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 A Legacy of Couture at Rodeo Drive

Raquel Koff pulled a photograph of herself off the printer in horror, shooting her giggling daughter an exaggerated stink eye. The photograph was of herself in the early ’90s. She donned a head-to-toe denim get-up, and from the looks of the photo, she was a master of the bedazzler. The photograph resurfaced as the Rodeo Drive team gathered photographs of the store and its customers from the ’90s in celebration of the company’s 23rd anniversary.


Photo by Alexa Pence

Photo by Alexa Pence

Then and now, Raquel is the kind of up-to-the-minute “it girl” who can pull off a look no matter how bold. She runs her business side-by-side with her daughter, Michelle Tasman, in Holiday Manor. They manage a company based on high quality couture, a passion for their customers and a lighthearted sense of humor that puts smiles on their customers’ faces. The two admit that fashion simply runs in their blood and always has – starting with Raquel’s mother.


Michelle describes, “My grandmother is the ultimate fashionista. That way of living has trickled down to my mother, myself and now my two diva children who don’t leave the house unless they are fully dressed with their nails done, hair done and their perfume on.”

Three generations of impeccable style and cunning business savvy make for an unstoppable force. The trio teamed up after Raquel went through a divorce and decided to open Rodeo Drive with her (since retired) friend Irene Hacker.

The Rodeo girls decided one thing would remain on the forefront: change. Right off the bat, the gals exhibited this contemporary mindset by being one of the first stores in Louisville to utilize computers. That same drive to be ahead is propelling them forward to this day.

“Now with the launching of the website, our biggest competitor is not local business,” Michelle attests. “I think there’s a place for everyone in Louisville. I think everyone is different and has their own personality, so at this point, we are competing with national online brands.”

With eyes set to the sky, these ladies remain strongly rooted in the community and engaged in philanthropy. Whether it be flat donations or sharing a percentage of trunk show profits, Rodeo Drive strongly supports the Churchill Downs Backside Learning Center as it provides educational opportunities and allocates resources to equine workers and their families. The opportunities to take part in these efforts are plentiful as Rodeo Drive hosts trunk shows and events regularly.

“We are in it for the long haul,” Michelle asserts. “We want longterm relationships with our customers. We want you to even feel comfortable bringing a piece in from another store, whether it be jeans or a dress, and we will help you finish the outfit.” From there, customers can take advantage of in-store alterations.

Whether you’re shopping for a gala or for girls’ night, Rodeo has you covered. After 23 years of business, Rodeo Drive has become a Louisville staple we can all enjoy. Michelle says it best: “We are a one stop shop – it’s rodeo drive thru!”

For more information, visit or call 502.425.8999.

Celebrate the trends of the 90’s and today at Rodeo Drive’s anniversary throwback sale

There are plenty of ways to celebrate a special milestone. Whether it’s an exciting night out to commemorate a birthday, a festive evening to mark a significant anniversary or an elegant reception to honor one who has retired, it’s no secret that everyone loves a good reason to celebrate and enjoy themselves.

And the folks at Rodeo Drive are definitely no different. Just like any other fashionista, the ladies at Rodeo Drive love a glamorous summertime celebration that calls for a fabulous new outfit. And this summer, they’ve got just the one.

13659217_10153623819211837_1892860124103605318_nFashionable Rodeo Drive is proud to reach its 23rd year of business as one of Louisville’s most popular women’s retailers, and its team of fashion experts aren’t letting this milestone pass them by without commemorating it in a big way.

Since opening its doors for the first time in 1993,Rodeo Drive has been a fashion staple among the best-dressed women of Louisville, and the ladies at this shop plan to keep their business growing by continuing to scope out the latest trends and most popular names in fashion.

And while focusing on the latest styles of 2016, the staff is observing the shop’s 24th anniversary as the perfect time to reflect on the last 24 beautiful, and sometimes quirky, years of fashion trends.

Remember the scrunchie craze inspired by Britney Spears, and those platform sandals made famous by the Spice Girls? Rodeo Drive sure does, and they’re celebrating with a 90’s themed birthday bash throwback sale.

24yearsoldThe shop’s team of personal shoppers and fashion advisors invite the community to come out and shop this huge anniversary throwback sale from August 8ththrough the 13th. Customers will be offered incredible deals throughout the store’s entire inventory which includes several glamorous collections from today’s most sought after designers.

And that’s not all. While customers will be given the chance to browse brand new arrivals of Rodeo Drive’s must-have fall merchandise, they will also be given several fun opportunities to score special exclusive discounts.

Each customer who shops Rodeo Drive during its anniversary throwback sale will be given a unique lottery-style scratch-off card that will reveal a special discount of up to 40% off an entire purchase.

And if that isn’t enough to draw shoppers into the store, Rodeo Drive’s exciting gift card raffle is sure to be just the thing. Each customer will be encouraged to enter the shop’s daily raffle which will take place each day of the sale. The winners of each raffle will receive a $50 Rodeo Drive gift card.


Those who can’t make it into the store during its throwback sale can still participate in the shop’s online-based gift card contest. Simply share your personal favorite 90’s fashion throwback picture onRodeo Drive’s Facebook page or your personal Instagram and tag #ShopRodeoDrive to enter to win a $100 Rodeo Drive gift card. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the winner who will be announced on Rodeo Drive’s social media on August 13th.

Celebrate the eccentric fashion trends of the 90’s while indulging in today’s latest styles at Rodeo Drive’s anniversary throwback sale. And don’t forget to check out the shop’s new fall merchandise and learn about the shop’s upcoming trunk shows on Call the store at 502-425-8999 for more information. Let them know Insider Local Life sent you!


Rodeo Drive celebrates with throwback sale

, @kirbylouisville1:49 p.m. EDT August 4, 2016

It’s hard to believe, but Rodeo Drive has been dressing Louisville for 24 years. To celebrate, from Aug. 8-13, they’re giving customers several reasons to drop in and save.

Stop by Rodeo Drive during 90s week and enter to win a $50 gift card. Each day a winner will be drawn. Also pick up a daily scratch off card and get up to 40 percent off your entire purchase.

In conjunction with this event, the boutique is holding a social media campaign and asking customers to share their favorite throwback fashion photos and memories from the 90s.

Share your images on Rodeo Drive’s Facebook and Instagram pages, all listed under shoprodeodrive. Hashtag #shoprodeodrive for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Winners will be announced on Aug.13.

Reach Kirby Adams at or (502) 582-4336


Bellarmine grad sparkles as jewelry designer

, @kirbylouisville7:04 a.m. EDT August 3, 2016

Designer Matthew Campbell Laurenza, a graduate of Ballard High School and Bellarmine University, will return to Louisville this week with his newest collection of fine jewelry.

Creating “wearable sculpture for adventurous spirits,” Laurenza’s meticulously crafted jewelry has developed a strong celebrity following.

You can meet Laurenza and shop his collection at Rodeo Drive, 2212 C Holiday Manor Center, from 10 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

To view Laurenza’s work, visit For more information on the Rodeo Drive sale, go to Facebook, Rodeo Drive Louisville.

Reach Kirby Adams at

Ballard grad designs luxe jewelry for the stars

, @herscene4:54 p.m. EDT August 5, 2016

He was once a bag boy at Kroger, but this Bellarmine grad now creates a dazzling line of bohemian luxe jewelry that's worn by celebrities.


