Top Drawer: fashion news and views

Reusability is key at The Lazy Susan (625 Haywood Road, West Asheville, 225-3235), a kitchen emporium featuring new products, consignment items and antique furnishings. Owner Jane Northway explains that everything her 3-year-old business carries has a proven track record. Either it’s already lasted decades (if not generations) or—in the case of new items—is practical enough for everyday use.

Stockpots and tea pots claim space in the store’s front room, along with place settings artistically arranged [see right] to incorporate elements as far-flung as pastel Fiestaware, antique dishes and newly made dining accessories. Mix-and-match is a buzzword: Northway suggests just that when it comes to glassware “because they always break.” The back room holds unique antique furniture, all of which is for sale. There are also “regifted” appliances.

Other Lazy Susan tips: Think about turning interesting plates [left] into wall art, investing in vintage textiles (either for decoration or table covering), and checking out modern cookware, such as the black-glazed La Chamba crocks [right], handmade in Columbia. At affordable prices, Northway calls them “the answer to young people’s prayers.”

• Collectible dripware is both kitschy and practical.

• Honey jars handmade at North Carolina’s pottery central, Seagrove, pictured with a mini mixing bowl.


About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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7 thoughts on “Top Drawer: fashion news and views

  1. sukiakisue

    You call this fashion? C’mon Alli, can we stray a little from the kitschy Asheville box you’ve constructed and explore some real FASHION! There are plenty of great boutiques to scour and once again you give us plates and pottery? I’ve been flipping to your column each week in hopes of seeing something fresh, but you consistently give us the same old thing. If this was Project Runway, Tim Gunn would be standing back, hand on his hip and shaking his head and telling you to “Make it work.” You’re either in or you’re out and as far as I’m concerned these uninspired blurbs you’ve been giving us definitely deserve an Auf Wiedersehen.

  2. [b]sukuakisue:[b/] You’ve made an interesting challenge. What local designers do you feel are overlooked? Who would you cover that Alli isn’t? It’s all well and good to name-drop Tim Gunn, but since he’s not local, and the [i]Mountain Xpress[/i] is, I’d think it’s only fair to offer up a few suggestions with your criticism.

    Any ideas?

  3. Maybe this section should be renamed “Fashion and Shopping”? I love Alli’s off-the-beaten-track finds around town. Much more helpful, to my mind, than photos of funky people wearing multi-colored layers and walking around downtown. Although those are fun to look at.

  4. Alli Marshall

    I think Edgy Mama has a good point — the section is moving in a fashion, shopping and style tips direction. Here’s the plan: 1 week each month is devoted to style tips and inspirations from local boutique owners, stylists, etc. 1 week each month is dedicated to decor and home fashions. 1 week is slated for clothing boutiques and 1 week is for Asheville’s eclectic arts scene and street fashion. I welcome any ideas or suggestions of boutiques, designers, events or fashionable individuals you’d like to see in this column.

  5. sukiakisue

    I agree that it’s not helpful to see pics of mismatched Ashevillians with the eclectic anti-style, but I don’t think that’s what I was addressing. I’m not saying you should give us more pictures of random people. There are lots of designers in this town and lots of neat boutiques: Minx, Honeypot, Wink and many more. They all sell a lot of local jewelry and some of the hip designers that you can’t find at the mall. I really liked the feature last year on Little Eagle because she is a designer. Even the ones for jewelry are interesting, but like Edgy Mama says it should be called Fashion and Shopping if you’re planning to include housewares for one week out of every month. That’s where my disappointment is/was stemming from.
    I know that this city is full of artists and craftspeople who make beautiful designs, whether they are knitting, crocheting, sewing or whatever. I’d just like to see THAT part of Asheville’s fashion scene. The part that is unique to this area and we can’t buy anywhere else. One example could be the guys who’ve been making handmade wool hats sold in the Grove Park.

    I’d also just like to see less of the people in the street and more features of individuals who really have a strong fashion sense and make a point to display that to the world every day. Like those people working downtown who choose to create identities for themselves with fashion. I’d love to hear more from them. They are not just throwing on a big hippy dippy skirt, long socks and combat boots, and a mismatched shirt. That’s not interesting, that’s just hodgepodge.

    I know that fashion is a broad subject with unlimited personalities and interpretations, but the blurbs on housewares just bore me because it seems so lifeless. That’s what I’m getting at… bring life to the Fashion page!

  6. Alli Marshall
  7. sukiakisue

    Per the boutiques: Yeah, just additional ones. I know that there are others. Those are the few that I could think of, but I’ve only lived here for a year. I know it is a small city so you might have covered them all already!!

    This article is awesome:

    This one, not so much:

    Because… who would wear that gold and fur hat? The other two are nothing new, an engineer cap that I could find at Old Navy and a bowl hat for my Grandma.

    Many of these articles I did enjoy, but what comes in between is what’s disappointing. And the ones that seem as though there’s nothing spectacular about the designs or that the clothes aren’t wearable or relatable.

    Plus, there’s nothing wrong with featuring the same boutiques over again in order to show what’s new for the season.

    More designers with wearable stuff.
    More pictures of clothing.
    Less pictures of random people on the street.
    Go back to the boutiques and find what’s new.
    Shoes, shoes, shoes… where are they?
    And jewelry.

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