Public relations manager Sarah Stramel is battling the cold weather in style with her colorful scarf, wool coat, patterned tights, and ankle boots. But nothing cuts through the dreary air like her warm smile, something Sarah describes as one’s most important accessory, particularly as a professional woman.
The Attic clothing boutique opened its doors over a month ago as the unique slice of retail in Overton Square's main intersection of Cooper and Madison. It's hard to miss, but since Yvonne Bobo recently installed her kinetic sculpture in the corner plaza right in front of the shop's storefront, it's even harder to miss. Just look for the 30 foot tall sculpture.
With their official grand opening party set for this Friday, owner Alexandra Rushing has filled the 1,300-square-foot space with an enticing array of men and women's apparel and accessories. As I browsed all the clothing and jewelry, I added one item after another to my wish list elated. Some of the key items that are selling fast are the Lola jeans that slim your body, colorful scarves, simple cardigans, Chilly Jilly portable ultra soft pants, and fold away ballet flats.
The stand-out item I snagged right away is the Mighty Purse by Handbag Butler that is not only a sleek clutch but also charges your smartphone! Other than the red shown in the photos, they also come in black, silver, and gold. I can confidently say it will be my favorite purchase of the year.
A Look in the Attic
Sophorn Kuoy checks out the new clothing boutique in Overton Square.
I purchased this practical but bold accessory on a whim, but I'm convinced that with its wide brim and eye-catching color, this hat will help tackle my cool-weather woes for seasons to come.
Leather-trimmed rancher, Anthropologie. Blouse and corduroy pants, Urban Outfitters. Shoes, slingback wedges from a Portland boutique. Paper beaded necklace, Bead for Life, beadforlife.org. Vintage carved bangle, yard-sale purchase from vintage jewelry collection by Debbie Cochran.
Photographed in Overton Park's Old Forest, coincidentally the same location used for the latest Memphis Flyer fall spread by stylist Augusta Campbell and photographer Justin Fox Burks. See it here.
Last Saturday's condom-themed fundraiser for CHOICES was the place to be for tasty nibbles, cheeky cocktails (prophylactic punch, anyone?), and, of course, outfits made out of rubbers.
Participating local designers included: Kong Wee Pang, Rebecca Belz, Brittney Boyd, Dominic Wolfe, Kitty Devaney, Nick Bursoni, Clara Siegler, Amie Eoff, Ashley Whitten Kopera, Robin Owens, Janice Benning Lacek, Jordan Silvia, Heather Robbins, Mitch Baker of Theatre Memphis, and Bruce Bui of Ballet Memphis.
For more of the dresses and jewelry that lit up Playhouse on the Square, check out our video:
With music provided by DJ Homework, Strange Fruit Vintage's pop-up shop will offer more than 200 vintage pieces, priced from $20 to $100.
A portion of the proceeds from an era-specific $5 photobooth — that I personally can't wait to see — will benefit the Odessa building fund.
At the Lisa Kurts gallery on White Station tomorrow from 6- 8 p.m., they'll be celebrating the "White Party Art Reception" with work by Burton Callicott, Marcia Myers, Joan Konkel, and Christine Heyman. And, from what the Flyer's calendar says, "white clothing optional."
Last Friday, I headed to VINI for the Dress the Derby fashion show with the Dirty Printmakers of America.
They had some really cute designs. Unfortunately, I spent my last $5 on a (pink!) plastic cup of beer so I didn't get to buy a t-shirt. Merp. (I was woefully unprepared for the weekend. Something about writing a serious cover story this week or something.)
In addition to the cute tees, the derby girls modeled Thigh High jeans, crazy/awesome knitted hat/ponchos/masks/merkins, and the most darling little aprons from FlyingHearts.
Clements also makes "corset corsages," wristlets that lace up the back like a corset.
Dr. Jennifer Hobbs is originally from Chicago but has been in Memphis for about two years.
We ran into her at the Brooks on a day when it was blistering cold to native Memphians, like hide-in-a-blanket-in-front-of-a-fire kind of weather, but to a native Chicagoan, it probably felt like, well, spring.
