Last fall I went to New York for IFBCON (International Fashion Bloggers’ Conference) and wanted to wear things from Milwaukee designers. I found a piece here and there in some of our local boutiques, but nothing that was really in my size or that quite fit my style. I knew there was talent in Milwaukee, but was disappointed that I couldn’t easily find any of their work. I’m happy to say this all changes today with the opening of Third Coast Style at 514 N Water Street. Patrice Procopio has brought together a variety of artists and designers to showcase what Milwaukee fashion is all about.
I attended the media preview last Thursday and was delighted to see familiar Milwaukee designer items such as Timothy Westbrook’s cassette tape scarves, Miranda Levy’s dresses, Bree Rose’s leggings and leather cuffs, and Michelle Eigenberger’s vintage inspired skirts.
What really made it great was discovering new designers and what they had to offer. Racks all have plaques next to the designer’s work that tells you a little about the designer and their inspiration. The setup seems more like an art gallery than a traditional boutique, but that works for me because I’m here to learn as well as shop. There’s something about understanding the story behind the designer that makes an item a little more special.
There were so many new discoveries and I’ve pictured a couple below that really stood out for me. Coats with whimsical oversized buttons from Lisa St. Lucy and printed dresses from Tessa Koller start us off.
The little knit dress below was put together by Dan Ebarhardt. You’ve seen Dan’s work before if you read my Repurposed Runway sneak peek post. He had designed the beautiful water lily inspired dress.
Another standout was Vonn’s Vision Gear line. Full of details, the shirts and ties were some of the most fun menswear items I’ve seen lately.
James Boudreaux is working with smart fabrics such as a faux leather that fights off perspiration. The jacket pictured below has a zip off peplum to give it a day-to-night look that can be worn with a matching skirt at work, or fun funky leggings at night. He has a rich history with fabric and design, having started at age five making puppets.
One of Third Coast Style’s favorite current pieces is the “mullet shirt.” Rather classier than its namesake haircut, the mullet shirt nonetheless is business in the front, and a party in the back available in a variety of exciting prints.
There’s so much more to see at the store and you can check out the Barely Practical Third Coast Style Facebook album for pictures of some of the accessories and other fun items. The store is just getting started, and all of the designers assured me there is much more to come. Third Coast Style (also known as MKE TCS) will also be hosting weekly workshops, Upstyle Saturdays, and hair styling by Jeremy Scheifflee. Check out the Third Coast Style Facebook page for more info.