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A Tucked Away Pleasure: Parazit

Hidden down the busy street of Karlova right off Old Town square sits Czech design shop Parazit. It’s a small, cramped space filled to the brim with both established and emerging design talent. Word to the wise, if you can get past the bric-a-brac look from the outside you’ll find a treasure trove inside.

Parazit is one of the best shops in Prague to buy Czech designed good and also happens to sell them at a reasonable mark up that caters more to the Czech wallet than to the foreign one. What does that mean for you? Well, in short you aren’t going to be ripped off and pay an ungodly amount of money.

So what makes this store so great? For starters, designers sell there; trust me this is a rarity in Prague. This also means that new goods are in a revolving door state. “I have asymmetrical tunics there,” says Czech womenswear designer Zuzana Vesela, “and I am constantly needing to make new ones to sell to the shop. They can’t keep them in stock.” Zuzana Vesela isn’t alone, Eva, the owner of Parazit tells me that besides Zuzana Vesela her books and porcelain pieces are constantly being purchased by tourists; mainly from Asia.

Czech made dresses during a recent trip to the store

A treasure trove of original Czech fashion

There are pieces at the store that are hard to find outside of well-know Etsy-look-a-like, Fler.cz, but Eva does her best to make sure that those great artists are stocked. There are over 100 Czech and Slovak designers and students who are here, many of them are exclusive to Parazit and quite a few that have been with her since the beginning.

With Christmas around the corner we suggest you skip Old Town Square and it’s wash of cheap goods and head straight for Parazit instead.

 

 

 

The Woman Behind the Fashion Truck

 

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Words: Madeline Chestnut

Photos: The Fashion Truck Prague Facebook page

Heather Horton is bringing a new idea and approach to the ever growing world of Czech fashion.

The Fashion Truck, was born and inspired by a recent trip to Miami, Florida where she saw an entire street lined with trucks moonlighting as mobile boutiques.

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Upon moving to Prague, Heather travelled to Switzerland using most of her savings to purchase a vintage Mercedes fire truck and make the mobile boutique a reality. As are most Kafkaesque stories, the truck repeatedly broke down before making it out of the city limits of Geneva and it was then that the truck in question was towed back to Prague.

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After what we can only assume would have been a lot of terse words said to the Mercedes, Heather has managed to create a car that not only works, but is a true boutique on wheels. There are hard wood floors, funky wallpaper, curtains, a fitting room and believe it or not, you can actually stand in the truck and browse the selection of clothing available on hangers.

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The truck opened its back doors for business in June at the Náplavka market and Heather is hoping to find a permanent spot there every week where you can find, “conservative clothing with a quirk.” Price points for her imported and hand-made garments are 500czk for shirts to 1000 czk for jackets and dresses.

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The future goal for The Fashion Truck Prague is to have a home base in Prague, while continuing to travel to neighbouring European cities once a month. Eventually, Heather hopes to open a standing boutique in the city centre while maintain the life of the truck on the side.

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You can catch The Fashion Truck Prague August 18-19 at the Pilsen Fashion Days market in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Follow her on Facebook and check out her online store for more information.

A Day in Prague 2

Words: Madeline Chestnut

Filled with expats and young professionals, Prague 2 is worthy of a stop on your Czech adventures. As the yuppie epicentre, you will find worldly people, most of whom speak English.

Shop til’ you drop

If you are in Prague it is an absolute must to shop. Treat yourself, you deserve it! Browse through a short selection of my favorite shops.

overviewNILA– A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

NILA is an eclectic boutique that sells a little bit of everything. The store is located in a charming area lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants and is away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets. As you walk in the door, you are greeted by an infectious boho vibe with walls full of earth-toned clothes, handmade wooden shoes, home goods, and beauty products. This store is all things BOHO, eclectic and trendy. Shop women’s, men’s, and children’s clothes.

Address:  Korunní 806/91, 130 00 Praha 2

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 – 19:30, Saturday: 9:00 – 15:00

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Photo credit: Jane Bond Facebook page

Jane Bond Special Get Ready for the Sock Hop

Looking for 50’s inspired dresses, full skirts, and A-line cuts? Jane Bond is your place! Have fun thumbing through racks of dresses, both made by Jane Bond and other labels. This small store is a breath of fresh air and a fun, historical exploration in fashion history.

Address: Slezska 48, Prague 2

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 am – 19:00 pm, Sat: 12:00 pm – 18:00 pm

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Photo Credit: Papelote Facebook page

Papelote– Not your everyday paper store. 

