Valentine Valentine: Tempering Dissonance

Valentine Valentine: Tempering Dissonance

When you ask Amanda Valentine about the creative process involved in designing her Valentine Valentine clothing line she becomes animated. Her posture shifts forward, her words come more quickly and emphatically. It's like watching the rush of excitement that comes with new love, only this kind of passion isn't diminished by time.

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Dag-NAMM-it

Dag-NAMM-it

This post was supposed to be a lovely photo essay of me toodling around Summer NAMM (that's the National Association of Music Merchants) in my electric wheelchair at our brand new convention center.

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High Fashion In Nashville

I'll bet you think I'm joking, right?

Well, think again. Nashville style is becoming less about kitschy cowboy or southwestern squaw princess and more about edgy designers like recent Project Runway contestant Amanda Valentine and her label Valentine Valentine.

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Nashville is ready, willing and eager to show it has a yearning for couture and up-and-coming fashion designers. Besides Valentine Valentine Nashville is home to more than a handful of fashion design and accessory visionaries such as Peter Nappi, Jamie and the Jones, Emil Erwin, and Leona. Each of them eager to prove they are worthy of attention in larger markets and striving to put Nashville on the map as a fashionable place to be reckoned with.

Peter Nappi Eleanna Boot

Jamie and the Jones Cars dress 2013

Emil Erwin Mahogany Mailbag

Leona Spring 2013

As is the usual practice in Music City Nashvillians are banding together to support their own during Nashville Fashion Week.  Launched in 2011 the annual event, which took place April 2-6, is "a celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community and the city’s array of creative talent. With runway shows at venues throughout the city, panels that feature industry experts on the art, craft and business of fashion, in-store events at boutiques and retailers. Nashville Fashion Week aims to engage both Nashvillians and visitors—spotlighting a city where style, just like music, defines us."

Amanda Valentine

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Tracy Reese

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Proceeds from NFW benefit the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee which "provide an award that will recognize the individual achievements of a fashion industry professional. The financial resources that accompany the award are intended to provide a professional development and/or experiential opportunity for the winner to further advance their career in the fashion industry."

This year's recipient is Lauren Leonard - creator and designer of Leona.

Leona

In looking through the photos for this post I was struck by how many pieces I saw that are perfect for those of us over 40. I can see "X" piece on one of my fellow 40+ fashion bloggers and "Y" bag carried by another. These aren't clothes for little girls. They have strong points of view and represent clear visions of forethought fashion,  not just trends du jour.

Without a single squaw or yee-hah in sight; so there.

I wish that I had known about NFW 2013 far enough in advance to have been able to attend. When it comes to public events I have to arrange transportation and research venue accessibility issues ahead of time. Three days notice simply isn't enough - and I was a bit of a grump about it for a day or two. In the year ahead I'm going to do my best to contact each of these promising designers and offer them an opportunity to connect with all of you right here on this blog.

Next year I will be ready. Who's with me?

• photos from Nashville Fashion Week, Pinterest and respective designer's websites.

Visible Monday: A Violet Valentine

You didn't really think I  was going to wear red for Valentine's Day, did you? photo 20130214_150015_zps6f004448.jpg

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 photo 20130214_150148_zpsadc7b49b.jpg Since I already had to go into downtown Nashville for some tests at Vanderbilt University Clinic my Mr and I decided to finally go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to see the Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age exhibit. We had planned to go to the opening a few weeks ago but, as it often does, life happened and we had to postpone.

Most of the pieces in this outfit aren't anywhere near new. The cap-sleeved, turtleneck sweater dress by rabbit rabbit rabbit petite is four years old and was purchased at Stein Mart . It's fairly heavy and happens to be my favorite shade of dark, lavendery violet. Likewise the Peck & Peack plum and grey reversible leather jacket was purchased during a big sale at Stein Mart. It's a lightweight leather that, I must confess, I've never worn on the grey side. The leopard Sugar boots are only a few months old from Shi by Journeys at Cool Springs Galleria. They are very comfortable and timelessly stylish but at 3" heel height are as high as I can go and still stand up. The Gracie Lynn butterfly sequined watch is also new from Stein Mart and is my nod to Nashville style. You'll never see me wear sequins in the traditional, Nashvillian sense, but I love to reference the city's glitzy tendency in select pieces of my wardrobe.

After the museum my sweetheart and I went to a romantic dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in West Nashville. I'll talk more about that in my next post which continues the "Passionate About" theme for February.

Thanks again to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for the Visible Monday linkup.

I'll leave you with a picture of my Valentine's gift courtesy of The Frist Center's gift shop.

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