For many years I manned a gallery (aka my workshop) and instead of a 9-5 it is an more like a 10ish to 7ish leaving Sunday for vintage picking at markets! I work with a dynamic duo made up of a fellow Californian Michele and Italian artist Antonio, and with a local Italian belle named Emanuela who have all become more like family and friends to me than bosses and colleagues.
I ran Michele and Antonio’s shop called Bottega d’arte Cinque Terre in Monterosso, which was an addition to their original shop in Vernazza. This shop was a place for me to work my jewelry magic for the in-house jewelry line Storie in Italy that was made and sold in both galleries. Many years ago when I started working on Store In Italy I took their use of vintage rosary beads, medals and bits and ran with it. I started incorporating brooches, hardware, earrings, pieces I had from my grandma and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces I had collected all over Italy – really anything old, vintage or antique that I could turn into modern and meaningful jewelry I did.
This new aesthetic created the necessity to scour markets more frequently, and being vintage lovers themselves, everyone was on board. Due to my distinctive aesthetic Storie and Italy and Modern Thrifter style well together so we use select gathered garments in the shop to bring life and style to the jewelry. We also did a styled photo shoot in Vernazza and it was beautiful to see both my loves for jewelry making and vintage buying come together. . .
Vintage white button-up top form hole-in-the-wall benefit shop in Genova and vintage Levi’s from street market in Milan and dainty antique brooch with aqua stone that I transformed into something to add flair to a casual summer outfit.
Corduroy top form my trusty vendor in Monterosso styled with an equally western bolo tie design made from a vintage brooch.
This sheer element worn with leather skirt form street market in Emilia Romagna and this hat is form a church shop in Venice were the perfect backdrop to this 100% vintage piece made of 2 brooches and a vintage chain.
This gold hardware centerpiece was one of the first vintage market gems that I worked into the jewelry line. This belt came from a trusty Ligurian street market and this skirt, which is unbelievably reversible, was found at vintage shop in Santa Rosa, California.
Oh my Mod dress form church shop in Venice and chunky statement necklace made from 3 very large clip on earrings from the 60’s.
Cameos are an Italian specialty from Torre del Greco carved from shell. This particular cameo was originally a cuff link found in an abandoned villa in Tuscany. I cleaned it and transformed into a dainty necklace framed by mother of pearl rosary beads. The jacket was a great street market find and the peach silk shirt was from a private collection in Monterosso.
70’s dress/cape from antique market in Milano and long gold chain with mosaic pendant. (Black basic dress form Bershka)
Funky vest from Milan street market styled perfectly with this long chain with a cluster of vintage bits made by my colleague and partner in crime Manu’.
Distressed Levi’s form, striped wool jacket from one of the many visits to street markets in Milan and double wrap belt form private collection in Monterosso and statement necklace made of vintage hardware and vintage beads.
Dress from thrift shop in California and long silver chain with antique locket full of local images and hand-collected sea glass.
So as you can see Modern Thrifter In the Old World and Storie In Italy go hand-in-hand and pieces from both collections are often sourced from the same markets. They live and grow together as an ode to fashion’s past that we can enjoy and be inspired by in the present!