This paper store is tucked away on a quiet street, right on the edge on Prague 1, but no where near the crazy tourists areas. Papelote is a local Czech paper store stocking only Czech artists. Choose between post cards, hand-bound journals, pencil bags, little works of printed art, and all other kinds of paper goods. This store may be  small, but one could get lost for hours in there perusing through delicate goods.

Address: Vojtěšská 9, Prague 1, 110 00

Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00–19:00, Saturday 12:00–18:00

Lunch time!

Once you have worn your wallets out a bit,  meander your way to Americká street for some good eats.

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Photo Credit: Zazibar Bistro Facebook page

Zanzibar Bistro is the perfect place to sit down and have a nice lunch. Every day they have a unique lunch menu with two options ranging around 120Kč. Located in a quaint square with a central fountain and children playing, sit out on their lovely patio and enjoy a grilled veggie plate with a crisp white wine or beer. Walk around after lunch for another glass of wine at one of the surrounding wine bars. 

Address: Americká 15 Prague 2

Hours: Mon-Thu: 8:00 – 23:00, Fri: 8:00 – 00:00, Sat: 10:00- 00:00, Sun: 10:00 – 23:00

Get a much needed mid-day sugar boost

Every one has their guilty pleasures, whether it be pastries, caramel lattes, or ice cream; we all have them, so why ignore them? Here are a few places to fulfil you sugar addiction.

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Photo Credit: Marthy’s Kitchen Facebook page

Marthy’s Kitchen

Inspired by the French countryside, Marthy’s Kitchen is a charming, homey little cafe and one that has won rave reviews on TripAdvisor as well. Indulge with a slice of cheese cake or a pastry and get a much needed afternoon espresso or look through their lunch menu; you know, in case you are still hungry after Zanzibar. If you find yourself that way during dinner time, stop in for a full dinner menu.

Address: Vinohrady, 120 00 Prague 2

Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00- 22:00, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00- 22:00 

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Photo Credits: Vanille Facebook page

Vanille

For your one stop ice cream shop, make sure to hit up Vanille. Vanille is the key to all of your sweet tooth needs. With indoor and outdoor seating, enjoy a hefty 20Kč ice cream either there or walk and sit in the nearby park in front of the Namesti Miru cathedral.

Address: Náměstí Míru 13, Prague 2

Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:00 – 20:00, Sat: 9:00 – 20:00, Sun: 10:00 – 20:00

Dinner is served

While on the topic of food, here are our dinner suggestions.

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Photo Credit: Becca Leite 

Pizzeria Grosseto

When your afternoon is done and you are ready to sit down for dinner, try Grosseto. The pizza menu is unreal and cooked to crispy perfection, but if pizza isn’t your thing there is plenty more to choose from. Make sure to sit on the patio to the side of the restaurant. There is an outside bar, and two layers of seating.

Address: Francouzská 79/2, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady

Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30 – 23:00

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Photo Credit: Sapori Facebook page

Sapori

For a taste of Italy in Prague, Sapori is your stop. With a fine menu of meats, fish, salad, and savoury pastas, enjoy dinner inside atop white table cloths or on the patio. Of course, the white table cloths can only mean one thing- expensive. If you are budget dining, this might not be the place for you.

Address:  Americká 875/20, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00

Finally a Teenager: 13 Years of Fashion with Designer Kateřina Geislerová

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WORDS: MADELINE CHESNUT

In celebration of 13 years of fashion, runway shows, and collections, Czech designer Kateřina Geislerová had a little celebration to show off her work, where she has come from and where she is going. I popped down to Showroom V Kotcích to take a look. I was impressed and inspired by some  looks, while others were an instant flip through on the rack. While I enjoyed comparing the collections through the ages, I almost enjoyed the stories behind her journey as a designer a bit more.

Kateřina left home when she was 18 for schooling as an interior designer. Her passion for line, shape, color, and textiles was obvious, but her route was not. Down the line a professor saw the potential in Kateřina’s work and steered her away from interior design and into the world of fashion, thinking that it would be a much better fit. This inspiring professor actually purchased Kateřina’s first collection that she made as a designer (insert “awwww” comment). And the rest is history as they say… sorry for the basic girl phrase, but it was fitting.

So, after 13 years, what can be said about the evolution of Kateřina’s work as a designer? A few thing are for sure; she loves her structure, she loves obscure lines, and most evident: she is consistently inspired by menswear.

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This skirt, while obviously not super wearable was a fun tip into the mind of Kateřina because this was one of her early exploration in flirting the with ideas of recreating menswear. Made from men’s trousers, I’m not sure how this would hit the bum in the most flattering way, but still- supper interesting thought.

