Posts filed under ‘stores’

galeria crawl: galeria larreta

Galeria Larreta 006 

Florida (the street, not the state) is a nightmare. Traffic trickles along, pickpockets take advantage of dazed tourists, and prices are almost always double what they should be.

Galeria Larreta 001 Galeria Larreta 009

But there’s a safe place among the mayhem in Galería Larreta (Florida 971). Right off of Marcelo T. Alvear, Galería Larreta is like the rebel sister who shaves her head and listens to the Delta 5. She refused to conform and look like the other stores on the strip; instead she’s going to open up a bunch of indie design-oriented stores, the rest of calle Florida be damned.

Joyería Contemporánea (Local 4b), with its mix of avant-garde designs (everything from silver and stones to leather and felt are used), is one of the first stores you’ll see, and perhaps the stateliest. Artistas Jóvenes Argentinas (Local 26), by the San Martín entrance, exhibits works that range from traditional to modern. The common denominator here is that all pieces have been made by young local artists.

Galeria Larreta 002 Galeria Larreta 004

Head upstairs and you’ll find the true gems of Galería Larreta, Patio Sur (Local 39) and Tiendas Kubera. At the former, there are beautifully feminine pieces, like a delicate ivory trench coat with black detailing for $240 pesos, or precious Irregular Choice-style flats for $180 pesos. Across from Patio Sur is Tiendas Kubera, a space for independent designers. Everything, from the screen printed t-shirts to the leather purses, is made by hand by young local designers. Don’t miss the flower pins; not only are they perfect for spring, but similar ones have been spotted on the runway of it-designer Philip Lim.

Galeria Larreta 005

If you’re hungry, Galería Larreta is a far superior pick to the overpriced cafes in the area. Carrousel (Local 7) is a cute, albeit kitschy, café with sandwiches for $6 pesos and a lunch special of several courses for $25. If you’ve about had it with meat (and honestly, who hasn’t craved a plate of nice fresh greens while in Argentina?), Ensaladas Argentinas (Local 45) will hit the spot. $6 pesos gets you a medium salad with a choice of four ingredients, and $7 pesos gets you a large salad with a choice of six. For a mid-afternoon snack, don’t miss Murasaki’s happy hour. From 16:30 until 19:30 (Monday through Friday), sushi is 20% off.

Galeria Larreta 007

There are a couple odd-balls in the place, like the store for musical theater geeks and an antique military paraphernalia store. But if anything, they just give Galería Larreta more personality. Which is what makes it so great: it’s a breath of fresh air from store after store of the same old thing (i.e. leather jackets and “cashmere” sweaters). Step inside, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay, that Florida will not make you die a little bit inside.

Galería Larreta, Florida 971/San Martín 954.

Previous Galeria Crawl entries.

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August 7, 2007 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

tremendo tramando

Like Toto pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, describing Martín Churba as a person is akin to unmasking a great master. That is to say that the man behind high end Argentine fashion label Tramando appears to be anything but a wizard in person. Instead of Lagerfeld’s haughtiness or Versace’s flamboyance, Churba is completely unassuming, dressing like a teenage boy-cargo pants and all-and giggling nervously like a tween girl.

Yet Churba’s designs are anything but juvenile. His collections combine elegant structure with youthful flair, and are as likely to be inspired by La Paz as Paris. “Filosofia textil” is Churba’s declared approach to design, which is to say that for him, clothing is about more than just fashion. Thus he’s also a wizard of art, photography, and architecture.

Since starting up Tramando in 2002, Churba has become a fashion superstar of sorts. Not only have his designs (and grinning face) been featured in Argentina’s top fashion magazines and runways, but around the world as well; in addition to the flagship locale in Recoleta, there are stores in both New York and Tokyo.

In between organizing the exhibit “Infinitas formas de mirarte,” (open to the public at Tramando through August 2) and preparing his spring/summer 2008 collection, Churba talked to soy so lindo about how he’s developed as a designer, the current state of design in Buenos Aires, and where to go for the best cortado in town.–REBECCA

 

How have your design style and ideas changed over the years? How have they developed? What has affected these changes?

