Cocktail Couture

imageThe Orchard Street I remember as a tyke was jam-packed with vendors selling cheap shmattas like leather motorcycle jackets, nylon duffle bags and knock-off designer purses. Of course that was before I had any fashion sense and when my parents paid for my wardrobe. Now that I’m grown up and in command of everything hanging in my closet, I’ve become completely obsessed with a new breed of hipster clothing boutiques that has since popped-up on the block, including The Dressing Room – a trendy Lower East Side spot where I can shop, schmooze and sip martinis all under one roof, even after midnight.

Co-founder Nicole Fontanella (Cyndi Lauper’s former stylist) opened The Dressing Room earlier this month as a one-stop shopping destination with three diverse rooms including an indie clothing and accessories boutique, a thrift store and full-service bar/café that officially opens July 18th.  Peruse the first floor co-op for cutting-edge frocks from dozens of local designers like Paperdolls NYC (sweet baby doll cherry print dresses), New York Couture (Hanes underwear converted into micro minis), Voudoo (chic camis with lace trim) and Motormontenegro and Submission (funky button-leg jeans), each of whose wares are on display a four-month rotation, in order to make room for the next wave of talent. Should you find your head spinning from the overwhelming selection, try chilling out at the adjacent bar for a free movie screening and a Cosmo. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, venture downstairs to the clothing exchange for a first-rate collection of vintage and slightly-worn threads ranging from Fedoras, fringed leather bags, cocktail dresses to cowboy boots. In keeping with the hoods’ historic garment district vibe, the thrift store also doubles as a designers’ workshop complete with antique sewing machines and a cutting table, just like the ones used by old-world tailors like my Grandma Eva and Grandpa Yael.

  • The Dressing Room
  • 75a Orchard Street (between Broome and Grand)
  • 212-966-7330
  • Sunday-Wednesday, 1pm-12am; Thursday-Saturday, 1pm-2am
  • $28-$350 (designer coop); $4-$40 (clothing exchange)
  • clothing exchange items are final sale and coop items are exchange only within 5 days of purchase
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