Saturday, March 24, 2012

3 Must-see Nashville Boutiques

We've met some fabulous emerging designers here in Nashville and have visited some great little shops. These three boutiques are our personal faves, not only for their shopping, but also because of the people behind the garments.

Stacy and the designer of Tuft, Jessica Jones, posing
with the Tuft installation at Nashville Fashion Week
House of Stella This family-owned shop in Cool Springs made us want to sit down for a tea party - but to a punk rock soundtrack. They carry trendy and affordable clothes, accessories and home goods. And they love cats. One of the owners, Stacy, is a young fashion designer herself and a total hoot. We were there to visit the shop and to see the Tuft trunk show, but we really had a blast chatting with Stacy over some Starbucks.

Abby Palmer and Emily of Wai Ming
at Emmaline
Emmaline For the sophisticated shopper seeking designer labels, Emmaline is the Franklin shop to see. The owner's name is Abby Palmer, and she was very friendly and engaging. Emily Brady Koplar, the designer for Wai Ming, was there for her trunk show. We were excited to talk to her and see the pieces from her runway show on Wednesday evening. The collection was just as beautiful up close as it was onstage. Come to think of it, we really loved all of the clothes at Emmaline!

Local Honey
Local Honey This consignment shop in Hillsboro is the talk of the town. Literally - everyone we've talked to about the Nashville fashion market has directed us to Local Honey. They carry local designs (hence the name) with trendy and eclectic styles. We haven't yet met the owner, Shea, but we did get to see her designs for her line, White Rabbit, at tonight's fashion show. She shares a studio upstairs at Local Honey with one of our favorites, Jamie and the Jones.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Notes from Nashville

We're in Nashville for the 2012 Fashion Week!

We loooove Nashville! This city is so quaint and the people are lovely. The very essence of Southern charm.

 Meredith at The Factory in Franklin,
ready to whip up some home cookin' 

in her pale marbled skirt.

We've seen 15 designers show at the Marathon Music Works, most of them local but some from all around the US. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were runway shows and tonight was a set of artsy installations.
 Local boutiques and salons are also hosting daytime events and trunk shows.

Yesterday we visited 
Local Honey in Hillsboro. The shop carries several local designers like Jamie and the Jones, White Rabbit and Chase Ash. The young designers Local Honey features are fun and eclectic and their wares are totally affordable. It was an exercise in self-discipline to walk out of there empty-handed.

*Highlight of the day!* One of our favorite design teams, Jamie and the Jones, happened to be working in their studio on the second floor. Hannah and Jamie graciously came down to chat with us for a few minutes, though they must be in a rush to get ready for their Saturday show. They are two very cool chicks.

We are having tons o' fun and meeting some awesome people in the Nashville fashion scene. I do believe we shall make our little Southern road trip complete and catch some live country music after the fashion show tomorrow night! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Springtime in the city

You know spring has officially sprung here in Atlanta when everything gets coated with yellow pollen overnight.

The trees and flowers have burst into color all at once. In fact, the pear trees in our backyard have bloomed and are losing their white flowers so quickly, I have a suspicion it'll be an early summer this year. 

Ahh, spring colors and blossoms. Maybe they'll be sweet and stay awhile. 

Blooms outside our studio windows.
Say hello to my little friend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to make distressed jean shorts

Distressed jean shorts are a summer must-have! If you don’t own a pair, make one with some old jeans from the back of your closet. You can either bleach the jeans for a dramatic destroyed appearance or use sandpaper for a more subtle worn look.

Here’s how to create a DIY pair of distressed jean shorts.

Notes for your safety:

* If you are under 18, ask an adult for help.
* Bleach your jeans in a well-ventilated area.
* If you get any bleach on your skin, wash it off immediately or it will burn you.

Pair of old jeans (bleaching looks better on blue denim rather than dark indigo)
Garbage bags or plastic sheet
Paper towels
Fabric scissors
Sponge, unused and cut in half
Box cutter
Clorox bleach

Step 1: 

Lay jeans flat on surface protected with plastic and paper towels, preferably near a sink. Choose length of jean shorts. With chalk, draw a line on one leg. Flip jeans over and draw line on back. *Back must be longer than front.* Join the two lines with chalk.
Step 2: 

Take fabric scissors and cut along the line. Cut from the front to the back, through one layer of fabric so as to not cut front and back the same length. Don’t worry about cutting perfectly, as fabric will fray in the wash.
Once you’ve removed one leg, fold jeans in half so back pockets meet. Use your cut leg to trace line on other leg for symmetry. Cut along new line. Fold jeans in opposite direction so the front pockets meet. Cut along chalk line.

Tip: To give the jeans a more destroyed look, *very carefully* use a box cutter to wear the edges of the fabric. Use on pockets, zipper cover, waist.
Step 3: 

Mark in chalk areas you want to sandpaper or bleach. Target front thighs, back sitting areas, belt loopholes and edges.  

