Before we even exchanged names, this fetching couple, Aaron and Bethany, kindly stood for several photos, unaware of the fact that I did a complete 180 when they walked past me and for several minutes waded through the heavy crowd with two other friends before finally catching up with them.
One year ago, artist Nicole Phillippe opened up Allie Cat Arts in Cooper-Young to showcase the most diverse collection of local artists and designers Memphis has to offer and has yet to discover. Allie Cat Arts centers around local talent and frequently hosts social events and art openings and classes.
Next to Cafe Ole directly across from the Beauty Shop, this charming little shop indeed features not only art but handmade jewelry, clothing, and the I Love Mi-Me beauty products that first led me there. The fairly small space houses an immense collection. With many pieces reasonably priced, the collection is one you can admire and then afford to take home.
Here are a few "wearable art" pieces that caught my eye, ranging from the colorful felt necklaces to salvaged pocket watches reassembled into jewelry to whimsical earrings of miniaturized desserts. There are even several glass jewelry pieces from Nicole herself. From the wide range of style, I chose a pair of drop earrings by Cindy McKee (shown in last photo) that I thought I would buy as a gift but I ended up claiming them as my own.
Visit Allie Cat Arts to find a handcrafted piece that you will want to claim as your own.
Felt necklaces by Nikkila Carroll.
Pocket watch “steampunk” pieces by Jan Shivley.
Dessert/food jewelry by Funlola Coker.
Beaded bracelets by Stacy Green.
Find out more about them including their latest deals through the links below.
Langford Market: Classically feminine clothing including swimsuits, jewelry, handbags, and shoes.
2155 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Facebook: Langford Market Memphis
Pinterest: Langford Market — Memphis
Addison: Upscale clothing, handmade jewelry, handbags, and shoes.
2153 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Ph: 901.274. 4071
Facebook: Addison Memphis
Pinterest: Addison Memphis
Wish: Whimsical and eclectic clothing for women and men, jewelry, handbags, and shoes.
2157 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Facebook: Wish Cooper-Young
Instagram: Wish Memphis
Pinterest: Wish Cooper-Young
Special thanks to store manager Carrie Vreeland.
Everything is 30 percent off right now, even already marked-down clearance items, and owner Tad Feazell says the store will close at the end of June.
"It's just time to move on," Feazell says, citing the economy and the amount of time the store takes.
Last Wednesday, the Flyer hosted Work It Wednesday at the Beauty Shop in Cooper-Young.
I don't mean to brag, but I have a singular talent for spotting new stuff. It's a gift. (if only I could parlay that into some sort of bankable skill ... oh, wait, maybe I have).
At any rate, I noticed Amanda Taylor's jacket — on its inaugural wearing — as soon as she walked through the door.
The zippered jacket came from The Limited, and Taylor says she kind of a "walking Limited ad."
"It's good for young professionals," she says of the store. "I like things that are classic and professional but young at the same time."
She paired her new jacket with a red shirt, gray slacks, and gray ankle booties, but The Limited also was (perhaps is?) selling a matching skirt.
I'd personally like to see the matching skirt (just to see!), but Taylor opted not to buy it because she thought that was a lot of zipper for one suit.
As for me, I'd sort of forgotten The Limited existed, but a quick jaunt through the website has me intrigued. I kind of like this accordion top on their main page.
When it gets all cold and gray and Novembery, sometimes it's hard to see people's outfits. You know, with them being covered up by coats, scarves, umbrellas, gloves, hats, and the occasional rain cloud and all.
Which is why I have devised what is now known as the "Amber McFall theorem."
This rule posits: In any winter weather, the cuteness of an outfit completely covered by winter outerwear directly correlates to the cuteness of the shoes.
Ergo, cute shoes = cute outfit. Unstylish shoes = unflattering outfit. (For those of you playing the Style Sessions drinking game, I think that is four drinks. If my calculations are correct.)
An earlier rule of thumb included the shorts to tunic length ratio. Don't worry, these will all be compiled together in a book from CMI press, due out in January 2011.
At any rate, you can see the Amber McFall theorem in action right here, right now.
When McFall walked into the Young Avenue Deli, I noticed her peep-toe heels right away, but I couldn't see the ruched Express halter or the boot-cut jeans. But the shoes definitely made me take a second look.
"This isn't my everyday attire," she says. An employee at the division of corrections, McFall generally wears slacks and a button down to work. "The stuff I wear to work, I just wear to work."
We spotted Hannah King dressing the window at Burke's Book Store, but it was her dress that really caught our eye.
A flea market find, the dress is flocked with birds, birds, and more birds, and is King's favorite.
"It's comfortable," she explains, "and I like the design. When I don't know what to wear, it's my 'go-to' item."
She paired the dress with a cardy from Target and Forever 21 skinny pants.
