Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Inspires Me?

While Zoe always inspires me, I am not feeling inspired on my blog posting tonight.  But I have been thinking a lot about the store and thought this was a good time to share this post that originally appeared on the Old Town Boutique District website blog just before Zoe's second Birthday in April.

Shop Owners are asked a lot of questions. But with Zoe’s Second Birthday almost here, one of the most intriguing pops to mind.
I had just completed an enjoyable discussion with a customer. As I was ringing up her purchase, she was talking about the selection of items available at Zoe and she asked, “What inspires you?” I had to pause for a moment and then my answer was obvious–”The beauty that comes from all forms of art.”
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My budding artist revealed herself at the age of 4, when I refused to do anything but paint for two weeks at my hometown Montessori school. While it was quickly determined that my talents didn’t lie in this discipline, I happily filled my easel paper with bright colors and broad brush strokes. I still have those pre-school paintings and they remind me of one of the earliest instances where art brought me joy.
All forms of dance followed and as I graduated from wobbly tondues to pointe shoes and grande jetes, I developed a great appreciation for the human form, the elegance of defined and clean lines, and stories that could be told without words. And music! The sheer loveliness of a well-written score, the ability to deliver the notes on cue, and the memories that songs provide for us influences me every day. In fact, any time you walk into Zoe, you never know what you might find playing on our iPod – I appreciate and embrace all genres of music.
But what does this have to do with style and Zoe? Oscar Wilde once said “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” I would disagree slightly with him. I believe all of us are a unique work of art and the clothing that we choose to wear should enhance our beauty and express who we are by painting a picture for the world to see.
When selecting the items sold at Zoe, I look for pieces that are going to allow women to express themselves while at the same time be functional and comfortable. I look for beauty in the patterns of the fabrics. I imagine what the drape of the garment will look like on a real human form and what feelings it will evoke for those wearing it (and those who see them). I seek embellishments that add interest to the garment, not overpower it or distract from the wearer. I look at how the piece will move with the body and what the visual impression will be.  Where one person might see a pleat, I see possibility. As James Laver once said “Clothes are never a frivolity:  they always mean something.”
I’ve often thought it was meant to be that Zoe was located a block away from Old Town’s artistic gem, The Torpedo Factory. The many talented resident artists that I’ve met as well as creative students continue to inspire and motivate me. When you stop in to celebrate Zoe’s 2nd Birthday this weekend, make sure to ask me about my favorite pieces and why I chose them for Zoe’s customers. And learn why I think of clothing as more than just something to wear.

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