It has evolved like a work that is exploring different things and growing year after year. I always make distinct collections, and this makes the work develop and grow. I am changing according to the views that I have about my context, and about beauty in general.

It seems like collaborating with other artists-be they photographers, musicians, or designers-is something very important to you. Why? Do you have plans for future collaborations?

Yes, for me it’s a way to secure the abundance that I like things to have. Collaborations allow me to work with people, with artists, and that’s what I like the best. The next collaboration is with an Argentine artist who lives in Paris, called Pablo Reinoso.

How would you describe the state of design in Buenos Aires today?

It is at full boiling, and in the world I believe that design has already passed its boiling point and is now looking for something new.

What effect does Argentina have on you, and how does it affect you?

It is my site, my context. It affects me all of the time, in the narration of my collections and in my search for textile in general.

Can you talk a bit about the new collection?

The new collection will be ready on the 14th, in a presentation that will be in the Correo Central. It is called Tropico.

Martín Churba’s Buenos Aires

Favorite neighborhood:

Colegiales

Favorite street:

Defensa

Favorite Pizzería:

Celetto, Uriburu 1274

Favorite café:

La Prometida, Delgado 1189

Favorite store:

Tramando, Rodríguez Peña 1973

August 1, 2007 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

reduce, reuse, recycle

 

Like most good trends, Mono notebooks are inspired by what’s happening on the streets. In this case, it’s quite literal; Argentina is, after all, a country where cartoneros rummage through piles of trash looking for hidden treasures and flea markets fill up leafy plazas on the weekend.

The notebooks (called “blocks” in Spanish) recycle vintage wallpaper, using the cute and kitschy patterns as covers. Because of the limited supply and seasonal design changes, each notebook is basically a one-of-a-kind. And although they may have once coated the walls of some ancient Argentine’s kitchen, the wallpaper isn’t straight out of Aunt Edna’s living room. Instead, the designs are simple chic, with flowers and basic patterns in a palate of neutrals.

 

The upcoming spring collection is slated to include bags, mobiles, and toys, in addition to the three different sized notebooks (shown belowa). And at $25-35 pesos, the notebooks are perfect gifts for that hard-to-buy-for friend. You can find Mono blocks at several hip Palermo boutiques, like soy so lindo favorites Felix and Kukla, as well as Net, Mundo, La Prometida, Pesqueria, and Objetos Encontradas, to name a few.

If you’re still not sold, just think of Mono block ownership as an act of environmental activism akin to driving a Prius or using a canvas bag; it hits the coveted trifecta of being hip, stylish, and eco-conscious.–REBECCA

August 1, 2007 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

riding the cupcake wave

 

While American-style baked goods (bagels, brownies, cookies) have made their way onto trendy Buenos Aires cafe menus, there’s one item that hasn’t yet crossed the frontera– cupcakes.

I was reminded of this while reading that Magnolia Bakery–the New York bakery that, thanks to Sex and the City, started it all– was shut down this afternoon because of health code violations. Seeing as the cupcake trend has already come and gone in NY, this symbolic nail in the coffin may allow for the Atkins diet-flouting pastry to migrate south and find its place among the Oui Ouis and the Mark’s Delis of Buenos Aires.

Don’t get me wrong– I love cupcakes. If there wasn’t always a line around the corner at Magnolia, I’d be there every afternoon. Instead, Billy’s Bakery (Chelsea), Buttercup Bakery (UWS/UES), and Baked (Red Hook) were the dealers that supported my sugar high addiction. 

If you too are feeling sugar pangs (and would rather not wait for an overpriced, underwhelming version to arrive at Oui Oui or Mark’s), try baking them yourself. To make the official soy so lindo cupcake, pick up a cupcake pan at Falabella and chocolate cake batter and Bon o Bon creme frosting at the supermarket. Let the great cupcake migration of 2007 begin.–REBECCA

July 11, 2007 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

bureks and baclava and babaganouge, oh my!

