lovely and alluring…

main street, mount pleasant

…the barefoot contessa boutique awakens the inner goddess in all of us. the ladies of contessa know their client and celebrate femininity with a palette of soft creamy beige and toast, blushed pinks and virginal whites accented with poppy, olive and the occasional vamp noir. i was in heaven! i appreciate the edgier rock chic and rebirth of eighties color brights and yet i love to soften my wardrobe with more of these girlier elements. one look at that chandelier and i honed in on this store like a guided missile.

that chandelier says: bonjour, ma chère. c'mon in!

first, the overall effect of the boutique redefines the idea of shabby chic making it less laura ashley and more lolita. the look is updated and polished with a deep appreciation of the french boudoir. indeed the few men who did come through with their lady friends, looked painfully out of place and you would almost wish for a bench outside of the door where they could sit keeping the interior illusion intact! sorry guys!

with plenty of twinkling chandeliers, brightly lit glass display cases, touches of antique tea services and furnishings, along with self indulging fragrances and glosses, the only thing missing was a glass of champagne and a plate of gold dusted ladurée macaroons to make the effect complete.

sweet temptations at the cash wrap

vintage curiosities

delicate floral teacups, decanters and silver plate for sale for those who wish it:

"well, i haven't had any yet, so i can't very well take more." - alice

i love the way crows hover about the racks lending an ominous air as though alluding to the danger that lies beneath seemingly innocent frocks. indeed, these clothes are the weapons of a woman’s arsenal and when she shows up in full femme fatale, you know she means business!

as far as the crow flies...

a selected fraction of the lovely pieces available for consumption. i had to acquire the bed jacket for layering over my lean denim flares and the blossom belt in black almost escaped my clutches until i saw a dress in another store and ran back to purchase. (the belt, not the dress!) the “cat on a hot tin roof” dress however, is giving me ideas:

"take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." - dorothy parker

no need to take ribs out for this, helena dear...

'then jump off the roof, maggie. jump off it."

of course they can’t have all of this gorgeousness without the cake toppers and two stellar examples were washington based, my mothers buttons and vancouver’s own (and an l.a. favorite) pyrrha. my pictures don’t even begin to do them justice so please treat yourself to their sites:

beautifully repurposed vintage findings

pyrrha: 19th century wax seal jewelry

to seal the deal, pick your poison from this trove of scented goodies featuring tokyomilk and mor cosmetics both of which fit wonderfully into the shop’s personae. my personal choice is tokyomilk’s dead sexy no. 6. delicious!

deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid and ebony = serious juju

mor: the name says it all

what? oh yes! the kiddies. not all vixens are tyke free and for those who are enfant blessed, there is a sweet, sweet corner filled with enough eye candy to make you wish you were! those little his ‘n’ hers sailor suits are killing me:

my friend is pregnant and i'm prayin' for twins!

wow, i knew i couldn’t even begin to cover all the of the wonderfulness this shop has to offer and i’m already itching for another trip back for more! very easy on the pocketbook, you can afford to take home several pieces without breaking your budget and the feeling of indulgence is absolutely priceless. many thanks to dana and the other lovely demoiselles for showing us so much hospitality and putting up with all of the “oohs” and “aahs!”

barefoot contessa
3715 Main Street
vancouver, bc
ph: 604.879.1137

all photos © janene dunbar except for the bed jacket, blossom belt and dress courtesy of the barefoot contessa