This eco–friendly boutique proves that it’s all in the details.
Sa Va unassumingly waits on a quiet corner near Rittenhouse Square for the curious shopper to drop in. Its attractive display of colorful spools provides the foundation for the clothing inside, 90 percent of which is designed and manufactured within the store and an adjacent garment center.
The space itself is clean and neatly organized, minimalist in décor, showcasing the bright colors of the shop’s original designs. The merchandise — mostly scarves and clothing for women — upon first impression doesn’t strike one as outside the norm of standard boutique fare. But closer inspection reveals the clothing to be subtly detailed with tasteful restraint, demonstrating an affinity for a less–is–more aesthetic and an awareness of trends in high fashion.
This is no more evident than in the designs’ color palette, a step ahead of most other boutiques and chain retail in terms of relevance to the runway. Motifs in terms of fabric use and controlled flourishes further perpetuate the clothing’s allegiance to a unified, catwalk aesthetic.
Made with eco–friendly and fair–trade textiles, the clothing is immediately discernible from the mass–produced type that makes up most of the average shopper’s wardrobe. One needn’t go upstairs to the design studio — partially open to customers, marked with sketches and industrious sewing machines — to know that the wares are handmade with care and a consciousness of what types of textiles and designs appear elegant on the body. Clothes hang beautifully on their hangers and show the sort of draping and structure immediately recognizable as sturdy and long–lasting, while still maintaining a delicate and carefree look and feel.
Prices may strike the typical student as a tad steep, but the quality of product, as well as the socially responsible mission of the store, could justify a splurge for even the most frugal of shoppers. Furthermore, Store manager Sarah Robertson points to a summer initiative to reduce the prices of most dresses to under $100.
Though not especially unusual or progressive in design, the store manages to offer clothing that is surprisingly unique, along with boasting a mission that is most definitely progressive. Shoppers who venture inside the boutique are in for a treat, as the quality and charmingly personal aesthetic is gradually revealed through clothes that look more expensive than they are.
1700 Sansom St.
What to look for: Women’s apparel
Bottom line: Never will you feel less guilty over a splurge.