Shopping on the famed & fabulous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida.
On a bright, crystal clear Saturday morning, my photographer (James) and I drove leisurely up the coast of Florida toward Palm Beach to spend a day shopping on Worth Avenue. Ooh la la! I was beyond excited…
Getting an inside look at one of the most glamorous shopping destinations in the country has always been a fashionable dream of mine. Before we arrived, though, I was mesmerized by the view.
As we snaked our way up the shoreline, the sun danced its way across the ocean onto land, illuminating some of the most palatial and perfectly manicured mansions I’d ever seen. Wow! Talk about awe-inspiring.
When I arrived at Worth Avenue, I was just as impressed. The pristine palm tree-lined street wasn’t just a chic oasis filled with beautiful shops. It had secrets, too, and I love secrets: mysterious pathways leading to courtyards filled with flowers, lush greenery, statues and fountains where even more shops, galleries and restaurants wait to be explored.
I’ve traveled to Europe a lot for work and Worth Avenue has that same kind of flair. Which isn’t surprising when you learn about its history. Back in the day (the early 1900’s), Worth Avenue became famous because of “The Everglades Club”…which was originally built by famed architect, Addison Mizner, as a hospital for wounded soldiers.
Eventually, Mizner (and friends) turned it into a shi-shi private resort. From there, upscale stores started popping up all around it and by the 1920’s, the place was booming with high quality merchandise and the rest is, as they say, fashion history.
The great thing about “Exploring Worth Avenue” is there’s definitely something for everyone, which I wasn’t sure about before I actually did the blog. Even though there are indeed luxury brands, most of the shops are locally-owned and accessible to the everyday person. Case-in-point, a boutique called Kiosk; my first stop while “Exploring Worth Avenue”…
Kiosk is this uber-chic, totally whimsical store like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Its owner (Natascha, a beautiful redhead from the Midwest) procures fashion and accessories from all over the world. The store is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
If you love the unique and unusual, this place will make you feel like a kid in a candy store. I’ve seen a lot of clothing in my time, but Kiosk is so freaking fabulous, I can’t wait to go back. What’s more, certain items are very affordable. I’m the kind of fashionista who shops hard, but buys smart.
Kristen Noffsinger, from Luxury PR Group, styled me in some amazing retro looks from Kiosk with an extra dash of funkiness. Both Kristen and I love the quirky and unexpected, with a hint of sophisticated romance. When I showed her one of our final blog pictures, she mused: “You look like the Alice in Wonderland of fashion.”
My next stop was Escada, one of my favorite luxury brands. Their clothes are a mix of modern glamour and bold elegance. I adored how they styled me, too, crossing sophisticated femininity with youthful flirty-ness — and who doesn’t love a bright red structured bag? It should be a staple in every fashionista’s wardrobe. How about a buttery yellow to-die-for-fold-over clutch? It was so soft and supple, I wanted to sleep with it!
After Escada, we meandered our way over to Calypso, which to me has always been the epitome of classy, bohemian beach living and the quintessential expression of Palm Beach style. The Worth Avenue store itself is a hidden gem, too: tucked away inside a quiet little courtyard that reminds me of something you’d see in the Greek Isles.
Wearing Calypso’s own label, laid-back glamour was the goal. The handmade detailing of the two dresses they styled were exquisite and the accessories were a subtle extension of both looks. And those petite clutches! OMG. Both were so spirited, adding extra pizzazz to an already WOW look. Now, to those shoes…
More specifically, the sandals. While “Exploring Worth Avenue,” we trailed down a mysterious narrow path (one of those aforementioned secrets) to visit “Via Capri, 34” — an intimate airy boutique, where Francesco Pasta (who’s actually from Capri, Italy) measures your feet and makes your shoe wardrobe complete with a pair of custom made sandals.
For me, the entire process of picking out my own style and everything that went along with it (leather, detailing and color) was incredibly gratifying. Then, to have them made right before my very eyes, well, that was pretty much the bomb-dot-com. It’s what Francesco’s wife Jessica describes as: “More than just shopping, it’s a true experience.” And, she’s exactly right…
Put it this way: the sandals are so good, Jessica (who was vacationing in Capri when she met Francesco) ended up with way more than just sassy sandals. After swamping emails and corresponding for a few years, they ended up getting hitched. Man, not only did she get the guy, but I’d kill to see her shoe wardrobe.
She’s a modern day Cinderella of sorts. You know the saying: “If the shoe fits..” yada-yada. You can’t make this stuff up! My experience at their store was one of the many reasons “Exploring Worth Avenue”… is so *WORTH* it.
You can easily make a day of it: drive up the coast, explore, shop til’ you drop and eat. Speaking of, don’t miss Friday’s Spotlight featuring “Bice Ristorante” which is also on the avenue. The pasta is beyond divine and their tiramisu is my newest obsession (and I’m not a sweets eater).
“Exploring Worth Avenue” was a new adventure for me and I adored everything about it, especially its visual appeal. It truly is a chic oasis with all of these amazing nooks and crannies to unearth and fall in love with. Plus, the shopping is like NO other place in the country and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.
James Woodley Photography
Editor: Matthew “Shop Hard, Buy Smart” Auerbach
(Special thanks to Marianna Dubois & Kristen Noffsinger)
FB: Escada Twitter: @Escada IG: @Escada
styling: Escada Look 5 & 6, Dark Blue Kaftan & White/Teal Gown (clothing, accessories & purse) by Calypso St. Barth
FB: Calypso St. Barth Twitter: @CalypsoStBarth
(prices available upon request)