quarta-feira, 9 de julho de 2008


(dedicated to the amazing number of fashion-loving foreigners who visit this page. pardon my english, it´s not as good as my heydays in dartmouth)

Buenos Aires, now unfairly, continues to hold the informal title of the best vintage shopping capital in the world. Mostly because the elite - who has spent a lifetime consuming as europeans - has lost its money thru the decades and the shops have had the kindness to pass along this goodies to the new and stylish generations. The thing is, once a place gets that kind of publicity, there goes the deal. Last time I went there, San Telmo flea market was poor in merchandise. The vintage jewellry shops around the square were far overpriced. But I just got back from Rio de Janeiro and I recommend you this: get your ticket soon before everyone reads this post and flies to Brazil for a vintage shopping spree.

For almost 200 years, Rio, as the capital, was the country´s fashion and cultural center. Women bought Paris - hats, gloves, dresses, you name it. In the 1950s - the city was blooming with Balenciaga dresses dancing bossa nova - which not only the fashion-forward women bought, but the cafe-society wore in spite of man hating it. As Brasilia gained power, Rio began to loose it. Parties, dinners chez Madame X and Monsieur Y, concerts began to dim. And with nowhere to go, why keep a closet full? The same goes to décor. "People just want to get rid of the past. They don´t like it anymore or simply cannot keep it", said to me the vendor of Style d´Art, the antique shop where I bought myself a nice silver mesh belt to tie around either (and obviously) around my waist or to wear as a loose tie (Atlântica Avenue, 4240, in front of the Copacabana Fort and inside a gallery full of antique shops with home pieces).

So now Rio is THE place to buy vintage. Not as much for the quantity as for the quality of stuff.

At 143, Siqueira Campos St., Copacabana, there are three floors dedicated to china, chandeliers, Bohemia crystal glasses which surely have seen the best parties in the best salons. Jewellry is also well represented, specially in ruby, emerald and sapphire solitaire rings in pink gold settings and bands.

Luckily, I was there during the Portas Abertas Art Festival, held once a year in Santa Teresa neighborhood, one of the privileged views of the city. During the weekend, 43 ateliers opened their doors for visitors strolling the hills of the neighborhood (for next year´s dates, click here). There, among paintings, I found a shop with great books on the history of Brazil and everyday objects - such as giant hair clips in their original case. Made in England, they were used by women to make grading waves on the hair. The owner said Belle Époque, but I´m guessing early 1920s.

I also found one among many street vendors selling the best vintage jewels from India and Morocco. From her, I got a bakelite bracelet (bakelite is the first synthetic resin, formulated in 1909 by the Belgian chemist Leo Hendrick Baekeland and it became the IT-costume jewellry in the Celluloid Era, the 1920, prior to lucite, vinyl and nylon), a jade bracelet and a silver manilla bracelet, with slaves heads sculpted in each end. I found this quite something for manilla bracelets, usually made in copper and brass, became one of the standard trade currencies in the 16th century. The Portuguese, a century earlier, had used them to pay for leopard skins, pepper, cloth, ivory and slaves in Benin - now southwest Nigeria - suppling the shortage of brass and copper production in West Africa, a region known to have invented the smelting of copper and the casting of brass in the 10th century. The ‘manillas’ were made in the Low Countries (modern Holland), traded throughout West Africa as a kind of currency, and melted down by the brass workers of Benin.

(I´ll ask a friend, pro photographer, to click those pieces so I can share them with you)

7 comentários:

Márcia Mesquita disse...

tem razão, aqui tem muuuuuuuita coisa boa tanto na moda como no design. Moro muito perto do shopping dos antiquários, na Siqueira Campos, é demais mesmo.

Tem também a feira da rua do lavradio, no primeiro sábado do mês, com barracas e os antiquários maravilhooosos da rua abertos; a feira da praça XV, que não lembro se é sábado ou domingo; e a feira da praça santos dumont, na gávea, aos domingos.


Anônimo disse...

você tá certíssima! eu sou do Rio mas tô morando em São Paulo, mas sempre que posso vou a alguns brechós. cara, dá pra fazer uns achados incríveis! eu comprei um blazer YSL original dos anos 70 por R$140... com certeza senti meu dinheiro melhor aproveitado nessa maravilha do que num vestido da Zara...

Unknown disse...

marcia, marie, valeu! tem muita etiqueta luxo no rio! adoro a cidade de vcs. está no dna.. bjs, sissi

Anônimo disse...

Hey! Normalmente mulheres por aqui, mas um homem aqui que adora arte. Valeu sissi pelas dicas. sou do Rio e adoro saber onde encontrar o original.
Dica: N. Senhora de Copacabana com Siqueira Campos, Shoping Copacabana, com varios brechós nos 3 primeiros andares.


Anônimo disse...

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