NWAFW: The Perfect Pencil (Skirt)?

NA Martin @ NWA Fashion Week

The #NAMPENCIL c/o NA Martin

The #NAMPENCIL c/o NA Martin

Make-up: Kory Tyler Simpson | MAC * Photos: Mallory Berry | MGB Photo * Styling/Concept: Payton Bridewell | The Window Shopper

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.

Nancy Martin models her creation c/o NA Martin

Nancy Martin models her creation c/o NA Martin

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.

Look #1: skirt  > NAM Pencil in Black hat  > Vintage lace top > Plato’s Closet necklace > Beehive heels > MACA Clothe

Look #2 skirt > NAM Pencil in Black fanny pack > Thrifted heels > Vince Camuto headband > Forever21

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.

Find the NAM Pencil online, by appointment or at the following retailers as of Feb 2014:

Klothe Bentonville, AR

Town & Country Fayetteville, AR

Grand on Oak Conway, AR

Women’s Exchange St. Louis, MO

Nancy Martin c/o NA Martin

NA Martin Designer, Nancy Martin

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

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The Best Skirt/Dress

what I wore (previously): skirt – esque, belt/blouse – vintage via cheap thrills, earrings – charm & chain, ring/bangle – mom’s, bangle – house of harlow, sandals – lovely people, necklaces – vintage via mae’s
There is a lovely local designer in NWA called Leslie Pennel, her line is esque. I was lucky enough to pick up the above (what I thought was a) skirt from her line at Cheap Thrills.

I loved it as a skirt and while I am typically good at seeing the many ways one item can be worn, it was lost on me. The designer was nice enough to enlighten me to it’s many uses, which I utilized at the beach. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that we can wear the things in our closets in so many different ways.

what I wore: dress – esque by leslie pennel via cheap thrills, belt – vintage, arm party – mae’s/vintage/dannijo

What I Wore: Black & Blue

what I wore: blouse – ann chabrol, skirt – freeway, heels – gianni bini, earrings – mom’s

These are my “game of thrones” earrings. They look like little pirate swords and I plucked them from obscurity in my mom’s closet the other day. I’ve always been crazy about my mom’s jewels and have been lifting them from her for close to 16 years. Every time I look through her jewelry I find something I haven’t seen before – something I want… Luckily, she lets me borrow and borrows from me.

Zara Wishlist

I may have mentioned my intense love/hate relationship with stores like Zara and H&M. While I love them dearly, I am prohibited from shopping them because of where I live (yes, Arkansas). Happily, I will be going to Dallas next weekend to visit my wonderful Aunt Ann. She is always amenable to shopping with me and has taken me to the loveliest little vintage shops. This time I’m going prepared…with a shopping list…for Zara!

LEATHER DRESSLEOPARD PRINT PLATFORM COURT SHOELEATHER WEDGE ANKLE BOOTSNAKE PRINT SCARFVELVETEEN MILITARY COATBLAZER WITH LEATHER COLLAR AND ELBOW PATCHESASH GREY WOOLLEN STUDIO CAPETULIP-SKIRT DRESSPRINTED DRESS WITH CONTRASTING WAVE COLLARFRAYED MINISKIRTCRÊPE TROUSERS WITH CROSS OVER FRONTBELL BOTTOM JEANSSWEATER WITH CONTRASTING FUR SHOULDERS'LEO & LISA' LONG SLEEVED T-SHIRTBLUCHER SOFTSHOULDER BAG WITH POM-POMCHAIN BELTCOMBINED HIDE BELTFeather necklaceSTRIPED STRETCH BRACESPATTERNED HANDKERCHIEF

All from Zara.com