PuroGarbo L’ atelier
Greta Garbo didn’t necessarily follow the fashion trends of her time. Instead she curated her own making her into an international fashion icon. And the inspiration behind Puro Garbo. Allow me to begin with a preface: I’m not a fashion blogger by any means, nor am I going to ever pretend to be. However, I strongly identify my personal sense of fashion with that of Ms. Garbo: stylish flats and comfy heels (she would have hers custom made by Ferragamo himself), trench coats, and the ever classic turtle neck and relaxed silhouettes vs. provocative short, over the top, tight, “look at me because I’m half naked” clothing (i.e. flapper style then and current style today; for reference, please scroll your instagram). I, #notafashionblogger, simply write about things I really love and highly recommend or am challenging.
In this case, Puro Garbo falls in the love category. Anyone that knows me knows that my recommendations are usually the best. By nature, I have high expectations, demand quite a lot, and my DISC test results say I’m a precisionist, who according to the dictionary is one who values precision; a purist, person who attaches great or too great importance to precision. All this being said, I highly value unique service, great quality, and exceptional treatment. More importantly, I notice it immediately and am eager to share. Why? Because I am honestly under the impression that these rare types of humans offering these three “unexpected” things (exceptional service, quality, and treatment/customer service) are almost extinct.
I stumbled upon this gem of a boutique the week I was trying to find an outfit for my engagement session earlier this year. I didn’t know what I wanted to wear but I only had 4 days to come up with something beautiful. I’m in Europe, very much in love, and as a photographer, being in front of the camera is unusual and sometimes awkward. Not only am I out of my element, it was freezing for me as a native Floridian because it was February and freezing. What I was sure of was that a commercial store wasn’t going to make the cut. I knew I wanted something special that represented me. I was browsing Pinterest engagement outfit ideas until midnight daily… I’m sure my brides-to-be can relate! Did I want the casual look? The romantic tulle skirt look? The Glam look? The Country Couple Look?! I was actually stressed out already and I was only 1 month into my engagement. I am known to put a lot of pressure on my personal projects and my engagement shoot, although I’m not behind the lens, was no different. Then my fiance has a brilliant idea. He says, you should pop into Puro Garbo, they have really beautiful things. These words are coming from a man who loves lives in his Superman t-shirts and jeans. So naturally, I ignored his excellent advice. Don’t misinterpret me: I love casual clothing and comfort is always key.
At this point I’m desperate. So I walked in. He introduced me and left me there with my engagement session wardrobe heroes. I expressed to them what I wanted. I described how I identify myself when it comes to fashion. I remember using the following description: I’m a big city girl, modern, I like clean lines, practicality, simplicity, elegant, but with a little something that stands out. I’m more feminine than girly if that makes any sense, I have a high appreciation for haute couture, exaggerated elements while keeping them classic…
I also told him what features about my body in my opinion were strong points and where I thought we need to be careful with. Some people might view these as insecurities. We all have them. I don’t mind sharing mine. My waist isn’t as sculpted any of the Kim K’s might be. The guys at Puro Garbo, my heroes, patiently heard me out like a good therapist would. You can actually see their eyes light up while they’re brewing up ideas for you to try on, and before you know it, they are already on to something great. Initially, I was looking for romantic lines and dresses. I, however, ended up in Greta Garbo’s favorite thing to wear, pants, pulled together with a long sleeve top bateau neckline blouse tucked in at my waistline. This was actually very me. They understood my essence and gathered my style. Both of these items were tailored to my body for a perfect fit. The special detail I was looking for was the low v-back that knotted into a messy bow. The guys sent me off to buy my something blue shoes at LaQant Shoes near Plaza Nueva.
So let’s get to it. According to the dictionary, the french word atelier is a private workshop or studio of a professional artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices can work together producing pieces of fine art or visual art released under the master's name or supervision.
Puro Garbo L’atelier is exactly that. Alfonso + Diego are the artists. Let’s call them Fashion Curators. Alfonso + Diego will literally paint you beautifully with their exclusive designs. As good artists, they are very careful with the designers they carry in their store. What does this mean for you? It means you can shop there and know that no one else will have your outfit. They only carry about 1 or 2 of each item and are the only boutique in entire Andalusian region carrying them due to their exclusivity. What I love most is how unique each piece is. They are feminine, daring with color or texture, timeless and very Spanish. They also offer their own confections.
