NWAFW Window Shop: She Said Yes Bridal

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.

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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.

TWS SSY 2 Jan 26, 2014, 4-46 PM 2848x4272

IMG_2723I 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!IMG_2833

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.

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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.

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Find out more about She said Yes Bridal online & @shesaidyesbridal on Instagram. This post is in honor of Brandi Rushton and dedicated to her recovery.

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

buy these one-of-a-kind vintage baubles NOW at cheap thrills

buy these one-of-a-kind vintage baubles NOW at cheap thrills

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What I Wore: Weekend Wedding

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what I wore: dress – gracia c/o plato’s closet, heels – bcbg, coat – marvin richards (my mother in law gave me this!)
This past weekend, we went South for the wedding of one of Ro’s childhood friends. It was a  lovely wedding complete with so many gorgeous flowers that I was tempted to break in later and steal them all. This Gracia dress (which normally costs $120+) was a gift from Plato’s Closet for my feature on them for NWAFW :). Love.

The Window Shopper marvels in Mae’s Emporium

photo by Jade Howard

photo by Jade Howard

[CLICKABLE: see ALL the photos]

NWAFW March 13-16, 2013 The Chancellor Hotel

MAE’S| 352 N West Ave, Fayetteville | 479-575-9626 | fb | insta | email
Photography: Jade Howard [web | insta | email]
Hair: Jenn Harbour of Ultra Salon [web | fb | email]
MUA: Fallon Yockey of Luxe Beauty [ web | fb | insta | email]
Stylist, Writer, Model: Payton Bridewell [web | fb | insta | email]

*window shopper photo by Mallory Berry of MGB Photo

favorite maes

So… you can see that I love Mae’s (let me count the ways). This collage is a mix of outfits from the past year or so, each one contains an element from Mae’s Heirlooms .. Click à here for all things tagged with Mae’s on The Window Shopper.

Mae’s Emporium (or Heirlooms – it’s listed as both on various outlets) is unlike any store I’ve ever been in. It holds the stuff of dreams. The vintage/antique bauble boutique is housed in a room the size of a tin can. It’s very small but packed to the literal brim with sparklers and trifles from almost every era. Jessica Graham, the lady of the shop, opened Mae’s nearly five years ago after a stint of successful trunk shoes. The shop has since become an institution for avid collectors and date-party-bound sorority girls alike. She, along with the two close friends that convinced her to set up shop, is and has always been a vintage jewelry enthusiast. They saw the opportunity to translate their zeal into a completely individual offering for our area. The shop has a short week {w-s 11 to 4ish} but it’s not for a lack of merchandise. At any time, there are pieces from the 1860s to the 1980s and almost every time in between.  Jess loves the history behind each shiny thing and that inspires her to travel far and wide in search of pretties. She tries to stay close to home for most searches, though. She (like most of us) attempts to keep her money in NWA when she can, plus she has two adorable young sons.

In my opinion, what’s extraordinary about Mae’s isn’t just its distinct place our community; it’s the range of items available, the multiple price points (multiple options for $8 to $800, most in the bottom half of that array), and quality wares. A rival just doesn’t really exist anywhere else. Take a gander at the gorgeous, expertly-styled snaps on the store’s instagram, maintained by Jess, of course.

by Jade Howard

I feel like this picture is a perfect representation for what happens each time I stop in Mae’s. I’m like, “I’m here! Make me sparkle!” I feel like I’m bursting in, bull-in-a-china-cabinet style, every time I walk into the teeny shop. Blink and you’ll miss it from the outside, the small space is a veritable treasure trove past the front door. Personally, I have always preferred pretty over practical in a gift, especially from a man. Every holiday that implies gift-giving, I tell Ro (my hubby) that I want something sparkly. He usually delivers. But, I have no qualms buying jewelry for myself. I could complete any ensemble with something fabulous from Mae’s.  I’ve worn my finds all over the place, to my rehearsal dinner, to Razorback games, to events, to work, to everything. Each piece is one of a kind and reminds me of a special time in my life.

Jess, on the origin of her store’s name:

Seven years ago (while I was still doing independent trunk shows) I bought a locket to chop for parts from a dealer in Texas. I unpacked the box of estate spoils to find a handwritten note that warranted a change of heart…the note read;

“I hope that you enjoy this necklace. I have owned it myself for over 25 years and it’s time to pass it on. It belonged to one Ella Mae Prothrow- a gift from her husband, Samuel “Boss” Cain, for her birthday. That would have been in May of 1885- give or take a year or two. Her beloved husband died in a mill accident the very day he gave her this. She wore it every day until she died at the age of 92 and never remarried. Theirs was a great love story I have cherished and I hope you will too. It should be worn and shown- enjoy!”-Fanny B

After such a tale how could I do anything to it but preserve it? Not only does that piece hang in Mae’s under glass, but we took her name as well- and MAE’S it was :)

 

Mae’s is partnering with Lola on the runway Friday night of NWAFW 2013 (3/15). I know I can’t wait…

 

Details:

All jewelry from Mae’s, styled by Jessica Graham & Payton Bridewell

Dresses/Shoes – Payton’s own | Black Dress – Ann Taylor (thrifted) | Floral, White Eyelet, Teal Dresses – Vintage (Cheap Thrills)

What I Wore: Halloween

what I wore: fabulous spandex dress – vintage td4 by eletra from cheap thrills (find it on etsy), thigh high boots – aldo, socks as gloves

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For someone who loves clothes and dressing in general, Halloween is a veritable holiday. I always look forward to it and this year I found my costume in the form of this spandex dress early this summer. I knew I had to have the dress but honestly couldn’t foresee any appropriate occasion. Then…a light bulb: Morticia Addams (a la Anjelica Huston of course). I’d been devising and conniving for months but it didn’t really come together until late last week when I found the perfect suit for Ro’s Gomez. Ro will pretty much dress as whatever I suggest but he cannot be counted on to procure his own costume. You may find it hard to believe but I really don’t mind shopping for him.  It was as if the stars aligned, I was attempting to find a semi-suitable suit for him without him present which is next to impossible. I happened upon a gray Halston pinstripe ensemble at a local thrift store that was listed at $20. I thought it might be close enough to his size but I wasn’t sure and if it happened to be too small or too short, I would be out $20, which I never enjoy, even with a bargain. I got it home and it literally fit better than some of his tailored suits. I was in thrifted nirvana. We had a fabulous time and I had an excuse to look sullen in photos – which of course, I don’t need.

years past

What We Wore: Seeing Red

what I wore: top – copper key (thrifted), blazer – j ashford (similar on etsy), jeans – vintage levi via grey dog, boots – dolce vita from lola boutique, necklace/earrings – vintage from mae’s, sunnies – asos (similar here)

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Usually I don’t have pictures of what I wore on the weekend but I’m trying to get better. I typically feel awkward asking someone to take a photo because it always ends up an ordeal. Last weekend, I forced the issue. I even got a snap of Ro, looking handsome if I do say so myself.

What Ro wore: polo – curly tail, pants/shoes – asos, watch – tissou, sunnies – rayban

What I Wore: Anniversary Dinner

what I wore: dress – vintage via cheap thrills, heels – steve madden

This dress has been around the block, as is the case with all good vintage. I first saw it in the window at Mae’s, (I was truly window shopping!) then my friend Angela wore it beautifully to a wedding (here) earlier this summer. A few weeks ago, my mom surprised me with it after my friends at Cheap Thrills told her I had my eye on it. I’d been saving it for a special occasion and our 1st anniversary was just that.