"I've been doing this forever," she says of the pants/dress combo. "I do it whenever wearing a dress wouldn't be very practical."
A quick wikipedia search about seersucker revels this: "The word came into English from Hindi, which originates from the Persian words 'shir o shekar,' meaning 'milk and sugar,' probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth surface of milk and bumpy texture of sugar."
I'm sorry, if I liked seersucker before, the etymology alone makes me love it.
Craig Cardwell bought this seersucker suit for his daughter's wedding several years ago.
"I always wanted one," he says of the suit. "This is Memphis. You wear cotton."
His wife, Margaret, is also in cotton, with this cute shirtdress.
"I love plaid," she says. "Some people might say it's a throwback to preppy, but I was wearing it before it was preppy."
Lena Davis-Brown's husband likes to tell her that she overdresses.
"He thinks I should have on a t-shirt and shorts," she says. "For me, this is dressing down."
When we ran into her in Cooper-Young last month, she said she originally was wearing Ellen Tracy pants, a chocolate halter top, and heels to go to the Taste of Cooper-Young. Then her husband reminded her they'd be walking.
Which is how she ended up in this lovely gradient-shift Laundry maxi dress.
But we think she probably would have looked good either way.
Here's one of my favorite things about doing this blog: when I go up to someone in a cute outfit and explain what we're doing, and they say something like, I just bought it.
Now I also love it when they say, I've had this for years. Because that's just cool when something stands the test of time.
But when they've just gotten it, it's like we're validating their choice. And that makes them happy. Which makes me happy.
Such was the case with Stephanie Rollen. When asked about her Felecia Bella dress, she said she had gotten it that very day.
"My friend told me that everything at Felecia Bella was 60 percent off and the stuff was incredible," said Rollen.
I think this dress was a good choice; it's a flattering cut and the pattern is so vibrant.
"I got another dress, too. ... It was 60 percent off!" she explained.
Not that she needed to tell me. Honestly, at a discount like that, how could you not?
First, can we all agree that a martini glass makes a great accessory? It's really too bad they're relegated to nights and weekends, but maybe that's part of what gives them their appeal.
When I "Mad Men-ified" myself ("Mad Menned"?) recently, I totally gave the Mad Me a little martini glass to carry around. It was either that or Don Draper ...
Oh, right, you're here talk about the clothes. I thought this was really simple but very elegant. We all know how I feel about white pants, and little black top is the more casual cousin of the little black dress.
But Julia McDonald was downright cute when we asked her about it.
"You want me to tell you the brands?" she asked. "That will give away the secret of my cheap shopping."
In the end, we wrested the brands out of her (turns out martini glasses are good for that, too) and she told us her top was from Express and her pants were from the Loft. To finish the outfit, she added a pair of Coach sunglasses.
Susan Ronning says she usually dresses very casually, but she made an exception for the Literacy Council's Taste of Cooper-Young.
This cute print halter is from Banana Republic and ties around the waist. (We had a discussion whether the print is navy or black, and to this day, I still don't know the answer.)
"I dress extremely casual," she told me, "like beachwear and work-out clothes."
It occurs to me that sometimes you can tell a lot about a person by what they're wearing (or by what they tell you they wear, in this case). Like beachwear ... I immediately thought, this person is not from Memphis. This is a California girl. And I am jealous. B/c I really love beachwear.
Elizabeth Blondis doesn't normally wear a dress to work.
"I work in a BBQ restaurant, so I wear shorts and t-shirts to work," she says. "I'm very lucky."
On this particular day, however, the Central BBQ owner was working the Memphis Literacy Council's Taste of Cooper-Young.
This cute wrapdress from Kohl's was just the ticket.
"I just put an apron over it and it's short enough, the apron covered it," she explained.
You know the old knock-knock joke that ends with the punchline: "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"
In this case, I'm glad Betsy Williams Sanders went with both orange and banana for her outfit (as well as a matching litertini from Taste of Cooper-Young). The result is so colorful and fun.
The dress, from Anthropologie, has a great lattice-work yoke and little puff sleeves. And the bag — which has bright blue stitching on the sides — is the sort of accessory that will brighten up any outfit.
When I asked Donya Humphrey what she was wearing, she said sheephisly, "I don't know."
"You don't know?" I was intrigued.
"I got it at a thrift store," she said.
It turns out Humphrey is something of a thrift store expert. Which sort of explains how she could find a smocked-bodice maxi dress — something very big this summer — at a thrift store.
That's not a knock on thrift stores; it's just sometimes you have to work to find the good stuff.
"With thrift stores," she says, "you could be in there for hours. I can do one in 30 minutes."
"I skim. I look for colors or prints I like. You either look at the top of the rack or the bottom," she says. "Sometimes the stuff falls off the hangers so it's good to look at the bottom."