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Fashion: Viva La Dolce

New downtown Phoenix shop gives us what we crave

 by Lisa Przystup
 published on Thursday, March 23, 2006

/issues/arts/696307
Tiffany Tcheng / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
 
/issues/arts/696307
Tiffany Tcheng / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
 
/issues/arts/696307
Tiffany Tcheng / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
 

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If you're a vintage lover you know it.

It's the pox of the fashion world, an itch you can never fully scratch. The clothes you find are yours and yours alone, and there is nothing that can replicate the triumph of finding that one perfect piece.

Judging by the influx of vintage clothing and furniture stores tp the Valley, this feverish obsession is spreading faster than the bird flu. It's in Vogue, in the Marc Jacobs spring line, and all over those "vintage" retro T-shirts at Urban Outfitters.

One store that stands out in this frenzy is Keith Fitzgerald's newly minted boutique, La Dolce Vintage. If you happen to stop by La Dolce, you're guaranteed to find an armload of treasures.

The space is small and minimalistic, allowing the shopper to focus on the clothes. The racks are made from simple metal piping and parts from a local Goodwill salvage warehouse. The dressing room is a fusion of old splintered doors.

The minimal design makes shopping less of a chore and more of an intimate experience. Flipping through the racks feels like looting your best friend's closet. There was a bevy of adorable, "please wear me every day" sundresses. Living in Arizona makes it very easy for the dress to function as the default article of clothing.

The men's side has a great stock of button up shirts, many of them the coveted snap-button numbers that seem to be a favorite of many gentlemen.

In the glass case up front, Fitzgerald displays his clutches, which he calls "entrance makers." The idea being, you walk in with your clutch in hand, get yourself a martini, pull out the clutch chain (thus liberating your hands), and proceed to boogie down.

Like most people involved in the vintage fashion industry, Fitzgerald is very passionate about the clothes.

"I've always shopped second-hand. I love the uniqueness of vintage," he says. "There is an awesomely small chance of someone else walking into the bar or a party on Friday night wearing the same thing you are. There is much more room for fashion expression in vintage versus buying new things off the rack."



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