Last week, a gaggle of lady friends and I made our way to the opening of the second Dalaga boutique, this one in Soho. Dalaga, owned and beautifully edited by Filipina sisters Michelle and Mary Mangiliman, has been a mainstay boutique in Greenpoint for Brooklynite lovelies on the hunt for affordable pretty lady frocks, edgy jewelry, shoes and accessories for about six years.

The first time I stepped foot inside the adorable shop when I moved to New York, I gasped with glee, eyes alight with the magical wardrobe possibilities… It also made me reminisce to my own childhood, and the significance of  ‘dalaga’. The Mangilimans describe the term to mean “a young woman in her prime,” but I often have a hard time expressing what it means to others, as the feelings and hazy memories attached to the word get easily lost in translation. As a young Filipina coming of age, being referred to as ‘dalaga’ provoked an almost inexplicable feeling of simultaneous blushful embarrassment and flattered euphoria. Dalagas were who little girls looked up to with awe at their grace, confidence and 2.5-inch heels, who represented what they could someday become. And at a certain point in your life, you became pretty damn proud upon entrance into that very realm.

A wonderful feeling and salute to a warm and loving heritage. Thanks for reminding me of that, ladies, and for sharing your charming treasure trove with a new audience!

Top four photos from Dalaga’s Instagram feed/Tumblr

With Kristin outside the Soho boutique
Photo: Ernie Peña

Check out the Ark & Co. blouse I scored at the opening!
Also, Jovovich-Hawk dress, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, vintage necklace

Ark & Co. blouse

((Zola Jesus – Skin))