Do you ever happen upon a street in Manhattan that you know is there but you sort of ignore, as you are always off to greener pastures? I love when this happens!!! It is almost like venturing over one of those many bridges to Brooklyn to discover hidden treasures, but with less perceived hardship than actually making the trek. Today I actually decided to kill some time on one of those very streets, the lightly trafficked part of Lafayette between Prince and Spring. It is sort of in no man’s land…in a little nook where Soho ends and Nolita begins. There has always been some action on Lafayette between Prince and Houston, but few have yet to truly experience the shopping bliss on this road less traveled.
My first destination is a store I have been dying to feature, LP&P by Catherine Fung. I happened upon it last summer as I was walking home and immediately fell in love. It was sort of that in between time when Spring melds into Fall merchandise, so I made a note to come back when the leaves were actually turning. The knitwear is absolutely phenomenal. Think back to my The Art Of Construction story where I featured truly inspired sweater designers. Each piece is more artistic than the next and all are 100% handknit. Even the back wall is covered with phenomenal handknit panels. I really have never seen anything like them. I wish I could have one for my apartment, part wall art, part bedding perhaps… The other standout is the handmade jewelry. Each piece is beautifully embellished on feminine ribbons of fabric. The bracelets are spectacular!!!! Everything in the store is marked down and worth the visit.
Across the street is another must-check-out, In God We Trust. This store caters to men and women and specializes in a more irreverent, downtown, hipster style. Great little high-necked, ruffled placket dresses and perfect jackets for the girls, and interesting shirts and stylish outerwear for the guys are standouts. The store’s namesake label is the best purchase in the store, though they do carry a small selection of lesser-known brands as well. If you are in the market for the perfect winter hat, theirs are as chic as one of my favs Eugenia Kim, but half the price. A fur cap for $80 can’t be beat. For a tiny space, they manage to maintain an uncluttered, well-edited selection that any trendsetter can embrace!
A couple doors up the street is another semi-underground discovery, Label. Great prices, unique pieces, again more Brooklyn cool chick, less mainstream fashionista, but also quite wearable for a style conscious, non-fashion victim girl. The knit pieces were my favorites, but I am also now coveting the perfect, asymmetrical closure, tweed vest. All of the clothes have a relaxed, slightly weekend-wear feel, but if you have a great sense of style, experiment! I can think of many ways to make the fashion in this store oh so versatile. By the way, their website is really out of date so hit the store instead...
The last of the clothing stores on the little gem of a strip, is nypull. It has been there the longest and has the most interesting mix of brands. They claim to showcase 150 unknown labels in their small space, so if you are willing to dig, there are many really cool finds. They have clothes for men and women, but good luck, telling everything apart. The merchandising is haphazard and has that vintage store hodgepodge feel, but if you are a true seeker of style and uniqueness, then have some fun and troll through the endless racks of newbie designers. Guys, if you are still looking for that perfect hat, they have some of the best!!!!
So next time you are in Soho or Nolita, make sure to put this little gem of a block on your list. I promise you will feel like you ventured out of your Manhattan comfort zone to a little piece of uncharted fashion heaven. Even if you are more of an uptown girl, LP&P by Catherine Fung is worth the trip alone...just wait until you see her Spring dresses!!!!