Sunday, 17 April 2011

Good Times, Barcelona

This weekend I visited the Good Times shop on Carrer Petritxol. This street is one of my favourites in Barcelona, leading from the Plaça del Pi to Carrer de la Portaferrissa in the Barri Gotic. It’s a narrow street of 17th and 18th century buildings, which are decorated with tiles depicting the businesses and trades that have flourished along this thoroughfare. Traditionally it’s been the home of craftspeople and artisans, and continues this today as well as having the excellent gallery Sala Parés which is currently exhibiting the work of Alejandro Quincoces, a Basque artist whose work I really like. 

I first heard about the Good Times shop through their group on Facebook. I was immediately drawn by the fact that their aim is to provide innovative and flattering clothes for women of all ages, and their philosophy that there is an affordable alternative to shopping in the big chains. Right up my street, in other words. The owners are Boyd Baten and Mina Manrubia, who also design everything in the shop.

The shop itself is very pretty, with every available space covered in lovely items. I like the maximal approach to decoration myself, so this gets top marks from me. His Nibs was very taken with the art nouveau style furniture which is hand  painted and lacquered and also designed by the Good Times guys themselves. You can buy the furniture also, so I think I have an idea what a certain someone may get for a future birthday if he plays his cards right.

As for the clothes themselves, there are so many items in here that I want to buy. I can’t decide if my favourites are the wrap dresses which have a real retro 40s feel, or the dresses made from old silk sarees. Decisions, decisions. That’s before we even start to look at the polka dot blouses, pin-up dresses and vintage inspired clutch bags. I can tell this place is going to be dangerous for me…

There are two branches of Good Times in Barcelona, the above in El Gotic and the second in Raval. The other good news is that if you can’t get here, you can still indulge by visiting their online shop and Etsy store. I think the prices are more than reasonable considering that you won’t see lots of people wearing the same outfit as you, not to mention the lovely fabrics they use. 

By the way, make sure that any domestic goddesses among you check out the adorable retro aprons, almost enough to get me cooking and baking just to wear one (almost, let’s not get carried away).

Friday, 1 April 2011

Subur Shoes, Barcelona...

One of the many things I love to do in Barcelona is just to stroll around the winding narrow streets of El Gòtic, just to see where they'll lead me. A recent wandering led me down Carrer de Boqueria and to this amazing shoe shop, which apart from a small section of large leather bags, sells a huge selection of ballet flats.

If you know me, you'll know that I love my flats. I like to look at high heels, and have even been known to venture out in them now and again, but due to a Morton's neuroma in my right foot I can't really wear them for more than an hour or two. I get very excited, therefore, when I see anywhere that sells a big selection of flats. I almost hyperventilated at the choice of colours and fabrics available here.

The shoes here seem to all be from a brand named Kokua. I can't find any information on them anywhere so if anyone can shed any light for me that would be great. I will say that the quality of the leather seems really good and they seem very well made. I'll try to find out more and let you know. The prices aren't horrendous, varying depending on whether they're leather, suede etc. The priciest pair I saw were 50 euros which I'd happily pay. I like a bargain but comfort is the clincher for me when it comes to shoes and I don't mind paying more for it.

No online links for these, I'm afraid, it looks like you'll have to come here if you want to buy from this shop. If you do, the address is Carrer de Boqueria 30, 08002 Barcelona. You may want to google that too as it's not far from La Rambla, but in El Gòtic it's quite easy to get lost.