Retailers are known for pushing the seasons; swimsuits in January, wool sweaters in August. But no season is pushed as heavily in stores as the holiday shopping season. Holiday decorations are put up as early as Columbus Day, and gift guides, coupons, sales, and promotions push the average consumer to buy, buy, buy for three months straight before putting it all on sale December 26. One retailer has a more gentle, refined approach to the holidays. A long time favorite of mine, Anthropologie creates thoughtful works of art for its’ displays, and offers elegant shopping events versus one day sales. I had the privelege of attending just such an event at my local Anthropolgie in Montclair, New Jersey and enjoy their magical Holiday Fashion Show.
In the name of full disclosure, I should mention that my teenage daughter participated in the show, so I had the added fun of watching her transform from 14 to 30 in a matter of hours. A bit of eyeshadow and some hot rollers and BAM! Many of the girls in the show were modeling right next to their mothers and grandmothers (I’ve been told by the teenager that I am to join in on the fun next go round). The notion of models ages 14-64 walking the same runway is a testament to another thing Anthropolgie does well– provide ageless clothing for women. Just when you’re feeling like an ancient relic in their sister store Urban Outfitters, you know you can always find something tasteful yet whimsical at Anthro.
I chose not to particpate in this particular show because…..fear. The thought of this fashionista having to wear something I didn’t chose and “walk the runway” in front of actual people terrified me. But after having watched the show and seen what their talented District Personal Stylist, Jennifer Burnley, had created for each of the women and girls I would put myself in her capable hands any day.
Anthropolgie is known for an aesthetic that some (a.k.a men) have mocked — it brings to mind artisianal hand crafted appliqued lace infused fringed beaded mohair twee sweaters with exaggerated fur cuffs, but in Ms. Burnleys’ hands their clothing looks special. Unique. And completely and totally “you”. Known also for her expert accessorizing, she is able to transform a mom uniform of “jeans and a sweater” into an outfit worthy of a holiday party or night on the town. In the fashion show, the girls looked like girls and the women looked like women. No Lolitas or Cougars on her watch. I left the night with gift ideas. and outfit ideas. It was a magical, cozy, sparkly holiday dream.
All photos by Claire Rosen Photography