Vintage retail cache Artifaktori recently migrated to a new location amid upscale Brahmin boutiques on Beacon Hill, reaching out to a completely different clientele than its sister store in the more collegiate neighborhood of Davis Square.
PROFILE/STYLING | SYDNEY SHEA
PHOTOGRAPHER | KAT HALL
MODELS | HOLLY PENIKAS AND KRIS ZHUANG
Artifaktori’s kaleidoscopic time-machine of men and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories is set against walls adorned with old-fashioned pictures. It’s kind of like an antique jewelry box, and the vibe is complete with music blaring in the background from a real, live record player.
The clothing comes from various corners of the world, including auctions, private vendors, fairs and trades shows. Artifaktori’s owner and operator Amy Berkowitz skool’d us in Vintage 101: many people go on the hunt for vintage clothing to find something eclectic or designer, but modern consumers drop the term “consignment” too loosely.
“A lot of the confusion is that they think anything second-hand is vintage, or anything with a designer label that’s second-hand is vintage,” Berkowitz said.
Just because something isn’t fresh off the rack from Zara or H&M does not automatically qualify it as vintage. Denim jeans that boast “vintage” washes and low-quality consignment shops give the term a bad rap.
Shopping for vintage clothing is not a task for the impatient, either.
“I look at it as an adventure. If you just go on and see it as a treasure hunt, you’ll have more fun,” said Amanda Williams, an expert on all things old-school who works at Artifaktori. “Each piece is waiting for its person.”
A helpful hint when scouting out the perfect ‘50s pin-up piece or a whimsical ‘40s tea dress: the fabric in most clothing made before the ‘70s does not stretch. So while the size 24 tag on a seemingly large dress looks deceiving, know that it fits as marked.
For the remainder of summer and beyond, vintage is the best way to add a unique touch to the mundane uniformity of contemporary trends. Even with only one piece, whether it’s a ‘20s bauble or ‘70s bell-bottoms. One thing is for sure – Artifaktori is not like shopping in your grandmother’s closet. I’m pretty sure she never owned any see-through Madonna dresses.
[121 Charles Street. 617.367.5854. Wed-Fri 12p-7pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm. artifaktori.com]
DON’T FORGET TO FRIEND ARTIFAKTORI ON FACEBOOK FOR VINTAGE NEWS AND UPDATES
TECHNICOLOR MOVIE-STAR SHADES: Forget Ray-Bans and “opt” for these technicolor movie-star shades from the ’80s made by Leonard Paris. [$135]
ORANGE EARRINGS: Take Vitamin C in small doses: orange earrings are a tasty accessory to make an outfit pop. [$75]
VINTAGE BLING: Play up a plain top with any vintage bling. [$35]
SIMPLE BLACK TOP: When in doubt, a simple black top works with anything. [$24]
CHIFFON PALAZZOS: These ‘70s seafoam-green tiered chiffon palazzos are an outfit in themselves and make ideal emergency parachutes. [$125]
DIOR BOX HANDBAG: This ‘80s bag is a both a classic and a rare find. [$300]
GIVENCHY SCARF: Tie a chic Givenchy scarf onto your purse, or wear it Grace-Kelly style. [$28]
OWL PENDANT: Antique medals form to make a badass vibe that counters an über-feminine look. [$65]
SHINY ROCK: Kiss this ring: it makes any finger sparkle [$45].
EVENING BAG: A ‘40s gold mesh evening bag fancy-fies any occasion. [$150]
BLACK CUFF: Adorn yourself like a go-go girl with this ‘60s black cuff. [$65]
CHUNKY STONES: They’ll make the boldest statements, especially when encapsulated in vintage gold. [$135]
MESH AND JERSEY GOWN: Straight out of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet is the late ’80s/early ’90s electric blue. Expect excessive compliments. [$58]