Hoarders next door

South Wedge shop satisfies Euro cravings
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Greg Hollar

A highlight of my sojourns in Europe has been to shop for distinct Franco-inspired fashions that seem impossible to find at home. But over the years, the proliferation of chain stores in Prague and Vienna (and easy access to French luxury brands at home) has made it challenging to find unique pieces.  As a longtime aficionado of designer-resale and vintage stores, I find few things more satisfying than tracking down accouterments that whisper “Fabriqué à Paris”—without paying retail.  

That’s why I was thrilled to find Little Shop of Hoarders, a secondhand shop in the South Wedge. This carefully curated venue is filled with high-end designer jackets, bags, boots and jewelry—many from classic Parisian ready-to-wear brands. While paying for my haul of a cashmere blazer by Angelo Tarlazzi and a vintage belt buckle, I learned that the owner, Monika Ludwinek, is passionate about catering to Rochester’s exacting tastes and passion for a deal.

Ludwinek’s shop is well organized. Rows of leather jackets, tuxedos, blazers, silk blouses, cashmere sweaters, furs and cocktail dresses beckon from hangers. Vitrines are piled with jewelry, wallets, sunglasses, and, of course, scarves. Since I couldn’t pick a specific era, we decided to feature some of Ludwinek’s favorite pieces here.

In terms of classic styles, few women have captivated the fashion world quite like Ali MacGraw. The Love Story actress, who turns 81 this month, set the tone for chic style in the 1970s: belted flares, miniskirts with white boots, and pretty printed blouses with a bohemian air. Her sartorial presence could be felt all Fashion Month, as well, by way of the subtler take on the ’70s that returned to the streets. Our take on the ’70s features a printed shirt from the period paired with high-waist pants from the ’60s. Coordinate this dynamic duo with a pair of comfortable brogues for a feminine look that’s both chic
and functional.

A team favorite was the absolutely adorable ’60s striped romper. Pair either piece with a moto jacket for a perfect early-spring “Outfit of the Day.”

Our final featured look is a gorgeous colorful ‘60s sweater dress with a clean A-line silhouette, paired with flat boots.  Great news for fans of bygone styles: you can channel your favorite fashionable era without appearing to have been sucked through a time warp.  Rather than crafting a head-to-toe retro look, the key is to take stylish cues from a given period and bring it a step closer to our time.

Check out all the featured looks at Little Shop of Hoarders on 131 Gregory Street in Rochester’s South Wedge and on Instagram as

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