Last night was the second and final evening of the first ever Memphis Fashion Weekend.
The evening began with the Spring collection by Annie Griffin, the joint endeavor of native Memphians and sisters, Annie Griffin and Robin Gerber. The two now work out of Atlanta, but their line of lively, feminine casual wear, with bold colors and accessible style, can be found at Oak Hall, Lavish, Isabella, and Therapy (in Oxford, MS.)
Without further ado...
Up next was Billy Reid's Spring collection from his menswear line, available at Oak Hall. Judging by the resounding catcalls, the predominantly female attendees were either won over by the teaser of male models in an otherwise women's wear fashion show, or they were so enthralled by this laid-back, yet sophisticated collection that they could hardly contain themselves. You pick.
After a brief intermission, the show switched gears to a more vintage vibe with What Goes Around Comes Around featuring vintage Chanel. WGACA is an impeccably curated collection of vintage items, as well as a line of custom-made vintage items (clothes that have been recycled and reworked into new pieces.)
And rounding out the evening was a collection of evening wear by Neil Bieff. The shows were arranged in a nice casual-to-couture progression, culminating in this elegant display of rich colors and stunning gowns.
Hats off to Memphis Fashion Weekend and ArtsMemphis for a great weekend! We're already looking forward to MFW 2013.
The inaugural Memphis Fashion Weekend started with a bang last night. Jack Robinson Gallery was packed with local styleites looking for the kind of high fashion show Memphis sees woefully little of. What's more, this event secures a strong place for fashion in Memphis' future — by benefiting ArtsMemphis and up-and-coming local fashion designers.
In that spirit, the night began with the Spring line from Ellis Dixon, a Memphis native who now works out of New York City. Her line was dominated by crop tops, pretty neutrals, and feminine silks and shapes.
Next up, Carol Peretz introduced a Spring line of cocktail and occasion dresses with sumptuous textures, feminine patterns, and bold colors.
And finally, Philosophy's Spring collection wowed attendees with exquisite lace details, elegant draping, and an overall ethereal quality.
Tonight we'll be heading over to A. Schwab for the second and final evening of Memphis Fashion Weekend. Stay tuned for the next installment of Catwalking in Memphis!
The big to-do benefiting ArtsMemphis begins tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at Jack Robinson Gallery, where the first fashion show will showcase spring wear from Ellis Dixon, Carol Peretz, and Philosophy.
Come back Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the second show, this time at the newly re-purposed space upstairs at A. Schwab, and gaze upon the newest lines from Annie Griffin, Billy Reid, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Neil Bieff.
But if you find yourself on South Main tomorrow without a ticket, don't fret! Not only will we be covering the event here at Style Sessions, there's also a delightful little detour you can take for a casual, sandy retreat: That's right, Le Saispas Vintage and Hoot + Louise are having a beach party.
- New and vintage spring/summer clothing!
- Drinks with the little umbrellas!
- Whatever happens!
We're sold. Now you have no excuse to stay in on Friday.
In addition to vests, which we've mentioned, Matt loves the following things for spring: baggy sweaters and t-shirts, loud sneakers, anything seersucker, vintage Lilly Pulitzer, and bold patterns and colors.
With this Ralph Lauren oversized sweater, Matt paired a white polo, a red canvas/brown leather belt from the Gap, driving loafers from Cole Haan, and these bold tribal shorts that he got from a vintage store in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.
"I like bold patterns and a lot of colors; it's important to stand out," he says. "My tribal shorts are probably one of my favorite things.
"I always wear this blue sweater — it's really comfortable and versatile. It's good to balance the plain white top with patterned bottom," Matt says.
Speaking of vests ...
Matt says his inspiration for this casual outfit is Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris.
I can see it. With the vest from a Summer Avenue thrift store, the ripped Levi's jean shorts, and the cotton tee from Urban Outfitters, it's like preppy surfer.
