Why did you start Urban Gypsy? I’ve been in the business for years and you reach a point where you build your confidence and you say, “I can do this!” You kind of want to project your sense of style and where you’ve been, and help others build their confidence and find their own style.
What do you love most about your job? There’s no greater feeling than walking down the street and seeing someone rock an outfit that you have put on them. I’m also incredibly fortunate to have each one of my girls on the staff. You can’t get anywhere in life solo. I come up with some really crazy ideas whether its windows, events, volunteering, and they just kind of go with it.
How did you decide on Grandin Village for Urban Gypsy’s location?It was just this quaint neighborhood that I wanted to be part of, and I saw the potential of growth. It’s given me a sense of community. I love the people. It’s nice to just walk down the street, know practically everyone, and know they are rooting for you.
What is your favorite quote as a business owner? “This too shall pass.” Whether it’s a trend that I cringe over or just a really bad day. My grandfather is my biggest inspiration, and maybe that’s where I get that from. He perseveres through every type of obstacle, and he has taught me strength.
What else inspires you? I’m inspired by random acts of kindness. I take them as a sign that there is still humanity out there.
What are you excited about for fall? Bright colors, sweater weather, and our redesigned website! This will be like a second store. There will be website exclusives that you can only get online, so be sure to check it out: www.urbangypsyva.com
Let’s talk fashion. There are two things I know for sure. First, fashion is art. Second, everyone wants to look and feel good, especially when we leave the nonjudgmental walls of our homes to accomplish the day’s mission. At Let’s Talk Fashion Virginia, our hope is to make the world of fashion a kinder entity than the unattainable images, ideals, and price tags plastered in what seems to be every platform of media available. One of the core reasons I worked my way into the fashion industry, joining Victoria Watts, founder of Let’s Talk Fashion Virginia, was to teach individuals the importance of knowing their intrinsic value. Here, we use the word fashion first as a verb, and then a noun in our company. We believe that before there were clothes to purchase, man and woman were fashioned by the hands of God. Humans are the grand finishing touch of the creative expression of the Creator of the entire world, which makes people much more valuable than the clothes they wear.
No, I am not against having an on-point wardrobe, but I do know how a person feels will show through, no matter what clothes they wear.
However, I know you are not reading this article for a sermon; chances are you reading this article because you want to talk fashion. So, Let’s Talk Fashion Virginia!
For the end of summer, I wanted to give you some advice that will keep you classic, which never goes out of style. Keep your solids, even with flirty florals and other bold prints that have shown up for spring and summer, as you will always be on-point with solids. Everyone and every body type looks good in them. They leave the world of accessories wide open, with trendy statement accessories being much more affordable to update season after season rather than garments.
On the other hand, I am not saying to completely forget florals or prints, but to understand that instead of flattering you these prints may distract and/or distort your image. The most seamless way to incorporate florals and other prints into your wardrobe is to do so with a continuous piece. A continuous piece keeps the body flowing instead of interrupting in all the wrong places.
Some of the most commonly worn continuous pieces are dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits.
However, there is another style of continuous piece on the scene, last seen in 2014 when worn on the red carpet by Aussie actress, Margot Robbie: two-piece sets. The most common two-piece set consists of a skirt with an accompanying top, but shorts and pants may also be found. It seems one trending idea is finally something to flatter the body rather than to just stand out.
The best way to achieve a flattering look is to create one that keeps the eyes moving. There is an appeal that works of art, like paintings or sculptures, create that causes a desire for on-lookers to see the entire piece and not just one corner of work. Every person is a work of art, and each one of us has bumps, curves, height, or lack of, that we either like or do not like. We can choose to focus on those parts of us, or we can choose to see an entire person. As a stylist, my goal is to enhance the uniqueness of each person I work with individually. Pictured, myself and another local stylist, Courtney Martin, worked to create a few looks resembling continuous pieces using clothing sourced from a downtown Lynchburg retailer, Frolic by Celebration.
Still looking for more inspiration? For 2018, Let’s Talk Fashion Virginia will continue to develop seminars including model workshops with the local Lynchburg Parks & Recreation to teach individuals through professional instruction about the different aspects of fashion.