"I get excited when it gets cold because I can wear my boots," she says.
I liked how she was rocking this lovely eggplant coat with a simple cotton scarf from Banana Republic. Purple isn't an easy color to wear, but Jennifer is doing it with aplomb.
She says she needed a new winter jacket and recently ordered this one online in a winter coat clearance sale.
"I probably wouldn't be able to wear it in Chicago right now, but it works fine here," she says.
Last week, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art held Wined Through the Galleries: An Artful Scavenger Hunt.
Armed with glasses of wine and a map of the museum, teams scoured the galleries to find the answers to questions such as "Flutter by these creatures with wings to find a princess who whistles and sings. What is her name?" and "Find another object in this gallery where the location of its birth is written on its face. Where was it born?"
There was no chance we were winning that ^ so Justin and I held a scavenger hunt of our own.
First find? Brooks staffer Elisabeth Callihan.
She said that many of the things she was wearing were gifts: the boots she got for Christmas and her dad gave her that wonderful scarf.
This made me think that maybe she doesn't like to shop, so I asked her about it.
"I like to," she said, "but my credit cards don't like it."
Yep, we hear that.
But speaking of shopping, I especially liked the black, wood bangle Callihan is wearing. It's simple, but because of the color and the material, has a nice heft to it. Turns out she got it in the museum's store, which is another fabulous find in itself.
Shooting in a museum has its challenges. My heels make a horrible racket on the floor, everyone is busy looking at the artwork, and the security guards seem to want to jump into every shot.
Oh, and you're not allowed to use a flash.
I have to say, tho, Justin met the challenge head on, using the museum's "natural" lighting to light the shots.
See what I mean? Of course, I think some of the credit also goes to Cameron Ogg, a college student home for winter break.
Ogg says she loves doing greys and blacks with a bright color, in this case, an eggplant purple cardigan with a grey shirt from Express and a dark jean.
"I wasn't sure how dressy or how casual it would be, so I went with jeans but tried to dress it up," she said.
Kat Morisy recently underwent wardrobe triage.
The Cornell student is studying Arabic and International Relations and, when we ran into her at the Brooks scavenger hunt, about to go live in Jordan for six months. So, what does one take when you go to Jordan?
"It's a pretty conservative society," she says. "All my skirts have to hit the knee."
It's also an international flight and one suitcase away. So Morisy and her mother had been going through her closet, making sure all the shirts she was bringing would match all the pants she was bringing, and trying to figure out all the different ways she could wear each article of clothing. There was even talk of taking pictures of each outfit so she could remember what they were.
(I have in my notes "figure out how to turn a dress into shorts" but I'm sure that's not right. An interesting concept, perhaps, but more likely just another victim of my increasingly bad handwriting.)
The boots she's wearing in this picture she actually got for her trip.
"They're not really what I had in mind," she says. "They're not as high as I thought I was going to go."
She's paired them with leggings and a sweater she got last year but still wears all the time.
"It's warm, but still cute at the same time."
Sadly, though, she won't be wearing it for the next six months: The sweater is staying in the States.
Today I would like to talk about shoes that POP!
I would *like* to talk about shoes that POP! because these definitely do, but I can't because I guess I didn't notice that they POPPED! until I saw this photo. And frankly, looking at my chicken scratch notes, who knows if cute little Sarah Piazza told me anything about her shoes?
(Note to blog readers: If you see Justin and me out and we want to take your picture and your shoes POP!, do me a favor and say, "Hey, have you noticed my shoes? They POP!" Thank you. And now we will return to your regularly scheduled blog post.)
Piazza came to party with us at the Flyer's Best of Memphis party a few weeks back, choosing an almost-basic black dress that she got from Plato's Closet.
"I collect black dresses," she says. "You can do anything to them."
In this particular case, she has tied a scarf around her waist as a belt.
"I didn't like how loose it was. It was kind of boring," she says of the dress.
But add a belt and a warm-toned shoe and, voila! not boring.