For a sandblasted, subtle look (without the mess), rub selected areas with sandpaper instead of using bleach. You're done!

Step 4: 

Wear a mask and put on gloves. Pour some bleach on sponge and wipe the bleach into the selected areas on the jeans. Bleach front and then back of jeans. *If you get any bleach on your skin, wash it immediately.* Let sit until bleached fabric achieves desired color. The longer you leave the bleach on, the more dramatic the results.
Step 5: 

Wash jean shorts in machine by themselves. Hang dry. Touch up any areas with sandpaper.

Rock your new distressed jean shorts!

Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Favorites for fall fashion

We had a look at some of Fashion Week's most anticipated designs. Fall 2012 for women brings us long silhouettes, menswear and mid-century inspiration.

The color scheme was dominated by a sea of black and white with Chanel, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Gucci and others, with frequent pops of vivid color. Tones of gray, brown, mustard yellow, beige and navy set a serious mood for fall. 

Some designers like Miu Miu had us ODing on flashy, intricate patterns. Paisley and floral contrasted with geometrics in several collections. We do love our prints and patterns!

We voted on some of our favorite Fall 2012 looks:

Elegant, flowing dress. The yellow print adds a little spark to a long black dress.
Plus, we're partial to showing off our shoulders.

A bright little dress for fall. Love the yellow detail.
Luis Vuitton
Doing the shimmery trend right. Dandy can definitely look sexy on a woman.
And who doesn't love a fun top hat?
Burberry Prorsum
A feminine take on the wool suit jacket. 
The way this piece falls is so flattering.

Gorgeous colors on an airy dress. Red pants for fall.
We love that the dress pattern looks hand-painted, like our own designs!

How about you? What fall designs have you drooling over the catwalk?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Get the look: Marbled Skirt

Here are a couple of ways to rock your Ivy & Me Marbled Skirt.

      Dress it up                       Casual affair    

We love this professional look with 
feminine twist. Match your skirt with a 
navy blazer, some eye-catching heels 
and a bright clutch for after-work plans
with the ladies.   

Try this casual-meets-chic look for a
cool spring day. A tucked-in navy
sweater adds nautical appeal, and earthy
accessories give your style a boho touch.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Etsy Shop Open!

Great news, everyone!
Our Etsy shop is now open for business!

Our patterned Mod top

We posted our first pieces today. 
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

P.S. Thanks to all of our Facebook fans for Liking our page!! You guys rock!

Behind the seams: Who is Ivy & Me?

by Brooke Bateh

Say fromage!
Allow me to introduce you to Ivy & Me's owner and lead designer, Meredith Bateh. 

When she's not taking pictures of herself taking pictures (see right), Meredith pursues all things fashion, art and Jolly Ranchers. To capture her interest, strike up a conversation about trends, crafts or innovative marketing.

Growing up, Meredith and I always daydreamed about becoming fashion designers and starting our own line. Doesn't every little girl dream of doing just that? Well, Meredith was actually serious about making that fantasy a reality, and here we are!

Meredith studied fashion design at one of Paris' most prestigious mode schools, ESMOD. After graduation, she decided to come home to her Southern roots and completed her M.A. at the Savannah College of Art and Design. 

She knows her stuff, y'all. She creates all of our patterns and stitches all of our garments herself. 

Ahhh, Paris.
Ancient castles and shopping.
I love to help Meredith come up with concepts for our collection. For the most part, I work with the paints and dyes and lead our marketing efforts. I've always had a thing for drawing and painting. Nothing keeps me more centered than playing with colors and creating things with my hands. 

When we were young, our family moved around the world quite a bit. I guess it was a natural choice for me to study International Development and Anthropology at McGill University. We've lived in the Belgian countryside, in the Andes, in two frozen cities of Canada and in the hustle and bustle of Mexico City. All of our experiences have shaped us and our love of people. Wherever we went, our parents always made sure we were exposed to culture and the arts. At the time, our day trips to endless cathedrals and museums seemed so totally uncool, but of course as adults we came to appreciate, love and eventually miss the worldly education. I doubt we will ever really settle down in one place and give up the excitement of travel!

Our work for Ivy & Me is inspired by the visual arts, modern architecture and elements of nature. We're both very drawn to colors and are fascinated by their effects on mood, light and personality. The clothing designs are born of an admiration for textures and patterns and how they come together. Our distinctive fabric patterns blend modern and retro styles. 

We value the original and the new, which is why each of our garments is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, and all of our designs are limited editions, at least for now.

We love what we do, and we hope that you will, too!

Meredith on the left, Brooke in the center, 
Cinco de Mayo party-goers in the background. 

Check us out at