For the first time in Central Virginia history, Let’s Talk Fashion Virginia will present the first annual Central Virginia Fashion Week 2017! Think New York City, but in the greater Lynchburg area this fall: September 11-16. There will be in-store events happening throughout the week, including debuts from emerging fashion designers from within the Central Virginia region. The week will end with two runway shows Friday and Saturday. We are excited to partner with the Retail Merchants Association Lynchburg, the Downtown Lynchburg Association, and WSET ABC 13 to produce a premier event featuring collections of locally-owned retailer establishments and designers. We’re also thrilled to work with local beauty partners such as the professionals at Vanquish Beauty Studio (Sara & Denise) and Ashley at Makeup by Ashley Ancheta just to name a few. For more information, please visit www.letstalkfashionva.com and subscribe to our e-mail list for updates. We’re so excited to meet you there!
Written by Aimee Dwyer Photos courtesy of Sidney Jackson, Faith Connected Photo Model in Featured Image: Pamela Raine Model in Blue: Amy Beth
You all took over Punch Boutique in May. At what moment did you decide that taking over the business was what you wanted to do? Whitney Greene: I have always had a passion for both the apparel industry and entrepreneurship. When the previous owner approached us about purchasing the business in late spring, we knew at that moment we didn’t want Roanoke to lose such an amazing business in the community. It was an amazing opportunity neither of us felt like we could pass up—and the support from our customers really affirmed our decision. I knew that it was something I couldn’t do without Catherine though, as we both have different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives. I think that really makes us a unique partnership.
Catherine Justice: I have been with Punch from the ground up. Our former boss taught me everything I know and I continuously want to know more! I love Punch and saw this a natural progression. There is nothing else I’d rather do, and no one else I’d rather do it with than Whitney!
What do you enjoy most about your job? WG: There are so many things! The customers that have become a part of our lives, the fact that each day is different and always requires us to think creatively and problem solve. I also enjoy being able to bring fashion and unique products to my hometown and spread my passion with everyone here. I love being a part of something bigger in the community.
CJ: The relationships. I absolutely love my customers, coworkers, and vendors. I thrive on building and keeping relationships. Finding that perfect outfit together is the heartbeat of my job. Also, the clothes…it’s pretty much every girls dream job right?!
Do you have a favorite quote that guides you in your role as a business owner? WG: “Always keep your eyes open, keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” Grace Coddington
CJ: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Michael Jordan
You can’t be the best on the team without going to practice or failing!
Who is your biggest inspiration? WG: My family and our customers. Both are the reason were lucky enough to be in the position we are. My family constantly supports my dreams without question and our customers constantly fulfill my dreams.
CJ: My husband is my biggest inspiration. He works harder than anyone I know. No day is more important, he gives 150% every single day and it is very admirable.
What is your favorite style for Fall 2017? WG: There is a strong emphasis on sleeves for fall. Dramatic shapes and fresh details make arms key focal points. It’s classically romantic and feminine. I think the diversity in style, silhouette, and substance is what makes fashion great.
CJ: It’s all about velvet! All ages, all styles…you have to have something velvet or with velvet on it!
How do you hope your customer’s experience in Punch Boutique impacts their daily life? WG: We constantly strive to provide each customer with a personal experience. We are so lucky that many of our customers have become our friends, with whom we share our highs and lows. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We want customers to feel like even though we are a ‘dress shop,’ we truly want to be involved in the process of dressing them for all the occasions in their lives. We want to be a part of helping them feel and look their best for all their needs. We also know that our customers work hard in their daily lives, so we like to ask ourselves how we can make life easier for our customers: by being a one stop shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories. Our customers (hopefully) leave with a friend in our employees (& us), a personalized experience, and a phenomenal outfit.
CJ: I want women to feel confident in their Punch attire. It isn’t shallow or superficial to feel good on the outside because that is the first step to feeling good on the inside. “Retail therapy” is a real thing and I see it happen on a daily basis.
New Year’s Eve is nearly upon us and with the champagne and the festivities comes the headache of deciding what do wear this year. From my extensive research of Pinterest and fashion blogs a-like, sparkle has been the trend for last couple of years.
