Welcome Spring & The Azalea Festival

I just got back from a brief visit to one of my other favorite Southern cities, Wilmington, NC.  I’ve written and posted a lot about Wilmington on my blog because my friend Jess James lives there and I visit her regularly – she’s my home away from home! Like Charleston, Wilmington is a charming, historic coastal city.  I also work with a great retailer in Lumina Station, out near Wrightsville Beach called Ziabird that carries my jewelry Collection – be sure to pay them a visit if you are ever there. Lynn’s store is a wonderful selection of jewelry accessories and chic coastal attire.

On this trip I also had the pleasure of attending Wilmington’s Annual Azalea Festival Garden Party.  The city, seemed like a living breathing advertisement for all things horticultural. Every flower on every bush and tree and in every garden was blooming to perfection, this was just on my walk to get coffee the first morning I was there:

A friend of Jess’s generously gave us her spare Garden Party tickets.  We went to her house to pick them up – a house that had hosted, some previous evening, the “Azalea Belles.” The stunning home was bedecked in flower arrangements as well, even a couple in the shape of gowns.  Not sure exactly how the “Belles” are selected, but they are ambassadors of sorts for the city of Wilmington. I was actually told by a woman whose daughter was a Belle this year that it was so much work, it felt like “being the mother of a bride.”

This is Dan, the charming and dapper owner of the British Taxi.  He owns a fleet of London Black Cabs that he rents out for special events and promotions.  He was nice enough to have one of his drivers chauffeur us around all afternoon, a good thing, since Garden parties and day drinking seem inextricably linked. David Beckham sat in our very same taxi just a few weeks earlier, not an unpleasant thought as we rode around : )

The Azalea Festival Garden Party itself was in a large field with bars set up on the outskirts and a BBQ tent for lunch under the live oaks.  The sun was pretty intense and I instantly regretted not wearing a huge hat like (seemingly) ever single other person there. I did made a makeshift hairpiece out of a silk flower and vintage brooch at the last minute.   They served some nice cocktails called “Azaleas” with a mix of juice and champagne, the perfect afternoon-nap inducing tonic…

My “headpiece,” above.  And below, I liked this girl’s look – kind of a “Garden Party Nymph” – with a simple flower crown:

Couldn’t resist a photo up with some other Charleston imports, a group of Citadel cadets.  Their uniforms always remind my of Marc Jacob’s great military inspired coats from the early 2000’s, do you think that was their inspiration?  Ha, just kidding.

All-in-all and extraordinarily fun and pretty much perfect afternoon. Azaleas, black taxis, hats and BBQ – and an after party on this surely-over-capacity dock!

Thanks for the ride British Taxi and for the hospitality Jess James!  I thought this photo below kind of summed up the vibe of the whole afternoon and is a perfect note to end on.  Spring is definitely here.



Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! This happened when my friend Jess James and I showed up at brunch wearing the exact same pants on Saturday. We decided to recreate the little “twinsies” emoticon in the middle of downtown Charleston:

Also, I attended the annual Red Party at The American College of The Building Arts.  This would be my second Gatsby themed event in the last two months, but this one I went for a more of a wintery flapper look, with the fox fur shrug I wore in my wedding, a black wig and a custom headpiece designed by Jan a milliner and owner  of AMuse, a little gem of a shop in Wilmington, NC:

My friend Lindsay lent me one of her fabulous CHANEL cocktail rings for the occasion as seen in this flapper selfie with my friend Stella.  It was my truly my glass slipper, because just before the clock struck midnight, a prince appeared while we were out downtown after the party and even took a photo with Lindsay and I!

Bill Murray was such a gentleman and I was a bit persistent about getting this shot (he looks so thrilled) so THANK YOU BILL!  You made our night : )  The Red Party is an Annual event and a fundraiser for The College, housed in an old jail in downtown Charleston.  It is one of the best events of the year, and always just before Halloween, so keep it on your Charleston radar for Fall 2014!

Get Your Gatsby On

In the spirit of Halloween and getting dressed up I thought I’d share a few photos of The Great Gatsby Gala I attended last month in Wilmington, NC – another charming Southern coastal town where Dawson’s Creek was filmed.  My friend Jess James hosts the fab Gala at Wilmington’s Historic Downtown City Club every September.  This is my second year in attendance and it was even better than the first!  Here’s a shot of myself and the hostess at the entrance hiding behind our 1920’s perfume fans (Image via Style Girl):

I decided to don a black flapper wig for the party for a change and I have to say, I think it totally worked with the lighter outfit and my genuine 1920’s jewelry and black sparkly purse.  Short hair is so liberating – I just wish my curls would tolerate it in real life.  My outfit itself was also vintage – probably 80’s but very 20’s in feel.  I got it at one of my favorite Wilmington vintage spots – A Second Time Around.  Shoes from Zara:

This year, I had a date for the evening, my husband John (last year it was just a girl’s night out).  I helped him pick out his outfit and we had a great dinner and pre-dinner cocktails (& coffee, much needed after a long drive!) at a Wilmington gem Manna – with hands down the BEST mixologist in the area!

It was one of those perfect Southern fall evenings, with just a hint of chill in the air.  The light was beautiful and Jess did a fantastic job bedecking The City Club.  All of the guests really got into the 1920’s spirit and came dressed to the nines.  I love a theme party where people really respect the theme – it makes it so much more fun!

Jess even had some models she styled walking around looking the part, like this perfect Daisy, played by Adrienne who is wearing a handmade headpiece from Amuse Artisanal Finery, another great local Wilmington shop.  (Image via Style Girl):

If you need more inspiration, check out Jess’s full gallery of photos from the Wilmington Gatsby Gala here.  And if you live in the Charleston Area and need to scratch your own Gatsby itch, get tickets to The Annual Red Party at The American College of The Building Arts – a great fundraiser and a fabulous party on Friday, October 25th – guess what this year’s theme is?

Spring Fashion Preview

Candy Shop Vintage is excited to be a part of Style Girl Jess James’s Spring Fashion Preview in Wilmington, NC this Thursday!

Come enjoy a presentation and style tips for Spring 2013, including a sneek peek at the rest of our vintage-inspired jewelry collection launching this April.  There will also be mini-makeovers, and, of course, champagne and dessert – everything a girl could want!  The Spring Preview Starts at 7:30 PM and doors close at 8:30 PM to kick off the fashion show.  If you live in the area, tickets are $25 and you can buy them here!