Leith Clark, Editor-in-Chief of the always dreamy Lula Magazine, once said, “I love dresses that look like little cakes.” This quote has always spoken to me, because I, too, believe that there is a strong aesthetic cross-over between the way I look at food and the way I take to fashion. For me, fashion, like food, should not just make me feel good, but should also get me really jazzed up in the way that it looks. Cakes themselves can be really dainty and adorable and frilly, but can also be really architecturally-unique, just in the same way dresses can (if you can’t tell, I LOVE THE FOOD NETWORK/ COOKING CHANNEL A WHOLE LOT, but this really is true for me). Likewise, I am not a subscriber to the notion that to be in fashion is to dislike food --- I’m not exactly sure at what point in history this seed was first sowed into our minds, but it is an idea that has been propagated for far too long.
So with that, I was extremely excited to have gotten the chance to attend a special pop-up shop at The Highline Gallery last week for Audrey Grace, an Etsy store run by a woman named Jaclyn Bethany where the motto was essentially: “Let Them Eat Cake (And Other Pretty Sweet Things).” Although the shop’s theme was Marie Antoinette, from the moment I walked in with my best friend Emily, it was more like walking into the midst of a pink sugar factory with loads of sweet things to look at (for example, a table full of Magnolia Bakery's cakes and candies) --- so there was definitely good vibes all around. Audrey Grace, a combination of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, is the perfect name for this Etsy shop; all the decorations and dresses exuded the same characteristics that these women did, only trade in the paparazzi film cameras for modern day bloggers snapping pictures for their Instagrams.
Everything was hyper-feminine and came in little pastel colors that look like little scoops of sherbet (WOW I AM HUNGRY), making it hard for me and my friend Emily, and basically everyone around us not to be excited. When you first walked in there was jewelry, flower crowns, and walls of fashion sketches by people like Caitlin Shearer, but right around the loft’s corner was an entire room filled with racks of vintage dresses hand-selected by the Audrey Grace and the Small Girls PR team.
Alexa Chung inspiration collages
The clothing was designed by some of my favorites like Rachel Antonoff, Leah Goren (whose Etsy shop I wrote about for Refinery29), Orla Kiely, and Alexandra Grecco. Prices ranged from $10-$400, but I have to say as a high-school student who buys the majority of my clothes myself, I really do feel like everything that I liked was affordable as it was really nicely made.
In my school, there is one big prom for the juniors and seniors, but I can’t attend it this year as I am going on a school trip to India which happens to leave the exact weekend of prom. I can still go next year, but my school doesn’t have dances other than these, so I was really looking forward to my Pretty in Pink prom moment where I would wear something rad, like this lavender dress I found at the Audrey Grace pop-up shop. Oh well, there’s always NEXT YEAR…
So many potential prom dresses, just teasing me.
Emily also found her dream prom dress, but alas, she will not be wearing it this year, either.
Have you guys heard of the band SuperCute!? SuperCute! perfomed at Audrey Grace that night; to the left, is my friend Julia Cumming from the band. Her dress is a vintage selection from Audrey Grace and next to her is my girl Emily, wearing a vintage gingham dress and some vintage pins to match her backpack.
This dress, and the one above it, are by Alexandra Grecco. She had a whole series of these available at Audrey Grace where she painted things like cats or in this case, stars on her dresses.
From left to right: Julia Cumming, Rachel Tratchenburg, and Olivia Ferrer of the band, SuperCute!
The band, with lyrics like “you think you are so hardcore/but we can make better smores,” couldn’t have been a better fit for the party. Check out their music here.
There was a rack with this pink plastic poncho thing that I liked because it really was a mix of my inner Twiggy/Lizzie McGuire, but of course because it was the hardest thing there to put on, that was the thing that got my picture taken as I struggled to win the battle of Emma vs. Poncho.
Me and Jaclyn Bethany, owner of Audrey Grace Vintage.
Nothing says a vintage party like cats, I guess, because there were SO MANY cat prints everywhere. This dress is by Leah Goren.
The Virgin Suicides inspiration board
Meeting my idol from Rookie Magazine, Leeann Duggan and being dorky.
Rachel Tratchenburg, Julia Cumming, Emily Theoblad, Leeann Duggan, Me.
My absolute favorite thing I found there was this leather heart varsity jacket. If it weren’t for the fact that it was $200, I would have bought it immediately.
I had to try on the jacket too... me and Leia Jospe working it in the dressing room.
Right before I left the house to go to the Audrey Grace party, I cut this mermaid nightgown that I purchased at a thrift shop during the summer into a mini-dress. I was going for a "Doll Parts," Courtney Love vibe, which isn’t my usual source of inspiration at all, but I like this particular mix of an innocent pink night gown with the black boots. The dress also spurred a long conversation with an old man on the subway about why I was in a nightgown, which is always interesting!
508 West 26th Street (Off 10th Avenue)
The Audrey Grace Pop-Up boutique is still open till 8PM, and today everything is 25% off since it’s their last day! If you can’t make it, check out Jaclyn Bethany’s Etsy page here.
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