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.”
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
It’s November. And it’s starting to feel like it. Layers save the day, per usual. I had a few meetings in Bentonville and borrowed Elysian‘s alley to capture my ootd. Later, I walked into a gas station and a lovely gentleman with a tear tattoo on his face asked me if I was from LA because I looked “trendy”.
vintage leather bomber with fur collar – m. julian
boots – thrifted (made in brazil)
socks – hue via grey dog
thermal – asos
hat – vintage miss edith via cheap thrills
fringe necklace – handcrafted by emily’s one man band