Thursday, August 29, 2013

Boutique Peek: Allie Cat Arts

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM


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.

Allie Cat Arts is on Facebook and on Twitter at @AllieCatArts.


Felt necklaces by Nikkila Carroll.

Pocket watch “steampunk” pieces by Jan Shivley.

Dessert/food jewelry by Funlola Coker.

Beaded bracelets by Stacy Green.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Local Trend: Andrea Fenise's 2013 Collection

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM


Andrea Fenise didn't begin her career in fashion as a designer. In 2005, she sought a way to pursue her lifelong love of fashion and began styling professionally, building a client base in the music and entertainment business. She also reached out to assist women of all backgrounds — not just developing their personal style, but also their self-image.

"In middle school, I was very shy," Fenise says. Pulling together an outfit was a way for her to express herself. This view of fashion-as-identity aligns pretty closely with the nonprofit Dress for Success where Fenise has volunteered her styling talent. For women from low income backgrounds, fashion conveys strength and optimism, and Fenise's philosophy is that when you feel confident in how you look, there's no telling what you can accomplish.


As she continued styling, Fenise also opened up a boutique, Style Junkie, as a means to make fashion more affordable and accessible to women. After teaching herself how to sew and using her instinct for style, Fenise found that any outfit is accessible with some imagination and a few hours at the sewing machine. "My grandmother was an impeccable seamstress," she says. "It's in my bones."

Since it began, Style Junkie has evolved into a new brand, By Andrea Fenise, which includes Fenise's custom fashion pieces, vintage fashion, and home accessories. This personal brand builds on her experience with styling and encompasses Fenise's ultimate goal: To design a balanced and stylish lifestyle.

We were able to get a look in her work room and preview her first collection, "Americanah," named after the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The novel centers around a confident, self-made single mom from Nigeria making her way in America and "learning what it takes to become a full human being." Fenise, a young, single mom herself, set out to create a collection that would appeal to other intelligent, resilient women who boast a smart, chic, and simple style with a bit of an edge.

Just a quick peek at her collection below reveals the strength of Fenise's vision. Bold colors, cultural patterns, and flattering cuts exude confidence.


Keep an eye out for Fenise's full collection, which will launch soon. For updates and news on her launch party, visit her website. In the meantime, you can shop her etsy shop or request a custom order.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Street Style: Claire's Modern Vintage Appeal

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Shopping for vintage pieces that fit in a modern wardrobe is definitely not my strong suit. So when I saw Claire at Hoot and Louise, I had an instant lesson in how to pull off a very classic look, without looking like a walking anachronism. I commented on her spectacular shirt with detailed beadwork, and when she admitted she found it at a thrift store in Chicago, I was instantly envious of her great find — even more envious because I knew I couldn't just find the store and buy the same top. Of course, that's the great part of shopping vintage: No one else will be wearing the exact same thing.

Claire's overall look hit on several modern trends I've been wanting to try. Her sheer top isn't just for the beach; the beading elevates the style and contrasts well with the dark floral print underneath. The blue skirt, which is also vintage, is the perfect pop of color. She completes the ensemble with her classically styled hair and make-up, adding a modern touch by taking her lip color from an expected deep red to a brighter and pinker tone.

Claire works at Hoot and Louise as she studies photography and non-profit work. Here favorite places to shop are Crazy Beautiful and Urban Outfitters.

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