January 25, 2012

Do you like this?

Turn up the decadence and glamour. Whether you’re more of a corseted Belle Époque contessa, a silent-era diva, a roaring flapper or a 1940s urbanite, these vintage troves will get you ready for your close-up.

Mimi Textile Antiquitäten €€€€

With its vintage-cluttered cabinets, gilded mirrors and glass cases, this small Schöneberg boutique feels like walking into the over-sized closet of a silent movie star. The original-condition date back to 1850-1950, with the bulk from the 1920s-1940s.

Think floor-length 1950s evening gowns, black velvet busts with long silk skirts (€50-200), mint-condition grey, black and brown wool suits and a pair of ruby-encrusted, gold cuff links to match. There are racks of cotton day dresses with obscure geometric patterns and your typical 1920s low-waisted dresses alongside an impressive collection of floral knitted handbags.

While much of the stock would strain the budget of the average Berliner, Mimi rents a selection of the clothing, and most of their bags, ties and purses are under €50, giving everyone a chance to channel their inner Marlene.

Goltzstr. 5, Schöneberg. U-Bhf Eisenacher Str. Mon-Fri 12-19, Sat 11-16

Spitze €€€€€

Your mouth will drop when you walk into Spitze, though be warned: you’ll need to promptly swallow your wallet not to leave bankrupted by these scary (though justified) price tags.

The front of the store is nothing extraordinary – cases of big rimmed hats, pearl-encrusted jewellery and leather suitcases, mannequins modelling fur shawls and silk ties, racks of men’s suit jackets and a selection of shoes, from pink silk ballet flats to brown leather riding boots.

While many of the pieces here are impressive, it’s in the back of the store where you start to think: holyshityouvegottobekiddingme.

Two rooms hold double- and triple-stacked racks that scrape the ceiling, organised by year. Floor-length evening gowns, fur and wool overcoats, white silk and cotton dress shirts and a multiplicity of skirts, from pleated silk to plaid-patterned, start at 1850 and advance chronologically around the room until they reach 1950.

Highlights from Spitze’s century of fashion include leopard fur coats, a fully embroidered, floor-length, sequined cream-coloured dress with a low back, and a selection of men’s tuxedos and ties. For the monetarily challenged, your best bets are Spitze’s skirts (€20-60), wintry hats, gloves and hankies (€5-30), and children’s clothes (€10-30).

Make it a day trip, and peruse the rest of Suarezstraße, which, with over 20 antique shops, proves a historical adventure in itself.

Suarezstr. 53, Charlottenburg, U-Bhf Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, Tue-Fri 2-18:30, Sat 11-14

Glencheck €€€€€

With a 1920s-1950s mostly German vintage collection, this is the place to hunt down 1930s black silk shoes, luscious pearl-and-diamond-encrusted necklaces and elbow-length gloves in black and cream silk or white lace.

Although the décor – white walls, wooden shelves, mannequins – is nothing special, the items within are spectacular.

A little black-and-silver embroidered dress with a pearl neckline might cost €260, but the store offers something extra: thanks to its perfect location off Ku’damm, it also serves as a time machine, spinning you back to the “New West” of 1920s Berlin.

Joachim-Friedrich Str. 34, Charlottenburg, U-Bhf Adenauerplatz, Fri 12-18:30, Sat 10-14


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