(Photo: Lauren Nolan)

When Matthew Campbell Laurenza was growing up, he didn't dream of being an astronaut, a fireman or president.

"I just always knew I wanted to work for myself," he said. "At one point in my teens, I started making wooden Santa Clauses and fish decoys and I sold them at Shaker Town. During the Christmas season, I was making $5,000 a month."

Artistic and driven since he could pick up a pencil, Laurenza was accepted into the architecture program at Savannah College of Art and Design after graduating from Ballard High School. But architecture wasn't his perfect medium and he soon returned to Louisville to pursue a fine arts degree at Bellarmine University, with a concentration in sculpture.

All of his training and creative talents are evident at the first glance at his collection of fine jewelry in the glass case at Rodeo Drive, where they've been carrying the line since early summer. The craftsmanship on each piece, many of which take six to eight months to produce, is exquisite.

Michelle Tasman (left), Vice President of Rodeo Drive,

Little details such as clasps and closures are so carefully constructed that they become part of the allure. The collection, which ranges in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, spans from bizarrely beautiful spider necklaces to natural gray pearls to gumball-sized, gem-studded cocktail rings. But each piece challenges the notion of "real jewelry."

These are not your grandmother's pearls ... or sapphires ... although if your grandmother likes to keep things current, she might very well fall in love with an MCL piece. It's not surprising that celebrities like Katy Perry, Rihana, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez and Oprah have chosen to wear his accessories.

Running through Rodeo in search of clothing for a shoot earlier this week, I stopped dead in my tracks as I was dashing past the display. His pieces are so intricate and unusual that they eclipsed every item on my to-do list. When I interrogated Michelle Tasman, marketing director for Rodeo, about the appearance of this stunning collection of jewelry, she told me that it was created by a local boy turned luxury jewelry designer (who lives in Bangkok but has offices here in Louisville).

I had to hear more. So, when he came in town this week for a two-day trunk show, I grabbed a few minutes with him.

 Christine Fellingham: So can you tell me a little bit about how you made the leap from Bellarmine Fine Arts student to Bergdorf Goodman?

Matthew Campbell Laurenza: During the time I was going to Bellarmine, I was working at Jacobson’s and I started making jewelry for people. I developed a little following and then Owsley Frazier commissioned me to do a collection for Bittners. While I was doing that, I started going to Thailand to work on sourcing and production. My collection at Bittners became relatively successful, so that got me thinking that I could actually do this.

I created a capsule collection of costume jewelry for Henri Bendel (in New York City) and I was very lucky – they agreed to sell it, but it was designed by me and it was under their name. And I did the same thing for Barneys New York. But I didn't make any money with them. It was costume jewelry. And I had the responsibility of overseeing the production. So they'd buy five pieces from me, but I'd have to have a hundred produced. The economy of scale was not in my favor. So I knew that I didn't want to do costume jewelry forever and I decided to move to Thailand to develop the production end. While I was doing that, I opened a store in The Colony, which my mother helped me oversee. I started producing my own jewelry and selling it there. Once that was up and running, I went back to New York.

Matthew Campbell Laurenza is a Louisville native who

CF: The collection is stunning, but how did you get your foot back in the door at Bergdorf's?

MCL: I met a lot of editors while I was in Thailand. One of them picked up the phone and got me in. I had been traveling to New York and wandering the streets and I couldn't get anyone to see me. But once I got in with my new collection, they picked it up. That was in 2007. And in the first four months, I did $1.3 million in sales from four feet of counter space. That launched the brand. Shortly after that, I launched at Neiman Marcus.

CF: What inspires your collections?

MCL: Decorative arts and antiques. I love antique shopping.

CF: Do you have a favorite spot here?

MCL: When I'm in town, I always go to Joe Ley Antiques.

CF: When did you feel like you made it?

MCL: Bergdorf's was a turning point. But the market has shifted dramatically. Owning your own business is a constant shuffle. I have to keep running and keep evolving. I've had a lot of breaks, but I can't rely on that. You can get knocked off that pedestal pretty fast.

CF: How often do you come back to Louisville?

MCL: I'm here every six to eight weeks. It always feels like home. And I have to say that the Courier-Journal is great. People saw the piece about my trunk show (this week) and they've been coming in just to say hi. There are people who knew me as a bag boy at Kroger and now they're buying my rings. That's pretty special.

Reach Christine Fellingham at 

80 percent off Friday at Boutique Blowout sale

, @kirbylouisville 7:05 a.m. EDT July 20, 2016

Friday is the day to save up to 80 percent off designer fashions when you shop The Boutique Blowout and Bash Sale.

Shop for great fashion and incredible savings from Louisville boutiques; Rodes, Rodeo Drive, Circe + Swag, B.YOU Fitness, Fresh, Liv, Serendipity, Clodhoppers and Peacock.

The sale is noon-9 p.m., Friday, July 22, at The Pointe, 1205 E. Washington St., in Butchertown. Wine and food trucks will be on-site so you can “re-fuel” when your shopping engine runs low.

Bring a new toiletry item to donate to the Freedom House Women’s Addition and Recovery Program and you’ll get an additional 10 percent off your purchase.

The boutiques prefer if you use cash or a check when you shop this sale. Check out the boutiques various websites or Facebook pages for more details.

Reach Kirby Adams at

8 Louisville boutiques throw big blowout

, @kirbylouisville 3:30 p.m. EDT July 16, 2015

Savvy shoppers will want to know about this sale. The annual Boutique Blowout Sale is Friday 4-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The sale promises up to 80 percent off merchandise from many of Louisville’s top boutiques including: Rodeo Drive, Merci Boutique, Rodes, Fresh Boutique, Circe + Swag, Glasscock Boutique, Bedded Bliss and Peacock Boutique.

The annual sale is held in Westport Village at 1201 Herr Lane Suite 180 and in pop up tents on site. For more information call (502) 894-0095.


Kirby Adams reports on entertainment, hip happenings and an active lifestyle in our community. Contact Kirby at She’s also on Twitter @kirbylouisville


Blowouts and bargains, July 15-22

by , The Courier-Journal, July 15, 2016

It's still summertime, but that doesn't mean you can't get a leg up on back-to-school shopping. Several boutiques are having sales this week, so you can send your kids off in August with a new wardrobe. Here are your steals and deals for this week:

1. The Boutique Blowout and Bash Sale

If you're in the mood to shop for great fashion, The Boutique Blowout and Bash Sale is where you need to be. Stores like Rodes, Rodeo Drive, Circe + Swag, B.YOU Fitness, Fresh Boutique 4 Girls, Liv Boutique, Serendipity, Clodhoppers and Peacoc will have up to 80 percent off designer fashions. Shop from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, July 22 at The Pointe, 1205 E. Washington St. in Butchertown. Bring a new toiletry item to donate to the Freedom House Women’s Addition and Recovery Program and you’ll get an additional 10 percent off your purchase.

2. Pay almost nothing at the Willow Tree

The annual summer sale at the Willow Tree, 657 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., features 75 percent off apparel and select jewelry as low as $10 while items are available. The sale beings Monday, July 18 and runs through the end of the month.

3. Monograms get kids ready for back to school

Sew Cute by Katie, 11408 Shelbyville Road in Middletown, is having Christmas in July with lots of markdowns and 20 percent off your total merchandise purchase Tuesday, July 19- Saturday, July 23. Get ready for back-to-school and bring in your child’s backpack and lunch bag to be monogrammed. Sew Cute by Katie also offers alterations by appointment if you need school uniforms altered.

