I finally have the chance to talk about fashion on my Beautiful Bucharest series. Portobello, a charming atelier-boutique located in the heart of the city, on a side street behind the Romanian Athenaeum. Discreet, simple, coquettish, Portobello is something else. What makes it utterly unique is the fact that every item is made in-store, in the same place where it is merchandised. The clothes are produced in small series, and although they don’t do custom-made, the products can be personalized and adjusted to the customer’s size on request. I find this an antidote to everything fast-fashion, everything high street, a lovely way to directly interact with the customers and make them feel and look different and very special.
The entire concept was created by the founder, Nadia Popescu. She has thought it up to the tiniest detail: she designed and decorated the interior, designed the tags, the bags, she selects the fabrics, sketches all the designs and does the graphics for the t-shirts. A key element to this concept is the modiste, the one who makes the patterns, cuts and sews the fabrics, the one who transforms Nadia’s sketches into reality. Any customer should feel spoilt knowing that.
What I love about the range of products you can find here is the fact that they are essential pieces in our wardrobe: t-shirts, dresses, skirts, tops and jackets, all made of natural fabrics like cotton, silk and wool, all coming in neutral colours. Ultra-basic, very simple, but true classics. They are easily adaptable for the occasion (for day, office or evening) and can effortlessly take you from one season to another. “The starting point was the simple cotton t-shirt that everyone wears, anytime, and which I find very difficult to find. It’s either cheap and of poor quality, either produced by a famous brand and very expensive”, says Nadia. I always have this same problem. It’s the most basic items that I have the biggest difficulty in finding.
Although Nadia says she has never been fascinated by fashion, nor does she claim that what she does is fashion design, Portobello aims and has succeeded to offer something original, offbeat, beautifully executed and displayed. “Portobello is not only a business or a form of artistic expression, but rather a project very close to my heart.” And I think this is the secret to its genuine charm.
photos: taken by me
Address: 2-4, Episcopiei Street, Bucharest
I wish you a wonderful week!