February 23rd, 2012 / posted by paularath

Mod.Vintage on Koko Head Avenue. Photo courtesy of Mod.Vintage

Vintage brooches from Mod. Vintage. Photo by Amanda Stevens

Silvana Alfonso is a familiar face in Chinatown. She is a popular DJ and is often seen at  ARTS at Marks, where she coordinates Italian film and food fests. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in Honolulu and has just opened her latest creative venture, Mod. Vintage. It’s a gem of a boutique on Koko Head Avenue in Kaimuki, in the space formerly occupied by Nini’s Exchange.

Silvana is from Rome,  Italy, and it’s there she honed her vintage sleuthing skills as a child. “I’ve been collecting (vintage) all my life and have always wanted to do something with my collection,” Silvana said. When the tiny Kaimuki shop became available she jumped at the chance to open a vintage shop there. “I had a vision and the shop fits the vision,” she said. “And I have enough merchandise to fill it up!”

Classic vintage shirt dress. Photo courtesy of Mod.Vintage

Silvana has lived in L.A. and NYC, as well as her native Italy, and she envisions Kaimuki to be “The next Williamsburg of Hawaii. It suits the culture of vintage. I see Kaimuki as the next neighborhood to get closer to what Chinatown is doing. How about a Frist Friday in Kaimuki so there’s more than one place to go in Honolulu?”

Vintage sweater girl outfit. Photo courtesy of Mod. Vintage

Mod.Vintage offers an eclectic collection of pieces. The vibe is mainly feminine and flowy, in keeping with this spring’s seasonal trends. Expect to see high waists, bold colors, and styles from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

Silvana often tweaks vintage garments to “Make them a little more modern.” A pair of high-waisted pants may get cropped into a pair of shorts. Or a long maxi dress may become a mod mini. She loves to take vintage garments and recreate them to reflect the runways of today. “Whatever inspires me at the moment, I try to do,” she explained. Today it’s MiuMiu RTW for spring/summer 2012. “My style is very ladylike couture.”

In addition to the vintage merchandise, Mod. Vintage carries new designs by Roberta Oaks and Nele K, who retain that vintage vibe but with a contemporary twist.

Mod. Vintage also has loafers, a hot current trend, as well as ladylike pumps. Silvana recently scored a collection of jewelry from the ’80s which was languishing in a local lady’s drawer. The boutique buys, sells and trades.

Silvana has a  sister who still lives in Rome who will be Mod. Vintage’s Italian connection. She’ll be shopping the vintage markets for Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gherardini – to send to sis.

– Paula Rath

For the feminine '50s sweater girl. Courtesy of Mod. Vintage

Versace jeans brought to you by Silvana Alfonso. Photo by Amanda Stevens

Mod. Vintage has mad offerings. Photo courtesy of Mod. Vintage.

Another great piece from Mod. Vintage. Photo courtesy Mod. Vintage.


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February 24th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Mad offerings indeed! The color on those jeans is striking. I like that they’re right next to Bead It, I’ll have to check them out next time I go.

April 24th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Sorry but she already sold them.

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May 7th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

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