4. Books, books and more books

The Bon Air Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, 2816 Del Rio Place, will hold a book sale and an afternoon of live music with Swing Boat on Saturday, July 16. The book sale will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and live entertainment by Swing Boat is 2-4 p.m.

Taylor Riley is a producer at the Courier-Journal. Reach her for steals and deals at


Be a fashion icon this summer with help from Rodeo Drive’s team of personal shoppers and stylists


Whether it’s on the red carpet at the premier of the season’s biggest blockbuster, on center stage at an awards ceremony, or strolling through Beverly Hills on a casual afternoon, Hollywood’s brightest stars always dress to impress. But looking their best in the latest fashion trends isn’t something that always comes naturally, even for the most popular of celebrities.


Oprah Winfrey’s professional style, Lady Gaga’s eccentric looks and even the glamorous ensembles of Louisville’s own Jennifer Lawrence have come from a celebrity stylist. But having a fashion professional choose your clothing and accessories to ensure you always fit the latest trends on a daily basis must be an expensive service only offered to celebrities and the wealthy, right?

The answer, which may come as a surprise to many, is no. Thanks to the experienced staff at Rodeo Drive, the same personal shopping and styling services that are frequently used by celebrities are also available to the women of Louisville at no charge.

At Rodeo Drive, personal shopping and styling is complimentary. Whether one of this boutique’s seven talented stylists spends 30 minutes or an entire day with an individual, the service is always free.

Regardless if you’re looking for an impressive outfit to wear to your next family gathering, an elegant gown for a romantic gala, a collection of casual attire for a long weekend getaway, or if the airport lost your luggage during your flight to Louisville and you’re in need of a new wardrobe, Rodeo Drive’s team of trained stylists can help you find exactly what you’re looking for without the obligation to make a purchase.


With the team’s fashion knowledge and expertise, stylists hand-select items from Rodeo Drive’s wide variety of women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories to dress clients from head to toe in outfits that display the most popular current trends. The team also provides advice on how, when and where to wear certain outfits and accessories.

The team also assists in making final touches to an outfit. If you’ve already got the perfect dress picked out for a special event, let one of Rodeo Drive’s stylists assist you with matching the perfect pair of shoes and accessories.

Items can also be ordered in specific sizes and preferred colors if what you’re looking for is not available in the store, making the Rodeo Drive shopping experience even easier. And with the summer fashion season coming to an end, there’s no better time to get started on your fall wardrobe.


Rodeo Drive’s styling team also offers gift services for those in search of the most fashionable gift. Gift services include tracking down and ordering hard-to-find items, advice on the shop’s gift selection for any occasion and complimentary gift wrapping.

With all of these incredible complimentary services offered in the same place, it’s no wonder Rodeo Drive has been nominated for Greater Louisville Inc.’s Very Small Business of the Year Award as part of its annual Inc.Credible Awards. You can vote for Rodeo Drive now through August 18 here.

And next time you’re in need of the perfect outfit, or if you just want to learn how to dress like a fashion icon, visit with a member of Rodeo Drive’s personal shopping and styling team. Appointments are available seven days a week. Visit Rodeo Drive’s website or call (502) 425-8999 to make yours today!



Inc.credible! GLI announces 2016 awards finalists


by Baylee Pulliam - 

Louisville companies are doing incredible things — some might even say Inc.credible.

That's according to Greater Louisville Inc., which named 30 companies as finalists for its 2016 Inc.credible Awards at this morning's Wake Up Wind Down event, held in conjunction with Louisville Business First.

Greater Louisville Inc. has named 30 companies as finalists for its 2016 Inc.credible Awards

GLI, the metro chamber of commerce, gives the awards to celebrate small businesses and recognize companies that lead in business and civic arenas.

“The Inc.credible Awards are a chance for Greater Louisville to really celebrate all the small businesses that make our region unique and vibrant,” Kent Oyler, president and CEO of GLI, said in a news release. “We are always excited to see the innovative business solutions that are being pioneered by the smaller players in our community.”

There are six Inc.credible categories this year, and the finalists for each are listed below in alphabetical order. The description of the awards are from GLI.

Very Small Business of the Year Award (1-9 employees), presented by Mortenson Family Dental

"The winning company exemplifies both business and civic leadership. Community involvement, management practices and overall financial performance are the primary criteria for this category."

  • C2 Strategic Communications
  • Hope Scarves
  • Level 12
  • Rodeo Drive
  • Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group
  • Wimsett & Co.

Small Business of the Year Award (10-100 employees), presented by Integrity HR

"The winning company must exemplify both business and civic leadership. Community involvement, management practices, and overall financial performance are the primary criteria for this category."

  • ID+A, Inc.
  • Ladyfingers Catering
  • Michaelis Events
  • Net Tango Inc.
  • PerlTech Solutions
  • RunSwitch Public Relations

Advanced manufacturing and logistics award

"This award will go to the manufacturing company that best demonstrates the use of effective, lean methodologies and techniques that focus on improvements in: quality; cost; productivity; physical waste reduction, and non-value adding activities; customer service; and safety."

  • Advanced Distribution Services Inc.
  • Cardinal Carryor Inc.
  • Main Line Xpress Inc.
  • Northern Continental Logisitcs Inc.
  • SkuVault

Arts, culture and community award

"This award is presented to the small business that is seen as a leader in the Greater Louisville community. This business has made significant contributions to advancing arts and culture in Greater Louisville and sees community investment as a core part of the company’s values.

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana
  • Carriage House Educational Services
  • Fund for the Arts
  • Just Creations
  • Revelry Gallery

Innovation and creativity award

"This award recognizes a small business that executes business initiatives which demonstrate innovative solutions for new and existing business needs. Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, services, systems, technologies, developments, ventures, and undertakings."

  • ECT Services Inc.
  • MXD Process
  • OrganoCat
  • Red e App
  • Rodefer Moss CPAs & Business Consultants

Lifelong wellness and health care award, presented by Humana

"This award recognizes a business that is taking steps to increase overall wellbeing, whether by introducing innovative solutions to the healthcare field or whether by implementing an organization-wide health and wellness program. The company must be committed to improving lifelong wellness for individuals inside and outside of their organization."

  • Core Fluency Pilates, LLC
  • My Health E
  • Splash Analytics
  • XLerate Health

Winners will be named at the Inc.credible Awards luncheon on Aug. 19 at the Galt House ( ticket information here). All finalists are also eligible for the people's choice award ( voting here).

Baylee Pulliam covers these beats: health care, health insurance, media/marketing and technology.


Save up to 80 percent at 9 Boutique blowouts

, @kirbylouisville 7 a.m. EDT July 7, 2016

Mark your calendar for this one: The Boutique Blowout and Bash Sale is back.

This is the time to shop for great fashion and incredible savings from Louisville boutiques including, Rodes, Rodeo Drive, Circe + Swag, B.YOU Fitness, Fresh Boutique 4 Girls, Liv Boutique, Serendipity, Clodhoppers and Peacock.

Save up to 80 percent off designer fashions when you shop from noon to 9 p.m., Friday, July 22 at The Pointe, 1205 E. Washington St. in Butchertown. Wine and food trucks will be on-site so you can “re-fuel” when your shopping engine runs low.