"I don't think fashion should be taken all too seriously," Zack, er, Matt says. "It's supposed to be fun and make you feel good about yourself. If you don't like what you're wearing, choose something else. No one has the right to tell you what's acceptable to wear."
See? He even got the feel-good, after-school-special moral of the story in there.
This is one of Matt's going-out outfits.
And I know that b/c I saw him out on South Main one evening in this very same outfit.
His sister gave him this vintage beaded Indian vest (I remember it having the most amazing back to it).
"I can't really get enough vests right now," he says. "I know it's kind of an impractical article of clothing, but I think they're fun and can add a lot of excitement to an outfit."
He paired this particular vest with a linen shirt from J. Crew, dark-wash William Rast jeans, and dark brown cowboy boots.
"I love wearing cowboy boots because they are loud (literally, the noise) and make me taller," he says.
When my Rhodes College interns started at the beginning of the year, I asked them both if they knew of anyone on campus who would be good for the Fashion Week feature.
Both of them — without knowing what the other had said — recommended Sarah Knowles and Matt Tamason.
Matt has a very interesting fashion aesthetic — you'll see as the week goes on, very eclectic and fun — but we're going to dive in slowly with what he describes as a more conventional outfit.
This is something he would wear to class or to an internship: a basic blue J. Crew sweater, a gingham dress shirt from Ralph Lauren, and gray cords from Argentina with a yellow Zara belt he got in Spain and sneakers he got from Sneak Peek on Main.
I would say something about this combo, but I think Matt says it best:
"While blue and gray create a flat and cool surface, the yellow and red turn the temperature up a bit with warm colors, breaking up the plainness," he says. "The black shirt ties in with the black splattering on the sneakers."
This is one of Shalishah's Sunday brunch favorites.
"It's super sweet and vibrantly colored so it subliminally makes me feel happy," she says.
(Does this remind anyone else of their entire childhood summed up in a dress? Really? Just me?)
For this or similar pieces, you can check out Shalishah's online boutique, Strange Fruit Vintage.
Shalishah describes her personal style as multi-faceted.
"One day, you could see me in 5-inch high heels, then the next day, in Chuck Taylors," she says. "I do things a bit more daring at times. I think a bit less about what people say, and I get inspiration everywhere."
Strange Fruit actually began as an event production company, so it would stand to reason that Shalishah would know what to wear on a night out.
"I'd pair it with a matte red lipstick and hair tussled like you didn't try very hard, but really you tried extremely hard to make it look so darn carefree," she says.
The outfit is a vintage black and white ribbed spandex dress — which I swear I saw some really similar things in the stores in the last few months — with a red blazer.
"I thought the blazer would add a bit of formal to the flirtiness of the dress. I'd wear this to a luxe spot in Memphis like one of my faves, Mollie Fontaine."
Also, since we're talking about going out (and you may have missed it the first time) Shalishah's online boutique, Strange Fruit vintage, will be having a launch party Saturday 7 p.m. at Mpact Memphis, 506 S. Main
"I consider this my 'try and see' outfit," says Shalishah.
"We all have these visions in our heads of how we want things from presentations to outfits to furniture arrangements in our living rooms," she says. "What I am beginning to realize is that it never really hurts to try and see if it works."
For this outfit, she put a multi-colored blazer *underneath* a pleated linen dress and then added black leggings.
"I didn't want to stop there so I added the necklace, belt, and the shoes," Shalishah says. "I used to be heavily in love with accessories like hats, purses, shoes, and jewelry. I still am, but now I feel a little more free clothes wise."
Last November, Shalishah "Petey" Franklin was in Las Vegas visiting her mother when the two of them went thrifting.
"I saw so many things I wanted, including a huge boom box," Shalishah says. "I realized I couldn't keep all of this stuff. But more importantly, I couldn't pass up on it, either."
Instead, she decided that she wanted to open a boutique in Memphis that specializes in vintage clothing from the 1980s to now.
"Since then, I have traveled throughout the country, thrifting, digging, and seraching for amazing finds," she says.
