Sweater – Thrifted
White skinnies – Target
Clogs – Sam Edelman
Sunnies – ASOS
Vintage Dooney & Bourke – The Attic
Make-up: Kory Tyler Simpson /MAC Photos: Mallory Berry/MGB Photo Styling/Concept: Payton Bridewell/The Window Shopper
Lisa Wright opened downtown Bentonville’s Elysian Boutique at the end of 2012. In March 2013, shop moved into its current spot, conveniently located a block from Bentonville’s booming downtown square. When she initially opened, she kept her full-time dental hygienist job while her mom, who retired from WM corporate, worked the store. In the evenings, she would photograph her inventory and post on social sites. At the end of last year, Lisa decided it was finally time to give up on her dual career (as a dental hygienist) to focus on Elysian full-time. Fast-forward to today and the shop is already in the throes of a success story.
Women of all ages and incomes shop at Elysian and Lisa aims to please them all. She endeavors to remember details about everyone who shops at Elysian, she credits her customer service for shoppers returning over and over again. Lisa, and in turn Elysian, is style-focused. The shop is stocked with multi-use pieces, items that can be worn a variety of ways. I asked Lisa for her wardrobe staples and she told me “a blazer, a pencil skirt, a pair of pumps and a tunic can get you anywhere.” For Spring, she is looking forward to mixing black & white with pastels.”
I visited the new & improved SOHO Clothiers in Rogers to pick up a few transitional pieces just in time to look chic for Spring.
I chose the slouchy black & cream pant for it’s supreme versatility. Comfortable but still dressy, the trouser can be paired with virtually anything.
I was immediately drawn to the BB Dakota embellished blazer. The sequins picked up whatever color they were near, making it a wear-with-everything staple. It also had a trim fit which gives it a continuity with the outfit rather than feeling like an add-on.
Make-up: Kory Tyler Simpson /MAC
Leslie Claud Freeman and her family finalized the purchase of the Rogers shopping staple, Soho Clothiers on April 20th, 2013. After almost a year on the ownership side of retail, she’s as enthusiastic as ever. She speaks about SOHO with an air of gratitude, excited to see the store continue to grow, while still satisfying the existing customer base.
She hopes current and new shoppers will come see the “updated” shop. Shoppers have actually been her priority long before she bought the store. Leslie was an apparel studies major at the U of A and spent several years in the fashion industry – first at Mason’s, then at BCBG. Even in high school (yes, I remember!) she always dressed to impress and had the best hair.
When dressing herself, Leslie loves to be feminine but also comfortable. She likes an outfit (like a maxi dress) that takes her from low-key to dressy by the switch of a shoe or the addition of a blazer. But she admits, “nothing can beat a good pair of jeans”. Like most of us, Leslie is ready for spring. Drawing inspiration from magazines and stylish people everywhere, she’s stocked SOHO with color and prints. She’s especially looking forward to helping her customers find those transitional pieces (like the Ella Moss pant or the BB Dakota blazer I chose) to refresh their wardrobe. See the latest from SOHO on facebook & instagram.
Nancy Martin has created something wonderful. That something is a slim-fitting pencil skirt for the gal on the go. The skirt can be wadded up, tossed about, even stuffed in a plastic bag then pulled out and worn again…Can it be true?
Nancy Martin is an attorney as well as one of a handful of fashion designers living in Northwest Arkansas. She conceptualized her skirt operation (aka NA Martin) in January of 2012 and took the line to production in June of the same year. Amazing turnaround, right? Nancy is a lovely lady with a timeless look. I don’t know her well enough to say whether it’s her enormously chic eyewear or her gorgeous hair. Nancy is svelte, poised and polished. She describes her personal aesthetic as “the classic prep look with a twist of counter-culture.” She craves contrast in her wardrobe, putting outfits together that are “simple yet elegant; a mix of the extravagant with the down to earth.” That philosophy extends beyond her attire. She prefers the juxtaposition of high end with low or rough around the edges in all things. Nancy references “a velvet chair with unfinished wood, “ as an example. But, there’s nothing rough about her or her line of pencil skirts.
