ode boutique

October 2011

Window Design

Masquerading Main Street

October 28, 2011

Masquerading Main Street

If you have walked by our window within the past couple of weeks, then you have seen the masterful creations by Eric Hnatow resting atop our usually headless mannequins. As soon as we adjusted the masks to the forms, it seemed as if they were ready to take off into an "Electric Forest."

In order to create this "Electric Forest" in our window, we called upon our favorite photoshop magic maker, Joanna Chattman. Hot pink trunks and branches burst out of a neon green pathway, while vibrant purple and blue shadow the arboreal space.  We wanted to give Main Street a surge of bold energy to spite the fickle New England weather.

Eric Hnatow is also in a fuzzy electro-pop band with Haley Morgan called Home Body. Follow this link to see Home Body's performance at Flying Object earlier this month.

And mark your calendars: Home Body will be performing for Arts Night Out at Ode on December 9, 6-8 pm. Expect more electricity.

Masquerading Main Street
Masquerading Main Street
Masquerading Main Street


Women Who Inspire Us: My Nguyen

October 13, 2011

At Ode, we're fortunate enough to meet amazing women every day. We all notice My when she stops by the store, always looking fabulous. She contacted us with information about the Valley Community Development Corporation, and we're happy to be donating 5% of profits to them this month, thanks to her suggestion. Her style is impeccable, and her dedication to the community is an inspiration that we felt was well worth sharing.

How did you get involved with the Valley CDC, and can you tell us a little about your experiences working there?
I grew up in Oklahoma and then moved to Connecticut for college. I think that the combination of my experiences as a first generation immigrant and the transition between living in two completely different places spurred my interest in the ways communities develop, which is why I focused on housing policy and community development in my degree. When I moved to Northampton about two years ago, Valley CDC seemed like the perfect place to learn more about both of these issues. I feel so privileged to be involved with an organization that has done such great work for an amazing community. Being there for the opening of the King St. Apartments, their most recent development that provides ten affordable apartments for homeless and low-income residents, was an amazing experience. It was truly awe-inspiring to see that old house reconstructed as beautiful apartments. I was amazed by how much a small nonprofit could give back to the community.

Do you have any words of advice for people considering volunteer work?
I think it's important to start locally – to find nonprofits that support a community cause you care about. It's great to work for a large organization with a lot of support, but I think it is the small, local nonprofits that often need the most help because they don't have the same national platform to fundraise and recruit volunteers. Volunteering with organizations in your own community also allows you to have a more substantial impact.

What are your fashion influences?
I can't even begin to count the number of hours I've spent watching movies and I think that my style is the culmination of viewing almost the entirety of Edith Head's body of work. The movies she designed for – especially Rear Window, The Lady Eve, and Funny Face – shaped this beautiful ideal of the 50s and 60s for me. I love the balance of structure and femininity in the looks she created and I think that definitely comes across in my style. I tend to draw a lot of sartorial inspiration from films in general. It's difficult not to be inspired by visually stunning movies like The Wind that Shakes the Barley and I Am Love.

What are your favorite trends for fall?
It's really exciting to see more unexpected combinations of texture, pattern, and colors. I've always had a soft spot for mixed prints. I also love that there seems to be a 60s revival going on thanks to Mad Men – lots of tailored pieces that are still really feminine. Every fall I try to make capes the new 'coat,' so I'm ecstatic that I've been seeing so many!

If you were a piece of clothing, what you would be and what color/pattern?
Most definitely a cape in a beautiful Harris tweed – dramatic and highly impractical but well intentioned.

What inspires you?
The places I've traveled to and the places I want to go inspire me the most. My wandering heart is never satisfied so I'm constantly researching new places and planning dream vacations. I love not just going somewhere but learning everything about it – from the agriculture to local folklore.

[Chattman Photography]