Livin' La Vida Local
Vida Loca Vintage showcases Austinite's super-style
By Cindy Widner,
4:48PM, Mon. Dec. 22, 2008
An afternoonish disposition caused me to miss the grand opening of Vida Loca Vintage in Plaza Juan Raul Saturday (9am? really?), but I dropped by later in the day to take in the wares. What I found was a tiny wonder of a store: vintage as opposed to thrift – a style that evokes Rachel Zoe (and I mean that only in the good ways) with the crucial addition of down-to-earth Austin whimsy.
Native Austinite and store owner Blanca Wise focuses on high-quality men's and women's clothing and accessories; she has a fantastic eye and a talent for artful arrangement. Her welcoming store contains only lovely things, lovingly displayed – it's chock-full of amazing items, but feels airy and generous rather than overwhelming. I picked up a sweet Coro necklace for practically nothing, as well as a mint marching-band hat I happened to be in need of.
With Things She Adores (which at present could be called "Things Loteria" – check out its gorgeously beaded renderings of individual cards, as well as handmade aprons, memo books, tchotchkes, jewelry, and more) a door or two down, Longhorn Bikes across across the way, and the monthly appearance of the East Austin Artisans Market, Plaza Juan Raul (2306 E. Cesar Chavez St.), anchored by Juan in a Million, is becoming quite the nifty superlocal strip mall. Had I known there'd be breakfast tacos nearby, I would have made it by 9 – 9:15, latest.