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Uptown Vintage Shopping


Simply the Best!

By Barbara Beckley

As the epicenter of all things mid-century modern, Palm Springs is the go-to for vintage shopping. The quality and selection is unbeatable – and believe me, I know. Whether you’re after that perfect Eames chair, a sequined ‘60s ball gown or just love the thrill of the hunt – Uptown vintage shopping in Palm Springs has it all.

Where to begin?  The Uptown Design District, along North Palm Canyon Drive, is one of the city’s vintage hot spots. Dozens of consignment, resale and antique boutiques line the avenue. And it’s not just the items inside that are retro – many are housed in cool vintage buildings.

A La Mod is where I often begin, admiring (and sometimes buying) its collection of exquisite and hard-to-find, mid-century furnishings. From pristine burlwood side tables and polished brass lamps by Maurizio Tempestini to oil paintings and a killer steel, leather and brass platform bed by Paolo Piva, this shop is a joy to visit.

Nearby, The Frippery  brims with hip must-have retro wear for women and men. Jewelry sparkles at the counter, and the racks are filled with mod resort wear, Audrey Hepburn-like sheaths, pretty-in-pink cocktail dresses, bow ties, plaid sport coats, handbags and shoes.

If you’re into mid-century glass, Bon Vivant is pure heaven. Its glass bottle collection is one of the best and largest, along with mid-century pottery and lamps and collectables. Iconic Atomic is great for vintage clothing – think Jackie O-style sheathes and dusters and equally cool menswear – plus shell phones, bubble chairs and other memorable accessories.

The Antique Collective is a classic antique shop, with vintage items from the 18th to the mid-twentieth centuries. Chandeliers, Royal Doulton figurines, retro Russel Wright dinnerware, ceramic owls by Howard Pierce, bar stools, rugs, sculpture, knick-knacks – you’ll find it all.

The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five  is a great little complex of 13 chic shops, inside a 1955 building designed by iconic mid-century architect E. Stewart Williams. “Interior decorators are our most frequent customers,” says complex co-owner Brandon Hoskins, who is also an interior designer.

Uptown Vintage Shopping Collections

Gypsyland is as fun as its name implies. It’s packed with vintage kitsch and quality finds, furnishings, art, and a drop-dead collection of big, fluffy ‘50s cocktail dresses. Entertainment industry pros often shop here for fun cocktail wear during awards season, co-owner Wendy Woodward, confessed.

Across the street, the granddaddy of Palm Springs’ vintage shops – Modern Way – is as compelling today for its indoor and outdoor furniture from the ‘50s to ‘70s as when it opened more than 20 years ago. Fabulous lawn chairs, ceramic-topped end tables, ‘50s bamboo bars, a space age-style Warren Platner sofa are just the beginning. The new “Listening Room” displays vintage hi-fi and stereos.

Happy hunting!

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