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August 13, 2011
I discovered Rare Bird some months back. I was working on a presentation and needed vintage accessories to make it complete . A few nights before, I had dreamt of a wolf outside my house. A protective wolf. So when I walked into Rare Bird that day and found images of wolves scattered throughout the store, it felt like fate. And I felt compelled to meet the shop’s owner.
To read more go to: http://www.librastudio.com/2011/08/small-discoveries-rare-bird.html
Yelp’s Passport To Piedmont Ave
July 27, 2011 Christine S.
This weekly Yelp brought to you by the 27th Annual Park Street Art & Wine Faire
That quaint main drag with kids balancing ice cream scoops, neighborhood cops waving hello, and the bar where everyone knows your name might as well be called Piedmont Ave. Lucky for us, this storybook strip is chock full of some of the East Bay’s raddest businesses and this week, yelpers rap about their favorites.
“Wedged between a flower stand and Chinese herb store,”fiftyseven-thirtythree keeps Michael S ”looking good, feeling good and… getting laid?” This locally produced brand “offers everything from silk-screened skate decks to dresses, and lots of Ts and hoodies” that you can rock out with your frock out. Similarly styling, Elisabeth P rewinds the clothing clock with snazzy secondhand snags procured at the “delightful and dangerous” Mercy Vintage Now. It’s “almost like being in someone’s house (or someone’s giant closet)!”
Even Lupe M gets fetching at The Rare Bird, ”a boutique that sells men’s and women’s clothing, vintage cameras, salvaged school lockers, birdhouses, and old LPs too!”
When the dinner bell rings, the local fare is vast and varied. Foodies flocking in from worlds apart settle into Commis, the impressively stark Michelin rated resto. “Intentionally barren, food is the focus there,” observes Eve O. Similarly notable, but less big-ticket, Bay Wolf reigns supreme with “cozy, New American” cuisine. And it’s items like “duck liver pasta and breaded cod filet” that send Kari C swooning! If you’re watching your weight and your wallet, Geta Japanese‘s “incredible fish” selection and bento shine.Jason T advises ordering the blue shrimp too, adding, ”They put the shrimp on sushi, and then bring you the deep-fried heads later.” A brainy idea, indeed!
After dinner it’s a choose-your-own-adventure scenario and zombie beachcombers, like Adam C, revive at Kona Club. This bar’s “got the tiki theme down, with a mechanical dancing hula girl and a volcano that erupts” like clockwork! Searching for the late night happy hour that “makes you beyond happy?” The hand-crafted drinks atAdesso may not be discounted, but “the high from getting amazing food for free is really unlike any other,” enthusesNuri K. Even if you’re not into imbibing, you can still get your fix at Lush Gelatowhere Lydia W assures, “The Mint Chocolate Chip is so fresh, it’s reminiscent of a Mojito!”
Dressing the Part
Summer fashion doesn’t have to be confounding.
With May upon us, it’s time for people to hang up their winter coats and dust off their summer gear. As with seasons past, warm-weather fashion has a tendency to change just as fast as Bay Area weather, leaving many of us confused and disoriented. Fortunately, the trends are blatantly clear this year, and local boutiques and vintage shops have got everything you’ll need to be en vogue. Here’s what to look for:
On the Head
By now we all know that the sun’s rays can damage your skin. While sunglasses (especially the bug-eyed variety) have been the preferred sun-deflecting accessory for years now, hats are making a welcome comeback.
Whether you’re headed to the beach, a picnic, or the garden, a wide-brimmed hat serves both style and function. It was definitely the accessory du jour at the recent Coachella Music Festival. Get yours at the Berkeley Hat Company (2510 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, BerkeleyHat.com), which offers a wide variety of sun hats for men and women, no matter if you thrive on frills or simplicity. The former look has become especially popular because of the Royal wedding. If you’re itching to make a similarly loud statement with your topper, tone down the rest of your ensemble to keep a fashionable balance. No matter what style you choose, make sure your hat fits correctly, with a little bit of room between your head and the hat.
Men have a decidedly slimmer selection when it comes to hat fashion for the summer. Over the last couple of years, the tried-and-true baseball cap has had a makeover. Instead of looking as if you’ve come straight from the bullpen, fitted caps with straight brims are what’s hot. Because of its tailored fit, these caps bring a crisper, cleaner look to your ensemble. Find one at Upper Playground (2509 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-649-0740, Shop.upperplayground.com), which has a great selection of hats with an emphasis on Bay Area pride.
