Saturday, September 25, 2010

Level 23

I’ll be frank and I think you’ll agree— the last thing I’d call Winston-Salem would be a playground for fashion. With a grand total of two (TWO!) appealing boutiques, local shopping distractions are basically nonexistent. No Kitson or Olive and Bette’s here, which is probably a blessing in disguise considering our workload… but I digress.

Today’s adventure led me to Level 23, Winston’s newest retail addition. Housing oft-coveted brands like Ella Moss and Splendid along with denim staple Adriano Goldschmied, I recognized the path owner Angela Pereira wanted to forge and was curious about what else she had to offer. Upon my entrance, I caught a glimpse of swingy cotton tunics, bright empire-waist sundresses and of course, a denim wall. It wasn’t until I paused to browse piece-by-piece that I was able to set aside the store’s most interesting items for scrutiny.
 Puff Sleeve Top
Maj, $94

Jean Shorts
1921, $90

Bani Skirt
Yana K, $130

Cocoon Top
Maj, $127

 Boyfriend Short
AJ Jeans, $90

 Laser-cut Dress
Maj, $105

The clothes were fun, but perhaps the highlight of my trip was discovering that someone else shared our philosophy on Wake fashion. Tending the cash wrap, another Wake senior articulated her frustration over how blah style is on campus. “I just feel like a lot of girls at Wake wear this uniform that consists of J. Crew, Tory Burch and 7 For All Mankind," she said. "I’d say 70% of my closet is made up of clothes that are preppy and classic because it’s what I wear here, but the other 30% is very different stuff. I wish I could wear funky scarves and get dressed up more… and I don’t mean sundresses."

Well said. So while it’s undeniable that this town kind of has a long way to go in terms of competing with the global fashion capitals, I commend Level 23 for stepping outside the preppy bubble to foster these unique LA brands, as well as the mindset that personal style shouldn’t be confined to boundaries defined by a single design aesthetic.

Cross-posted HERE.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

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