Sunday, August 2, 2009

Central Street, Evanston: Dame Couture, Jess Audey

It's a tad unfortunate that Dame Couture, a tiny dress shop on Central Street in Evanston, is closed on Sunday. The storefront alone is! Peering inside, the store has this 1950s vibe, the only items are missing are rows upon rows of tulle crinolines fighting for space, stilettos, rose perfume and mid-century interpretations of the cloche. But what little I could I liked: the bright black-and-cream dresses in the window - two knee-length - one boat-neck, the other strappy. The latter is for latter-day Bette Davises strolling down the sidewalk, hatboxes and shopping bags in tow. The long version I could see on Lena Horne, a black iris clipped onto her hair, a strand of pearls around her neck. All these dresses are by Chicago Fashion Incubator Jess Audey, who's having a trunk show on the premises, Friday, August 14, 4-7 p.m., according to a sign propped on the sill.

The capelets next to the door just reinforced the retro-esque vibe: fitted little lacy boleros trimmed in matching satin, two in white, the other in black. I think they're intended for brides, but I think they'd be perfect to wear in an air-conditioned office, easy to slip off once you're headed back out into the heat and humidity (true finally here in Chicago, and oh-so true in unusually hot Seattle).

What are the best of the black and white dresses you've seen to date? Sweaters for inside the office?

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