Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

You know a clothing shop is gonna be pretty damn good when, before you
even get to notice the clothes on the racks, you're blown away by the
clothes on the customers. This was the case for me at YLLI, a spacious
and quite beautiful new boutique in Williamsburg that threw an opening
party last week. The first notes I took were on other customers' outfits
("Great polka-dot coat!" "Irridescent tights, fantastic!" "Purple slip
dress with beige knee-high boots! So cute!"). As I wandered about and
took my notes, one customer, needing assistance, asked if I worked at
the shop. I'd been afraid that I was not young enough, skinny enough, or
well-dressed enough even to enter the place, so I took the question as
a big compliment.

One might well ask whether Williamsburg, filling up so quickly with
pricey restaurants and luxury condos, really needs another high-end
boutique, no matter how spacious or how beautiful. And it's true that you
won't head to YLLI for bargains (though prices are far more fair than I'd
guessed they would be). But it's also true that the quality of the
merchandise here is solid, the selection is distinctive, and--huge plus for
me--the work of new, local designers is prominently featured alongside
established lines, providing a chance for talented up-and-comers to
develop their collections and make their names.

I learned, from studying the crowd and the shelves, that vests are big
this fall. A nicely fitted one with scalloping from Rodebjer was $135;
and a natty striped model from Spring and Clifton was $126. A great
assymetric tank top was $135 (hello, holiday parties!); a cowlneck sweater
with subtley ruffled sleeves, $132, said "ironically demure" and was
exactly what I'd like to wear to my family's Thanksgiving dinner.

Local designer Sonnisonni, present at the party, offered a chic,
versatile sheath dress ($198) in beige or black. Another local, Megyn
Florence, also present, blew me away with a black jumper-style dress ($440),
designed exclusively for the store, that was original, fresh,
flattering, and beautifully made.

For men (or for women who like big T-shirts; come to think of it, big
T-shirts with leggings are really popular now with women too young to
have witnessed the trend's first incarnation in the 80s, and many of
those women attended this party), I loved the specially designed,
Brooklyn-inspired, limited-edition T-shirts, from $78.

By all means, check out YLLI as often as you can. Its design-loving
heart is in the right place; its goods are well made and well selected;
and its customers, along with its merchandise, will provide you with
ongoing fashion inspiration.
  - Pamela Grossman Oct 22, 2006

482 Driggs (at N. 10th St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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