Avoid the embarrassment and subsequent punching fight resulting from wearing the same outfit as someone else to a holiday party. With today's Groupon, $10 gets you $20 worth of one-of-a-kind clothes, jewelry, lingerie, gifts, and everything else at Smak Parlour.
Smak Parlour is the "Barbie Dream House" that inseparable Philly-born owner-designers Abby Kessler (the brunette) and Katie Loftus (the blonde) have been building in their heads ever since they first met at a bathroom mirror in high school. Though they've kept the place free of any plastic-haired men with suspiciously flat trouser fronts, the cinderblocks glitter, the chandeliers sparkle, and the walls are as pink as cupcake icing. Every other square inch of the gritty-yet-girly boutique is devoted to Abby and Katie's phantasmagoria of clothing, jewelry, gifts, and beyond. A&K design all the finery in the back room of their store. Pop in and you might catch them acting as each other's modeling dummies.
Today's Groupon is good for in-store purchases only, as Smak Parlour's online selection (also available in store) of slouchy creme waffle sweaters ($72), honey gold mirror necklaces ($40), angel and devil wall clocks ($36), and Breakfast at Tiffany's eye masks ($32) barely scratches the surface. Give yourself plenty of time to play dress-up, and make sure to wear something you can try on outfits over, like a full unitard or paint-on latex. People shopping for lower-priority holiday recipients like frenemies, estranged talking pets, and officemates who share a chair can find a number of items under $20, like kitsch picture frames ($17), ruffly underwear ($17), mohair berets ($18), and rose stud earrings ($14). Best of all, you can buy multiple Groupons as gifts for friends—especially friends who are just the right size for closet-raiding.
Smak Parlour's "delectably girly with an edge" clothing line and its two owner-designers have gotten a ton of glowing press from sources like the New York Times, Foam Magazine, and the Girls Guide to City Life:
- Smak Parlour definitely has a Philly flair and you’re not going to find Abby and Katie’s label anywhere else. Their style is kind of vintage, really girly but still sophisticated. – CS, Foam Magazine
- I live in NYC and come to Philly JUST to shop at Smak Parlour! I get compliments EVERY time I wear their clothes. – jlong22, Citysearch
- this is truly the coolest shop I've ever seen. they make all of the clothing themselves and the style is amazing...It's so cool to get hip & unique clothing outside the cookie- cutter chain stores. – chriss3454, Citysearch
- There's no place on earth like Smak Parlour. All of the super cute clothing is designed in the back of the shop and you can actually watch the show going on behind the velvet curtains. – novak123, Citysearch
Girly with an Edge
Smak Parlour has been described as "girly with an edge." If that sounds like an oxymoron to you, then you don't know girly. These famous figures of feministory all had a serious edge to their girliness:
Emma Goldman (1869-1940): Vilified as "the most dangerous woman in America," this labor leader, writer, and women’s rights activist contradicted her own anarchist philosophy by secretly serving as interim President of the United States after the assassination of President McKinley. Although recently uncovered diaries refer to this period as "enthralling in its repugnancy," Goldman's stern profile still appears on all copper 35-cent pieces, known colloquially as "Red Emmas."
Mae West (1894 - 1980): The first woman to make a million dollars in the movie business, this savvy, self-made starlet was known for her smoky voice, quick wit, and being the first private citizen to own a Panzer Tank, in which she would often arrive at studio meetings, poolside mixers, and—most memorably—the 1943 Academy Awards Ceremony.
Joan of Arc (1412 - present): As vulnerable to being burned alive as one might expect from someone chosen by God, Joan of Arc quietly dusted off the ashes after the crowds dispersed and went about her business. Her holy mission of butt-kicking finds her alive and well today, decked out in her signature motorcycle jacket and broadsword and keeping the tunnels of the Métro de Montréal free of vampiric British "blood tourists."
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219 Market St
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