Best of Indy: Style

Pillow Fabrics

Vespas! Hipster eyeglasses! Vintage cameras! The cottons on display at Crimson Tate bear adorable prints you wouldn’t even know to look for, unless the names Amy Butler and Lotta Jansdotter mean anything to you. (Both top textile designers are represented here.) While intended as a store “for the modern quilter,” the Mass Ave purveyor offers 1,000 bolts of cheery fabric by the yard in addition to precut squares and fat quarters (pictured). 845 Massachusetts Ave., 317-426-3300,

Wedding Gown Designer

Saying yes to the dress is easy when it’s drawn and sewn by Erin Young Designs Fabric and Dressmaking Studio. Young, who trained in couture at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, handcrafts original beauties and restyles “something borrowed” dresses that might have belonged to Mom or Grandma. Erin Young Designs is located inside M.H. Pomander’s Bridal, where you can browse for wedding-day accessories. 1101 E. 54th St., 384-1070,
Secret Showroom
The mother-daughter team behind Ollier Distributors, a to-the-trade lighting specialist, hunkers down inside a gritty industrial complex on the near-east side, up a concrete stairwell and past a cavernous, empty room with missing ceiling tiles. What justifies the hunt? Only some of the finest, most exquisite light fixtures in the city. Ollier serves as the exclusive U.S. and Canada distributor for Aldo Bernardi and sells the modern-farmhouse pieces to luxury spas and chic restaurants. Local professional designers are welcome to source from Ollier, too, and their clients can make an appointment to see samples of the aged-copper beauties in person—and learn all about Bernardi from owner Carol Ollier-Lengkeek, an associate of the artist. By appointment only. Circle City Industrial Complex, 1125 Brookside Ave., Ste. 202, 317-634-5000,
EnzasdressPocket Boutique
Shopping at the postage-stamp–sized Enza’s Boutique feels like perusing a chic executive’s walk-in closet. The entire store, nestled inside the businesslike downtown Chamber of Commerce building, is no more than eight steps long, but it’s packed with the makings of a polished, pulled-together wardrobe—elegant gowns, mod little jackets, courtroom-to-cocktail suits, flowy printed pants, knit tights. Favorite labels include Eva Franco (retro-cool frocks) and Byron Lars (Michelle Obama’s a fan). Don’t see your size? Don’t worry. Every single piece is custom-fitted and tailored, an amazing deal considering the price range of $200 to $400.  320 N. Meridian St., Ste. 109, 317-951-4085.
Gifts for the Butler Fan
Elvis, a 4-year-old rescue bulldog who weighs 55 pounds, loves laps, and takes long, energetic walks, $550 adoption fee. Indiana Bulldog Rescue, an organization that will ensure responsible pet adoption. 317-432-2944,
BU rawhide dog bone with edible imprint, $9.95. Bookstore inside Atherton Hall, 704 W. Hampton St., 317-940-9228,
Lower-level tickets for the Georgetown home game on Jan. 11, $45 each. Hinkle Fieldhouse box office, 510 W. 49th St., 800-745-3000,
Gifts for the Gourmand
“I Like Pig Butts and I Cannot Lie” T-shirt, $21. Goose the Market, 2503 N. Delaware St., 317-924-4944,
Locally designed Pop Greetings card, made to fit on most wine bottles, $5. for local retailers.
Wine-cork bow by local artist Eric Wallentine, $190. Chatham Home, 517 E. Walnut St., 317-917-8550.

Cheap Art

At Homespun, hundreds of unframed prints by local and regional artists are displayed like vinyl records: in a waist-tall bin and organized by name, a show of respect rarely given this genre. The works range in size from wee 2″x2″ squares to wall-worthy 46″x48″ posters, and seeing them all in one spot makes you realize, warm-and-fuzzily, how many talented artists live in the Midwest. And also how many you can easily support—most of the digital prints and silk-screened works cost less than $30. Flip to Jillian Nickell’s amusing, alliterative alphabet illustrations (“Tall tyrannosauruses are terrible typists”), $16 apiece. 5624 E. Washington St., 351-0280,

Greeting Cards

Purdue grad Kate Smith and her husband love to “voice” their French bulldog Frank the Tank’s human-like actions and personality. Two years ago, the Layafette residents put their words about belly rubs, squirrels, and butt-sniffing—accompanied by cutout photos of the canine—on paper and launched From Frank, a greeting-card line sold at Target, select Urban Outfitters, and nearly 200 boutiques around the country (including The Bungalow in Broad Ripple). Three dogs and a cat, the Frenchie’s real-life Hoosier pals, have since joined him as paws-itively adorable cover models. Visit for local retailers.