The end result is the upcoming online boutique Strange Fruit Vintage, which will be having a launch party this Saturday, April 17th, at 7 p.m. at Mpact Memphis on South Main Street.
But here at this portal, Shalishah is going to teach us a little bit about being your unique self, defining your own style, and dancing to the beat of your own drum this week.
Would you believe this red and black tropical print is a one-piece jumper? Shalishah paired it with a grey leather belt to "wrap it all together."
"I'm currently having a love affair with the 'boyfriend blazer' trend. It works with just about everything," Lauren says. "When I purchased [this one from Macy's], it had some weird decorative pins on the collar. I promptly removed them."
With this boyfriend blazer, Lauren wore a purple print BCBG skirt and a white tank that came with a multi-chain necklace attached. She says she removes that from time to time, too.
It's an outfit she says she typically would wear to a party or on a fun night out with the girls.
"The shoes are from ... ahem ... Charlotte Russe. Can't beat a shoe bargain from time to time," she says, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Thanks once again to this week's Fashion Plate Lauren Mabon, and photographer Annabella Brandon of Asian Bees photography for doing such a fab job shooting Lauren all around the Peabody.
I think we learned a lot, again. For me, this week made me think about the importance of finishing an outfit with a belt or a nice jacket. And Lauren also has a reading recommendation for us: Nina Garcia's "The Little Black Book of Style."
"It discusses style and fashions for every occasion," Lauren says. "It sits on my coffee table, making it easy to find when I want to reference it ... and believe me, I do."
I'd say it's working.
As part of this week, Lauren sent me several style quotes that she lives by:
"Fashion fades, style is eternal." — Coco Chanel
"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world." — Better Midler
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." — Leonardo DaVinci
I think the last one is especially pertinent with this a dress from Cache that Lauren bought for New Year's Eve:
"I love the feel of the fabric and the jewel-encrusted one-shoulder feature, and the color really pops," Lauren says. "It definitely makes me feel very feminine and somewhat empowered."
This is a great dress. It's a very basic, but very flattering cut. And when you add in the visual interest from the single sleeve and the ruching, I think it's very sophisticated.
Also, the bangles are from the not-so-super-secret hometown favorite, importer Jun Lee on Summer.
Lauren says every girl should own a trench coat and a white tank top. I agree, but I also think every girl should also own a close-fitting leather jacket. They're cool; they're hot; they work with just about everything.
And I've been looking for one forever so you can imagine my jealousy when I saw this one from Bebe that Lauren is wearing:
"It's very soft," she says, "perfect for the fall or spring."
She put it over the afore-mentioned white tank and a pair of AG skinny jeans from Indigo, to create what she calls her go-to outfit for the weekend. (I know it's Thursday, but it's spring. And weekends start earlier in spring and summer.)
"The leopard print shoes are BCBG. I love animal prints ... in moderation, of course," Lauren says. "I like the fact that my shoes don't exactly match my bag. It's fun to mix and match prints and colors."
Lauren Mabon is a belter.
For those of you in the vocal arts, I'm not talking about a mezzo-soprano (tho, for all I know, she might be that, too).
No, Lauren, the very stylish marketing and communications person for Leadership Memphis, like belts.
"I like to belt everything," Mabon says. "Not only does it cinch the waist, it completes the outfit."
The outfit, in this case, being a black pencil skirt that is actually part of an Ann Taylor "interview" suit but rarely gets worn as a suit, a gray cardigan from Express (please note the buttons on the sleeves), and a purple tank that is "actually a not-so-safe-for-work piece purchased from ... ahem ... JCPenney."
"But it looks very appropriate layered underneath the gray cardigan," she says.
Her accessories include the belt, silver BCBG heels, a metallic clutch that her aunt gave her for her birthday, and an XOXO watch that she wears to work everyday ... even though it's not set.
"This is my typical work day outfit: professional, yet somewhat chic and trendy," she says.