Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boutique Spotlight: Darling

I'm the kind of girl who goes inside a store by the appeal of the window display. If the window display is not good, I will not step a foot into the store. My philosophy? The window display is the first impression. And this particular store made a very good first impression on me. And this store goes by the name of Darling. Located on Horatio Street in the west village, this boutique is probably one of my favorite. Ever. And that's a bold statement for me to make. Let me put it as simply as I can. There's a 24/7 wind machine blowing in the window display, causing every mannequein to have a "Marilyn" moment. As I walked past the store, it intrigued me. The store was small and the door was like one a house would have, not expected of a typical boutique. It felt like a little house. The outside paint was peeling and the color was fading. But yet the clothes in the window display were beautiful. This store has character, a thing many other boutiques doesn't have. It has an interesting look that made it feel vintagy and approachable. One thing I hate is walking into a intimidating store. This is definitely not it. And the price is great too. The designers aren't very well-known, they're up-coming designers and they're new designers. I love that fact about this store too. The pieces in there are different, unique, and one of a kind.

My experience:
I walked in to find racks and racks of beautiful, colorful, and detailed dresses. I was approached by a saleslady who was dressed with impecabble style. And I just happened to know who this lady was. Her name is Ann French Emont, a.k.a. Broadway costume designer extrodinaire and the actual woman who taught Zac Posen how to sew. She helped me stacked up on summer dresses, one of a kind skirts, and even Hanky Panky thongs in colors I've never even seen before. And get this, I was offered champagne while I shopped. Really? That just won me over right there.

The dress selection was just out of the world. In so many different fabrics in so many different colors, cuts, styles, size. I walked out later that afternoon holding 8 shopping bags full of stuff and 10 dresses for the summer and coctail dresses. Including a iconic red silk Marilyn dress that I'm very excited about.

This store decorates up during the holiday season. Doesn't that look welcoming and inviting?

If I had to give this boutique a star, it would be a 6 out of 5. Not only do they have a rarely seen collection of new designers, but they are super friendly with the service and will help you leave with the best experience. New York Magazine list Darling as #7 out of their "best boutiques in NYC" list this year, calling it "shopping made fun." Because it is fun. There's the magic word. Fun. When I was shopping at Darling, I felt like I was playing dress-up. I enjoyed this shopping trip. If you're ever around the area, I highly suggest it. And I mean it, I highly highly suggest it. I think this is one of my favorite boutiques, probably makes top 5. I promise you, it will be worth the trip.

Inside info:
* Darling hosts private shopping parties. It's great for that fashionista that we all know. What's better than chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and pure knee-quavering fashion?
*In August, Darling holds a special sale in their garden. Yes, they have a garden in the back of the store where one can enjoy a cup of tea and be surrounded by roses. I can tell you this, not every boutique in NYC has a garden.
Location: 1 Horatio Street, New York, NY 10014 at 8th Avenue.
Price range: $$-$$$
Products and service: Handbags, Jewelry, Lingerie/Hosiery, Vintage Clothing, Womenswear

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