Speaking of shoes that POP!, look at these.
And in this particular case, I actually got some information about them (though I'm sure through no fault of my own).
"Everything I'm wearing is ancient and put together at the last minute," Emily Halpern told me. "I wore black because I wanted to be understated."
The top came from Sachi, while the jean jacket is from the Gap. Those were paired with Uniqlo jeans and red Calvin Klein heels.
"It was fairly monochromatic until I added the shoes," she says.
They add a nice POP!, no?
Halpern also mentions a rule of fashion: Keep the classics in your closet, even after they've gone out of style. Her jean jacket, for instance, is about six years old.
"I like to hold onto things. For a while, they might not look good, but after some time, they work."
In keeping with today's general footwear theme, let's talk about Joel Halpern's boots.
We could also talk about Halpern's J. Crew shirt and uniqlo jeans, or the fact that Style Sessions is making an effort to be more inclusive of dudes, but let's talk about the boots.
He says he's had them for three years, and when we ran into him, he had just had them resoled that week.
"When you find a good pair of boots, you keep them," he says.
[I personally could not agree more. I've got a pair I've had since high school and you know that was a long time ago.]
Unfortunately, I cannot read my notes as to where he got these boots (Best of Memphis was kind of an anomaly. Usually my notes are very neat.) but he did say that they were one of the "biggest investments" he's made.
Last week was the Flyer's Best of Memphis party and I have to say, most of the attendees looked pretty damn good. Take Eryka Smith, for example.
(For more examples, you can check out the Flyer's Flickr set here.)
Smith is the owner of Crazy Beautiful, the winner for Best Women's Clothing Store for two years in a row. For the party, she and her friends all dressed in these cute, petticoat dresses from Hell Bunny.
"We like to step it up a notch," Smith says.
She paired the Hell Bunny dress with bling from Gasoline Glamour. But it's the petticoats that are the real stand out, pun fully intended. Smith says they're selling very well this fall.
"We've been selling them in the store to girls who are conservative and even they're rocking them," she says.
Speaking of stepping it up a notch, even Justin and I cleaned up for the occasion. Of course, we didn't stop long enough to have it documented properly. But I can assure you, when we stood still, we looked very cute.
EDITOR'S NOTE: p.s. Justin doesn't have any sort of offensive mustache, or any mustache at all. Just so you know. Unless he's grown a beard since I've seen him last. This picture is somewhat misleading.
You know how l love clothes with a story. This entry of Style Sessions is more like a saga, so bear with me a minute.
A few months ago, I happened to watch The Mentalist, and fell in love with both Simon Baker and the costume designer's use of three-piece suits sans tie. Hottt.
(Excuse me while I fan myself off for just a minute.)
I loved the look so much in fact that I wanted to find a slim-fitting, three-piece suit for the Flyer's fall fashion issue. Unfortunately, I was a little pressed for time this year and never came out up with anything.
At some point later on, I ran into the very charming Brett Magdovitz of Get Down and we started chatting, like you do, and though he is a connoisseur of the jumpsuit, he mentioned he owned several three-piece suits.
And then he said he would wear one to the Best of Memphis party. And I said that if he did, I would make Justin take a picture.
(To be completely accurate, Magdovitz didn't actually wear this to the party. He wore a Cuban shirt and some sort of pants, but I *might* have made him go home and change and come back. Maybe.)
"I'm bringing back three-piece suits and jumpsuits," he says of the two retro styles.
This was actually the first time Magdovitz had worn this suit (he accessorized it with an "Earl" belt-buckle, but you can't see it in the picture). And he would never have found it if he hadn't done a good deed.
He was driving near Highland and South Cooper one day when a hitchhiker waved at him to stop. He said he would give the guy a ride and the guy told him that he was needed to go to his best friend's estate sale. Apparently both the hitchhiker's best friend's mother and father had recently passed, and "there was all this unbelievable stuff."
Brett ended up getting a pair of boots, a hat box, and two other suits (This actually could be two other jumpsuits. My notes are unclear. What can I say? It was late in the party).