While it may make some glitter enthusiasts skin crawl, I’ve got to share it. Sequins itch. It’s not the most comfortable way to spend the night. This year we’re going to explore an alternative to the sequins trend.
For the more extravagant office affair you’ll want to be regal and put together, a touch of (faux) fur and metallic fabric. You’ll look timeless and modern all in one fair swoop.
You can have this exact look for approximately $140, or you can model your own unique look off this inspiration set!
What I especially like about this piece is the incorporation of the expected shininess associated with the New Year’s, while still employing one’s own unique style. You’ll fit in when the lights hit you, but you’ll stand out with the metallic material offset of the beautiful dress and gold purse by the softness of the gray shawl and shoes.
If this look is just too much for your New Year’s Even plans we have an alternative for the more casual get together.
This exact inspiration set costs approximately $120!
This outfit is a simpler party style, but still employs a similar effect as the previous one. There is still a hint of sparkle and pizazz, without the onslaught of too many sequins. The plain black, lace, jumper is the perfect piece to dress up or down. The silver, metallic, purse and elaborate silver earrings will catch the light focusing the attention on you. The maroon shoes with gemstones are my personal favorite of this outfit, the pop of color is essential and perfect for the holiday season.
As the weather continues to get warmer, jeans shorts don’t seem to do the trick anymore. Printed shorts are the perfect alternative to all your summer plans. They can keep you cool and stylish all summer with their up-beat patterns.
Printed shorts can be more versatile than jeans themselves (yes, I said it!). They offer flare and style that jeans can never offer. From a night on the town to running errands, these shorts are a summer must wear!
Finding ways to wear these outspoken shorts can be difficult, however they pair with almost everything in your closet.
Throw on your favorite t-shirt or tank top and make your outfit explode with printed shorts. Your everyday wear can now come to life with fun patterns. Just simply throw on sandals or canvas shoes and rock this look!
Dress Things Up
Who said you can’t wear a blazer with some shorts? This is the ideal combination for a day at the office or a nice dinner. You’ll be the talk of the office with your fun mix of color.
Night on the Town
Tired on wearing dresses that reveal too much when you walk? Try printed shorts this Friday night instead. We love this look from Pumps and Iron! Put on a solid color blouse and some statement heels to make a lively night!
If you’re still looking for the perfect outfit to catch the attention of your significant other this Valentine’s Day, look no further than these fun ideas! Turn heads in this red statement dress, paired with gold love-struck heart earrings, scalloped black flats, and a chic hair accessory to match!
A red dress for Valentine’s Day is nice, but add a couple of subtle accent colors to the bottom and you have something you can wear all year! You can find this one here!
Accent your dress with a cute pair of earrings from ModCloth!
Heels are cute, but flats are our best friends! Check out these comfortable staples from Samedelman!
Add a headband from Goody to complete your look! They offer several sparkling, dressy options. However, you can never go wrong with plain black!
No matter what style you choose, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with special moments shared by loved ones!
The Fashion Merchandising and Design Society Annual Fashion Show, “Revolution” is coming to Virginia Tech on April 30. The show will premiere at 8 pm in Squires Student Center’s Commonwealth Ballroom.
Unlike the preceding “Urban Jungle” fashion show, which featured urban street style, this year’s “Revolution” themed fashion show will have a futuristic and innovative theme with encouragement to designers to break away from current trends and focus on infinite, boundless possibilities. Each of the thirteen student designers will feature a small collection, ranging from 2 to 6 outfits, which they have been working on since the beginning of the academic year.
The twenty-six participating student models have attended weekly model workshops this spring where they have learned to walk, turn, and pose correctly under the leadership of Virginia Tech alumni and model Midori Amae. This is a show that fashion enthusiasts will not want to miss!
Visit their website for more information and to purchase your ticket today!
Enter to win the perfect Valentine’s Day accessory from Vivendi! This light and lofty tissue weight ombré scarf in “sunset” hues of orange, pink and red. This silk and cashmere blended beauty is just what you need to accent you look in an effortlessly chic way (retail value $64!)!
Visit our Facebook page for details on how to enter. Good luck!