1112 N. Ashland Ave.

If you know me well, you know I idolize “The Lisas” when it comes to style–Lisa Bonet, Lisa Turtle, and the creator of fluorescent unicorn turds, Lisa Frank.  With that said, you should also know that my favorite accessory is a fly ass leather Unicco Jeans fanny pack and that I also gladly payed for the download of The Best of Cece Peniston. Twice.  That’s right folks…I’m an 80’s baby and couldn’t be more proud!  Which is why I had to share the gem that is KOKOROKOKO with all of you!  

About 2 weeks ago on a random Tuesday off, I was out exploring my new ‘hood and just happened to step into this awesome 80’s and 90’s-inspired independent boutique.  KOKOROKOKO had me drooling over their racks of affordably-priced polka-dotted minis, Bart Simpson tees, ALF dolls, and Jodeci boots until I couldn’t contain myself anymore!  After pouting because I couldn’t buy the whole store, I came home and looked up the boutique and found rave reviews–including their recent achievement: Chicago Reader’s “Best Place to Retro-fy Your Wardrobe.”  They’ve also recently been featured in Lucky Magazine and named as one of Time Out Chicago’s “Top Ten Vintage Stores.”  I didn’t need all of those credentials to sell me because I had already fallen in love when I saw the Salt & Pepa vinyls near the door!  Even if you’ve retired your Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fashion sense, just visiting this place will make you feel like you’ve found the fountain of youth!

Check out the store’s blog above and also keep an eye out for them at the next Vintage Bazaar on September 18th at the Congress Theater.   

-Photos courtesy of Kokorokoko


Seek Vintage

1432 W. Chicago Ave.

Everybody’s family has had a velvet brown and/or orange couch, chaise lounge, or reclining chair from the early ‘70s that they  just can’t seem to part with.  (Although crushed velvet is considered outdated and may be labeled as tacky, it feels so damn good that you want to sit in that sexiness forever!)  After seeing one of the owners’ cute pooch roaming the boutique and eyeing a small brown chaise in the window, similar to one my grandmother had back in the day, I had to stop in this place!

I was instantly marveled by the blast from the past that was inside!  The vintage clothing and housewares encompass a wide range of trends from the 1930s-80s so you can only imagine all of the awesome goodies that I found.  From 1976 bowling league t-shirts to those classic 'Doe Eyed Girl’ prints to the Godzilla board game, there’s something here for everyone!  I also loved the fact that vintage-style artwork by local artists adorned the walls and can be purchased for sale.

After looking up the details about Seek, I found that the store has been open for over a year now and was started by 2 vintage-lovin’ friends, Chris Hunt and Audra Yeomans.  They’ve received kudos in national publications like Nylon and VenusZine and have been featured locally in Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, and the Red Eye.  For more information, visit their website or just head on in! 

-Photos courtesy of Seek Vintage


Panda Riot’s amazing video for “Motown Glass" 


As chaotic as a ‘panda riot’ may sound, the Chicago foursome that performs under that name happens to be pretty mellow.  While researching local bands, I lucked upon the group’s cover of M.I.A.’s popular “Paper Planes” video and fell in love.  After putting their tracks on rotation, I found out that the group was originally composed of a girl (Rebecca Scott-keyboards and vocals), a guy (Brian Cook- guitar), and a drum machine (played by the guy).  Shortly after, Justin (bass) and Jose (percussion) joined the group.

 I went pretty much went crazy over almost every track I heard, especially one of their most popular songs, “Motown Glass.”  I wasn’t really sure how to describe the sound that was prevalent in all their works, but the description listed on their site fit perfectly: dreampop.  This makes perfect sense considering the formation of the band was actually the product of Rebecca and Brian falling in love with the underwater sounds and airplane noises they were using to create a soundtrack for a short film about marine biology!  As a huge music fan, I found it pretty cool to read that the band finds influences in everything from Portishead to The Beach Boys to EPMD and Rakim …and their adoration for their drum machine warms my heart!  

GOOD NEWS! Panda Riot will be performing TONIGHT at The Empty Bottle.  They’ll be featured alongside the visiting UK headliner band, Friends, and another local band that I’ll be covering soon, Swimsuit Addition.  The show starts at 9:30pm and admission is FREE.99 with a timely RSVP to or by purchasing tickets online for $8.