Monday, July 13, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic: The Brooklyn Flea

This past Saturday I took the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Fort Greene. It is literally my new favorite spot to hangout in Brooklyn. Anyway, my main motivation for paying this part of the city across the bridge a visit, was to preview what's known as the Brooklyn Flea. It goes on every weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays it's in Fort Greene and on Sundays they move under the Brooklyn Bridge. Vendors are there between 10am and 5pm on Saturdays, 11-6 on Sundays. For those who've never been, the Brooklyn Flea is an incredible outdoor market of cool vintage: clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture and of course art!

While it was my first time at the Brooklyn Flea, I felt so at-home, like I was a veteran. If you don't know already, shopping for vintage is one of my favorite activities - so you can imagine my excitement when I'm surrounded by it at every corner. I was engulfed, within the 4 gates of this school yard at Lafayette & Cleremont in an enchanting mélange of handmade leather goods, diamond-encrusted brooches from the 50's, vintage Chanel ballet flats, and enough patterned dresses to make a quilt that covers the entire state of NY.

And let's not even mention the wonderfully aromatic scents of Mediterranean food and specialty hot dogs (I had one topped with sweet ketchup, jalapeño mustard and crushed potato chips...sounds nasty but I kid you not, SO good - trust).

Anyway, the Brooklyn Flea was an amazing experience. Not to mention, Fort Greene is just a great neighborhood to get lost in. Here were a few of my favorite stops along the Brooklyn Flea roadmap:

Dulcinée NYC

This booth had a great collection of patterned chiffon dresses and other high-end designer vintage. Although on the pricier side, every item looked to be handpicked for perfection. All of the items were signature statement pieces for the vintage-lover's closet. Check them out at DulcineNYC

Joan Vanhees

The next booth I went to was one my favorites. Ms. Joan Vanhees was full of joy and vibrantly dressed in color as I made my rounds "ooh-ing" and "aah-ing" at every piece on her clothing rack. And let's not forget the AMAZING sequined tops, 40's-style heels and snakeskin bags:

Be sure to stop by Ms. Joan's booth if you happen to visit the Brooklyn Flea sometime soon.

Treasures & Pleasures

What a fitting name! This booth was chock full of treasures and guilty pleasures...please believe. The owners were so friendly and extremely informative about exactly where every piece originated. Although the pieces cost a pretty penny, they're quality was definitely unparalleled. My favorites were their nautical-inspired pieces:

They also have an Egyptian-inspired showcase going on:

Check them out at the Brooklyn Flea or their website here

Imani Miller - Creations By Faith

So I'm a huge fan of handmade, ethnic-inspired jewelry. I'm also a huge supporter of black artists, designers, jewelry-makers, etc. So I had to shout out Ms,. Imani Miller's designs. Her stuff is carefully crafted and demurely appealing. She makes everything by hand. For more of her creations, check out her site.

Amaya Designs

Sitting directly across from Imani Miller was a lady by the name of Stacey. All of her skillfully-made jewelry was bold, bright and had such flavor to it. I especially love the necklace pictured above. The precious stones, the beading...beautiful. Find more of Amaya Designs here.

Martine's Dream

Ms. Debbie Hardy is the owner of this amazing booth at the Brooklyn Flea. Inside her fabric-covered booth was a vast array of ethnic print dresses and dashikis in the MOST amazing colors. It made me happy just paying Ms. Debbie a visit. When I walked over she was giving her styling advice to a potential customer/friend. Don't pass by the Flea without paying her a visit.

Planet Clare Inc.

If you're into well-crafted, fine jewelry - please pay Koray Avci a visit at his booth. The jewelry was impeccable. And for all my PENN friends, he's based in Philly Phillaay! You can find him on South Street selling his creative designs. Contact him at KorayAvci@hotmail.com for more info

Angels & Warriors Vintage

This was my last stop on the Brooklyn Flea treasure hunt. The owner of this booth is Maria Vallos and she sells her creative pickins every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. Her stuff was amazing. I fell in love with her leather goods and retro printed scarves:

To check out the schedule and a few other vendors not featured here, check the site for the Brooklyn Flea: click here
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