Bring a new toiletry item to donate to the Freedom House Women’s Addition and Recovery Program and you’ll get an additional 10 percent off your purchase.

The boutiques prefer if you use cash or a check when you shop this sale. Check out the boutiques various websites or Facebook pages for more detail.

Reach Kirby Adams at

Local Drybar operator is classically chic

, @kirbylouisville 11:20 a.m. EDT June 30, 2016

Even dressed in a work-type uniform, this week's Stylemaker knows how to create a unique and personal fashion statement.

Name: Mandy Vine

Age: 53

Hometown: Born in Glasgow, Scotland, lived in Houston Texas until settling in Louisville in 1984

Education: Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin

Career: Operating partner of Drybar Louisville and co-owner of What a Girl Wants, Fine Jewelry

Describe your style in three words: Comfortable, casual and classic

Style icons: Jennifer Aniston, Amal Clooney

Signature accessories: Apple Watch with changeable bands, fabulous handbags

Warby Parker eyeglasses
13 June, 2016

Warby Parker eyeglasses 13 June, 2016 (Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The CJ)


What are you buying this season to update your look: With my eyesight slightly deteriorating, I have just purchased a new pair of eyeglasses from Warby Parker online.

Favorite summer trend: Off the shoulder tops and lots of white

Favorite places to shop: Local Louisville boutiques like; Circe, Rodeo Drive, Rhodes, Clodhoppers, J Crew and online shopping at

Baroqu Pearls with diamond pavŽ balls by What A Girl

Baroqu Pearls with diamond pavŽ balls by What A Girl Wants. 13 June, 2016 (Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The CJ)


Favorite style tip: Don’t only wear the current trends, mix new with the old. Dress age appropriate

Item you’ll never part with: My wedding ring

Go-to outfit: White jeans and a great top with a pair of awesome shoes. I mix it up and wear flats, heels or high top Common Projects sneakers.

The Drybar's Baby Buttercup travel drier (unfolded.)

The Drybar's Baby Buttercup travel drier (unfolded.) 13 June, 2016 (Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The CJ)

Must-have beauty products  in your makeup bag: Drybar Triple Sec Texturizing Spray, Drybar Money Maker Hair Spray (for a fresh-looking blow-out),Chanel Lip Stain-Tender Beige, Smash Box Insta-Matte Lip Stick.

How often you shop for new clothes: I love to shop and love a great deal. I enjoy adding new pieces to my wardrobe, so I shop when I have a little down time. I also love to shop online.

Favorite colors this season: I tend to wear Drybar Uniform colors - black, white, grey, denim and yellow. When not in the shop, I like to add a little color to my day, but very rarely pattern.

Time it takes you to get dressed: 30-45 minutes. It is not too tough. I don't wear patterns, so everything is usually pretty basic on color and putting outfits together is not difficult.

Stewart Weitzman blue suede shoes
13 June, 2016

Stewart Weitzman blue suede shoes 13 June, 2016 (Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The CJ)


What are the building blocks of your style: I start with the perfect pair of denim, either black, blue or white. I also love a silk blouse paired with the perfect belt and shoes. Handbags are also so important!

What's your style philosophy or motto: Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident.

What's the biggest fashion or beauty risk you've ever taken: Over the knee boots.

Every woman should wear a (fill-in-the-blank) at least once in her life: An amazing Derby fascinator.

What's the biggest fashion faux pas a person can commit: Uncomfortable shoes!

Send me your nomination for our weekly Stylemaker column. We feature both men and women in our community who have tips to share on how they achieve their personal style and flair. I'll need a brief description of the nominee's style, their email address and a photo if possible - send to Please include STYLEMAKER in the subject line.   


What to Wear: July 2016 Events in Louisville

Things are heating up here in Louisville! With all of the July events and happenings, it’s time to give those swimsuits a break and don your most fashionable summer clothes. We chose three July events and picked out what to wear to each one from some great local boutiques (so you don’t have to get up off of your pool chair). This month, we are highlighting an Old-Fashioned 4th of July in Crescent Hill, Forecastle Festival and the Wine, Walk, & Shop event. You can find these outfits at BLU Boutique, Rodeo Drive, Peacock Boutique, Animal Crackers. Collections, General Eccentric, Merci Boutique, Liv Boutique, Circe + Swag, and M.E. Modern Elegance. So sit back, relax and soak up that one more hour of sun.

The Event: Old-Fashioned Fourth of July in Crescent Hill

  • Sunday and Monday, July 3 – 4, 2016
  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Peterson-Dumesnil House
  • Free

Celebrate an old-fashioned Fourth of July at the Peterson-Dumesnil House in Crescent Hill. With more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, a children’s fun zone, a cake booth, live music and, of course, fireworks, you and your family will be sure to have a great time! Ride your bike or park for free at the Seminary parking lot on Grinstead Drive and catch a free trolley ride to the grounds from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Be sure to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the fireworks. Learn more here.

What to wear: Besides red, white and blue, wear something casual and festive. Make sure you dress for the heat that usually accompanies our nation’s Independence Day.

Look #1:

Red white and blue, not shown in a typical way for Fourth of July.

From BLU Boutique: dress, $79; necklace, $59

Red cowboy boots for Fourth of July

From BLU Boutique: Justin red cowboy boots, $49

Look #2:

Navy and white shorts are perfect for Fourth of July

From Rodeo Drive: Trina Turk silk magenta tank top, $198; Trina Turk navy and white patterned shorts, $198

Look #3:

Easy breezy cotton striped tank dress for Fourth of July

From Peacock Boutique: blue and white scoop-necked tank dress, $79; stripe top hat, $395

Bonus Look (we couldn’t help ourselves!):

Fourth of July smocked clothes for kids

From Animal Crackers: girl’s flutter sleeve smocked flag dress, $54; boy’s flag shortall, $39

The Event: Forecastle Festival

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 15 -17, 2016
  • Waterfront Park
  • Tickets start at $170 a person

Forecastle Festival returns this summer to the Louisville Waterfront. This three-day music festival is sure to be a good time, featuring hometown artists like Teddy Abrams and friends, as well as big names like The Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes, Death Cab for Cutie, Brandi Carlile and more. Enjoy the music, food and drinks at Forecastle for the entire weekend, or buy passes for individual days. To see the full lineup and to purchase tickets, visit

What to Wear: Channel your inner boho chic for fun festival attire. Remember to keep cool and wear your sunscreen!

Look #1:

Keep cool at Forecastle with this tank and shorts

From Collections: green multi-layer tank top, $66; embroidered shorts, $68

Great shorts at Collections that look great with any top.

Closeup on these great embroidered shorts at Collections. These would look great with any top for those with the great legs to show off!

Look #2:

Long, flowy dresses are a great option for Forecastle.

From General Eccentric: black and white maxi dress, $44

This delicate necklace makes a big statement

From General Eccentric: double layer silver necklace, $18

Look #3:

Great flowy boho dress by Shoshanna for Forecastle

From Merci Boutique: flowy off-the-shoulder dress by Shoshanna, $394

The Event: Wine, Walk & Shop

  • Friday, July 15
  • 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Historic Downtown Jeffersonville
  • Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on day of event
  • Must be at least 21 years of age

Venture over to Historic Downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana, for the Seventh Annual Wine, Walk & Shop Event. Each ticket gets you one wine glass and a charming evening. Enjoy several wine tasting stations, hors d’oeuvres in the downtown shops, live music on the sidewalks and special sales at locally owned shops. Finish the evening with a stroll on the Big Four Bridge, where you might be able to hear the sounds of Forecastle drifting over the river. Learn more about Wine, Walk & Shop here.

