Style Stud: Bus Stop Boutique

logoAs a tall gal, it has taken me a VERY long time to embrace sky high heels. I would always admire them from the sidelines. Maybe purchase them and just gaze longingly at them in a glass case. But only recently did I rock them with zero fucks given.

But even if you don’t care, standing next to a 5 foot girl, as a 5’9 girl wearing 4 inch heels .. is super awkward. I end up resembling Gigantor and in an effort to make fun of myself before anyone else has the opportunity to, I will stomp around making growling noises (I’m normal, I swear).

My dream has been for there to be a middle ground between amazing stilettos and kitten heels, so I can still feel like I’m wearing big girl heels, but not looking like the damn Jolly Green Giant whilst standing next to my teeny tiny friends. But alas, none can be found, unless you like Easy Spirits … which no … just … no.

Enter Bus Stop Boutique, stage right. We fell in love on Instagram (I feel like I should make up a song about this), when I saw my fantastic friend Sarah (yes I spoke about this earlier this week), rocking a fierce pair of heels that I needed to have. I made her take me to this mystical place where I knew there was just something special about the shoes.

If you live in Philly, congrats, now go to Bus Stop Boutique immediately. If you are looking for a cool pair of shoes, something out of the ordinary and want ace customer service by the lovely Elena (owner of Bus Stop Boutique), bring it on down to Queen Village.

But in all honesty, the reason why I fell head over heels (no pun intended) for this boutique is because it catered to the tall girl. Yes, they have stilettos and insanely cute flats, but they also have the rare and illusive mid-size heel … aka a tall girl’s dream. You can still strut and be sexy, but not turn into a sky high beast.

I would like to thank Bus Stop for treating my tootsies like a queen and for hooking me up with a pair of heels that make my feet feel completely and utterly fancy. Sometimes we need an extra special pair of shoes to get us from A to B … and this is the spot to get um, ladies.

Now indulge with me over just a few pairs of shoes I’m drooling over for fall …

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Style Stud: Smak Parlour

sp-homepage-1-10-14For those of you not from the Philly area, well … first of all I feel sorry for you. But I also feel sorry that you don’t get the opportunity to enjoy one of my fave boutiques in the city, Smak Parlour. It’s not just because every time I walk in there I want to step up my style game and reinvent myself, it’s also because of the owner’s, Abby and Katie, who are two bad ass chicks that set their minds to something and turned out leaving a lasting impression in the world of fashion as well as on the city of Philadelphia

I had the ultimate pleasure of speaking with them and getting the lowdown on the parlour itself, their inspiration, and what we can expect from these fantastic ladies in the future.

What was the inspiration behind Smak Parlour? How did you come up with the name?
We met when we were 15, bonded over fashion and worked towards having a store together ever since then. Smak Parlour has been a lifetime in the making. We had a wholesale line of deconstructed and embellished t-shirts called “SMAK by abby and katie,” that we sold to boutiques across the country before opening our store. After finding our Old City storefront, we had tailors sewing SMAK in the back (in our sewing parlour). We were making SMAK in the parlour and just days before opening, “Smak Parlour” came to be.

Where are some chic places we can catch the Smak Parlour fashion truck in 2014? What is the best way to find it?
We recently just drove our truck into the Convention Center for the Tattoo Convention. We will be vending at The Porch (30th St. Station) on Fridays through the spring. We are vending at the Suburu Cherry Blossom event in April. In addition, we are booking plenty of fun private shopping parties! We will be posting our events on Facebook and Twitter. We will also have an event calendar on our website.

Tell me about any new designers/collections you will carry in the new year.
We are super excited about a jewelry line we just brought in from a local Philly designer named Angela. She handcrafts rings and necklaces featuring a range of images from iconic pop figures like Audrey Hepburn, Abe Lincoln and Darth Vader to animal-themed pieces with dog and kitten portraits.

If you could give advice to young girls starting out in the fashion industry, what would it be?
Fashion and retail is less glamorous then you think, it takes dedication, lots of time, hard work, and LOTS of creativity. We love it and feel if you have passion for what you do, you can overcome the hurdles!