Women can also style a sporty outfit around a fitted baseball hat, but the extent of unisex hats should end there. This means no fedoras. For far too long we have had to endure the sight of every single type of fedora imaginable — wicker, denim, pinstripe, et al — and the result never changes: They don’t look good. If you’re looking for a smaller hat, why not try a panama instead? When you look back on your old Facebook photos, you’ll be glad you did.
On the Body
Beachwear will always consist of bikinis, but in the city it’s all about breathable and flowing garments. San Francisco’s fan favorite used clothing store Painted Bird (1360 Valencia St., PaintedBird.org) is the perfect place to pick up classic pieces to add to your warm weather collection. Choose from any one of the adorable loose button-ups to match with khaki or jean shorts for a clean picnic look, or pair it with a circle skirt to beat the heat in the office. For men, the store’s oxford and western-style shirts are a timely update to polos and T-shirts.
This summer, everything from separates to “coveralls” are in style — including sundresses, maxi dresses, rompers, jumpsuits, and even overalls. No matter which style you don, there are particular patterns and color palettes that are popular. The time-tested favorite is nautical stripes and colors. Whether you’re a yacht enthusiast, a first mate, or a wannabe pirate, the combination of white, navy, and red screams summer fun with a hint of class.
Over the last couple of years, floral patterns have made their way out of the Nineties and back into the spotlight. While both small and large patterns are in style, it’s important not to overdo it.
If neither of those tickle your fancy, bright bold colors such as hot pink, teal, canary yellow, and orange are the perfect way to integrate some pop into your life. Just be sure that you don’t go overboard with the intensity of your colors. No one wants to look like a highlighter exploded on them.
Top It Off
Thanks in part to the stunning costumes from the Coen Brothers’ True Grit — not to mention their impeccable durability — western-style frontier accessories have quickly become the must-have items of the season. If you get anything, invest in a leather satchel purse. Oakland clothing and accessories gem Rare Bird (3883 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, TheRareBird.com) has an incredible collection of purses and bags to fit any desired look with the durability of a lifetime.
While browsing around Rare Bird, be sure to check out their gorgeous jewelry full of artful whimsy, much of which is locally designed. Their long necklaces and dangling earrings evoke the effortless cool that was so iconic of the Summer of Love.
When all is said and done, you should love your clothes regardless of the ever-changing and cycling fads. The best rule of thumb is to wear what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful; after all, classic styles will always be relevant. To quote my grandmother, nothing stays in style as much as a nice button-up shirt and a well-fitting skirt or pair of slacks. Happy shopping!
The Wallflower Blog – The Rare Bird in Oakland
While scouting in the East Bay recently, I discovered The Rare Bird, a newly opened boutique in Oakland outfitted with old salvaged school lockers, wooden rocking chairs, and desks reminiscent of junior high. Owned by Erica Skone-Rees, the store features finds from handmade jewelry by local designer Colleen Mauer, refurbished vintage cameras by George Polley, a selection of cowboy boots, western-style button-up tops, leather earrings by Molly Cruit of Revivify, and graphic t-shirts by Red Choo Choo.
Don’t miss the next art and trunk show on April 23rd from 6-9pm, (or better yet, sign up for the mailing list for monthly events and works by rotating artists).
3838 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510/653-2473, therarebird.com.
It’s tulip time on Piedmont Avenue
The annual Tulip Festival at Mountain View Cemetery has come and gone with the blustery end of winter, but Piedmont Avenue will be abloom throughout April with special events designed around spring’s colorful mascot.
The Piedmont Avenue Merchants Association will host a monthlong Art and Tulip Festival, featuring tulips and the work of local artists. The special event will culminate in a daylong Merchants Fair on April 23 to highlight artists, local schools and the avenue’s eclectic mix of 250 businesses.
There will be a children’s craft table at Fenton’s Creamery, 4226 Piedmont Ave., from noon-3 p.m. and yoga for all levels at Piedmont Yoga Studio, 3966 Piedmont Ave., from 12:30-3 p.m. A number of merchants also will have specials in their stores that day.
The Piedmont Avenue Merchants Association has hosted the event every year following the cemetery’s Tulip Festival but skipped it last year as businesses continued recovering from the economic downturn that started in 2007. But organizers got the event up and running again this spring, saying business is picking back up.
“We are very Main Street U.S.A.,” said Valerie Lee Ow, owner of J. Miller Flowers and Gifts and president of the merchants association. “There is a lot of fluctuation in business. We are continuously trying to draw community members and families to the neighborhood.”