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And another one. More men’s wear is shown with this long vest. While asking about the Czech market, Kateřina’s publicist explained to me that this piece was very popular with Czech woman because of their sense to wear modest, not, “look at me” clothing.

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Yay we finally have some pattern, folks! While it was few and far between, I will give your eyes some much needed stimulation with a rare splash of pattern and color, but don’t get used to it. It is sure to say that throughout her 13 years, Kateřina will almost always stick with solids.

When asked what words described Kateřina’s inspiration and style, her kind publicist instantly replied with the words, “femininity and structure.” It is clear that Kateřina’s training and eye for interior design both play a role in the construction of her garments.

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I was a bit confused by the comment about femininity and accentuating the female physique after seeing a few too many less-than-flattering pieces that would give a shapeless, lumpy figure to even the slimmest of toothpicks.

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So, what is on the table for year 14? Maybe pink silk and burnt orange? Who really knows, but lets hope that Kateřina Geislerová continues with feminine, flattering lines, and leaves the bags at home.

Where to Drink with the Fashionable Prague Society: Top 10 cocktail bars

We knew we needed to update the list of Prague’s most fashionable cocktail bars, but we also knew that the Top 5 wouldn’t cut it!  Of course, we have the old favourites with hockey players and roof top views, but we’ve added a few more speakeasy style bars, bars that take cash only and ones that have been winning international awards. So, grab some friends, dress to impress and enjoy the latest that the cocktail scene in Prague has to offer.

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Cash Only Bar – where low lights, cash only and fantastic cocktails combine. Photo Credit: Cash Only Bar Facebook Page

Cash Only Bar– The almost twin sister bar to the notorious “Hemingway’s”

The sister bar to Hemingway’s, Cash Only Bar maintains the same level of class and sophistication – and most importantly mixology-  but it’s a much more relaxed place where you can kick your shoes off. When Hemingway’s is full to the brim or when you want a fully non-smoking bar, Cash Only is the next best thing. Enjoy live music and bar snacks as you sip on mixology magic and are waited on by bartenders who have memorised the cocktail dictionary and are eager to whip up anything that you can imagine.  Prices are similar to Hemingway’s so if you go in thinking this might be a cheap joint I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. More importantly the bar is, as it’s name would say, is cash only.

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L’Fleur Cocktail Bar Photo Credit: George Nemec from L’Fleur Bar Facebook Page

LFleur Bar – A Menu To Get Lost In

L’ Fleur is located at the bottom of the heaving party street Dlouha and is located more or less next to Tretter’s Bar (a favourite place to watch celebs and hockey players). The updated space, which has been everything from a retail store front to multiple failed bars seems to have found a winner with furnished leather tufted booths and a set up that encourages intimate conversation. Choosing a drink that suits your fancy isn’t a problem, as their menu is a lengthy 27 pages long. If they don’t have what you are looking for one of their bartenders is sure to know it.If the alcohol gods created it, L’Fluer probably has it.

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Public Interest where the fashionable crowd comes for relaxed cocktails  / Photo Credit: Public Interest Facebook Page

Public Interest– For counter-culture cocktails

Public Interest, with its grungy, industrial, and counter-culture vibe draws artists, writers, and other creatives; mainly those that work in the fashion and pr industry. The place is incredibly small and the music is pretty terribly – especially for a place that oozes cool and makes some pretty fine cocktails. It’s non-smoking however and if you can make a reservation and get a seat, the bar is absolutely worth a trip. Enjoy cocktails from 170-350 Kč.

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A signature cocktail from Prague 7’s Elbow Room. Photo Credit: Elbow Room Facebook Page

Elbow Room – Prohibition Never Felt So  Good

If you can manage to talk yourself , or friends, to heading over the bridge you’ll encounter this prohibition themed bar. A ubiquitous staple in cities like London and Paris, Elbow Room is making a name for itself under the glow of green lights. Order a “lime in the coconut” and shake it all up in Letna’s hottest new bar, trending as #1 on foursquare since their opening in January. A quote from their “classics” menu pretty much sums it up: “Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast.”

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Prolog Exceptional Cocktail Bar – Posh cocktails in Prague 5. Photo Credit: Prolog Exceptional Cocktail Bar Website

Prolog: The Exceptional Cocktail Bar– The glitzy cocktail bar you’ve been dreaming of

Prolog bar is basically a synonym for posh, though located across from the Andel metro station may seem otherwise. With twinkling lights, leather tufted bar stools and gold accents, this bar looks more at home in Mayfair than in Prague, but we love it all the same. Enjoy the low banter of a bar setting while sipping on one of their 21 signature cocktails- I plan to try every single one of them before my dying day. If you are feeling a bit risqué, try one of their seven deadly sins cocktail: Wrath, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth or Pride. The cocktails are truly a craft, with pristine execution and dainty garnishes atop. Prices ranging from 85Kč to 395 Kč.

