Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fashion notes from all over (Ballard)

Last year I wrote about American Apparel tees. But fashion is fickle. My new find is Alternative Apparel. Independent designers are decorating Alternative Apparel's plain tees (aka "blanks"), and today I purchased one of the "vintage soft" long-sleeve boatneck tees, decorated with a line drawing of a typewriter, at a vintage-inspired boutique on Ballard Avenue.

The model I got is similar to the longsleeve crewneck shown on the manufacturer's website, but with more of a scoopneck and an unfinished hem. (Probably last year's style.) Very attractive and incredibly soft. I did not try on any of the short sleeve tees, so can't report on the sleeve fit. And I noticed that many of the short-sleeve tees at the boutique had ran long, long, long -- way over hips. Trendy, but not my style. (Sorry not to name the vintage/boutique, but there wasn't even a name on the receipt! Is it, perhaps, 20Twenty? At any rate, it's next door to Elephants Gerald, and across from the Tractor Tavern and Bop Street.)

I also stopped in at Merge, the high-end European clothing store on Ballard Avenue at the intersection of 20th Ave. NW. Absolutely lovely clothes, well-made, mixing classic styles with updated details. Expensive. Having spent some time in the high-end departments at Nordstrom last week, I have to say that I liked the thoughtfully selected offerings at Merge much better.

Over at Re-Soul, they're carrying Mandarina Duck fabric/leather bags from Italy. I had a Mandarina Duck when I lived in Genoa in the 1980s, and it was pretty wonderful. The current model I was admiring is the Reverse (K3TO2), which goes from large messenger bag to mid-size purse with a flip of the fabric. There's apparently also a Reverse backpack, though not at Re-Soul. Hmmm!

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