Photo: Bobby Grossman

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Women's Clothing Arts

A friend of a friend of mine, Bobby Grossman (no relation!), has an exhibit up at Mina, which serves as both a gallery and a couture shop. (Sounds a little wacky, maybe, but it works.) His portraits of rockers, visual artists, and others from New York's punk and New Wave heyday sounded right up my alley, so I went to take a look.

More on the art in a bit; but given the nature of this column, you'll want to know about the clothes. For top-end designers, these are some of the best prices I've seen—deep sales are the lay of the land here, on some really lovely stuff. Stock changes all the time, and some styles are not available in all sizes, so checking out the racks directly is the way to go. But to give a sense of the possibilities: I loved a lilac pleated-silk party dress with dark purple straps by Tracy Reese (originally $1800, here $420); a Dolce and Gabbana rose-satin party dress with black velvet straps (originally $495, here $265); a gauzy, off-shoulder, dolman-sleeved blouse by Marchesa, in white or blue accented with gold (originally $1200, here $360); a Moschino knee-length shift in cream with ribbon-rosette detail (originally $1200, here $220, and could be perfect as a less formal but utterly charming wedding dress); a grape knit-cotton blouse by Chloe, detailed with draped chiffon (originally $760, here $184), and, also from Chloe, a funky orange patent-leather-and-wool short-sleeved blouse with a zippered back (originally $1155, here $280). There are also shoes: gorgeous styles from Manohlo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Stella McCartney, and others, in a wide price range.

Have a big event coming up and need a killer outfit, but don't need to own it? Rentals of dresses, shoes, and other accessories are available; speak with the store about rates.

Somewhat dazed by the clothes, I nonetheless got myself to focus on the the fantastic photos, half by Grossman and half by another photographer named Sam Bassett. Grossman's photos were as good as I'd hoped: vibrant, evocative shots of icons like Debbie Harry, David Bowie, David Byrne, and Jean Michel Basquiat. And Bassett's were likewise great: newer shots of modern sensations like Kirsten Dunst and David Lynch, along with some remarkable images of members of the Bassett clan. (The portrait of Dunst with Grace Jones is not to be missed.) The art starts at about $1500, so these won't be purchases to take lightly; but then again, if you've saved so much on the clothing, maybe you're feeling flush. In any case, the shop—clothes, art, and all—is a find in which you never know what you'll discover.   - Pamela Grossman; Aug 9, 2009

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