If you were within a 30 block radius of the Pennsylvania Convention Center at any point this weekend, chances are, you encountered some pretty interesting characters out on the street. There’s an even better chance that you were one of those characters and you were on your way to or from Wizard World’s annual Philadelphia Comic Con. Either way, here’s just a few of the many memorable sights the four-day event packed. And when I say many, I do mean many.
Philthadelphia has just gotten a little less filthy and a whole lot greener.
Now officially open along the Avenue of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s third annual Pop Up Garden extends from the terraces of UArts’ Dorrance Hamilton Hall to the university-owned lot just across the street (313 S. Broad St.), transforming the space into part lush garden, part mobile beer garden.
That’s right, consider the garden the newest and nicest happy hour spot in town. Sitting on a large custom-built bench under a canopy amid twinkling lights, guests can enjoy local craft beers, sangria and root beer, which will be on tap every evening now through mid-October and served alongside a selection of grab-and-go locally sourced fare. In addition to fresh fruit, salads and veggies with hummus, the menu will feature several all-natural hot sandwiches, including slow-roasted pork belly with mustard slaw and vegan chorizo sloppy Joes.
Meanwhile, the elevated lawn area at the entrance of the lot features a bountiful garden of annuals and perennials in pink and purple tones, intricate “cardinal climber” vines and exotic tropical plants, all accented with a smokehouse structure from the 2013 Flower Show. Stop by during select afternoon hours, and you also might just be able to catch a live performance by UArts undergrad and graduate students or a special art installation.
Hurry up! You have until May 27th to go get yourself measured and consulted by in-person stylists at Indochino’s pop-up traveling tailors at 1518 Walnut Street, and it’s a rare opportunity go get onto the bandwagon of an exploding company. Hot on the heels of SuitSupply’s opening at 16th and Locust, apparently May is Suit Month in Philadelphia. And slim, tailored, well-fitting suits, too. With suits that start at $379, Indochino may actually be a more affordable option than the high-end European brand’s fifth domestic permanent retail space.
But the thing about Indochino is that it’s not a brick-and-mortar kind of business. In fact, you don’t even really need to visit the pop-up tailor space to get on the slim suiting train, but you do need to create a profile and have a skilled friend versed in taking suit and shirt measurements (if you can’t do it yourself). Once you get yourself a profile set up, then you can start playing and ordering. The customizing options are endless. And with the purchase of a suit, you get a free button-down. You can start high and get a sickening suit with a customized button-down for under $600. You choose the collar, the trim, the button placard, the buttons at the wrist, and you can even opt to embroider some initials on the pocket or cuff.
The Vancouver-born company’s exploded in recent years and gotten some prime press. They’ve figured out a good model, especially with repeat customers, who, once they’ve already ordered and been happy with suiting purchases, keep coming back for more. Bonus: They guarantee the fit in a pretty cool way. Don’t like how the suit feels after it’s shipped? They’ll give you $75 to take to a local tailor of your choosing. And they’ve got way more than suits: solid outerwear, ties and bowties, belts, pocket squares, vests, chinos and, of course, just cool blazers. Even these price points are hella low: Ties hover around $50, chinos under a $100, belts for $80, a trench for $300.
So the pop-up on Walnut isn’t exactly a retail experience in a traditional sense. It’s mostly a way for you to get a profile set up with tailor professionals who’ll help you define the style you’re looking for, and then put your hands on fabrics, check out shirt patterns, eye up ties, collar styles, and peep the way mannequins are styled.
A suit and shirt for $379 is a steal, especially one that’s custom-tailored and comes with a fitted shirt. Why would anyone bother with a boxy, “classic” suit from Macy’s, Jos. A Bank or Men’s Wearhouse that’s probably even pricier, when you can get hooked into a system that’ll clearly be the future? This is a company that figured out how to store every customer’s exact dimensions and manufacture exact fits, all online—and at a reasonable cost. Pretty sweet.
HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 7pm; Sunday, 11am to 7pm. RSVP at indochino.com/Philadelphia or just walk in.
