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Flat 128

If you’re anything like my friend Erica and I, you constantly fake a British accent while discussing Duchess Kate’s shoes and the merits of cider and pasties. For the emerging anglophile within your soul, I bring you Flat 128. The boutique is a luxury lifestyle store, dedicated to bringing emerging and established UK talent to New York City.

Flat 128 in the West VillageHold on to your knickers and wave your Union Jack, this cute shop is one part Mary Poppins, a touch of the Queen, a pinch of the Sex Pistols, and a lot of Vivienne Westwood. The owner, Elizabeth, explains, “Our cozy, West Village storefront resembles the feeling of entering your chicest friend’s home – their flat. The name FLAT 128 is a nod to our founder’s past, favorite home in Notting Hill in London. We hope you find the space as welcoming and beautiful as we do.”

Walkup Spacer Line

Flat 128 in the West Village

A leather satchel, a fascinator and a croquet mallet? Yes, please. 

Flat 128 in the West Village

One cannot fully immerse themselves in British culture without shopping in tartans or plaid. 

Flat 128 in the West VillageFlat 128 in the West VillageThe owner plays a tête-à-tête with the two great cities, separated by the pond of the Atlantic. Her favorite Grilled Cheese in London is at Kappacasein in Borough Market vs. Murray’s Cheese Shop in Bleecker Street in NYC. Want to catch a movie in London, why not visit The Electric where you can have a bottle of wine and cozy up in their plush seats? Catching a film in NYC, Elizabeth recommends The Angelika in Soho for its independent films and the ability to hear the subway trains beneath you during the movie. Her favorite independent stores in London are the Shop at Bluebird on the King’s Road and Summerhill & Bishop in Holland Park, however in NYC she swears 15 Christopher Street, NYC, 10014 is the best spot – aka Flat 128.

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Goorin Brothers

Founded in 1895 on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Goorin Brother‘s legacy is that of old-world artistry. Goorin Bros. Hat Shop is the oldest family owned hat shop in the country. Its headquarters has since been relocated to San Francisco, CA. However, the company still believes in a timeless approach to the art of haberdashery. In its fourth generation of leadership Goorin Brothers continues the tradition of family craftsmanship and is supported by a team of individuals who share the same passion for the cultural, artistic, creative and hands on approach to this century old brand.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Birdcaged, netted and caught. Proudly wearing the JEANNE, a Goorin everyday fascinator & pillbox.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Originally sold and carted by horse, the hats now, instead, on display in windows. Each hat was begun on a custom wooden hat-blocks. Knowing that hats were an extension of one’s personality, Cassel Goorin understood that adding the right feather, sewing the right lining, angling the finished product or attaching a new ribbon would help the individual customer connect with the final form and to express his soul.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

A leather-bound book becomes a display piece. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

During the 1940’s the hats could be found on the likes of businessmen to that of an outdoorsy, fishermen. Evolving from stovepipes and top-hats to headbands, in 1960, Goorin became the official headwear for the VIII Olympic Winter Games. By the 1990’s, with the onslaught of the grunge generation, hats (particularly beanies) became important again, and the Goorin Brother’s experienced a resurgence.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Never underestimate the power of a feather in your cap. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

My visit to the Goorin Brothers shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts was something akin to opening a time-capsule. Planted near the oldest University in America, Harvard Square is the perfect place for the shop to tap into its scholarly side. Displaying bowlers, cloches, flatcaps, fedoras, panamas, westerns and ballcaps, the crowd of leather-elbow-patched shoppers look right at home when the shopkeeper offered them (and me) free Whiskey Sours. With a prohibition era vibe, the storied shelving, ladders on rails, peacock feathers  milk vases and industrial decor complemented the heritage of the famed, hat handicraftsman. Hat’s off to them!

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

The scarlet and angular, leaned hat looks straight out of Janis Joplin’s seventies with the round rimmed sunglasses.  Yours truly is wearing the Evelyn Jones, an a symmetrical fedora with a 1 1/4-3 inch brim, 3 1/2 inch crown and 1 1/4 inch grosgrain band. Lined in satin with a soft grosgrain hatband.

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

Rumpelstiltskin couldn’t knit caps this find even using spools of gold. 

The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA

There was a time when neighborhood hat shops existed in just about every community in America however  a trip to your local milliner is no longer so common. Goorin Brothers wants to bring back the personalized, neighborhood approach to headgear. The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MA The Walkup / Cambridge, Harvard, MAAs Charles Dickens so aptly wrote in The Pickwick Papers, “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.” 

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Ken & Dana Designs

In the middle of Chelsea, bordering Hell’s Kitchen, rests a hidden loft space only accessible via an elevator to the fifth floor. Tucked quietly in this NYC nook rests a studio full of love stories, and unique engagement and wedding rings. The team’s eclectic creations have been worn by such luminaries as Beyonce, Rashida Jones, Debra Messing, Keri Hilson, and Rachel Ray. Ken, the jewelry designer with a long history of familial gemstone expertise, and Patty, the love of his live, married on the beach in Cape May, NJ.  Together their love inspires bridal jewelry, imbued with meaning and authenticity.

Ken & Dana Designs  Ken & Dana Designs

Vintage Edwardian details meet ultra modern ecogold pieces. The space where the rings are crafted is just as important as the jewelry itself.Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Ken & Dana DesignsRam's Head NecklacesDSC_0508Ken & Dana Designs

Ken is a quiet and reserved artist, who originally started his career on Wall Street. Inspired by  his genealogical roots, China’s rich cultural history, its landscapes and the energy in its pulse, he established a jewelry business piggybacking on what he learned from his fathers 1973 company. Patty is the loquacious consultant who can automatically read your “ring personality” and hates finger “muffin top”.

Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs

An old letterpress table, wherein typesets and lead symbols were kept, now becomes functional wall art, keeping trinkets on display.

Ken & Dana Designs

Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs As Seen on Daily Candy.Ken & Dana Designs

The boutique’s design shop is 1/3 workroom, 1/3 showroom & 1/3 party space. All the gold and diamonds are no conflict and a portion of every engagement ring sold is donated to Global Witness, an organization dedicated to ending natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. The more one looks around the shop, the more one sees turn of the century details. Can you spot any?

   Ken & Dana Designs

Ken & Dana Designs

 Ken & Dana Designs

Ken & Dana Designs

The mannequin wears nothing more than Ken & Dana Designs and is still the chic-est in the room.

Ken & Dana Designs

Baubles and baubles.

Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs

The sculptural lines of the wire chair pair seamlessly with those of the earrings and necklaces displayed closely. It’s easy to see with a designer’s eye how something as simple as a damask fabric can inspire a gemstone choice, how a black-spined book with gilded typography can mirror a necklace’s palette.

 Ken & Dana Designs Ken & Dana Designs

For such exquisite pieces, the attitude in the space is refreshingly light and carefree. The pricing is affordable. The team does not take themselves too seriously, and truly tries to understand the aesthetic of each client. As the company says, “We make engagement rings and wedding bands that are inspired by sculpture, architecture, organic shapes, and most of all, the personal stories we hear from our clients every day. We recognize that no two relationships are the same, and only by engaging you throughout the creation process are we able to craft a truly unique product that you can call your own.”

Can’t visit in person? Shop online today! The experience is just as rewarding.