She created her functional/fashionable pencil skirt to give the fashion conscious lady a “perfect basic” that could take her from the boardroom to the dining room to the bar and beyond. Nancy explains, “this skirt is designed for women of all ages who have active lives. Women who may work or volunteer during the day but need to attend a dinner or meeting at night. Women who want to be able to always count on this basic in their closet. The style is timeless and ageless because of the fit and length. “ She loves the versatility of her creation. She suggests pairing the pencil with “a mesh top with pumps, a white t-shirt with espadrilles or a starched oxford, belt and ballet flats for work.” I concur. It was with that sense of versatility and contrast that I set out to style her skirt in two ways.
Nancy goes to NYC to pick out her fabrics/materials/patterns each season and the skirts are made in the USA! This Spring/Summer look for white, cream and pink pencils with an emphasis on texture. Looking forward to Fall ’14, the pencils will be dark gray, ottoman and olive with a quilted texture.
Klothe Bentonville, AR
Town & Country Fayetteville, AR
Grand on Oak Conway, AR
Women’s Exchange St. Louis, MO
Nancy on her inspirations: I have always loved fashion and art. I grew up with lots of art in our home and with an appreciation of art and music. I love to look at the photos in fashion magazines and create my look from them. I love to travel and do so whenever I can. I think there is no better way to be inspired. Every time I come back from a vacation, I see the world differently and with new enthusiasm. One of my favorite models is Kate Moss. For me she has the look, versatility and body in which to wear anything.
I truly enjoyed styling the #nampencil skirt and working with Nancy. There’s something incredible about borrowing an item from the actual designer. I think the future looks bright for this jack-of-all-skirts; NA Martin has set the bar high & tight. – The Window Shopper
So… turns out it’s really fun shopping for a wedding dress when it’s not for your wedding day. Want to play in a beautiful gown for a day and then give it back with no damage done to your pocket book? Yes, please.
I met up with Farron & Deja at the She Said Yes store in Rogers. We easily fell into conversation about fashion and weddings and dresses (oh my!). Farron told me, “Brandi opened the store after shopping for her own wedding. She realized there was nothing in the area that provided the level of customer service or selection that you could find in bigger cities. So, she left her corporate job behind and opened She Said Yes to fill that void.” And fill the void it has for nine years and counting. Since 2004 She Said Yes has helped over hundreds of brides locally and across the country to find the dress that bring them to say “yes”. But they aren’t sure how many exactly…they don’t keep count. They’re too busy focusing on the bride at hand and making sure she finds the dress of her dreams.
I went into the appointment sure that they would let me leave with a couple of formals that I could whip up a situation where I would wear a formal in my everyday life. However, Farron quickly told me that they were only showing bridal on the runway at NWAFW. So, would I be down to be a bride again? Ummmm yes!
I decided that we should find a few dresses that weren’t too bridal. But that was my only qualifier. For my own wedding, I did not want strapless, only because that’s what you see the most of. For this, no such rules. Farron & Deja took me back to the dressing rooms where there were a few gowns left over from a recent sample sale. We ooohed and ahhhed and they quickly beckoned me to strip. You get really close with anyone who helps you in or out of bridal couture – take it from me. Farron & Deja saw me completely nude within moments of our first meeting.
We found a gorgeous Anne Barge ball gown (a blush silk taffeta gown featuring a beautiful rouched drop-waist bodice that softly flows into a full skirt full of romantic pickups) that was so delightful and princess-like. We went back out into the showroom and I began gravitating toward lace. We eventually happened upon a lacy Romona Keveza (blush silk shantung fitted, with Alencion lace overlay; featuring a beautiful lace illusion sweetheart neckline and soft sweep train) that was sweet and perfect in its simplicity. I told the girls I was feeling an “I skipped my wedding because I wanted to party” vibe for the window shop and they were totally down. Seeing so many brides on the regular, they seemed to get excited about the fashion aspect as much of more than the wedding side. Speaking of the fashionable side of things, they have a very cool concept planned for NWAFW 2014. Farron said the goal is to bring the focus back to the beauty of the dress and how a bride will look in it.
Beauty by Suzannah Files for Crown Beauty Bar | Photos by Darcy Munoz for Hello Luvvy | Styling/Concept: Payton Bridewell for The Window Shopper | Flowers by Pigmint | The jewels are available for purchase at Cheap Thrills