Many clothing store shop girls probably dream about being a supermodel, but how many supermodels dream about being a shop girl?
Karen Elson did. In her career, the flame-haired beauty has been a face of Yves Saint Lauren, Chanel, Burberry, Vuitton, Versace and more. But having nabbed the rock star hubby (Jack White from the White Stripes) and settled down in Nashville, Elson and her partner Amy Patterson turned their attention to creating Venus and Mars: The Showroom, a hip men's and women's vintage boutique.
(The store has an official web site on which not much happens; in true hipster form it's better to head to its MySpace page to find out what's going on. Here you will learn that the store is 95, single, and also a Scorpio.)
As you might expect from a showbiz capital with the history of Nashville, the city already had a thriving vintage scene when Venus and Mars opened in October 2008. But Elson's celebrity status has helped to focus attention on some of the gems (well, rhinestones) to be found in the place that launched the careers of stars like Dolly Parton.
With typical southern flourish, Venus and Mars describes its wares as "vintage garments and adornments." What that means, in Elson's words, is that "vintage isn't just an old hand-me-down but a one-of-a-kind garment with a wonderful history."
Former New York Post fashion editor and Tennessee native Libby Callaway recently took a revealing look inside the boutique (and some gorgeous pictures of the merch) for Black Book magazine. And the good news is those leopard-print Mary Janes are still available; turns out they weren't my size.
Head over to our brother site Spinner to watch Karen perfom "the Ghost Who Lies" live.