What does casual clothing brand Duke & Winston and craft publishing company The Head & The Hand Press have in common? Well, aside from the fact that they’re both based here in Philly, they’re amongst the growing movement of local artisans seeking to revive the city’s fractured post-industrial landscape, bringing quality, craft manufacturing back to the forefront. As such, the two have recently come together to design a t-shirt that highlights each of their unique brand aesthetics (see above). On Thursday, all are invited to join them in celebrating the launch of these tees with food and drinks. They’ll also be announcing the winner of their “Tales of Duke” fiction-writing contest who will read their entry. Thurs., 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Duke & Winston Showroom, 633 N. Second St.
Prada, Manolo, Chanel, Fendi, Louboutin—any of those names ring a bell? Of course they do. For the second straight year, the luxury online consignment boutique “the fashionaires” will be bringing its selection of vintage designer handbags, accessories and shoes here to Philly for a one-day-only curated shopping event. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances of going home with the best items. Hell, even if you can’t afford to buy anything, just being able to see and touch a piece of fashion history might just be enough of a reason to go. Thurs., 12-7pm. Free. Hotel Palomar, TYNG Room, 117 S. 17th St., 2nd floor.
When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.
Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.
Here’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.
The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).
It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.
Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.
For anyone attending Art Star’s tenth annual craft extravaganza this weekend, it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan of attack mapped out before entering the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. With 100+ vendors competing for your time and attention, knowing which ones you definitely want to target might make the afternoon a little less overwhelming. So here’s five to consider adding to your must-see list.
Note: I’ve purposely chosen to exclude the local artisans who I’ve now written about numerous times on this here blog. For instance, Joey Five Cents, Penelope Rakov, exit343 designs, Yardsale Press, Phea Jean, BirdQueen Designs, Concrete Polish Jewels, Made with Awesome, Jay McCarroll, etc.
USB Typewriter (#51)
OK, so this is one of the most awesome inventions I’ve seen in a long time. Rather than simply collecting dust as useless piece of décor, now you can finally transform a broken, vintage typewriter into a functional keyboard for your Mac or PC using their easy conversion kit (which only cost about $79!). The USB Typewriter also makes for a perfect keyboard dock for your iPad or tablet.
Whether it’s an accent table, cabinet or candleholder, any one of this Kensington-based company’s handmade rustic, modern furnishings would make for a beautiful addition to your home. They are also all made using reclaimed wood and metals.
Meera Lee Patel (#65)
One of only a few newcomers chosen to take part in this year’s bazaar, the New Jersey artist will be showcasing and selling a wide array of items, from original paintings and illustrated paper goods to hand-sewn tea towels and pillows.
Overall Baby (#37)
What could be more adorable than infants and toddlers in overalls? Infants and toddlers in custom-made overalls with fun textiles and prints. The picture pretty much speaks for itself.
Comfort is paramount when it comes to this New York-based designer’s eccentric line of hand-sewn apparel and accessories. Hopefully, she’ll be bringing along a few of her super cute winter accessories, despite them now being out of season.
Eiffel Tower Tea Set, $50 / Omoi Zakka Shop (1608 Pine St.)
Rebecca Minkoff ‘Craig’ Camera Bag, $195 / South Moon Under (1731 Chestnut St.)
Hidden Secrets Book Box, $24 / Ten Thousand Villages (1122 Walnut St.)
Kembrel Jewelry, Allie Necklace (Pink/White), $24 / Kembrel (1822 Chestnut St.)
Farmhaus “Firewood” Candle Holder, $32 / Art Star (623 N. Second St.)
Floral Blazer by Rehab, $68 / Aoki Boutique (115 S. 22nd St.)
Imported Italian and Scottish Soaps, $12-$24 / Stadler-Kahn (1724 Sansom St.)
Trois Petits Lockets, $89.95 / Scarlett Alley (241 Race St.)
Hand Embroidered ‘Relax’ Pillow, $90 / Mushmina (1540 South St.)
Large Gift Set, $65 / Duross & Langel (117 S. 13th St.)