Top Drawer: Fashion news and views

Top Drawer wants to get into the minds of Asheville’s notable fashion forecasters, trendsetters and style icons. In this series, we ask boutique owners and designers what inspires them, and what tips they have to pass along. This month, Moe Erin Donnelly of Sew Moe (www.sewmoe.com) boasts about the local fashion scene, turns us on to Green Girl Basics soap and admits to having her head in the clouds.

Mountain Xpress

: How long have you been in Asheville, and what prompted your move?

Moe Donnelly

: I’ve been in Asheville for about four-and-a-half years now. It was the mountains that brought me here, and I haven’t regretted a day of it.

Do you follow trends or stick to classics, and why?

I think I do a little bit of both. Many of my designs are adaptations of Victorian styles, then mixed with more modern influences. I love the idea of making bustles and lace acceptable for everyday wear, and I’ve never met a ruffle I didn’t like.

Who is your favorite designer?

I don’t know if I have a favorite designer. There are definitely plenty who I respect and find influential, but honestly our local fashion scene is most inspiring to me. Asheville is home to so many creative designers. I feel lucky to have met other supportive ladies and men who are working hard to put Asheville on the map for fashion. Many of us are forming a designer’s collective called Asheville Fashion Conspiracy. We’re working hard to develop our group into an established support-and-growth network for the designers who help create Asheville’s unique fashion scene. It has been really encouraging to work with so many talented designers in my own town. Good things are to come—keep your eyes open for upcoming Asheville Fashion Conspiracy events.

How would you describe the clothing you design?

I would describe my clothing as being one-of-a-kind, handmade with attention to detail. I design for both men and women and strive to make my pieces classy and comfortable.

What luxuries do you count among your necessities?

Handmade soap! I highly recommend Green Girl Basics soap (www.greengirlbasics.com). Words cannot describe how great this soap is, and it’s local.

Which one item (or outfit, or accessory) in your wardrobe is your foolproof piece?

Right now my foolproof accessories are polka dots. I’m not really sure why, but most of my personal wardrobe is polka-dotted. They just put me in a good mood. I’ve learned not to question these things, just go with them.

Where is your favorite Asheville hangout?

Truthfully, dinner with friends or movies at home is more like it. During the day I make time to get outside and enjoy the mountains around Asheville. Spending time outdoors gives me ideas for new designs and directions. The mountains are so accessible from my doorstep; it’s easy to step out and get my head up in the clouds.

Try this on

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the

Folk Arts Center

(Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville) hosts a Fiber Weekend. Craft demonstrations and hands-on projects for kids take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. The theme for Sunday, May 11, is “Garden Party” with a wearable-art fashion show at 1 and 3 p.m. Bring mom to check out woven jackets and wraps, felted handbags, painted and marbled silk scarves and shirts ranging in design style from classic to funky. Info: www.craftguild.org or 298-7928.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts writer and editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs.

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