C, E at Spring St.
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Since 1978, this narrow boutique has been a destination for unearthing talented new designers. Buyer and designer Rita Brookoff showcases feminine, quirky vintage and current apparel and accessories in the lean railroad space, displaying offbeat pieces like transparent bow-tie blouses, well-shined Oxfords, and estate jewelry alongside costume baubles. While labels abound, the emphasis is on the craftsmanship, not the brand. A tailored selection of new cocktail dresses, tops, and skirts are sourced from young European and Japanese designers like Michiko Saito, while the modest rack of vintage brocade gowns and graphic coats hail from Lanvin, Nina Ricci, and Louis Féraud. The shop’s namesake in-house brand—also sold in London boutiques Liberty and The Cross—presents a hybrid of the rest of Brookoff’s prim, original stock. Rayon-crepe shifts, high-waisted cotton skirts, and organza chemises offer fresh takes on the pragmatic silhouettes often found at Prada or Commes des Garçons.