Palermo Soho has quickly become a virtual shopping mall for the city's pretty young things. So how do you navigate the highs and lows of this 6-by-6-block grid of boutiques? There's really only one street to know: El Salvador.
Nadine Zlotogora (No. 4638) fashions clothes for women thin and tall enough to pull off puffy skirts and knitted gauze coats with appliqués ($300–$1,500). Her palette rarely escapes green and gray, but her creations are fascinating and complex. On the same side of the street is Humawaca (No. 4692), a compact but well-edited leather accessories shop. We couldn't resist the buttery laptop bag in apple-green ($170). Lupe (No. 4657) is the women's answer to Felix. Sporty dresses, slim pants, and tennis shorts form part of the collection; the other consists of drapey jersey V-neck dresses adorned with chunky scarves. For shoes, go to Mishka (No. 4673). Some of the company's designs end up in Paris and London—but you'll find them here first. Our current favorite? The salmon-pink patent-leather sandals adorned with Swarovski crystals ($115).
Cora Groppo (No. 4696) produces avant-garde casual and cocktail outfits in silk, taffeta, and ultrathin wool. Think off-kilter belts, protruding ornaments, and collars that flop forward in overlapping folds. Jazmín Chebar (No. 4702) plays it safer, but her designs are no less chic: embroidered tanks, patterned chiffon dresses, and a slightly rocked-out rendition of a pink Chanel suit ($200).
The best thing at María Cher (No. 4724) is the new line of jeans ($85), which come in ten styles, all graciously cut to sit at the waist, not low on the hip. On the other side of the street, María Marta Facchinelli (No. 4741) sells her small but incredibly chic collection of sheer tops, flirty skirts, and structured jackets, most of them in her favorite color: black.
At Varanasi (No. 4761), Víctor Delgrosso and Mario Buraglio craft bold, refined clothes for the city's most avid fashion followers. There's something architectural about their work, which is often laser-cut, with fabrics superimposed to create volume and shape. The standout of the current collection is a flowing silk sarao dress with petal appliqués ($375).