What to wear: Something sweet or whimsical for a summer evening, like a flowy dress or something bright and fun.

Look #1:

Great summer maxi dress with pockets

From Liv Boutique: striped maxi dress, $88

Pockets are the key to a great dress!

Take a closer look at these cute pockets!

Look #2:

Boho chic with long sleeves and great tassel top closure.

From Circe + Swag: dress, $378

Look #3:

Bright yellow high necked tank top with white jeans is a great summer outfit.

From M.E. Modern Elegance: yellow, high-necked sleeveless tunic, $44; turquoise necklace, $32; white jeans, $99

There are lots of great events in Louisville this month, so enjoy being outside and celebrating!


Explore this summer’s must-have accessories at Rodeo Drive

Brightly colored dresses, loud patterned blouses, sparkling accessories, delightfully captivating perfumes and floral designs on everything are just a handful of essentials when it comes to women’s summertime fashion. And there’s nothing a fashionista looks forward to more than a beautiful summer day matched with the perfect outfit.


And when shopping for the perfect outfits for each of your exciting summertime occasions, Louisville’s Rodeo Drive should definitely be on your list of boutique destinations. This locally owned shop has plenty in store to make this summer the most beautiful and fashionable season of 2016.

Rodeo Drive’s large and unique collection of rare and designer women’s clothing alone is enough to bring in customers again and again. But this summer, the folks at this local women’s clothing store are increasing their inventory with new additions that are sure to make waves in Louisville’s fashion community.

Because this shop has been in business for 23 years, it’s no surprise that it has a team composed of fashion pros. And considering their expertise, they know that the perfect outfit always needs the perfect fragrance to set the tone of the occasion, which is why Rodeo Drive is proud to introduce its newest designer product line, Eden Square Apothecary.


This line of fragrant perfumes and candles is only sold in a small handful of select stores across the United States, making Rodeo Drive Kentucky’s one and only Eden Square retailer and one of the only retailers of the line in the entire country.

Shoppers of Rodeo Drive are offered an up-close experience with the sweet aroma of Eden Square’s fragrant selection. Whether you choose from its bright and floral variety, which features an array of light citrus scents with signature florals, or from its line of sultry fragrances, which is filled with notes of sweet vanilla and earthy accents, your outfit is sure to be perfected with a dose of summer aroma.

And no outfit can truly be considered perfect without a few accessories, which is why Rodeo Drive has also recently added items to its inventory from designer, Matthew Campbell Laurenza.

As a Louisville native, it’s no surprise that celebrity jewelry designer, Matthew Campbell Laurenza has chosen to sell his merchandise at one of his hometown’s premier womens’ clothing boutiques. And to keep his products rare and unique, Laurenza’s line can only be found in a small number of shops around the world, Rodeo Drive being the only retailer in Kentucky’s region to carry his collection.

In order to keep all of his jewelry fresh and in season, the designer continuously restocks his selection at Rodeo Drive with new pieces from his uniquely created collections. And starting this August, this designer will also be accepting orders from Rodeo Drive shoppers for custom made jewelry as well.


Having previously designed jewelry for some of the world’s most popular names in music and television including Beyonce, Oprah, Blake Lively and Janet Jackson, Laurenza only uses the finest materials when creating his necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. So whether you’re shopping for a stunning accent piece for the perfect outfit, or a one-of-a-kind engagement ring, Laurenza promises to create exactly what you’re looking for.

And for those who miss out on Rodeo Drive’s impressive summertime collection, be sure not to miss its selection included in the end of summer warehouse sale taking place at The Pointe in Butchertown July 21 – 22.

This warehouse sale will allow eight different local boutiques to make room for their seasonal fall merchandise by showcasing their spring and summer fashions at significantly discounted prices. Along with Rodeo Drive, Rodes and Boutique Serendipity are also set to participate in the sale. Food trucks and wine vendors will also be onsite to cater to shoppers.

Once summer comes to an end and Louisville welcomes fall, Rodeo Drive will showcase a new line of seasonal fashions by designer Joseph Ribkoff at the shop’s fall show in August. Shoppers at this show will have the option to order items from this fabulous line of formal and professional wear in a wide variety of colors and sizes, including both petites and plus.

But why wait until the end of summer to check out what Rodeo Drive has to offer? Visit Rodeo Drive’s website or stop into the shop today to discover how you can make summer 2016 your most fashionable season of the year.

Freshen up your wardrobe at Rodeo Drive

Spring has officially sprung, Louisville. And just because Derby 2016 is behind us, that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress like you’ve got a seat on Millionaire’s Row at Churchill Downs. If your springtime wardrobe needs a glamourous makeover, look no further than Louisville’s newly renovated Rodeo Drive boutique.


After it’s unfortunate flood last July, this family-owned boutique has completely renovated its shop and has since reopened to once again serve the women of Louisville with a one of a kind shopping experience. Customers are welcome to browse the shop’s large variety of the latest designer fashions while receiving thoughtful and dedicated assistance from Rodeo Drive’s own experienced fashionistas. And considering that this shop has been in business for more than 20 years, it’s safe to say the folks here know a thing or two about fashion.

Whether you’re looking for something elegant to wear on a romantic date, or you’re looking for a new casual outfit for the first day of the semester, Rodeo Drive has you covered with the most popular trends. Carrying all types of women’s clothing from dresses to pants to sweaters to hats, Rodeo Drive is your one-stop shop when it comes to completing your wardrobe.

The fashionable folks at Rodeo Drive know that it can be tricky to find exactly what you’re looking for in store, especially if you’re trying to find the perfect outfit for a special event. That’s why this boutique hosts several trunk shows throughout the year, many of which allow customers to choose designs for custom pieces.

Rodeo Drive’s next trunk show is just weeks away and will take place inside the store from June 1 – 14. This show will feature new fall fashions from Lafayette 148 New York, a design brand specializing in the boldest trends of the fashion world. Though June marks the beginning of summer, it’s never too early to start planning your dream fall wardrobe and snag some deals while you’re at it. Both plus and petite sizes will be included in the styles offered at this show, so come one, come all!


And for those who can’t make it into the store, Rodeo Drive now proudly offers its customers a new unique shopping experience that can be accessed at all hours of the day and night directly from the comfort of home. Rodeo Drive’s brand new website launched within the last year and regularly showcases its newest arrivals, upcoming collections, special events and even flash sales.

Your relatives in Florida love Derby fashion, but do they know what Derby-goers wear year-round? They will now when they check out Rodeo Drive’s website. Pick an outfit, place your order and have it shipped anywhere in the United States all while helping a local business thrive.

Rodeo Drive is located in the Holiday Manor Shopping Center and is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm and Saturday 10am – 5pm. Stop in today to glam up your spring wardrobe!

Credit: Insider Louisville Local Life -


Rodeo Drive Featured in StyleBluePrint's "What to Wear: May 2016 Events in Louisville"

April 28, 2016 by Heidi Potter

The Event: Derby Galas Fillies and Lilies, Barnstable Brown, Unbridled Eve and Derby Eve Gala to name a few May 6, 2016 — most all galas are the night before Derby

Ticket prices vary per event

Locations vary per event

There are several black-tie galas on the night before Derby. For many of us that means coming straight from the track for Oaks, cleaning up and putting on our best ball gown. We found these great ones around town, and many of them pink, like the Oaks day was meant to be. Click on the events above to get tickets.

