POSTED ON JULY 15, 2009:
Good in the Southside Hood
Expanding one's horizons inevitably yields exciting fashion discoveries
Hop to It. The wide selection of dresses offered in the store have clothed women attending a beach wedding, going to a street party, participating in their high school reunion and taking a vacation.
The Absolute Best of Tulsa winners are a great reminder that favorites around town aren't centralized to one region. It's comical, maybe even strange, that although it takes on average only 20 minutes to get anywhere in Tulsa, we are a city divided. Wherever our preferences draw us--likely because we live nearby--we become rooted there.
Midtown, South Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Owasso are a few pockets of the city where people seem content enough with what that section of the city offers; they feel no need to leave.
These areas may have Targets and chain restaurants, but to experience the best local dining, entertainment and shopping, a Tulsan must be more nomadic. To experience one of the newest places to shop in Tulsa, put down your regional boundaries and head to Lavish Fine Apparel.
Location was a key factor when Lisa Remy, her daughters-in-law Julie and Alex Remy and niece Kris Remy opened Lavish Fine Apparel roughly three months ago. Having been interested in doing business together, these self-described "good shoppers" were determined to build a store that carried things they liked while providing customers a place to go other than the mall.
They decided to by-pass the malls and open shop in the Regal Plaza, a shopping center at 105th and Memorial, just around the corner from the SpiritBank Event Center. Remy said that while she's always supported Midtown businesses, the growth in South Tulsa made opening a family business appealing.
Besides the flow of traffic the SpiritBank Event Center generates during its events, Remy said the shopping center--which also features other retailers, restaurants and service-oriented businesses--has a strong sense of community that also makes the location worthwhile.
The shopping center certainly is characterized by one major factor: the sheer size of the store is refreshingly unexpected. Remy said the bi-level store is comparable to something between a large boutique and a small department store.
The space allows for, as Remy puts it, a little bit of everything. Remy said that all the Remy women are also buyers and as such, the store offers a wide range of options. According to Remy, Lavish Fine Apparel shoppers have ranged from women in their late teens all the way to those in their 70s.
Beyond providing a wide range of styles, the store's sizes also range from XS (size 2) to XL (size 16). The store also carries children's clothing. The children's clothing options range from infant sizes all the way to a girl's size 14 and boy's size 10.
The current items carried in Lavish Fine Apparel were thoughtfully chosen as the women were building the store. The collection of clothing is as wide ranging as its audience. There are pieces that are semi-formal, pieces that would be appropriate for work, for play and for lounging.
The most popular items at the store have been the tops (Remy said she finds that most women already have pairs of pants they like, but they always want a new top) and the dresses. The wide selection of dresses offered in the store have clothed women attending a beach wedding, going to a street party, participating in their high school reunion and taking a vacation. The dresses, by designers like Michael Kors, Karen Kane, Eliza J, Donna Ricco and others, do extend from sleeveless maxi dresses in easy to wear jersey and bold patterns to brightly colored (think canary yellows, cotton candy pink and navy blue) dresses made of satin or overlaid in chiffon. The Eliza J shift dresses, in their bright oranges, pink paisleys and textured white, evoke the looks of designer Lilly Pulitzer or Kennedy-era 1960s.
And, because many of the dresses are sleeveless, also scattered throughout the racks of dresses are cropped cardigans and shrugs offered to give women who dislike showing their arms an opportunity to still wear the designs.
On the more casual end, Lavish Fine Apparel has found the Karen Kane line. Remy said that the line has become very popular among shoppers. The looks are basic and easy to wear, constructed largely from jersey and other fabrics offering some weave percentage of stretch fabric. This line offers every staple. There are Bermuda shorts, cropped pants and trousers as well as tanks, short-sleeved tops and skirts. The solid color items are in bold shades of royal purple or cerulean, while the items in basic shades of black feature intricately folded necklines elements (like ruffles) that take it a further degree than just a simple tee.
To delve fully into the options at Lavish Fine Apparel would be quite a laundry list. The store certainly meets the quota for a self-described small department store, though everything does strike the right balance of not being too trendy or too outrageous. From the cruise wear looking Michael Kors pieces (lots of tunics in bright blue with mirror detailing or white and blue dip-dyed) to the AG jeans (skinny or cropped in an array of blues, white and grey), the store's options could easily fit into anyone's closet and compliment anyone's wardrobe.
And the possibilities don't end there. Customers can also add to their outfits with accessories. The back of the store features displays filled with purses, sunglasses, belts, scarves, shoes and jewelry. Remy said that the line of leather Lockheart bags are comparable to luxury lines like Gucci or Coach without the steep prices. Additionally, Lavish is the only store in Tulsa carrying the Ashleigh George jewelry line. The handmade jewelry, created in gold and silver, features delicate medallions with scripture written on the back.
Learning more each day and continuing to grow; Remy is already looking toward the future. She hopes by this time next year to also be carrying menswear. In the near future, she and the other Remys are building their fall collection. Transitional pieces like sweaters, mid-length tops, new denim and dresses will soon be arriving in addition to new designers.
To find out more information about Lavish Fine Apparel, you can visit its Web site, www.lavishfineapparel.com.
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