toko-awesome.

31 08 2010

ah yes, another fuzzy and only marginally flattering “iphone in the bathroom mirror” photograph! (we haven’t seen one of these since bingo night). anyway, ignore my “serious photo face” and turn your gaze downward (not that far down perv) to my amazing necklace. now please keep in mind that i am absolutely not the beaded jewelry type. i don’t know if it’s the configuration of my face (so pointy!), or something coded deep down in my DNA, but there are 2 looks that i can absolutely not pull off:

1. sporty. put me in a pair of wind pants and a fleece vest, and i automatically look like i’m wearing a bad sporty spice halloween costume.  it’s tragic. even when i’m actually being sporty, i still look ridiculous.

2. hippie/boho. again, maybe it’s my angular architecture, or something in the snark center of my brain that physically rejects the earnest peace and love vibe of peasant skirts and flat sandals, but whatever it is, it DOES NOT WORK. patchwork, corduroy, fringe, earth tones, and especially beads. all a big NO GO.

so you can imagine my confusion when i wandered into toko indo on exchange st. in the old port, and instantly wanted to buy everything in sight. you wouldn’t think that a store where 90% of the merchandise is hand beaded in bali would appeal to me on any level, but i got dragged in by a friend on a lunchtime shopping binge, and i was shocked at how MODERN everything was. it was like a candy store of 1960s refrigerator colors… avocado green, robins egg blue, tomato red… all monochromatic, with the focus on the architecture of piece itself. no rhinestones, no jangles, nothing extra- just perfectly edited shapes from the simple to the more baroque. along with the necklace that i ultimately bought (and visited it on at least 3 separate occasions before i finally took the plunge), i am also particularly enamored with their beaded stretch belts with wooden closures, multi-strand cuff bracelets, and a bunch of other stuff like wooden rings and beaded bubble necklaces that are frustratingly not pictured on their website!

however, there are many many stores where i want things (and without them i wouldn’t BE broke207), but not too many of them are well priced enough to be featured on broke207.  now, toko indo isn’t garage sale cheap, or marden’s cheap, but for an exchange street store full of beautiful stuff, it’s exceptionally reasonable. most of the necklaces are under $20, with rings and bracelets going for around $5-10. my necklace was priced at $22 (which seems like a steal to me for something handmade from glass beads), but the cashier accidentally only charged me $15. i pointed this out, and she let me have the lower price for being honest. SCORE! also, she was super nice and let me take a ton of pictures- no questions asked.

so if you don’t have a ton of cash, and you need to buy somebody a really nice gift, or you just want something inexpensive to help put your outfit on the zazz train to zazzville, wander down to the old port and hit the toko indo. even if you’re not the batik prints and questionable showering habits type (who needs to bathe when you can just throw some patchouli on there!), i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.