Do you remember downtown department stores, years ago? They had that magical, stylish, almost glamorous feel. There was a sense that shopping wasn’t just consumerism, it was an event.
I thought about this during the Mad Men episodes in which Don had one of his many affairs, this time with the owner of the fictional Menkins Department Store in 1960’s New York. Like the show itself, Menkins perfectly captures the moment in the sixties when everything changed. The episode occurs in that brief window of time just before the hippie era, when well dressed ladies still wore elbow length gloves.
Moving ahead just a few years, fashion conscious women flocked to a very different kind of store, the hip sixties London fashion emporium called Biba. Shopping was still an event, but of a very different sort. Biba had this wonderful sense of funky luxury that occurred when the seventies channeled the twenties. The general design of the store was inspired by rock and roll and old Hollywood glamour viewed through an Art Deco lens. It was lush, plush and louche.
I kept the images of these stores in the back of my mind when I was arranging the new shop. I’d like to channel a bit of the glory days from old department stores and combine it with some of Biba’s playful decadence. Of course, this concept is happening against a backdrop of a slightly crumbling old general store in rural Florida.
Winters Past in Micanopy is about 90% complete and we are opened for business while I add the last finishing touches. Here are some photos so far.
Stop by, introduce yourself, browse and visit.