The New Yorker ran an article about the urban blight of the West Village this spring, and it really got me thinking, has the spirit of the Manhattan I grew up in truly disappeared? Have all of the interesting little places vanished, making Manhattan less interesting and more sterile with only banks, pharmacies and coffee chains capable of affording street-level rents?
There is undoubtedly a change in Manhattan. You simply cannot deny this if you look around. But every now and then as I walk through the city I always see a handful of niche businesses still thriving in this city. To change the narrative a bit, I decided it would be nice to share some of these special places still adding to that luster of Manhattan, especially those places I think the ladies from our studio would appreciate.
Deco Jewels, one of SoHo's hidden gems, happens to be one of these places and is one of my favorite places to walk into for extremely rare vintage lucite handbags. It is a must visit for every woman who appreciates the artistry of rare midcentury accessories.
A rare vintage midcentury lucite clutch in pink with crystal details.
The vintage lucite clutches at Deco Jewels are in extremely great condition. This clutch also came with a small interior mirror. The lucite clutches are perfect for collectors and come in as many styles you can imagine.
Sundays tend to be my only days where I have the time to walk in and go through Deco Jewels. Evan, who has always shown me through their assortment of vintage lucite clutches and handbags, knows I love browsing their extensive collection. I'm not sure how the owner, Janice Berkson, is able to secure these exquisite works in such amazing condition, but she does and its more than enough eye candy to keep me as a womenswear designer itching to see more. Janice wrote a book about lucite handbags of the 1950s which you can purchase signed copies of in the store.
Another fabulous striped vintage lucite clutch with sequins embedded. This piece had an amazing luster with a blend of pink, rose, and rose gold.
This piece also had an small interior mirror. The beauty of walking into Deco Jewels is the amazing assortment of vintage rare lucite clutches. There are colors galore to go with any look.
Probably the most important thing I love about Deco Jewels is how down to earth and real Evan has been whenever I'm in there. He's one of those Manhattan characters who just gets it, i.e., "been there, done that". Sometimes we'll chat about our experiences at Studio 54, back when Manhattan was a completely different animal, and sometimes we'll talk about the current transition that the city is undergoing. There is simply none of that stuffiness that you can find around the corner on Wooster street here. Though I've visited Evan numerous times, each time I visit I feel as if I've stumbled onto something special, and he definitely has the eye of a well curated stylist.
Deco Jewels also carries a wide array of vintage costume jewelry. One of my favorite pieces I saw on my last visit was this Chinese Deco necklace and bracelet, so geometric and modern.
Deco Jewels is truly for the collector who appreciates the art of rare vintage lucite handbags and costume jewelry. They're located at 131 Thompson Street between Houston and Prince. You can reach them at (212) 253 - 1222. It is one of those places where you will always find something unique and rare, a true New York City space that thrives.