Tulip Festival banners will line the avenue and the windows of shop owners. Three hundred tulips that were planted in Piedmont Plaza, at the intersection of Piedmont and Linda avenues, are almost ready to bloom, encouraged by last weekend’s heavy rain.
At Cafe Crush, which opened March 1, owner Lacey Pettigrew will display the work of Kara Nelson, who fashions landscapes out of recycled materials, during an open house reception from 4-7 p.m. Pettigrew, whose shop specializes in chai tea and smoothies, donates her mulch to a group that supports garden sites at schools in West Oakland.
At Rare Bird, a clothing and home décor boutique featuring repurposed and vintage goods, owner Erica Skone-Rees will feature the work of artists Ajay Reed and Suzanne Baker. Tulips, of course, also will be in bloom during her April 23 reception from 6-9 p.m.
“We hope the energy from the Tulip Festival will transfer into a monthly event for the avenue,” she said.
For more information about Art and Tulip Festival, go to www.piedmontavenue.org.
Local art and vintage clothing collide at the newest shop on Piedmont Avenue.
By Robyn Schroder
Erica Skone-Rees has wanted to open her own store for as long as she can remember. As an artist, jewelry maker, and vintage clothing junkie, she’s dreamed of a space to creatively display all she knows and loves. On Nov. 16, that wish came true when she opened The Rare Bird on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Having worked many different jobs in the retail world, Skone-Rees already had a good idea about what type of clothing she wanted to sell. “I wanted a store that pays homage to the past with unique vintage and consignment finds,” she says. “We love vintage, recycled threads, and hand-made collections.”
The shop is a large mix of well-picked clothing, accessories, and home décor. Most of the brands are local such as San Francisco-based Après Collective and Colleen Mauer Designs. These brands are displayed alongside retro items like old working cameras and belt buckles. Works by local artists enliven the walls, while accessories are shown off in unique ways like draping neck ties on old lockers and umbrella holders.
Who you’ll see here: Men and women who love unique, hand-picked clothing and accessories. “We have everything from nice suits to western shirts,” explains Skone-Rees. Plus, the shop is a must stop for anyone who loves to support local designers and artists.
What you can expect to find: Look for clothing from Après Collective, Boy-Girl Tees, and Red Choo Choo. The Rare Bird also carries a wide range of jewelry such as gold earrings by Colleen Mauer Designs, feather shaped earrings by Revivify, as well as pieces by New York-based Gigi and Metaphor Jewelry—Skone-Rees own line that she’s been making since age sixteen.
Mark your calendar: An official store opening party will be held this Saturday, Nov. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. Every month, the store will also feature a trunk show and gallery event, the first one showcasing the brand Après Collective by Jeanne Feldkamp and the work of abstract painter Justin Sobczyk on Dec. 16 from 6-9p.m.
Larger Than Life – Oakland, CA Hot Spots: The Rare Bird
This past weekend, oaktownman heard from a little bird about the grand opening soiree for a new shop on Piedmont Avenue. A welcome addition, The Rare Bird exemplifies Oakland’s new craft movement, showcasing vintage, re-fashioned, and hand-fashioned art, jewelry, clothing, gift items and more.
Oaktown Life wishes Rare Bird much success in their retail and community endeavor.
The Rare Bird
3883 Piedmont Ave, Oakland
New Tweet: The Rare Bird Opens in Oakland
Piedmont Avenue’s latest destination for retail therapy opened this week, and we’ve got a sneak peek at what’s inside. Dubbed The Rare Bird, the shop stocks men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, items for the home, vintage finds and recycled items handpicked by owner Erica Skone-Rees.
Like what you see? A fine time to stop by comes on Nov. 27, when the store throws down during a grand opening celebration.
More Bay Area boutiques…
Photography courtesy of Kim Peterson for The Rare Bird
Piedmont Ave. Gets Another Fashion Destination
Set to open on November 16 at 3883 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, The Rare Bird is the brain child of Erica Skone-Rees, who has logged in years of merchandising and buying experience at Theory and Potrero Hill shop Collage Clothing, respectively, in addition to designing her own label, Metaphor Jewelry.
According to Skone-Rees, The Rare Bird, will be “an edited mix of local designers, vintage and consignment, home decor, and art work. It’s a boutique that celebrates old and new, recycled and handmade.”
Every month Skone-Rees plans on hosting a party that celebrates both a local artist and designer. A big grand opening party will take place on November 27 and the first trunk show with Apres Collective will be on December 16.
”The Piedmont neighborhood has an older feel, but there are a lot of new things coming in the area and slowly but surely its emerging and getting on the breaking edge,” says Skone-Rees. “It’s just about to jump over the hump.”