A Fashion Pop-Up Shop at FACE Stockholm in Hudson
Petria May, a former New York City lawyer who now lives in Great Barrington, has a somewhat incompatible passion for country living and chic city clothing. For the past seven years, she has reconciled these divergent interests in a series of high-end vintage clothing stores, beginning with a shop on Route 44 in Norfolk, CT, and then a boutique by Rubi’s cafe in Great Barrington, which she closed last spring. Now, she is reconciling her return to part-time lawyering with a new pop-up shop at FACE Stockholm, the makeup boutique, on Warren Street in Hudson.
Selling and buying clothes professionally evolved from necessity. “I used to sell a lot of my personal clothes to consignment shops in New York City,” she says. “I would become easily bored with my clothes. When I opened my first store, I sold a lot of my own things.” A devotee of Belgian designers like Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten, she is drawn to “architectural and experimental clothing,” and she likes nothing more than putting together old pieces in new ways. “What makes me different than other vintage shops is my personal styling advice,” she says. Petria plans to be on the floor at FACE Stockholm every Saturday, helping women (men’s wear may come later) combine, say, a 1970s Bill Blass black-and-white tweed maxi skirt ($200) with a vintage Diane Von Furstenberg black-and-white wrap blouse ($58)—a look that she does not consider retro but fashion forward. “My approach to vintage is always with an eye to tomorrow,” she says. “I see vintage as my way of putting my finger on what’s coming next.” Does she consider what she sells investment dressing? “I think you can! It’s not fast fashion—and I love fast fashion—but I sell pieces people will keep in their closets for a long time.”
FACE Stockholm co-owner Martina Arfwidson (left with Petria), whose mother started the makeup company in Sweden more than 25 years ago, is thrilled that Petria will lure new customers into her airy corner store. “I’ve been a customer of Petria’s for a very long time,” says Martina, who just happens to be wearing a vintage Mila Schön sleveless trench dress that she bought a couple of years ago from Petria. “I think she will bring a new energy to the retail environment. We don’t have a display window here, but at my stores in Rhinebeck and SoHo we always add an artistic element. Petria’s clothes will bring a playful, colorful element into the store. The only problem is that I like what she has so much I may be her best customer.”
Are there really many women in the Rural Intelligence region who care about fashion? “More than you would think!” says Petria. “Though a lot of my clients are from the city and buy the clothes to take back to the city.” But Petria doesn’t wait to go back to Manhattan to dress up. Whether she’s attending a store opening in Millerton or a concert in Pittsfield, she is dressed uniquely and imaginatively. “Clothes are an easily accessible way to express my creativity,” she says. “It’s a way for me to send ideas out into the world.”