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Photo by Hannah Thomson
Weigh up your clothing options
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Photo by Hannah Thomson
Carrer de Riera Baixa in the heart of Barcelona is a vintage fashion-lover's paradise
If you can’t wait for the once-a-month markets, then head to Carrer de Riera Baixa in urban Raval where you will find shop upon shop of original and affordable vintage delights.
This vintage neighbourhood is at its finest on Saturdays when, to use an appropriate metaphor, the shops are bursting at the seams with stock spilling onto the street, giving customers a somewhat 'al fresco' shopping option. With the record shops blasting out classics, the vendors mingle on the street with one another, providing the area with a real community feel. And you can get more than just your vintage attire here; the whole retro shebang is available with two record stores, a military and collectibles shop selling original uniforms, caps, pins and medals, and a hair salon. La Strada salon—for 'guys and dolls'—is, helpfully, English speaking and offers both current and vintage styles.
But going back to the clothing and accessories, here is a selective round up of what Riera Baixa has to offer:
La Vella Maia—specialising in accessories, with a particularly magnificent range of handbags, you can find one off original pieces from the Forties, Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.
Kilostore—Kilostore does what it says on the tin and takes the logical approach of paying for the material as opposed to the item; for instance the flimsy chiffons are cheaper than the heavy weight Levi jeans. You can pick ‘n’ mix your outfit or take inspiration from the already put-together outfits dotted around the store, which add up the kilos for you and give you a 'total look' price. The store also has lots of menswear, particularly lumberjack shirts.
Lailo—The self named 'vintage paradise' is more of a museum than a shop. Its huge range of, well, everything, descends through the eras exhibiting almost all the fashions of the 20th century in a 220m² space.
Lullaby—Run by a very friendly couple with clearly great judgment on what looks good, this boutique has something for everyone with its designer pieces as well as a bargain box to delve into.
Motel—The name matches its alluring set up, designed in the style of a Fifties' motel bedroom with even an ironing board included; the serene Fifties music playing in the background invites you into this magical boutique.
De Faralaee—The best place to pick up pretty tea dresses and essential Levi shorts, De Faralaee also has a back room filled with leather goods, a great collection of men’s shirts and a bargain rail with items starting from around €5.
For more information on Carrer de Riera Baixa and its other shops check out www.riera-baixa.com.
Hannah Thomson is a recent English and American Literature graduate currently living in Barcelona teaching English, learning Castilian and pursuing anything cultural and creative along the way. If you want to read more about happenings in Barcelona, check out her blog: http://bcnspot.tumblr.com/