How did you both get into fashion? What are your inspirations?
We both shared a love for fashion and have worked in retail since we met in high school. We grew up designing our own clothes from thrift store finds and safety pins. We went to Drexel University for Design and Merchandising. Our shared tastes have always been in the vein of a little bit girly meets rock ‘n roll.

Why did you decide to open your boutique/fashion truck in Philly?
We worked in New York’s garment district after graduation and realized we needed to be doing our own thing to be happy. Being from Philly, we wanted to open a shop in our hometown! The truck came 8 years later. It was a no brainer .. .going mobile is the future. We bring the best of Old City directly to our customers!

How would you define Philly style?
Philly style is very eclectic. There is a grittiness to it, which works perfectly with our brand. We have a definite edge to our style.

I’m in love with the design on Smak Parlour … how did you come up with its look?
We are inspired by Japanese Culture, Pin- up looks, Tattoo Culture, and Downtown New York in the 70’s and 80’s. We love using non-traditional ways to merchandise, such as glittering cinder blocks! The combination is truly unique and feels like a doll house.

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Hey! Philly Does Fashion Week, Too!

CaptureNew York City. Meh. London. Uh huh :::files nails:::. Paris. Yawn. Milan. :::Epic eye roll:::.

It is all about Philly fashion week, people! We got style, yes we do … even though most of the nation thinks we are extremely fat jerks who stuff our faces with cheese steaks and soft pretzels (only a quarter of the time is that true, a thank you very much).

But yes, I am proud and confident enough to say that Philly is turning, slowly but surely, into one of the most fashion-forward cities in America. Will you see Anna Wintour front row in any of the shows/boutique events? Probs not, but I would like to warmly invite her to do so on behalf of the City of Brotherly Love.

And talk about a hipster’s dream come true! Years from now when a more chic and exclusive car company that doesn’t even exist yet is sponsoring Philly Fashion Week, you can proudly scoff at all the labeled-out fashion editors stomping out of the Four Seasons and into the tents at City Hall (yes, this is how I imagine Philly fashion week to look in a couple of years) and say, “pssh I was attending Philly fashion week before these ladies even knew Philly was on the map.” Oh yeah … it’s happening.

But until Anna Wintour arrives and before the fashion world realizes how truly unique and stylish our dear city truly is, we will remain “underground chic,” which I personally think is pretty damn cool.

So for those of you who would like to be “underground chic,” here are some of the most fun and fashion-forward events from some of my favorite designers and boutiques that this city has to offer.

Vintage Designer Pop-Up: Join Fashionaires as they share their designer vintage collection at Palomar Hotel for one day only. Let’s talk about McQueen, Valentino, Oscar de La Renta for up to 80% off the designer store price tags … swoon.
Date: Friday, September 20th starting at noon at Palomar Hotel

The Philadelphia Collection (Okay, take a deep breath because over 60 fashion shows, events, and parties will be happening during this monumental week … here are just a few of my favs).

Hope Chest Undressed: SPANX is here, ladies … what, what! Have some cocktails, enjoy some entertainment … mingle, and oh yeah … get those unruly bumps smoothed!
Date: September 19th, 4-7 p.m., Hope Chest

Rittenhouse Row Fall Fashion Crawl: Boutiques, like one of my favs South Moon Under, will be bringing their fall fashion a-game for an evening of events, cocktails, and pure style.
Date: September 19, 6-8 p.m., Rittenhouse Row

Dressed To A Tea With SA VA: Time to act like proper ladies, which means it is totally cool to faint over fantastic fall fashion from local designers Irina Sigal, and SA VA. Can’t promise that a dapper gent will be there to catch you and fan you back to life, though, so faint at your own risk.
Date: September 21, 2-4 p.m., Sofitel Philadelphia

United By Blue Grand Opening Celebration: Let’s welcome this community-focused boutique to Philly the proper way. I mean come on, every product you buy not only rocks but helps remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. Our aqua life thanks you in advance.
Date: September 25, 6-9 p.m., United By Blue