“They’re still here!” exclaimed a couple of enthusiastic women jogging past the CrazyBeautiful downtown storefront yesterday, echoing my own delight after discovering the pop-up shop’s extended stay. As it turns out, shop owner Eryka Smith didn’t expect it either.
The ground floor of a previously vacant building on South Main next to Spindini was transformed into the CrazyBeautiful pop-up for the RiverArts Fest in October. Eryka only planned on being open for the three-day length of the festival.
The pop-up drew such a great response that it was re-opened in mid-November in the same location and will be open through January 10th.
Designer Irina McGuire lends her creative skills to St. Jude Children's Hospital full time as their lead web designer and developer, but her eye for design also finds its expression in her personal style. "I tend to go for classical pieces and pair them with quirky accessories," Irina explains as she tugs on her scarf and looks down to her incredibly patterned stockings.
Originally from Kazakhstan, Irina explains her affinity for scarves and unique stockings are a cultural influence. Owning over 20 scarves, she admits a slight obsession but suggests it's the smartest purchase you can make. We both agree that one great scarf can change your whole outfit.
It could have been the sparkle of the crystals glimmering from her necklace that drew my eye. Or the bright-red bag swinging as she walked.
I try to dissect the elements of Amanda's outfit, mostly focusing on how she could wear a basic white tee and look so superb. But I start to see that I’m losing the whole picture.
It wasn’t one key piece or even the ensemble. It was her energetic presence that pulled everything together.
In the midst of a chaotic few days preparing to launch her second boutique, Alexandra Nicole welcomes the chance to catch her breath and makes the time to meet with me.
"Yesterday, I worked from early morning to past midnight," she says with a couple of deep yawns, referring to a long day at The Attic, the new clothing boutique opening next week with co-owner Ben Scharff.
There's a nervous excitement as she talks about how soon opening day will be, an excitement also driven by the fact that it will be the first clothing and accessories concept in the newly energized Overton Square, a place she sees as a significant Memphis landmark.
As owner of four businesses on South Main and as senior pastor of St. Timothy United Methodist Church, Cynthia Grawemeyer will still routinely take her time looking through her closet and trying on outfits until the right one fits her mood. You will rarely find her in sweats or jeans.
I met up with her at Grawemeyer's, her restaurant serving her family's German-American recipes.
I feel good about two things today: One, James Brown is alive and well on a Madison Avenue sidewalk.
What first caught my attention was the casual but professional mix of a blue jean shirt and a black pencil skirt, paired with nude patent flats (from Payless!)
Our latest fall fashion issue hits the streets today, and it's a doozy.
Because of the clean lines and form-fitting silhouettes we saw from local retailers, we choose to go with a "Mad Men"-inspired theme. And we weren't the only ones.
We shot at one of the most stylish and sophisticated places in town: the Orpheum Theatre. I can't actually show you any of the images yet — you'll have to pick up a copy on newsstands — but I can show you some behind the scenes images. (Sucky behind the scenes images, but maybe it'll whet your appetite, anyway. I'm not much of a shutterbug.)
Here are some of our models getting their makeup done by the simply amazing team from Gould's.
Even Orpheum president Pat Halloran even got into the action.
Amid all the Shop & Swap craziness — taking vouchers, hanging up clothes, trying things on, giving away a bicycle — Justin and I actually took a few style pictures, too.
You know, like we used to do in the old days. Or before it got cold.
At any rate, meet interior designer Ashliey Garner. She wore an Isaac Mizrahi floral skirt paired with a wrap shirt from Ann Taylor Loft, and shoes from Target to the event.
The skirt is one she says works for a variety of occasions, given its breezy feel and the inclusion of a few well-placed sequins.
She puts her outfits together the same way she does interiors.
"I envision a room and it comes together," she says.
(Also, if you look behind Ashliey's right shoulder, you can see another woman leaving the Swap & Shop with her haul.)
The key to a great jean jacket is to never, ever wear it with jeans.
