POSTED ON MARCH 26, 2008:
Just Your Style
Couture in time for spring
New Age. Luxe Couture owner Tran is in the process of bringing in more couture pieces and is especially excited about providing Tulsans with fashion that is more avant garde.
Luxe Couture rests comfortably in the deep corner of the King's Landing shopping center, at 9926 Riverside. When walking into any store for the first time, I obviously like to take in the merchandise, but I pay attention to the store itself and its overall ambiance. Luxe Couture has classic European décor--white columns and decorative ceiling tiles, Renaissance-like paintings and funk. Dance music was playing and one corner had a topiary tree made from black iridescent feathers. And those two differing decorative aesthetics translated into the women and children's clothing. Luxe Couture has your standard classics and items that make you go "hmm...?" before you grab them to try on.
Luxe Couture has been part of the Tulsa boutique experience for only around two months now. Owner Tara Tran has had her hand in fashion for many years. She attended FIDM, a design school in Los Angeles, and has work experience in everything from basic retail to manufacturing. When she recently moved back to Tulsa, she wanted to remain in the garment industry but knew that a move into mass producing her own clothing would require more dedication than she could give. From this came the inspiration for Luxe Couture, a store that carries clothing for women and children, from newborn to children's size 12.
Tran's collection of clothing from markets in Los Angeles and Dallas are decided by whatever catches her eye. She describes the women's items throughout the store as "trendy, contemporary styles, whimsical, and a little Goth--items not typically seen elsewhere." For the kids' collections, items typify a West Hollywood pampered kid. The labels throughout the store are varied so that they are just right for fashionable moms or professionals (and those who are both) from their early 20s to mid 50s. Tran said she knows that women want everything, so she's assembled items for work, weekends, life after 5pm and "resort wear."
Tran is in the process of bringing in more couture pieces and is especially excited about providing Tulsans with fashion that is more avant garde. Her first foray into an avant garde line, Nuvula, sold so well, she ordered more.
Don't be frightened by the terminology of avant garde; the look of Nuvula seems to hone in on plaid, comfort and volume. Take the layered tee with its solid black sleeves, white tee bodice with a Venetian masked woman in black print and plaid taffeta puffed sleeves. There are plaid cuffed Capri pants with an elastic waist band and military buttons and pockets for detail--a look that could go fanciful or loungeful while still retaining comfort with that magical elastic waist. The boldest piece and with a black gothic heart on the front, a wispy faced girl playing the cello on the back, black and white stripes past the knee and red plaid taffeta puffed sleeves.
While a look like that isn't for every woman, no girl can live without her jeans. Luxe Couture carries Antik jeans. These boot-cut, five-pocket jeans come in two colors: basic blue jeans blue and white, a great color for spring/summer. Both jeans feature back-pocket stitching (the white pair have contrasting black stitching) that elicits the feel of a fleur de lye.
Another key denim item that will be a summer weather requirement in the coming months is shorty shorts. The elastic waist shorts almost have a nautical theme, with their front waist panel with buttons, but fair warning. The thin band at the bottom of the shorts will showcase your thighs, so they might be restrictive to only those blessed with the best gams.
While Tran notes that more summer items have been ordered and are on their way (expect new labels and designs including more after-5pm wear and innovative pieces) many items that are in Luxe Couture now would be weather and trend appropriate in the following months. For those looking for something to wear on a lazy spring or summer day, there are terry cloth hoodie and pant sets in bright pink by Faith Connexion. Ocean Drive Athletics make tees whose graphics, placed on the hip, look like tattoos. The label Soundgirl is lounge wear in lightweight knits in pastel pink with light brown stitched embroidery. Other Soundgirl items at Luxe Couture include a pair of cream leggings that look like gossamer; they appear practically sheer.
You could possibly pair them with one of the many dresses found in the store. They range from the not-for-the-modest short to knee length and to the floor length dress by Nuvula. There are dresses with sleeves, tank dresses, spaghetti strap and strapless. There's the Tricky Thread nylon dresses in burnt orange and magenta. These quarter-sleeved dresses are practically basic, except for the details of their pockets and an empire waist that comes in a flattering swirl instead of the typical below bust line. There are dresses with halter necks and one-shouldered. Choose the tried and true little black dress or one with a print; banded or free flowing skirt and every kind of textile you could shape, from silk blends to rayon. And pay attention to the dresses from Curtsey. I discovered one with built-in Spanx.
Just as the clothing goes from basics (Sele black trousers) to flashy (a Buffalo sheer top in pastel pink with silver stitching and banded waist) so too are the accessories: lace clutch purses and coin purses who materials reflect the dresses from Little House on the Prairie sit on a shelf or two above black belts with jammed buckles. Gold and silver jewelry that looks almost antique (and that seem to balance well with all the clothing) juxtaposes with leopard print pet carriers.
For the Wee Ones
The animals aren't the only ones who can look wild. Leopard Daisy is one of the labels of the kids and baby clothing Luxe Couture carries. Items like a cheetah tiered mini skirt with mesh overlay. There are bolder baby items, like a purple tank dress with sheer purple polka dot overlay, but also silk blend dresses in pastel pink and ruffled white ribbed tanks.
Children and baby brands like The Hollywood Ranch, Mignon, Tralala and My Vintage Baby offer unique looks for boys and girls. While there is a larger section of girl clothing, mothers to little boys can find onesies in camouflage, t-shirts and plaid shorts sets and brown and blue printed tunics that almost seem like tiny men's button downs.
And just as no woman is complete without a little accessory something, you can find flip flops for girls, bows from every color of the spectrum and tiny little Mary Jane shoes in purple and white polka dots or bronze with rainbow beading. There are bibs and even baby blankets, but neither in the typical baby blue for boy, pastel pink for girls. Case in point, the super soft cow print in brown and cream with a dark red trim.
In addition, this fall Tran hopes to have her own creations in the store. Her line will feature shirts for men, items "for Mommy and me" (matching items for moms and daughters) and kimonos.
Luxe Couture is open Sunday from noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30am to 6pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10:30am to 8pm. Visit www.luxe-couture.com to find out more.
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