November 8, 2005

Wanna Play Dress Up?

Print More

For the people who are bored with what Abercrombie and the Gap do not have to offer, who are grossed out by the mysterious stained duds at Salvo and sick of losing all their money in bidding wars on Ebay and buying other non-fitting clothes online: solace (and some new threads) can be found at Petrune, a new vintage clothing store in the Commons. The space, which was previously part of the Christian bookstore, has been converted to a new religion: fashion.

Just in time for the holidays, Petrune is a package filled with unique clothing, antiques and accessories spanning from the 1850’s to the 1980’s. Wrapped in a frilly white and yellow awning and filled with Versace, vintage handbags and a giant antique ruler (all for sale), Petrune offers customers a shiny new experience every time they enter the store. The store receives new pieces of clothing every day, and it is not uncommon to put one down and expect it to paid for and brown-paper-bagged by someone else a second later.

Petrune is one of the only places in Ithaca where you can play dress-up for real. From the Victorian corner that is home to lacy, buttony, high collared, zippers-haven’t-been-invented-yet goodness, to the pretty dresses that will make girls hold tea parties and formals just so they can wear them, there is something for every lady. Furthermore, the backroom of Petrune is filled with toasty long wool coats and 70’s ski jackets. Not to overlook the men, there is a rack stuffed with manly plaid wool and bowling shirts, along with other items that will make boys want to go home, throw on tight jeans and start a band. Petrune is a treasure trove of clothing, accessories, and antiques that will make everyone else jealous of your uncanny sense of style.

The store is owned and operated by Domenica Brockman ’90 and husband Justin Hjortshoj: a couple that first met in Ithaca and have returned to share their love for antiques and vintage clothing. Currently, they own and operate both Petrune and Swamp College Antiques, also located in upstate New York. Previously, the two owned two stores in Brooklyn and manned a booth in the recently closed Ithaca Antiques Mall. It was the latter that led the pair to find their own space in Ithaca. They managed to organize Petrune (that’s 130 years of clothing) in five quick days. Merchandise is gathered through estate sales, shops and anywhere else they can find clothes in the Northeast for pieces that are “of their time.” “If something is from the 80’s, it has to be really 80’s,” says Brockman. That is the case with all the clothing. Not only is everything buyable and worth using your only-for-emergencies credit card for, but therein lies the fun. You do not have to worry about extreme prices, because, surprise: the prices at Petrune are generously moderate so everyone can partake in the vintage fashion fun and buy something special.

Petrune is open from 11-6 daily, and while we would like to keep the location secret, it will not be long before people start to question where we have been for days straight and discover the wonderful little establishment that has overtaken 115 South Cayuga Street. It is what you have been fruitlessly searching for, minus the hassle of not being able to try things on, almost spending $75.92 on a shirt just to be beat in the last second by someone named trendyemo234, touching other peoples’ (snot) stains and the embarrassment of wearing the jeans that are supposed to look used but have the same exact holes in the same exact places as the ones your arch nemesis is wearing. Petrune is a gift for everyone in Ithaca, and you don’t even have to wait to open it. So why don’t you Pe-tune in today?

Archived article by Alena Niu and Jennifer Rice
Sun Contributor and Assistant Design Editor