I say that first mostly for my own benefit. I always try to pair them with jeans and then it's either too matchy-matchy or awful, and I think -- as I'm throwing the jacket back into the closet -- how do people wear jeans with jean jackets? And then, at some point, I will inevitably remember, they don't.
LaTasha Cornett obviously has this rule well under control, however.
This is what I would call a classic minimalist outfit: a cute Limited jean jacket combined with a white tee-shirt, black pants, and then — to add a zing of visual interest — a pair of pointy-toed red heels.
"I tend to have a lack of color in my wardrobe," LaTasha says. "I tend to stick to grays and blacks. ... I don't tend to do trendy items."
But the poppy shoes (it's been a while since we've seen shoes that pop!) make the outfit.
Holly Beuke works in development at the University of Memphis. So it's no surprise that she combined this cute, tan suit from Ann Taylor with a blue blouse.
She says her style veers toward classic lines with a bit of flair. Because of her job, however, she has a lot of Tiger blue in her closet.
"Alumni notice when you wear blue," she says. "They also notice when you wear orange, but I don't wear orange."
As the event coordinator for Minglewood Hall, Angela Martinez has perfected day-to-night dressing.
"I have to be ready for appointments during the day and concerts at night," she said.
On this particular evening several weeks ago, she was headed to Shelton Clothiers' Mark It for Market event. We loved how she paired several classic pieces — the leather jacket, the pearls — in an unexpected way.
"I do like classics, but you have to throw in something a little eclectic," she said.
In addition to her jacket and pearls, she was wearing a cardigan, a gray pencil skirt, and a pair of Gucci slingbacks.
Just because someone is dressed casually doesn't mean they can't have style.
Case in point: Marie Blount.
With this she paired a striking jacket — love the 3/4 sleeves — with black pants and a blue tee.
When I complimented her on the jacket, she said, "I probably paid $15 for this at Rue 21."
Turns out Blount is a girl after my own heart. She considers herself a bargain shopper and says she often helps pick out things for her friends. With $100, she can find them "the look for less," including accessories, sometimes even a purse.
Downtown's Shelton Clothiers, long a favorite for men's suiting, has good news for the fairer sex: They're opening a women's store this spring.
"We have an established customer base," says Christine Shelton. "This is a natural extension of our brand."
To celebrate — and see just what women want — they held "Mark It for Market" last weekend. With images lining the walls, attendees were supposed to mark what they wanted the Sheltons to buy while they're at market this week.
Merry Mitchell is working with them to open the store and is already something of a walking billboard.
Shelton Clothiers already carries pashminas like the one Merry is wearing, and they also plan to carry what Merry says are very comfortable pants.
"It's like you're naked," she says. "It's a light-weight material."
The pants come in a variety of colors: black, brown, gray, teal, and purple. Merry paired them with a simple black sweater and a classic jean jacket — "the one every girl should have in her closet" — but noted you could dress the pants up with a silk blouse and wear them to a cocktail party.
The other interesting thing about the material is that the pants aren't hemmed. But don't worry, you don't need a tailor. Merry says you can cut them off and they're fine. No hemming required.
I have to say, tons of colors, feels like you're naked, no hemming required: I'm intrigued.
What does a president wear?
Well if it's the president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Terry Woodard, the answer is chocolate brown pants and a matching jacket.
"I wanted to bring out my brown eyes and I wanted to stay warm," she says.
And probably a scarf. When I mentioned how I loved the Pop! of her scarf, she told me she collects them. Like, really collects them.
"I have more scarves in my closet than anything else," she says. "I have more scarves then shoes."
This week, in my other life, I wrote about the new downtown law school and how good it is for the area.
And Dani Huff is a perfect example of why.
Justin and I caught up with the law student Friday night, wearing a super-cute dress she got from a Knoxville boutique and cowgirl boots.
She said she wore the dress because it was comfortable and stylish.
"I thought it went well with my cowgirl boots and that's always fun," she said.
There's no objection here.
Also, I thought her bag was a great choice. She said it's the one she's been carrying for about a month, but I liked the way it complemented the pattern of her dress.