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RI Archives: Style

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One Mercantile


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Something Old, Something New: An Approach to Fashion

Seasoned retro, vintage, and resale wearers tend to have vivid imaginations—good thing, too, since most of the shops that cater to them don’t offer much help pulling together “a look.”  Nor, at such places, is there much evidence that merchandising, the fine art of transforming mere stuff into something irresistible, is an aspect of the business the proprietors are familiar with.  At a typical resale shop, packed and none-too-clean, label inevitably trumps owner’s point-of-view. 

Not so at Omnia Nouveaux, a bright, airy, and spotless shop that opened last summer on Warren Street in Hudson.  Owner Ros Ollivierra cut her teeth in vintage working for Carla Lund—“She was my mentor.”—who specializes in Victorian clothing at her Greystone Gardens shops in Pittsfield and formerly in Stockbridge.  At her own store, Ros has an unorthodox approach: She mixes the holy trinity—retro (which she interprets as 60s & 70s), vintage (fine older things, such as a collection of designer scarves, including Hermes $125 - $225), and resale (pre-owned recent items with staying power)—with samples from good designers’ lines.  These last are often one-offs that got edited out of the line, such as the two Nicole Miller dresses at right (magenta, $180; black, $135).  And, according to Ros, such disparate items can be pulled together with the help of the inexpensive pieces from collections of new seperates by “featured designers” that her store also carries.  These will change from season to season. 

Two coats tell the Omnia Nouveaux tale: (left), a luxurious fitted maxi-length shearling is retro ($1115); (right) a down-filled, knee-length all-weather coat is new ($70).

Now, with a few months experience under her belt, Ros is adding yet another ingredient to her already complex mix.  For the holidays, she plans to offer her own range of taffeta evening skirts (example left, $200-$300), along with a selection of purchased tops.  As is evident from the name of her store, Omnia (Latin for everything) Nouveaux (French for new), Ros Ollivierra is a fearless mixer of idioms.  (Her stock even includes a small line of menswear.)  It will be interesting to see how this mix shifts and reshapes as time goes by.  But one this is virtually certain: Given her omnivorous eye, Ros’s Omnia Nouveaux will be the one thing stores seldom are—unpredictable. 
Omnia Nouveaux
236-A Warren Street, Hudson; 518.828.3848
Thursday - Saturday & Monday 11 - 6
Sunday 12 - 5

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 10/02/08 at 01:05 AM • Permalink