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Anonymous Bar, where drinking is an adventure. Photo Credit: Anonymous Facebook Page

Anonymous Bar– “Give a man a mask, and he will show you his true face”- Guy Fox

Take an adventure to the unknown and unlock the secretes behind Guy Fox through undisclosed menus and hidden messages. In fact, reading the menus becomes an adventure in itself from black light only menus, menus that require a magnifying glass and randomly a View-Master menu that unlocks the secret ingredients.The drinks are extravagant and come staged in ways that you can’t imagine: in grenades, in circus themed toys, or an IV drip bag. Making a reservation is crucial, as this is something that everyone wants to experience.

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Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge- a view from the top Photo Credit: Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge Official Facebook Page

Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge- Drinking under the Stars

Located at the top of the Hilton Hotel, Cloud 9 offers rooftop views, plush sofas, and a DJ spinning tracks long into the night- it’s the perfect starting point before heading into town. Order a refreshing Mojito on the terrace, overlooking a drop dead view, while being surrounded by men sporting the latest fashion trends, waxing poetically into a woman’s ear. While it may be a bit of a trek away from the city centre, this chic rooftop bar is worth it. Signature Cocktails are 170CZK while others range from 120-200CZK respectively.

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Tretter’s Bar – where things never change. Photo Credit: Tretter’s Bar Facebook Page

Tretter’s Bar – Cajole with hockey players, celebs and wanna’be fashion models

It’s the swank hang out for high-worth individuals and professional sports players. Don’t be surprised to see Czech celebs and your favourite Czech hockey players at this bar, smoking cigars and drinking cocktails in the off season. The bar staff is well versed in cocktails which means if you want it, and it’s obscure, they can probably make it. Prices are similar to cloud 9, but with an ambience based around Paris in the thirties rather than a modern, skyline view.

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Black Angel’s Bar – the poshest speakeasy outside of the 1920s. Photo Credit: Black Angle’s Bar Facebook Page

Black Angel’s Bar-  Speakeasy in Old Town

Slip back to a time when cocktails were served in their correct glasses with hand-made ice cubes and bartenders had more than just charming good looks. Named one of the Best 50 Bars in the World by the Sunday Times, it is still a favourite for the local crowd- though tourists have caught on. During the weekend there is a piano player and singer who serenade the Gatsbyesque crowd with her sultry voice and his bygone era tunes. Everything about Black Angel’s- the chandeliers, the tables, the menus are chic.  It looks pretentious, but with prices that are affordable for all, it’s one of the best deals in the city.

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Bugy’s Bar – the original fashionable crowd hangout Photo Credit: Bugy’s Bar Facebook Page

Bugy’s Bar – An American-Style Cocktail Bar with Czech Flare

When the fashion events end, this is where the editors and beautiful people go. Models, editors of fashion magazines, and celebrities all venture to this small space to drink fanciful cocktails and sip foreign wine. It’s the bar that introduced the mojito to the Czech public and was ranked as one of the best cocktail bars by Newsweek International. Cocktailicious (delicious cocktails made by Bugsy’s) prices start at around 135CZK for short drinks, Sake Cocktails around 160-190CZK.

How to Wear SS16 By Czech Designers

WORDS: Madeline Chesnut

More often than not, the looks coming down the runway, strapped onto size zero little nothings, can be extremely daunting. I often find myself thinking, “who the hell would actually wear that,” or “how would this look transition from the runway to real-life?” Designer’s experimentation can be out there and hard to imagine, but you have to think of these looks as art and self expression- though most of them probably wouldn’t sell in a store. After weeding out the “interesting” designs, I have pulled a handful of my favourite looks from the SS16 Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Week shows in the determination to show you that some looks are a lot more achievable than one may think. With a few accessories, one’s imagination can start to rationalise Czech designers and gain the confidence to add a runway look to their wardrobe. Set aside your plain white T and jeans and try something new!

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The first look that grabbed my attention was this rose coloured Odivi maxi dress. I was inspired by the ease that this look has- the “I’m not trying too hard” look, which in reality, took a few hours of readjusting and getting the hair and the makeup just right. Beside that fact, this look could be easily accomplished and would be perfect for a day running around the city, shopping or grabbing coffee. An Olivia Burton watch (one of my personal favourites) would be perfect paired with a slouchy Chloé bag and stylish Adidas trainers.

