Thursday, February 12, 2009

Palm Beach Recession Chic 2009

Jamee Gregory outside Church Mouse on Chilean Ave.
by Jamee Gregory

Palm Beach, post-Madoff, suffers from Recession Blues.
Rumor has it some desperate types have been heading to rather elegant thrift shops like Kofski’s and the Church Mouse to dispose of their wares. I decide to explore these establishments. The former’s Palm Beach branch is filled with lovely porcelain, old silver, paintings and some furniture. I ask the sales girl if any furtive clients had come in to pawn their treasures.

She assures me that such clients would never visit, but instead call the proprietor and invite him to examine their collections in the privacy of their homes. Any new merchandise was going to be auctioned off next month in West Palm, so shoppers get ready! The Church Mouse was filled with cast offs from the island’s well-dressed. Many sharp-eyed fashionistas have been known to pick up vintage Courreges, Pucci and Lilly. They are often tipped off by the eagle-eyed personnel when donors arrive with vintage couture. There was even a 50% off sale in progress! Both establishments are worth a visit.
Kofski's selections (above and below).
Inside the Church Mouse-racks of sale clothes.
Meanwhile, Michael Kors hosted a fabulous breakfast in his sparkling new Worth Avenue boutique. Guests, like me, who came in support of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and this year’s dance Chairman, my talented pal Hilary Geary Ross, were quickly able to overcome their resolution to only shop their closets. Tantalizing dresses in shades of turquoise and coral tempted even the most stalwart.

Sexy sandals, flashes of beads, navy red and white striped knits marching past on beautiful models, giant polka dots and gingham checks with witty commentary from the designer had us all laughing and lusting again. A long table filled with friends and flowers ran down the store’s center, dividing the shining white space. Passerby stuck their faces to the window, waiting for the doors to open. Michael’s winning numbers, from bikinis to long brightly knit gowns were swiftly purchased, demonstrating that desire can still stir shoppers, even in the darkest Wall Street moment.
Michael Kors in his dazzling new store.
The ladies catching up.
Coral combinations.
Blaine checking it out. Pat Patterson.
Pretty in pink.
Ladies sit down for lunch.
F.S. Henemader Antiques offers a phenomenal collection of corals and decorative shells, just perfect for Palm Beach interiors. The bright array, in tune with these Green times, will tempt anyone who longs for a taste of the beach to raise their spirits.

Another bold, bright shop is C. Orrico, a lovely destination bursting with colorful preppy beach ware. The bright colors and crisp designs, harking back to the Swinging Sixties and Lilly Pulitzer, will instantly fight gloom. Better than anti-depressants, these shifts, bags and belts will put a smile on a weary face.
Henemader's collection of antiques, shells and bibelots (above and below).
C. Orrico's colorful array of preppy Palm-Beachy clothes (above and below).
Piles of bright tees, polos, and sweaters in Orrico.
Having trouble sleeping? Stop at Kassatly’s chic emporium for elegant, high-thread linens, printed and monogrammed, a sure recipe for sweet dreams. Try a crisp white nightgown covered in flowers, or a baby pillow to rest your head. A symphony of blue and white linens will calm any anxiety, providing soothing serenity.

Need new shoes? Try the new outpost of Sigerson Morrison. At a price point well below Manolo, these sexy flats and sandals will add spring to your steps.
Kassatly's embroidered linens.
Sigerson Morrison's selection in the hot new shades of plum and purple.
If you have not been hit or just want to look, be sure to visit Mary Mahoney’s fabulous shop. All Palm Beach’s best hostesses adore Mary’s taste and come here for Herend and Porthault. Colorful faience flower-shaped bowls are perfect for sunny climes. Melon-shaped tureens would make even Campbell’s Soup look grand. Feeling down in the dumps?

A walk through this tasteful store will provide inspiration. You could always pick up flower-covered scalloped plastic placemats with candy stripes on the back for an inexpensive double-whammy.
Mary Mahoney's elegant tablescapes, a true source of inspiration.
Last but not least, Lisa Perry’s new outpost will make you smile. Turn off Worth into Via Encantada, next to Calypso, for a look at her brightly colored clothes, table ware and umbrellas in bold colors. Her graphic designs, based on vintage 1960s, will brighten your table and lift your mood. How’s that for retail therapy?
Lisa Perry's disk-like hand bags and a geometric jersey dress.

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