Formidable! This weekend, I discovered this fantastic family-owned, almost fully charity vintage shop called The Left Bank in Atwater Village/Silverlake! I still had my friend’s bike I borrowed to toodle around Coachella last week, so I decided to explore the Los Angeles River bike path (the most freewheelin’ biking experience outside of France I’ve ever had.)

To my surprise, hidden below the underpass on Fletcher Drive, I found a classy, cozy vintage shop. There are cool dollar boxes in front where, what do I see? What I really, really want – a Spice Girls t-shirt circa 90s, worn by Jacqueline (daughter) in nosebleed seats, on their last tour-de-oh-so long ago. I also found a Paul McCartney t-shirt from 2005 with US written on McCartney’s sweatshirt and his band on the run. Jacqueline’s father nodded; he remembered that show fondly…and the t-shirt. Classic.

I dug a little deeper and found a child’s’ Velvet Underground shirt. I tried it on, but no go. Oh well, I will save for my grandchild years to come. C’mon, it’s a dollar and after Lou Reed mysteriously dropped out of Coachella this year, it stirred my heart. (Ahem, excuse me while I cringe a bit at the fortune I’ve paid for rock t-shirts on eBay – an Australian Nick Cave Murder Ballads shirt; a freaky Ziggy Stardust David Bowie shirt from Romania, The Who, Boomtown Rats, Bob Dylan, the Boss-No Nukes, Jarvis Cocker, lots o’ Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Public Enemy and more. (Not to mention a Keith Richards “Talk is Cheap” t-shirt from a gouging little vintage shop on Franklin Ave. in Los Feliz.)

But the dollar boxes was only on the outside. I came to find out there were many, many more licks to get to the ToostiePop. So, while Jacqueline the Eldest watched my bike, Jacqueline the Younger led me inside, where Jacqueline the Elder sat inside, minding the store. Let me explain. This is a family business, true and true, and on this glorious weekend, all of them were there (minus the sister)– grandmother, mother and daughter, all named Jacqueline. Jacqueline the Younger’s father and grandfather were there as well, smiling away at all the goings-ons. A band was loading their car with instruments after practice from the rehearsal space next door, a cat on a bike with flowers rode by and the father flagged him down to hand him a water. You get the scene. Eastside, warm community.

Inside, the place was like a fold-out accordion. Room by room was dedicated to a different kind of follower of fashion; a labrynth that if you’re not careful could suck you in body and soul. The first room, Jacqueline the Younger explained, were new gifts and retail-items at Filene’s Basement prices (Who remembers Filene’? Oh yeah.)

I glossed over this ante-room to get to the real ante-bellum. The second room has classic vintage, chic styles ranging from high-end to solid designer names, as well as a vintage bridal section. The back room is contemporary second-hand – think Anthropologie meets Bloomingdale’s. They take donations and buy from quality connoisseurs, anywhere from ex-runway models to estate sales. Throughout the store are adorable household tschotchkes. And the prices are reasonable – at times, ridiculously so, since Jacqueline the Younger’s goals are to raise money for charity and truly to “make the people who shop at Left Bank happy.”

The store is new in the world and opened only this past November, but they have an eye for quality and museum-type pieces. Go soon. Many advisors who walk through the door have been warning the Jacqueline’s that their prices are far too low, so I doubt they will stay low for long.

Charities that benefit are Friends of the Los Angeles River, LA Food Bank and Kids Reading to Succeed.

Bought: Jenny Han yellow sundress with embroidered white flowers; A.B.S. Neiman Marcus NWT strapless pink polka dot dress; Seaton slinky sheath dress; a pale mint LaCoste tennis skirt; nautical short-sleeved thermal (gotta have a Moby Dick shirt); mint Stuart Weitzman heels; Chan Luu chiffon coverup; goldfish-patterned Billabong men’s board shorts.

Hearted: A Moschino black and white checked suit with a red silk top and, and the yummiest part – heart buttons. I heart it, but the dole couldn’t allow. But perfect for a store with a heart.

Where: The bright blue building at
2479 fletcher drive los angeles 90039