Behind the Five in One's deep red-facade on Broad Avenue, owners Alice Laskey-Castle and Michael Andrews provide Memphis artists and creatives a space to collaborate and share their work with each other and to the public. Essentially an art studio and gift shop, Five in One Social Club (also known as vini) hosts several art socials, including the upcoming holiday events such as the W(rappin) Party tonight at 9 p.m., and Soda Can Cookie Cutters social tomorrow. The purpose is to go home with a completed art project you'd want to show off to your friends. Think their tagline: "Kindergarten for Grown Folks!"
The retail shop carries products and art pieces from all local artists and vendors — everything from note cards to posters, jewelry to hats, including the Made in Memphis brand made by vini. Consider this the ultimate gift guide for virtually everyone on your list.
View the slideshow to see what caught my eye. The Made in Memphis trucker hat topped my list that, sure, may be perfect for your bearded man, but one of the vini friends Chelsey, a hair and make up artist, shows that authentic Memphis attitude can be paired with a good pair of boots and a classy bib necklace.
There will be special holiday hours until Monday, December 23rd - noon to 9 p.m.
You can also shop the online store: fiveinone.org/shop.
Five In One Social Club
2535 Broad Avenue
Five in One's Wrapping Party
Today we get a rare glimpse of food/lifestyle blogger Cheryl Hurley's kitchen as she prepares chocolate vegan cupcakes.
Fittingly, Cheryl is dressed for comfort to whip up this comfort food — hair tied back, ballet flats, and thick-framed eyeglasses unintentionally masking her other persona of certified vixen. (She's a burlesque performer and pin-up instructor.)
Her at-home look exudes a sense of intrigue and, with the right apron, the type of allure that is completely charming.
“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.
Well-known milliner Amy Downs is foremost a hat enthusiast and is actually curious why one wouldn't wear a hat. She's confident she could make someone a convert just by having them try the right one on.
Last week, Downs traveled by train from New York City, where she resides, to Memphis, the second stop on her trunk show tour. Hosted by Bar DKDC, this special pop up shop was my first introduction to the esteemed Amy Downs collection. Thankfully, Downs' husband Gary Rudy was also there eager to entertain my 7-year-old with magic tricks while I perused the vast assortment of hats.
The wide range of hat styles confirmed her notion that one could really find that perfect hat and become a hat enthusiast just as she was. Festive straw hats topped the tables while winter hats reminiscent of many eras filled the racks.
Both men and women delight in her collection, not only to adorn their heads but to also boast that they own an Amy Downs original.
Currently, the only way purchase an Amy Downs hat is through her trunk show. Her next stop is Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, November 23rd.
Amy Downs Trunk Show
Milliner brings her "Mad Hatters" tour to Memphis.
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.
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.
Last Thursday, it was fashion for a good cause at the annual Strut! Memphis fashion show to benefit the Community Legal Center, which provides legal assistance to those who can't afford it. The runway styles were provided by the shops of Laurelwood, while Mercedes-Benz of Memphis provided the venue that quickly filled with more style mavens than I could photograph.
The night kicked off with a cocktail served by one of the celebrity bartenders, including Mayor Mark Luttrell, Fox 13's Kontji Anthony, and the Flyer's own Jackson Baker and Bruce VanWyngarden.
Before long, the event's energy heightened with what seemed like a flash mob of swing dancers raiding the runway. The music then leaped ahead 40 years with crowd-pleasing hits by Michael Jackson. Guests bopped in their seats as models in exquisite coats, leather boots, detailed skirts, and beautiful dresses whirled above the crowd on the runway.
Click the slideshow to see a few of the runway looks and stylish Memphians I met. You can visit the Strut! Memphis website for more photos.
On the Scene at Strut! Memphis
It was a very fashionable night.
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.
I discovered Mae on a visit to Tamp & Tap, one of Memphis' newest restaurants/coffee shops. In the middle of downtown, adjacent to urban eyesores and empty retail, it’s a visual oasis, though it would be in any hip city.
And inside the picturesque interior, I caught a glimpse of Mae’s high bun and thick bangs as she dashed past me cleaning the tables. I immediately grabbed my camera.
Some look to fashion magazines and runway shows for style inspiration. Others find much more inspiration through people around them in an environment where fashion must also function practically. Inspiration comes through seeing a perfect balance between the practical and artistic realm. As an ode to Mary Cashiola's original intent of Style Sessions, I'm resurrecting the Style Diary series that documents real Memphians and their style solutions to their typical work week.
Today, we feature Fabiana Vazquez, my colleague and a recent graduate of the University of Memphis architecture program, transitioning to the professional but creative office environment of Looney Ricks Kiss, an architecture and interior design firm based in downtown Memphis.
We use the rich architecture of downtown as our backdrop to demonstrate how Fabiana strikes that balance between the comfortable and the stylish with her easy-to-wear pieces inlaid with colors and patterns that perfectly fit her contagiously exuberant personality.
Sitting in the audience of a New York fashion show, among the expected fashion writers and photographers, you find illustrator Kris Keys using ink and watercolor to tell the story. In only a few minutes, a vibrant sketch emerges that catches the spirit of the event as it happens.
As a sought-out illustrator, Kris has sketched at fashion week for WGSN, a fashion trend website, while also using her degree in fashion merchandising. In her two years in New York City, she interned with designer Trina Turk and bridal designer Jussara Lee. In 2011, she made a big move to London to take a course in the foundation of fashion, be inspired by another fashion mecca, and continue to create her signature sketches. Many times gracing the audience as an observer, Kris wants her artistry to one day take the stage.
Today, Kris is making another leap in pursuing her dream as a fashion designer. When I finally caught up with her in Memphis, her hometown, she was once again bound for London in less than a week to study Fashion Design and Development at the London College of Fashion.
After missing several live portrait events she organized as part of her effort to fund her tuition, I met Kris for lunch at the Beauty Shop where she also demonstrated her illustration skills between bites of her salad.
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.
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.
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.