Thursday, April 29, 2010

Living Vintage in Berlin: Boil, Boil, Toil and Troedel

Any guidebook to Berlin is going to mention the flea markets that happen all around the city, mainly on the weekends and also sometimes during the week (here is a link to a list of each and every market, where they are run and their exact hours of operation. God bless German efficiency!) What are maybe less known to people from outside the city are the Troedellaeden (junk shops) that are scattered throughout each neighborhood. Though you can get vintage housewares, home decor and occasionally also jewelry, I personally think what they are best for is furniture.

My favorite Troedellaeden are the six or so lining Flughafenstrasse in Neukölln (U-7 Rathhaus Neukölln, between Karl Marx Strasse and Hermannstrasse). Basically each of these shops is a two to four bedroom ground floor apartment that is literally stacked floor to ceiling with tables, chairs, sofas, desks, you name it. Of course, a lot of it is pretty banged up, but their is still plenty of goodies to be found for an ever patient thrifting huntress. Most of the shop owners are likely to be male (German, Turkish or Arab), in their early 60s, reek of cigar smoke and probably speak little to no English but then it wouldn't be a true junk shop if anyone else were to run it.

Flughafenstrasse is far off the Kreuzkölln path (the area of Neukölln that has since become hip, though when I lived there five years ago it was basically a rat hole...) and is definitely not gentrified so you are also more likely to make a bargain. One of the shops, Trödel Klaus, even has a website which you can visit by clicking here.

Viel Spass beim Trödeln!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nothing Says Glamour Like Red Lips

At a party, no one ever asks me which wine glass is mine. They just look for the one with the traces of red lipstick at the top. I've been wearing red lipstick as long as I've been wearing lipstick which means pretty much forever. Occasionally I will veer into the pinks. I also went through a year long phase where I preferred deep, dark film star red that bordered on nearly being black. But for the most part I like old school fire engine red.

My absolute fa
vorite red lipstick these days is Mac's Ruby Woo. I bought it on a tip the last time I was in the U.S.

and have remained completely smitten. Part of their retro matte line, this lipstick really does have a vintage look to it. Plus, it really lasts much longer than your average creamy lipstick.
My sister bought a tube after me and although her complexion is completely different than mine (I am pretty pale while she has a somewhat olive coloring) it works really great on both of us.

Just the perfect way for every vintage loving lady to live out her inner bombshell. ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April Is The Month To Think Pink

I'm sure I'm not the only woman who thinks pink is grossly underrated. Perhaps it has been ruined for some many women by the legions of little girls between the ages of 2 and 10 who have pink dresses, pink bicycles, pink hair ribbons, pink pencils.... Once you reach a certain age, you can no longer even stand the idea of it. But maybe April is the month to re-think pink. What greater way to feel fresh and feminine this spring. Here are some lovely vintage goodies I recently found in this most delicate of colors.

Vintage 1950s Cardigan in Blushing Rose (XL), $56. Available at the ever-fabulous Small Earth Vintage

Eros Pink Cut Out Dress (S), $55. Available at Capricious Traveler

Vintage 1980s Pink Leather Pumps, (Size 8.5/German 39), $34. Available at Dear Golden Vintage

Vintage 1960s Bubblegum Pink Dress (L XL), $29. Available at Curious Knopf

Vintage Headband Hat, $25. Available at EGVintage

Vintage 1950s Shirtwaist Dress (L XL), $46. Available at Raleigh Vintage

Vintage 1970s Pink Peasant Dress (M L), $42. Available at Marie's Vintage

Vintage Fuchsia Cork Wedge Sandals (size 6.5-7/German 37), $32. Also available at Marie's Vintage

Happy springtime vintage shopping!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living Vintage in Berlin: Cafe Sorgenfrei

With Mitte, Prenzlauerberg and Kreuzberg all vying for which neighborhood is the coolest and Friedrichhain trailing closely behind, it's easy to forget about Schöneberg. This is truly a shame for any vintage lover because they might have never heard of Goltzstrasse. Not only does the street have Mimi Textile Antiqitäten (Goltzstrasse 5), a shop which is the place in Berlin for antique vintage clothing and accessories from the 20s to the 40s, it also has the wonderfully retro Cafe Sorgenfrei.

Cafe Sorgenfrei (Goltzstrasse 18), run by a native Berliner and someone from the Pfalzer region, is done completely in the style of the 50s and 60s right down the doilies on the tables. The menu is also filled with all sorts of "old school" goodies like Hawaii toast and banana milk. Some of the vintage knick knacks and furniture is also for sale, so make sure you come with some extra bills tucked into your kid gloves.

On their website you can also see lots of nice vintage photographs such as the one below of the Fleischerei (Butcher shop) that was there in the actual 50s and 60s. Come by for some Kaffee und Kuchen anytime between 12 and 7 on Tuesday through Friday or for a little weekend jaunt (Saturday 10 to 6, Sunday 1 to 6).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lipstick Is Your Exclamation Point

For those who love vintage clothing, there is also often the question of how to complete the look. You can get a lot of great vintage make-up tips on youtube, but my favorite clips are the ones that are vintage themselves. Take a look at these two instructional make-up videos from the 1940s about make-up application and how to achieve the look of a more oval face if nature didn't grace you with one. Soon after you will learn that lipstick is your exclamation point and nothing ages you like too much rogue. Now if only I could find some shop that still sells vanishing cream. ;)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finders But Not Necessarily Keepers

I've always been good at finding things. When I was a child growing up in Arizona I would often find old Indian arrowheads lying on the ground or wheat back pennies, which I collected like mad, in an old jar of coins. This penchant for finding things continued as I grew older and realized, more and more, how much I value being a modern woman living vintage.

Not only is it a great feeling to find something stylish and unique at a flea market or a thrift store, it is also so wonderful to realize what you wear and own has a history. Just where is it that this dress has been?

And of course it is also easy on the environment. Heck, you can even feel good about shopping vintage in that love the earth way!

For a long time I assumed that everyone is good at finding things since it's always come so easily to me. In the past few years, however, I've learned that this simply isn't true.

I have many friends and also a husband who walk into a thrift store and are overwhelmed by the sheer volume. They simply cannot find that golden needle in the haystack, that one encrusted with Bakelite and jewels.

If you are one of those people, gentle reader, or even if you are also a vintage finding hound, please do stop by Curious Knopf Vintage. Na denn, bis bald! :)