most part we want the best of all seasons all the time. Even if someone brought in an awesome North Face right now we would take it; we wouldn’t just pass on it because it’s not a spring-summer item,” O’Neill said. It is more likely, however, for the store to purchase certain items that are in season because customers typically shop seasonally. “That’s where our customers are in here shopping for, and that’s what we’re making our money at that time on.” The company also prides itself on being charitable and eco-friendly. It started a “tokens for bags” program to promote recycling. Customers who did not use a store-supplied plastic bag for their purchased items received a five-cent token to donate to a specified charity that would rotate each quarter. Now the store no longer provides plastic bags but has reusable totes for sale. The store encourages everyone to bring their own bag by still distributing the tokens for charity to customers who bring their own bag. Second Time Around is another great secondhand shopping location that specializes in consignment on high-end designer items. The company is based out of Boston and opened its first store location in the 1970s, but it now boasts numerous stores nationwide. The company’s Philadelphia location opened in 2009 and features everything from upscale labels such as Chanel, Prada and Gucci to tried-and-true brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic. All items sold to the store are on consignment, and selling is done by appointment. After the buyer prices the selected items, sellers are asked to sign a contract and are able to track the sale of their items online. Items are in the store for 90 days, and then the consigner receives 40 percent of what it sells for. The store pays out for items sold on a monthly basis by check. When asked what buyers look for in consignment, Store Manager Lisa Johnson said, “We do everything seasonally, so right now we’re taking summer merchandise, typically no older than two years, and we look for designer labels or better name brands. … We look at everything on whether or not we think it would sell. It doesn’t have to be the trendiest piece. It could be more basic, but if we think there’s a market for it, we’ll take it in. But quality really trumps everything. We’re not going to take anything that’s stained or pilled or has holes in it.” The store also carries vintage items that reflect current trends. Trends for spring and summer include peplum, nautical and retro styles, such as blazers with shoulder pads, Johnson noted. The store is arranged with the newest items, specialty racks and high-end designer pieces in the front; higher-priced items such as designer bags behind the counter; and discounted items in the back room with everything priced under $20, so there’s something for all price ranges. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the store was a gorgeous mustard-colored Proenza Schouler PS1 large leather bag. This bag normally retails new for $1,995, but Second Time Around had this lightly used bag priced at $999. While that still might not be in your shopping budget, the store has great deals on various secondhand designer and brand-name pieces with something for all price ranges. The Second Time Around Philadelphia store also regularly updates its Instagram account with the best of what’s new in the store. Whether it’s a vintage leather Ferragamo backpack or like-new Christian Louboutin pumps, see it first straight from your phone.
May. 3, 2013
Dec. 7, 2012
Q: Who inspires your style?
Dec. 7, 2012
From a young age I started displaying a small, pre-lit Christmas tree in my room each year for the holiday season and decorated it based on my current style preferences. I have since graduated to a larger tree for my current apartment, but over the years I have accumulated quite the collection of decorations, most of which I have outgrown stylistically. This year I had the idea to do a modern interpretation on decorating for the holidays with a metallic-themed tree. Rather than buying all new ornaments, I decided to save a couple bucks and revamp my eclectic collection of ornaments to fit my current taste. I bought a can of metallic sliver spray paint and a bottle of loose glitter and went to town on my old ornaments. To get the same results, follow my step-by-step instructions to make your own do-it-yourself metallic ornaments.
Dec. 7, 2012
DIY Holiday Hair
Looking for a chic new way to style your hair for the holidays? Or maybe just a way to style your hair between shampoos without looking like a slob? We visited Crimson Hair Studio in Rittenhouse Square, where hair stylist Francesca Brittingham showed us how to create two perfectly polished top buns for an of-the-moment look. These hairstyles work on mid-length to long hair of any hair texture. The first is a classic top knot, which is easy enough to do on your own. The second is a more advanced version, which is French braided in the back. It might require you to enlist a friend if you’re not an expert at French braiding. Materials Needed: -Comb -Hair tie -Bobby pins -Styling wax -Hairspray Classic Top Knot Difficulty Level: ** Steps: 1. Start with dry hair. Flip your head upside down and comb your hair into a sleek, high ponytail on the top of your head. Secure the ponytail with a hair tie. Brittingham used small, nude-colored hair elastics. If you have curly hair, feel free to comb your hair with your fingers for a more natural look. 2. Fan out your ponytail so that your hair is distributed equally around the base of the ponytail. Then wrap sections of hair around the base of the ponytail and pin the ends in with bobby pins until all hair is incorporated to form a bun. 3. Pin any stray hairs, and finish off the look with a touch of styling wax and a light mist of hairspray for a long-lasting, polished style. Brittingham used Bumble and Bumble’s Styling Wax and Does It All Styling Spray. French-braided Top Knot Difficulty Level: **** Steps: 1. Flip your head upside down and section off the top-center layer of hair. Divide this section into three even sections and French braid starting at the scalp. 2. Continue braiding up until where your ponytail will be secured. Comb hair into a high ponytail. 3. Continue with steps 2-3 detailed in the classic top knot instructions above to finish the look.
Nov. 16, 2012
Philadelphia Designer Incubator
Tucked discreetly in the housewares department in Macy’s Center City is a room that houses what has come to be called the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, a nonprofit organization designed to support emerging Philadelphia-area designers. Elissa Bloom, a fashion industry veteran and executive director of the Incubator, helped launch the program as an incentive for emerging fashion designers from local schools to stay in the area by creating a 12-month designer residency program.
Nov. 16, 2012
Lucy Stone | Music industry, junior
Oct. 26, 2012
Tyrnauer screens debut documentary ‘Valentino’
Stepping into the fashion world as an outsider, journalist-turned-filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer’s debut documentary “Valentino: The Last Emperor” shows an inside look at the life of legendary Italian designer Valentino Garavani. After 15 years writing for Vanity Fair, Tyrnauer embarked upon this project as a result of a job assignment profiling the designer. Inspired by his observations of Valentino’s unique relationship with his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, Tyrnauer devoted two years to chronicling what ended up being the last years of the designer’s career. The director visited Drexel Oct. 17 for a screening of his film, and he sat down with The Triangle to talk about the film.
May. 20, 2011
Swedish indie-pop star plays to sold out crowd
Philadelphia welcomed Swedish indie-pop singer Lykke Li to a sold-out show at the Theater of Living Arts May 16. The show was an international affair, with Canadian artist Grimes kicking off the event.