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A Vessel of Sensational Finds
by grace chen on May 02, 2008
A new vessel just opened its contents on Mission’s 16th Street. It’s called BellJar and it is a quite a deep vessel housing objects of an eclectic and stylish mix. Sasha Wingate, the visionary of this cozy space, showcases a delightful array of pieces that cover home décor, fashion and beauty for all to experience and take home as their own. Wingate explains, “I really felt inspired collecting, decorating and conceptualizing environments and creating these special little moments.”
These special little moments are gathered in not a vacuum but rather an open, high-ceilinged space that maintains its coziness. Tucked in an enclosure sits a clawfoot tub filled with fragrant soaps in beautiful paper packages from places all over the world including Spain, Australia, Portugal and Sweden. One set in particular catches my eye--the coal-colored soaps from Spain made by Maria Evora are brilliant and come in packages of six ($33). Other captivating scents waft from black and gold candles that emit lychee floral aromas ($37).
Stepping out of a reverie of global scents I return to the main floor that feels somewhat like a drawing room in a Victorian home. In the middle of the floor is a vintage sofa and chair adorned with small pillows featuring vintage prints by Lulu Bliss ($120) or large Kabuki pillows ($105) marked with a Japanese fan print fabric. The entire display is striking against the ebony hardwood floors that stretch to every corner.
The main room houses also clothing and jewelry. Lines include Jovovich-Hawk, Kittin Hawk and Eskell to name but just a few. Kittin Hawk’s pink knit ($260) is particularly eye-catching with a neckline where the brown wool trim is cut into a flower in full bloom. Also noteworthy is Eskell’s black cuffed dress shorts with gold buttons ($175).
Jewelry is showcased in glass cases where I find feathery options quite alluring. Appropriately named Feather Leopard Jewelry is the work of a local designer that creates accessories ranging from earrings to hairpieces using of course, feathers. The feather earrings are quite a find for only $24 a pair. Wooden rings ($26) add a nice touch.
There are a number of other curiosities that line the walls of BellJar. My particular favorite is a book by David Byrne. Entitled “Arboretum”, it is filled with pencil drawings and diagrams of a tree and illustrates various topics and phenomena in a satirical and scientific way. For unbound artwork, I head to the back where local artists showcase their own work in the art gallery that’s onsite. Framed horse etchings (starting at $250) catch my attention just before I enter the gallery.
There are delightful surprises such as finding the horse etchings and other items that appear accidentally out of the corner of my eye. The shopping experience makes BellJar a delightful discovery of unexpected finds for my taking. There is a little bit of everything--from teal cake platters to white trunk vases, aqua Murano bowls to oversized pendants, and tea serving sets to a book about the pope. They all somehow fit in--turning BellJar into an inviting sensation of gorgeous little things.
by grace chen on May 02, 2008