Jet-Set Wardrobe

Carmel’s 14 Districts speaks to the well-traveled woman with divine togs from designers not represented anywhere else in the city, such as Raoul from Singapore and Zeffira from Italy, among the labels out of France, New York, and California. You can count on finding colorful tunics and tank dresses if you’re dashing off to an island when most stores are pushing sweaters and down coats. For fabulous nights, a traditional LBD with a twist of leather paneling or a gemstone-embellished (removable) collar is the perfect thing to wear when sipping something shaken—wherever you land. 110 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-818-4585,

Jeff Saturday
Jeff Saturday

Macho Beard
Tidy. Shored-up jawline. Clean-shaven neck. Guys, ignore the bushy trend and keep it trimmed and tight, like Jeff Saturday—once again Indy’s standard-bearer for manly facial fur  now that he has moved back to town with his family. Sorry, though, you can’t just go to his barber to score the look. “Nobody cuts my beard except me,” says the former Colt. But here’s his best tip: “Find the trimmer you like and stay with it. Anytime I change, it goes all awry.”

Local Shop

If you’re mulling over raising chickens for eggs (a chicken-tender?) or owning bees for honey (getting hives?), the homegrown team behind Agrarian in SoBro can debrief you on the pros, cons, and possibilities of sub/urban homesteading in Indy. Better yet, you can take a trial chicken run—$400 for all supplies, home delivery and installation of an enclosure, and three chickens for two months. And if you discover you’re the city-farming type after all, rest assured that Agrarian has all the bases covered, including repurposed rain-collecting whiskey barrels, soy candles, honeys, cookbooks, canning supplies, logs that sprout edible mushrooms, and adorable vintage egg-collecting baskets. 661 E. 49th St., 317-938-1199,
Fashion Truck
Of the growing fleet of mobile shops literally moving fashion forward here, Boho Pretty gets our green light. The camper packs the most style and is equipped with all the right looks, including a chandelier. Plus there’s a real dressing room. But the shop’s selection puts it into overdrive: vibrantly colored dresses, scarves born to pair with the season’s best boots, and accessories that add a dash of color to winter’s drab. Don’t miss the boot socks, perfect with a pair of Hunters. 317-607-4405,

Nail Art

Not so long ago, nail art was confined to Carmela Soprano’s extra-long talons. Now we’re all adding rhinestones, textures, and colorful shapes to our digits. No one’s doing it with more style and flair than Oasis Nail & Spa’s Monica Nguyen, who can create elaborate holiday-themed scenes or simple treatments of stripes and polka dots for $5 per nail. Lest you think “art” is a little generous, consider this: Did Van Gogh ever work on a canvas so small? 3828 E. 82nd St., 317-595-0321.

All Sport Couture

Fan Fashion

Female fanwear has come a long way, baby! And quarterbacking the movement is Zionsville’s Lena Ward, wife of Colts COO Pete Ward. Her line, All Sport Couture, is licensed NFL apparel that’s body-con enough for Marie Claire magazine, which pictured model Hilary Rhoda showing her Steelers love in an All Sport hoodie in September. We’re partial to the true-blue stuff, of course—like the Colts “Franchise” metallic zip-up (with thumbholes) for $140. Available at and the Colts Pro Shop in Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave., 317-262-2700,
Gift for the Frequent Flier
TSA-friendly shampoo bar, $10.95 (tin sold separately, $3.95). Lush Cosmetics, The Fashion Mall, 317-844-9250,
Wraparound “Stella” sweater, available in nine colors and perfect for long flights, from Indy-based Sugar and Bruno, $80. Online only,
Suede “Mr. Trolley” by Ellen Truijen, a wheeled carry-on that converts to a tote bag, $772. 8 Fifteen, 815 E. 65th St., 317-253-1234,

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the December 2013 issue.

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