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Another casual city look that could transition well into every day life is this long cardigan by Monika Drapalova. Perfect for throwing over a basic outfit on a day where you want to hide a bit. Wear with Ancient Greek Sandals, Mui Mui shades, and a Saint Laurent bucket bag to run errands in a comfortable, yet fashionable manner.

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Jakub Polanka helps you pull off the market perusing weekender look with a funky wrap jacket full of colour,  and a striped pattern; an essence of exploration. Pair with Carvel trainers, and an Aspinal of London cuff to add colour and personality. Don’t forget a Tory Burch back pack to tote around a fresh loaf of bread from the farmer’s market or handmade jewellery from an art festival.

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How adorable is this classic, 50’s housewife dress? Finish off the look with a blush Rebecca Minkoff bag, tan brogues by Dune London and an Olivia Burton watch- I told you she is my favourite.

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Did someone say GNO? For those nights when you want to leave your worries behind and get lost in cocktails, good conversation, and bae-watching, make sure to doll yourself up in something short, something black, and something with sass. This ensemble by Michal Kovacik, along with Aquazzura stilettos,  Kendra Scott earrings, and a Valentino clutch is the recipe for a good night.

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Whether you have a hot date or a date with yourself to some extravagant event, this dress by Zuzana Kubickova is sure to be a jaw dropper. This beautifully detailed tea length dress, paired with classic Mary Jane Jimmy Choo’s, a Brunello Cucinelli statement necklace, and an Alexander McQueen clutch is an achievable run way look.

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It’s summer time in the city, so when you are ready to chill out and relax, make sure to slip into a Jakub Polanka tunic, Miu Miu shades, Funky Espadrilles by Steve Madden, and a fedora by Heidi Klein- because no one likes a burnt hair part.

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And when you are dreaming of pool days and sun tans, Katerina Geislerova gives us the look. Be playful as you lounge by the pool in a a fedora by Sara Designs, bright Linda Farrow sunnies, and a Hawaii inspired tote by Kate Spade New York- too cute to take in.

 

NILA: A little bit of this, a little bit of that

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WORDS: Madeline Chesnut

Tucked away at Korunní 91 in Prague 2, NILA is an eclectic boutique that sells a little bit of everything. The store is located in a charming area that is away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets and is lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. As you walk in the door, you are greeted by an earthy vibe with walls full of earth toned clothes, handmade wooden shoes, home goods, and beauty products. This store is all things BOHO, eclectic, and trendy.

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Women’s clothing dominates the clothing selection, specifically dresses and blouses. With the boho look comes lots of linen, lots of slouchy clothing, a few bulky blanket sweaters, and garments that aren’t too fussy to wear. Dresses and blouses fell under a price point between 990 Kč for basic T’s on to 5000 Kč for other items.

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NILA focused on all things black and white with stripes all over.. oh and loads of denim. But only denim shirts, no pants. hmm. They had very little pattern play, unless you were looking at dishes or throw pillows.

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And on the the very limited men’s section featuring more denim, and black and white stripes. You and your boyfriend can buy matching outfits.

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They were loving these wooden shoes, and they are available in almost every color of the rainbow. The hand-made, wooden sandals are very harmonious with their clothing collection and could probably be paired with any outfit that you find on the rack. They looked pretty comfortable and I’m feeling the granola vibes.

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These neutral booties were very well made, and super cute. Would be perfect paired with jeans and a chunky sweater for fall. And once again- you and your boyfriend/ girlfriend can twin it up in your matching pairs.

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Once again, NILA gives you the tools for constructing the ideal BOHO outfits with a felt fedora hat, detailed with a leather band. If this doesn’t scream BOHO, I don’t know what does. These were the crowed favorite, as I watched many woman at the store opening fawn over them and check themselves out in the mirror while sporting the look. Prices range from 2490 Kč to 3990 Kč and are available in men’s and women’s sizes.

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The dishes were probably my favorite item in the store, which is probably a bias remark as I am a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to dishes. This was where the pattern, color, and personality of the store was emphasis. Painted pottery always draws me in, and NILA’s was at a pretty good price point between 350- 1500 Kč.

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These cups were too funny, and I would love to see the look on my guests faces as I ask them to play pin the panties on the naked lady while drinking a cup of tea. At 1590 Kč a set, they are sure to add a conversation starter to a party.

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I appreciate that NILA stocked their store with a little bit of everything. This is a perfect place to find dishes for a summer party, birthday gifts, a summer outfit, beauty products, chunky gold jewelry, journals, shoes…. and on and on and on.