In this post I'm going to cover the various clothing designers whose goods I purchased in Argentina and Uruguay, in the second half of the feature I started a couple days ago with the jewelery I bought there. I'll start off by saying that Jess and I stayed in the Palermo neighborhood, which is a fantastic place to find all sorts of cute, funky shops. This cleverly-designed red jersey tunic came from a shop called Manuela Roth, not far from our apartment on the Palermo Hollywood end of the neighborhood. The shop itself was adorable and filled with all sorts of unique and interesting designs like this one, and the sales girls had great taste in music; it was in this shop that we heard Bebe's latest cd for the first time, and liked it enough to ask who it was.
Note that with this outfit I'm wearing the quartz pendant I told you about the other day, so that you can get an idea of how big it is. For me this is really out there in terms of statement necklaces, something that I'm just starting to develop an interest in, with the help of Sal (more on that later!). By the way, this isn't a work outfit -- I just put this on for the post.
28 Sport is the shop where I found these wonderful shoes. The shop is in the Palermo Viejo side of the neighborhood, and is filled with gorgeous, handmade shoes, all of which are styled after vintage sports shoes. The men working in the shop were delightful, and were really knowledgeable about each and every design: they could rattle off about this one being styled after the 1959 Argentine football team, and that one from a 1962 bowling shoe from the US. Most designs in the shop are produced in a single run, i.e. one pair in each size, but a few are completely one of a kind, being the only pair ever produced in whatever size they happened to be (I got Mark one of those pairs). I paid around $150 for mine, which, considering the quality, craftsmanship, and uniqueness, is in my mind an amazing steal. Aside from a little break-in time around the ankles, these shoes were remarkably comfortable right away, and they got a lot of wear over the course of the trip.
You've seen this skirt before in the photos Jess and I posted on the road, as well as in my follow-up post: here, and here. It came from a shop called Fiorini Wichmacki, also in Palermo Viejo. I love the contrast topstitching, pockets, and raw bottom edge. One thing I will say about clothes shopping in Argentina is that figuring out the sizes is generally about as easy as trying to decipher hieroglyphs, and this shop was no different. Jess and I swapped several items back and forth between our two dressing rooms; she'd say something like, "This large feels like a small." I'd put it on and say, "Holycrap, it feels like an EXTRA small!" The very next item I'd try on would be a medium that felt like an XL. All I can say is, if you're going to shop in Argentina you need to avoid looking at the sizes on the tags and develop a good eye for what your size looks like on the rack, otherwise you'll end up with a frustrating pile of clothes, none of which fit you.
Rapsodia has several stores around Buenos Aires, as well as in Chile and Mexico. A lot of their stuff has more of a hippie flair than appeals to me, but I loved the lush fabrics and saturated colors that the shop was filled with. I fell in love with the silky texture and beautiful drape of this graphic print scarf, as well as a super-soft, paper thin tie-dyed tank and a feminine, antique brass flowered necklace. Overall I'd say their prices run a little high compared with what we were seeing at the indie designers' shops, but they were still very reasonable by US standards.
Lazaro was a shop that eluded us the first time we tried to visit. Just one day into the trip, we hadn't yet learned (nor had our woefully inaccurate Lonely Planet guide told us) that in many shops in Buenos Aires, you have to ring the bell to be let in during business hours. Finding the door locked, we just assumed the store was closed and kept walking. On the second try, we discovered a shop piled high with an amazing variety of leather handbags, belts, shoes, and other accessories. I picked up these 3 leather belts for just over $30. Score!
Puntos en el Espacio, in the San Telmo neighborhood, has two locations in which they offer dozens of independent designers' wares, mostly clothing but also jewelery, wallets, bags, and other items. This soft, lightweight black jacket is from Liso Bono, whose designs feature a lot of asymmetrical shapes and interesting piping details. You might recognize the styling of the jacket from the skirt that Jess found in the same shop, and which quickly became a staple for her during the trip.
Finally, I absolutely fell in love with the designs at Victoria M. Ortiz, in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. By now you've seen my Victorian-styled velvet jacket several times, but I also purchased this lightweight, swingy olive t-shirt while I was there. I love the tiny pocket; Jess told me it was to put my dignity in, but I'll bet you could fit a whole lot more in there besides!
Had it not been for the fact that we had indulged a little too heavily in wine and Fernet shots the night before, I probably would've tried on, and quite possibly purchased, one of everything in the shop, but as it was I barely managed to get through the few items I took to the dressing room with me. This is dedication, friends! When your face in the mirror has a somewhat greenish tinge as it stares back at you, and when you're trying hard not to vomit as you pull a dress over your head and you get a sudden rush of vertigo, finding the strength to keep on shopping certainly qualifies as dedication to the sport. I find it somewhat ironic that overindulging in one vice saved me from overindulging in another. Heh.
Shoes: Steve Madden