Prior to opening their boutique in October of 2011, they were dedicated to two entirely different professions, an agricultural engineer and a psychologist. However, they both shared the same passion for the fashion of their beloved city, Seville. They felt the need to open their doors to join the fashion circuit of the city, offering something different: a product based on quality, design and distinction. Since then, they have become a point of fashion reference for the local Sevillanas.
In my opinion, their idea of joining forces to create PuroGarbo makes total sense since an engineer’s brain combines logic, design, functionality and precision and a psychologist’s brain listens and gathers information about the person talking. This is the perfect duo! They compliment one another seamlessly. Now knowing this, you can try to guess which one is which.
PUROGARBO L'ATELIER is located in the heart of the city center, just off of one of the most emblematic streets of the city center, Jesus Del Gran Poder, a street commonly known as "the street of music" because if you take a stroll, you can hear a mad opera singer, a practicing piano and or the sad violin thanks to all the music conservatories and dance schools. The street itself leads away from most of the commercial stores and represents the uniqueness of curated space. A space that flees from serial productions and impersonal treatment.
While spending time with my new friends Alfonso and Diego, my curiosity deepened about their boutique, about their inspiration, about everything pretty much. So I started asking away and here is what I received:
BP: Why Puro Garbo?
PG:The name of PUROGARBO L'ATELIER emerged one day through a play on words ... Later we associated it with the image of the Swedish actress Greta Garbo, icon of cinema and fashion, which represents the sophisticated, elegant woman , (sin estridencias), a woman 100% PUROGARBO.
BP: What moves you? What inspires you? I love my daily strolls in the neighborhood but one of the things I secretly look forward to are the designs I can find in the window. They truly become Visual Art. Tell me about your creative process of the How, When, Why?
PG: We love to travel and it is an important source of our inspiration, but above all what inspires us the most is the day to day with our clients, in listening to their needs, in detecting what they want, and adapting to them. And as for our space, we want it to be dynamic and alive. It is for this reason, that we change our windows a lot, which is the way through which we communicate the essence of what the client can find in its interior. However, we do not have any one particular methodology. Sometimes there are weeks where it is changed just once and others that we change it daily. It depends a little on the inspiration of the moment or simply on our mood. What we do like is that all the elements have harmony, from the dresses, to the fresh flowers we have in the store.
BP: Has it been an easy or a crazy ride?
PG: When you decide to put all bets on a project like ours, no road is easy ... Or at least we did not know it. Every new beginning has its challenges and can sometimes get complicated. In order to keep our ground at PUROGARBO L'ATELIER constant work is involved as well as absolute dedication, a lot of love and excitment .... that is our formula.
BP: Hit me with your pitch, what is a differentiator between you and the rest of the boutiques here in Seville?
PG: We offer a different shopping experience that is personal and attentive with a high quality product. In our boutique, you can find both an urban collection, for the day to day, as an event-oriented collection, aimed at a customer, with a taste for fashion, sensitive to details and the quality of the garments. In our intention to personalize the sale, we adapt the garment to the client who will wear it. In this sense, we have the possibility of creating together with the client the garment that she will wear, adapting it in shapes, patterns, fabrics, color ... in order that the client feels "she" with her dress. At the same time, we have the option to work either the patterns of each season, or the option of custom design.
BP: What are your plans for the future? Where is PuroGarbo going?
PG: Our short-term objective is to continue positioning ourselves as a point of reference for the fashion of our city, an influencer if you will, and at the same time, to position our firm so that it grows each season, but always respecting the uniqueness of our product.
BP:What is your favorite thing about your day to day life here in PuroGarbo?
PG: What we like most about this project is that every day is different from the previous one, but the day-to-day experience is what helps you face the future. Every day is to discover, every season is another adventure, and above all, that behind each purchase, there is a person with a history.
BP: Okay, no more questions, I promise… Show me what you got!