What to wear: Pink is a hot color in formal gowns right now, as is royal blue. We also noticed a lot of longer trains and layered hemlines. Bold florals offer a more assertive aesthetic, with some shown just on the skirt portions of dresses.


From Rodeo Drive: Theia long pink gown, $895; (right) pink off-the-shoulder gown with tiered bottom by Jovani, $550



From Rodeo Drive: Long floral blue dress by Parker, $298

Like what you see? #shoprodeodrive Derby Styles online: 

Full article:


Where to Find Derby Fashion for all Budgets

By INSIDER LOCAL LIFE | April 12, 2016 6:21 pm

Whether you’re headed for the Infield or have a fancy box for Derby week, what to wear is always a studied decision. You have to consider the weather, your seat (or lack thereof), comfort level, and budget. Luckily, both out-of-towners and Louisvillians have a lot of choices for where to find just the right Derby duds for your general mood and situation. And it’s nice to know department stores and chains aren’t your only choices. In fact, you’re much more likely to find what you’re looking for at local businesses, who cater to all tastes and budgets for Louisville’s Big Day. And you never know when you’ll run into an owner or shopper who has a hot tip on the races!


There’s no better accent to focus on than the Hat. You get the right one, you pick the dress to go with it. The Derby hat is an icon of fashion. Don’t diss it. The $24.99 sundress at Target will look as spectacular as anything on Millionaire’s Row if you have an awesome hat to go with it. And men, you can dress up those cargo shorts or perfectly complement the lime green seersucker suit with the right headgear. Milliners aren’t a rare species that died in the 19th century. You can get a customized creation right here in Louisville. Need to match that wild turquoise and peach-colored dress? No problem! You might start with Sarah Havens Millinery in Germantown. Drawing on her work creating looks for the stage, she’ll help you with a “statement” hat. The Mysterious Rack on Fourth Street downtown also offers a range of custom options for men and women. Get more custom hats and fascinators (you know, the confections that look like they have to be glued to your forehead or worn at a Royal wedding) from a Louisville native at Kenzie Kapp in the Highlands. If you don’t necessarily need custom, just a lot of choices, there are plenty of options. You can’t miss the storefront of Pix Shoes on the corner of Market and Preston. It looks as if you could open the door and be buried in an avalanche of multicolored chapeaux. For those of you with a creative streak, you can pretty much design your own hat at a reasonable price at Dee’s Crafts on Shelbyville Road. They offer special classes and workshops to help you out, so check out their events calendar. Many small shops, boutiques, and consignment stores will also have hats on display. You might just luck into the perfect piece. Speaking of which …


Some women shed the previous season’s Derby hats and outfits like dried-up snakeskins, which is awesome news for you. You can find lightly-worn treasures at the many consignment shops around town. Some are high-end and others are bargain-basement, but they are definitely worth a look. I just heard someone say that their daughter got a J. Crew dress for Derby plus fascinator for $14 total plus a trade-in. There’s your incentive, if you want to save your spending money for mint juleps and betting. A few to try:

• Sassy Fox on Chenoweth in St. Matthews — upscale and designer clothes, handbags, hats.

• Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire on Frankfort Avenue is your spot to turn back the clock. Vintage looks 1860-1970. • The Urban Attic on Bardstown Road offers contemporary style with a focus on sustainability — cash, consignment, or trade (they will also donate for you what they can’t take).

• The Nitty Gritty on Barret is a good choice for vintage looks that lean more toward the “costume” end of the spectrum. And you can grab an ugly Christmas sweater while you’re there.

• Sugarbakers sounds classically southern, doesn’t it? Hats, dresses, designer labels — they’ve got it for Derby. Near the mall corridor just north of Shelbyville Road on Hurstbourne.

• Evolve on Frankfort Avenue carries upscale consignment “exclusively for gentlemen.” Guys, if you never wear bow ties, Derby is the time to break one out. Chicks dig bow ties.

Oo la la!

Maybe it’s your first Derby or your first year to really go all out. You sprung for the box and want to do it right. Check out these specialty boutiques where you can find designer looks and decidedly upscale and trendy fashion.

• Liv Boutique on Lexington Road offers upscale designers including Jill Stuart, Nanette Lepore, and BCBGeneration.

• Clodhoppers in the Lexington Road Vogue Center also carries designer clothes, shoes, and accessories, including Trina Turk, J Brand, and Spanx! You know those could come in handy.

• Rodes has been around since 1914 with Derby fashions for men and women. Check out upcoming events at their Brownsboro Road location, including trunk shows and hat shows.

• Rodeo Drive in Holiday Manor will suck you in with their beautiful window displays. Hats galore and upcoming trunk shows just for Derby fashion.

• Blu Boutique in Middletown carries fun dresses, shoes, and specialty jewelry, including Kentucky-themed items.

• Peacock Boutique on Frankfort Avenue carries designer women’s clothes and high-end designer hats by Philip Treacy and Memsahib for Derby.

• Crush Boutique on Shelbyville Road has women’s fashions. Check out their photo gallery for Derby looks.

• General Eccentric is a trendy, affordable spot on Bardstown Road. They have a special category for Rompers, if that’s your Derby thing.

• Bermuda Highway in Nulu is part-owned by Houndmouth’s Katie Toupin, hence it’s music-oriented fashion for men and women. Way hip.

Insider Local Life 200 South Fifth Street, 300N Louisville, KY 40202


Find the perfect Derby hat at these events

Marsha Roth, Special to the Courier-Journal8:02 a.m. EDT April 8, 2016

Fascinator, large brim, feathers or flowers?

Picking the perfect hat for Oaks and Derby is no easy feat.

Luckily, we live in the hat capitol of the world during April and early May. There are charitable hat events and designer hat shows galore, so check out a few of our favs to find your chic chapeau.

Hats Off by Helen. Saturday, April 14, 5-7 at The Peppermint

Hats Off by Helen. Saturday, April 14, 5-7 at The Peppermint Palm, 3714 Lexington Road. (Photo: Courtesy of Helen Overfield)

Kosair Charities, Hats for Hope. Saturday, April 21,

Kosair Charities, Hats for Hope. Saturday, April 21, 6-9:30 pm at Louisville Triple Crown Conference Center, 1776 Plantside Drive. More information at (Photo: Courtesy of Erin Jones)

Madam Foo Foo. April 14-15 at Rodeo Drive, Holiday

Madam Foo Foo. April 14-15 at Rodeo Drive, Holiday Manor Shopping Center (Photo: Andrew Kung)

Christine Moore. April 21-23, May 2-5 at Rodes, 4938

Christine Moore. April 21-23, May 2-5 at Rodes, 4938 Brownsboro Road (Photo: Courtesy of Christine A. Moore Millinery)

Dress for Success, Gals and Guys Hats & Ties. Saturday,

Dress for Success, Gals and Guys Hats & Ties. Saturday, April 21, 5-8 pm at Execuity, 100 W. Main St. suite 301. More information at (Photo: Courtesy of Jeanne Freibert)


The Kentucky Derby fashion race is on

, @herscene 7:51 p.m. EST March 6, 2016

She's the horseback-riding reporter who always snags the first interview with the winning jockey at Derby.

