Shopping Therapy on the Island
Modern Women’s Apparel
The location has changed, but not the super style. Formerly on Webster Street, Lanvie’s distinctive fashions for women are now showcased in spacious 2,000-square-foot digs at the new Park Street Plaza mini-mall. Known for expertly draped and uniquely shaped silhouettes, Lanvie features comfortable, breathable fabrics—cotton, silk, wool and linen—that appeal to multiple generations. Not too tight, yet fitted in the right places, garments are designed with customer satisfaction in mind. In-house design and sourcing allow the store to keep prices affordable, though the fashions look like they stepped out of an expensive department store window. Belts, shoes, hats, clutches and other artfully displayed accessories add to the image of big-city chic. New at the Park Street location are the brands Miilla, Moonlight and Mysteree. Look for great promotions, including monthly giveaway gift certificates to Alameda businesses, “third Saturday” sales and birthday discounts. The open, airy space can also be booked for events such as catered get-togethers, meetings and workshops.
1419 Park St., 510-865-2889, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue.–Sat., 12-5 p.m. Sun. , www.lanvieapparel.com
Pixies and Peony
Furniture and Unique Gifts
Pixies and Peony, the newest gift shop in town, blends magic, whimsy and nature in a venue where most items are charmingly repurposed or reclaimed. Formerly Towata’s Flower Shop and more recently Flowers Clothing, the space retains an atmosphere that’s part shabby chic, part cottage coziness. Furniture like dressers, small tables and lamps are refurbished and given a second (or third) life. Family-owned and operated, the store is full of fun finds like whimsically fringed lamp shades and pincushions with bases made from repurposed silver dessert cups. You can also pick up hand-knit blankets, hats and scarves in multiple colors ($12-$70), eye-catching glass terrariums ($50) in interesting shapes such as large pears ($34), and French soaps and candles. Don’t miss the resident mascots—small button quail and a white Maltipoo dog. (If you drop in at the right time, you may even be able to spot a quail egg being laid.) Pixies and Peony is also home to an in-house art gallery showcasing local artists’ paintings, photographs, sculptures and more.
2305 Santa Clara Ave., 510-523-1463, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun
Red Wagon Collectibles
Antiques and Such with a Story
Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow on TV? A guest brings in a curio, and an antique expert provides a history of the item, an estimate of its resale value — and usually, an interesting story about its origins. If you were to create a store similar to Antiques Roadshow, it would be Red Wagon Collectibles. This quaint shop carries all types of household items that were used on an everyday basis in the early 20th century. You’ll find vintage treasures like cobalt-blue dinnerware and Flo Blue dinner plates from Sweden ($25 each) as well as much larger pieces, like a hand-painted blanket chest from 1911 ($950). Handmade linens ($1 to $55) are priced according to size and intricacy of design. Owners Arvi Dorsey and Calvin Hao have been in the business for more than 30 years, and carefully research the pieces (mostly from estate sales and auction) they offer. Hot right now: iron muffin tins ($15 to $25) used for making soap, cocktail sets, retro toys and pieces of the Hall pottery that came as a free gift when you bought a refrigerator in the 1930s. The store offers free delivery, layaway and monthly sidewalk sales.
1553 Webster St., 510-521-6003, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tue. –Fri., 12-6 p.m. Sat. and variable hours Sun.