Get your vintage fashion fix at Hello Vintage. The boutique opened in late January, adding a fresh new location for vintage fashion finds in the East Bay. "I found the perfect space in the Claremont neighborhood," shared owner Carolyn Liu. "Vintage shopping is so different than shopping in a mall or chain store, and so I wanted a space that had a personal feeling." Her Prince Street space fits the bill with big windows, nice lighting, a well-curated clothing collection, and an Instagram photo op wall. "I love how fashion history repeats itself," said Liu. "You'll find one of a kind styles or trends that are now back in style."
Liu is hoping to create community around vintage clothing with her no-pressure-to-buy attitude, turning Hello Vintage into more than just a store. "Stop by and play dress up. Vintage shopping in person is special; it's fun to see and try these things on," said Liu. "Come by even if you're not buying."
Find a range of basics like jeans, fair isle sweaters, and jackets (from sequined to red leather to jean) at reasonable prices. If high glamour is more your thing, there are showstoppers like the Ruben Panis blue-green iridescent cocktail dress or antique beaded bustiers. Liu researches each item before it's displayed and tags each garment with information about the designer and the era. "I can tell you a story about each piece of clothing that comes through. As for my favorites, I have an obsession with Gunne Sax, but right now I love a rare Howard Greer dress we have in the shop from the 1940s. It's entirely handmade with intricate details and it looks magnificent on."
On Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hello Vintage is hosting a Say Yes to the Dress Prom Event, allowing customers to play dress up with a wide range of fabulously vintage formal gowns. "No pressure to buy a dress," shared Liu. "Just come out and see your unique options." For those who do need to Say Yes, the dresses will range between $50 to $200. "We'll serve sparkling cider and have a Polaroid photo shoot station so you can take home a picture as a memento." Upcycling clothing not only helps the wearer look fabulous, but it also reduces waste in the landfills, shared Liu. What's not to love? 2842 Prince St., Berkeley, 415-570-4679, www.HelloVintage.com or hellovintagelovers on Instagram.
Afternoons in Uptown Oakland are best spent at Tertulia Coffee and Sanchez Contemporary. Natural light streams through the plate-glass windows of its corner location on 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue. The happy union of coffee shop and art gallery was created by owners Maria and Tim Sanchez. Tertulia, translated loosely from Spanish, is an artistic or literary gathering. The coffee shop is for community, and the gallery, a professional platform for Bay Area artists—particularly those from Chicanx and Latinx communities—to shine.
The spacious interior invites reading or conversations over a cup of El Jibaro, the house blend, or smooth espresso drinks with local pastries and treats. Maria Sanchez curates the gallery exhibits. Opening nights are vibrant with live music—often local jazz—the chandelier twinkling and a diverse crowd enjoying the evening with coffee or wine. Stop in on Saturday, April 7, for the opening of an all-women's show titled Cultural Cures—Cultura Cura.
"The emphasis of this exhibit is on returning to nature and ancestral medicine," Sanchez said. "Traditionally, women are caregivers and as such often lose themselves in the process, leading to emotional, spiritual and physical ailments." Approximately 20 women will be featured, including Ester Hernandez, Valerie Medina, Lark Calderon, Cory Perez, Donna Rodriguez, and even Sanchez herself. 1951 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-350-7871, www.SanchezContemporary.com, www.TertuliaCoffee.com.
In late 2017, Spoiled Boutique moved from its longtime spot on Broadway to a chic new space in Frank Ogawa Plaza. A destination in its own right, it's also the perfect location to stop in while strolling downtown Oakland.
If you've never been to Spoiled Boutique, now is the time. Stepping inside is like entering a dream closet, because owner Mika McCants is way ahead of the fashion curve. You'll find the season's must-haves: statement sleeves, modern bell bottoms, tailored off-the-shoulder jumpsuits, and more. The looks on display are both edgy and modern, soft and feminine. Even the shop is to die for. The deep pink accent wall is balanced by richly flocked gold wallpaper. The glamor continues with a crystal chandelier, plush rug, and a downright royal seating area. You'll find a fresh mix of party fashions, upscale looks, and street styles with ruffles, lace, and plenty of sass. 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza, No. 155, Oakland, 510 268-9700, SpoiledBoutique on Instrgram.
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Hello Vintage (top) offers basics like jeans, fair isle sweaters, and jackets, along with high glamour (photo courtesy Hello Vintage). Maria and Tim Sanchez (bottom) of. Tertulia Coffee and Sanchez Contemporary (photo courtesy Tertulia Coffee).