That's no accident. Donna Barton Brothers – one of the top earning female jockeys of all times – is a tour de force in the racing world, reporting for both NBC and Television Games Network and covering racing from Opening Day at Keeneland through our city's own most famous race.

In other words, she knows her way around a racetrack.

She also knows a thing or two about shopping. Donna's chic and always appropriate on-air wardrobes are a result of her impeccable taste, meticulous planning and smart shopping strategies. I've interviewed hundreds of powerful, stylish women and no one has a more fascinating approach to outfitting herself for her life than Donna does.

Which is why her joining with Rodeo Drive to host a Derby shopping night on Thursday, March 10 between 6 and 9 p.m. to benefit one of her favorite causes – the Backside Learning Center – seems like the perfect arrangement.

There will be a Nicole Miller trunk show, Heaven Hill cocktails and an auction of a one-of-a-kind Nicole Miller dress. Ten percent of the evening's proceeds will go to the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. It's the ideal opportunity to get a jumpstart on your own Derby wardrobe needs while picking up racing insights – and style inspiration – from a pro.

(Rodeo Drive is located at 2212 Holiday Manor Center. Call 502-425-8999 for more information.)

I caught up with Donna this week for a quick chat about her own Derby shopping strategies.

Q: Your Derby season starts with the opening at Keeneland. How do you shop for it?

A: There are very few outfits that work seamlessly from an interview I may be doing in the paddocks ... and then onto a horse. One of the things I've found that works really well for me is a leather jacket and slacks. I’ve already bought two leather jackets by Tory Burch to add to the 14 other leather jackets I have from Tory Burch. But I use them over and over again. I love them because if they get a little dirty, you can wipe them off. And I can wear those with pants on the track or over a dress later with a pair of tight boots. I get a lot of mileage out of those jackets.

Donna Barton for HerScene Magazine. Feb. 26, 2015

Donna Barton for HerScene Magazine. Feb. 26, 2015 (Photo: Alton Strupp/The Courier-Journal)

Q: When do you start shopping?

A: I have to get it all done in March, because once we hit April, I don't have any time. This year, I probably just need to buy a couple of things. Maybe a few more jackets.

Q:  Your personal wardrobing system fascinates me. Tell us about it.

A: I've assembled a fashion notebook that's full of looks I can put together from my own closet. I save pictures from catalogs, magazines, from Pinterest and I keep them all in a book organized by work, evening wear, party clothes. I don't put anything in that book that I can't duplicate from my own closet fairly easily. But I use that to come up with outfits.

Q: You raise a lot of money and awareness for the Backside Learning Center. What do you want people to know about it?

A: In addition to all of the things they have done for years like English as a second language, Spanish as a second language, GED classes, citizenship classes, banking classes –  they've also started an after-school tutoring program for the children of the backside workers. It's at a church near Churchill because children aren’t allowed on the backside. But they found that a lot of them were going home after school to households that are Spanish speaking only and they didn’t have anybody helping them with their homework. So twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have volunteers who help the children. The director there, Sherry Stanley, is just doing an amazing job.

Q: You gave up shopping for a year. What did you learn?

A: I learned two things: First, that I had too many clothes. And, second, that I had started to do too much shopping online. I realized that it’s a time waster. You know what happens. You'll have 10 or 20 minutes before you have to go someplace and you'll think, "I want to see what Tory Burch has right now," and you'll go online and browse. I  could have read five pages of a book instead of online shopping. I could have walked the dog.

After a year off, I realized that online shopping had done two things: It made me buy things I didn't need and it removed one of my favorite activities, which was to actually go shopping. I never did it anymore … even when I went to New York. I used to love to go early and have a shopping day, but I didn't want to buy anything else so I stopped. So, I'm shopping again, but I'm no longer shopping online. It's taken away time I could be using to do something else.

I also started a hard and fast rule: I won’t buy unless I’m getting rid of something. And when I buy something I ask myself, "Where am I going to wear that to specifically?" If I don't have an answer, I don't even consider it. And if I do, I then say, "OK … what jacket or shirt are going to get rid of?" If I'm not willing to part with something, then I don’t need it. I have a one in, one out rule.

Q: Do you have your Derby outfit yet? 

A: I don't have just one. It's hard to stay true to plan with the weather. But by the time we get to April, there will be at least three blazers with tags on them hanging in my closet. They’re there so I have options.  And it's not just about the temperatures. If I plan on wearing a leather that's a muted color and it turns out to be a really gray and overcast, I'm wearing something else. I have a plan A, B and C.

Christine Fellingham can be reached at or (502) 582-4472.


Derby Day fashions have changed a lot over the years, but a hat -- from fedora to fascinator -- remains de rigeur on the first Saturday in May.


Nicole Miller VIP Derby event at Rodeo Drive

, @kirbylouisville 8:39 a.m. EST March 4, 2016

Rodeo Drive is throwing a Nicole Miller VIP Derby event and Trunk Show hosted by nationally-known Jockey and NBC Broadcaster Donna Brothers from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, March 10.

You’ll receive a free gift with purchase at the event. Nicole Miller will auction a one-of-a-kind dress, you’ll enjoy Heaven Hill cocktails and 10 percent of the night’s proceeds will benefit the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs.

The Nicole Miller representative will be available Thursday to help with your wardrobe selection as well as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 11 at Rodeo Drive, 2212 Holiday Manor Center.

The VIP event is free but you will need to RSVP at or call 502-425-8999. For more information on Rodeo Drive, visit


The ultimate ageless sexy style primer

, @herscene 8:52 p.m. EST February 12, 2016

Whether it's Valentine's Day, an anniversary, a reunion, or your 50th birthday party (why not?), there are moments in life when we want to ramp up our sex appeal and we often start with our clothing. But the quest for sexy style is occasionally fraught with peril.

One woman's slinky date night dress is another woman's worst fashion disaster. The rookie move is to take the obvious route and reach for the tightest, shortest garment you can squeeze into and it often leads to an un-sexy evening of tugging at your hemline or fasting at a fabulous restaurant as you struggle to exhale in your Spanx. Not the effect you were aiming for.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel sexy – on date night or any other day for that matter. And anyone can pull it off – regardless of body type, age or personal style. It's just a matter of putting a little life experience and common sense into the style equation and (for some) realizing that your life is not a Victoria's Secret catalog shoot.

"Sexy doesn't have to be about showing a lot of skin or wearing something tight," said Lucie Stansbury, owner of Liv Boutique in St. Matthews. "It's about wearing something you feel really good in."

While part of dressing and feeling sexy is being confident enough to break the rules and make your own, there are guidelines that can streamline the wardrobe selection process. To get at those, I talked to a few fashion experts around town, photographed three women of different ages who all manage to exude an effortless sexiness, and threw in my own expertise from years of dressing women of all ages and shapes.

Here, our ageless, size-less sexy style primer:

Rule No. 1: Be comfortable.

Really. "Sometimes I see young girls in these crazy high heels and slinky dresses and they're tripping over their own feet and I think they look miserable," said Carrie King, 39, Realtor and co-owner of Homepage Realty in St. Matthews. "I feel sexy when I feel great in what I'm wearing."

The emotional part of the getting-dressed-to-wow equation is what tends to get overlooked, but it's where every great outfit should start.

