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STYLE


If you want the most bang (not to mention quality and style) for your buck, vintage fashion is where it’s at. Don’t know where to go? Not a problem. We do. Starting with the grande dame of vintage herself, C. Madeleine’s.

C. MADELEINE’S
MIAMI

Over the past decade, a who’s who of fashion editors, designers (Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, Jimmy Choo), and film stylists (from Miami Vice to Sex and the City 2) — even Walmart merchandisers — have come to Madeleine Kirsh’s 10,000-square-foot North Miami Beach vintage mecca searching for “something elegant, a little kooky, and very unusual,” Kirsh says. “This store is very magical. When people walk in the door, it puts a big smile on their face.” Perhaps that’s because the former interior decorator and her real estate developer husband, Richard, are constantly traveling the globe to define what the fashion crowd will want next. (Here’s a hint: hand-woven art-to-wear items, hand-pieced Oriental gowns, overstated gold bib necklaces, Mad Men–style suits, and 1980s Thierry Mugler dresses with pronounced shoulder pads.) With more than 2,000 consignors , the store is also heavily tapped into Miami’s premier local estates, which reference everything from the days when Sinatra was frequenting the Eden Roc to the era of Gianni Versace’s Ocean Drive excess. Interestingly enough, though, “[We’re finding] people want safety pieces — those classics that never go out of style and mix well with the present,” Kirsh says, offering a bit of recessionary advice for the vintage aficionado. But that’s okay, because, as Kirsh puts it, “We’re all about mixing the past and the present.” www.cmadeleines.com

HOTEL DE VILLE VINTAGE EYEWEAR
LOS ANGELES

What began as a venue for optician Javier Brambila to sell vintage frames on the weekends has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand with three L.A. boutiques (Fairfax, Beverly, and Los Feliz) that are frequented by Hollywood stylists. Rooted in the “fi t and science of the business,” Brambila and the other opticians of Hotel De Ville scour the globe for deadstock finds, from antique metals to the vintage Miklis that Lady Gaga is currently rocking. www.notedelhotel.blogspot.com

THE ATTIC
LAS VEGAS

If Mayra and Victor Politis’s downtown vintage clothing and furniture emporium seems familiar, it’s not just because it was the subject of one of those “Life Takes Visa” ads in the late ’90s. With 10,000 square feet of floor space devoted to everything from 1960s Valentino, wool swing coats from the 1940s, and stretchy disco duds, it’s “conservative, funky, and wild,” according to Angel Gonzalez, who designs the store’s vintage-inspired house collection. www.atticvintage.com

XTABAY VINTAGE CLOTHING BOUTIQUE
PORTLAND, OREGON

Liz Gross opened her vintage boutique Xtabay (literally, “the female ensnarer” ) with funky men’s and women’s gear. Now in a newly redesigned space that echoes the powder room at the Stork Club, she’s transitioned to higher-end womenswear, couture, and bridal. Of course, what would you expect from a self-described obsessive who just picked up an estate of couture gowns from a 1940s Broadway actress who lived across from John Lennon at the Dakota? www.xtabayvintage.blogspot.com

RELIC NY
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Opened last August on Williamsburg’s up-and-coming Grand Street, Janel Molton’s Relic NY focuses on “new vintage” or more recent, less-used secondhand pieces from Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, and Vera Wang. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find a sequined, canary yellow Halston gown that stole the show at Studio 54 once or twice. www.relicny.com


WHAT TO BUY
UPDATE YOUR SPRING/SUMMER WARDROBE WITH THESE STAPLES:

1960s A-line dresses in neon, pastel, and Pucci prints
Classic American sportswear like Phoebe Philo’s late 1990s designs for Chloé
Chunky, “statement piece” rhinestone jewelry and cocktail rings from the 1960s
Mad Men–style thin ties and men’s suits from the early 1960s
1950s and ’60s asymmetrical motorcycle jackets
Bold Gianni Versace prints (for men and women) from the 1980s
1930s bias-cut wedding gowns
1950s Shuron and round P-3 shaped sunglasses