Once upon a time—at the turn of the twentieth century—an eccentric named Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven spent her days gallivanting through Greenwich Village in clothes of her own design, birdcage on head, postage-stamp beauty mark on cheek, reciting poetry and modeling for artists such as Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. Perhaps she whisked herself away to Paris, scooping up baubles and furs from the chicest boutiques. Now, imagine that by sheer, dumb luck von Freytag-Loringhoven and her trunks full of avant-garde treasures landed in modern-day Aspen, where she fell in love with the free-spirited nature of its inhabitants—and with nature itself.
Kindred spirit Giselle Leal channels this fantastical evolution at Magasin, a boutique of European vintage and one-of-a-kind accessories she opened on the Hyman Avenue Mall in June. (Does the baroness sound familiar? New York–transplant Leal called her former shop in the Ute City Building vonFreytag.)
Leal, a spunky artist with an eye for timeless, well-crafted wearables, jets to Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Madrid, Geneva, and Florence to scout antique jewelry, handbags, belts, scarves, coats, and housewares reminiscent of cool Colorado sensibility. Her sparkling selections—Parisian clip earrings! Rock-n-roll furs from Oscar de la Renta’s Spanish supplier! Exclusive collections by Anthropologie designers!—mingle organically with river rocks, tree branches, and art deco displays.
Magasin, which means “store” in French and is a nod to the magazine stylists with whom Leal collaborates, evinces an old-meets-new style lab, sprinkled with inspiration boards and set to a vinyl soundtrack. (Personal styling, wardrobe editing, and vacation-packing consultations are available, too.)
“Older stuff has soul,” Leal says. She shows an original snakeskin bracelet by an overseas atelier. “What’s going to be our future vintage?”