 

Somehow it came up in one of my timid attempts at breaking the cubicled silence: Argentines only eat sweets for breakfast–nothing rich and savory like in “The Old Country.” (Darko and I have built a tenuous office bond over our shared Serbian heritage–I’m not sure if I mentioned that I’m only one eighth and that, aside from my college graduation trip to a burned-out, dusty little town outside of Belgrade, my family’s Balkan brethren have been all but forgotten about for over 90 years). Regardless, Darko agreed that sweets in the morning are not to be tolerated, we embraced heartily, and he let me in on the secret.

Apparently these two gems are the only places to find Turkish, Armenian, and Balkan-style sundries in Buenos Aires. I haven’t scoured the city to back up my words, instead trusting Darko’s gruff assertion that these are the only places to get real “burek” (meat pies), acelga-filled pastry balls, falafel, hummus, baba ganoush (“babaganouge”), and most importantly, real Balkan-style yogurt liquido.

 

Panadería Armenia: This tiny bakery and sundry goods store is surprisingly easy to spot: look for the large letters on a giant shining silver sign, the scale of which gives the appearance of a marquee. Inside find fresh falafel, pan arabe, (pita-like flatbreads), burek, hummus and baba ganoush, in addition to a glass display case filled with baklava and various variations on the honey-sweet, layered philo confection. Try the pistachio nutty -thing with kataifi. You’ll know when you see it. Behind the counter and ringing the walls are a wide array of every Armenian drink and canned good that only Armenians know, so try a couple and get back to us. I say go for the Anise liquoir. Scalibrini Ortiz 131/21.

 

Damasco Confitería: Just half a block up Scalabrini Ortiz sits Damasco Confitería, the Turkish and Greek grocery. Much larger than Armenia, it has a pleasant Old World ambiance (which comes as no surprise, considering that it’s been there for over 50 years), with shelves lining all the walls to the ceiling and glass cases filled with dried fruits, olives and sweets, as well as assorted bureks and savory pastries. The best thing about this place has got to be the yogurt liquido: thick, drinkable yogurt indistinguishable from that of the Balkans. Better even than anything I’ve found in New York, and I have most certainly searched. Order something from high up on the shelves and watch the old man (the second of three generations of Greeks tending to the store) get it down with a curious long, tong-like contraption and, finally, watch him meticulously wrap your purchases in patterned wax paper, finished  with a twine bow. Scalibrini Ortiz 1283. –WESLEY

 

July 5, 2007 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

palermo bajo flores?

Blame it on the election of Evo Morales or a new found interest in their northern neighbors, but Argentina has been awash in Bolivian fabric patterns. Or it will, mark my words.

It started last year, when Martin Churba’s spring/summer line got its inspiration from Bajo Flores, the Bolivian-Korean neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Lots of bright Andean multicolored fabric, stacked hats, gathered skirts– all gorgeous [full disclosure: I was involved with the collection].

 

And so a trend is born. From there, the colorful Bolivian fabrics percolated down from the high-end designer level to the mid-range stores: the fall/winter collections of hipster outfitters A.Y. Not Dead, Vestite y Andate, Adorhada Guillermina, and Green all showcased the vibrant patterns in an array of styles.

But this trend is much better suited for warm weather, which means that you can expect to see a lot more of it when the upcoming spring/summer collections hit stores in September. If you can’t wait until the lower-end stores start carrying pieces in this style, now is a good time to scoop up a few sale-priced winter pieces from the Palermo spots listed above. Standouts include the hoodie and knit leggings from Vestite y Andate and the silk skirt from A.Y. Not Dead.–REBECCA

July 3, 2007 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

i’m missing you like candy

 

We’d call these candy-colored mini-booties (or are they giant-oxfords?) from Las Pepas the shoe of the season, but that doesn’t really cover it. Rather, they are the perfect transition shoes. You know, the shoes that will get you through the coldest stretch of winter when paired with your high-waisted jeans and then on into spring when worn with a baby doll dress. You could get a pair in navy, black, or even cream, but why when you could be walking around with what looks like a glob of gum on your feet?–REBECCA

Las Pepas, $299: Av. Sante Fe 1630, Paseo Alcorta Shopping, Alto Palermo Shopping. www.laspepas.com.ar

June 27, 2007 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

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