Slip and falls are not seductive.

Let's be honest: Heels are generally more flattering than flats. They elongate your legs and your entire silhouette – they can even slim your waist and sculpt your backside. (All that from something without an ounce of Lycra in it.)

But the mistake many women make is wearing a pair of too-high heels that hampers their intended plans.

"The way you move in your clothes is as important as the way they look when you're standing still in the mirror," Stansbury said. "Wear high heels but not so high that you impair your movement." Even a little kitten heel can upgrade an outfit from work to wow. Don't be a hero.

Be strategic with accessories.

Think of accessories as the highlighter of your ensemble – use them to emphasize some features and de-emphasize others.

For instance, a pair of long earrings can draw attention to your shoulders if you're wearing an off-the-shoulder sweater. A short necklace can make your neck a focal point in a strapless dress, while a long one can draw attention elsewhere. A cocktail ring can play up a pretty manicure or direct a gaze anywhere it goes.

Don't overlook the power of a well-chosen statement piece.

It's OK to dress younger if you feel younger ... within reason.

Raquel Koff, 58, in a sexy fitted turtleneck and knee-length

Raquel Koff, 58, in a sexy fitted turtleneck and knee-length BCBG fringe leather skirt from her Rodeo Drive boutique. (Photo: Matt Herp, Matt Herp, Special to the C-J)

"A 50-year-old with a great body can rock a cropped top if she feels good in it," Stansbury said. "And it depends on where you're going. If you're on vacation, go for it."

Just don't go too far.

"Your look has to evolve," said Raquel Koff, owner of Rodeo Drive Boutique. "I'm 58 and I can't dress like I was 28, for sure. Where then I would have worn a really short tight skirt and high heels, I wouldn't do it the same way now.  I would wear a sexy, fitted dress and high heels, but the dress wouldn't be quite as short or tight and the heels wouldn't be quite as high."

While there's no age limit on trends, most women I talked to agreed that there is a point where balancing your risque pieces becomes more important. Where that falls precisely depends on your figure, your personality and the context.

"There are times when I wear the same piece as my 19-year-old niece, but I usually put it together in a more sophisticated way," King said. "For example, I wear those lingerie style tops, but I wear them underneath a fitted blazer with a pair of flared pants. She'd wear it with short denim shorts."

Don't forget the touch factor.  

Fabrics that feel wonderful to the touch are not only a pleasure to wear, but they make you look touchable too.

"Cashmere is universally sexy," Koff said. Pair a cozy cashmere sweater with some leather leggings – no matter what your age – and you may never wear a tight dress again.

Pick one body part.

Crissa Chandler, 23, a computer technology student

Crissa Chandler, 23, a computer technology student and model for Heyman Talent, balances a plunging top with high-waisted curve-hugging pants. (Photo: David Harrison, The CJ)

If you like rules, the thinking that you should limit yourself to revealing one body part per outfit is a pretty good one, especially as you get past your 20s. Rock a short mini skirt but skip the cropped top. Go for a plunging neckline but not the short leather shorts.

"If I wear a backless dress, it's covered in front," said Crissa Candler, 23, a computer technology student and Heyman model. "If I wear something short, I balance it with a flowing top."

It's a rare women who can manage to showcase every physical attribute all at once and still project an air of effortlessness.

Which leads me to another bit of style wisdom: Trying too hard isn't sexy in any decade.

Christine Fellingham can be reached at or (502) 582-4472.

Our guide to the best shopping steals & deals

, @herscene 11:29 p.m. EST November 22, 2015

The allure of Black Friday has always been lost on me. I'd much rather sip my coffee a few hours later, at the kitchen table, while enjoying a rare lazy morning with the family then sip it out of a thermal cup at 6 a.m. while standing on a sidewalk with a couple hundred frenzied, over-caffeinated strangers.

And the thought of racing around stores trying to grab the last big screen television, hot toy or i-thing makes me want to throw out the wish lists and go back to handmade gifting. I may cover shopping for a living, but that's not shopping - it's a blood sport. And, while I have friends and family members who swear by this tradition, it's just not for me.

I'm going to suggest an alternate holiday shopping ritual that might be a keeper: Get up when you wake up. Eat breakfast together (how often do you do that?) and head out for an unhurried day of local browsing and buying.

Chances are, you won't get into it with some jerk in the audio visual department, you won't find yourself fretting in the parking lots and you won't wind up throwing elbows over a pile of some crazy object you didn't even know you wanted until everyone else rushed for it.

The gifts you take home will be more personal, your conversations more pleasurable and your pulse rate lower. And if you think the kids won't enjoy it, you're wrong.

I've found that teens and tweens are often intrigued by browsing through less generic items they haven't seen a million times before at a chain store or on their devices. And, odds are, they'll be able to snag some free cookies, tea, mulled cider that you're more likely to spot in a cozy little shop than you are, say, at Target. The holiday season is a great time to introduce them to the concept of supporting small businesses.

And if you're looking for deals while you're supporting local entrepreneurs, there are plenty to be found. I've listed just a few below. And, then, of course, there's the fact that when you buy local, you're already getting more for your money: a meaningful gift  and a contribution to your neighbors and friends who make our city such a unique and vibrant place to live.


Whether you’re avoiding the mega-chains or looking to do some less frenzied shopping after you escape, there are plenty of deals to be found between now and Christmas at local retailers. If you don’t see your favorite stores here, check their Facebook page and check the pages of the stores below for additional sales. Or follow me on Twitter, where I’ll provide regular updates (@herscene).


1301 Herr Lane, Suite 170, (502) 708-2822

As part of the Westport Village Small Business Saturday celebration, this trendy, well-priced boutique is offering 20 percent off everything on Nov. 28.



Clay & Cotton boutique in Norton Commons. Nov. 20, 2014. (Photo: Jessica Ebelhar/The Courier-Journal)



1341 Bardstown Road, (502) 456-5536

This laid-back source for luxe bohemian fashion and home decor will be offering 20 percent off all new apparel - from lines like Johnny Was, Nomadic Trader, XCVI Westonwear, Testimony, from this Saturday, Dec. 21, through Dec. 29.


3725 Lexington Road, (502) 891-0079

Bring your gently-used coat into this St. Matthews boutique as a donation to the Salvation Army coat drive during the weekend of Nov 27, 28 and 29th and you'll receive twenty-five percent off your entire purchase.


12123 Shelbyville Road, (502) 253-1350

Both Friday and Saturday, their civilized early bird special - 30 percent off storewide - runs from 10 a.m.-noon. After noon, it's 25 percent off storewide (excluding custom items). And monogrammable purses are marked down to $24 - from $38. (Add $10 for the monogram). And if you spend $200, you can choose a free gift from under their tree.


5045 Shelbyville Road, (502) 896-6755

Check out their annual Thanksgiving sidewalk sale, Friday-Sunday at 5 p.m., for deals on decor, gifts, craft items.     


805 East Market Street, (502) 681-5576

A favorite destination for locally-made clothing, accessories, artwork, home goods and more, this NuLu hot spot has their big holiday push on Small Business Saturday. They'll have a grab bag of discounts where customers can draw random five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50 or 75 percent and "one item free" cards.


3938 Dutchmans Lane, (502) 897-5369

Starting Monday November 23, through Tuesday, December 15, get twenty percent off of any Aveda gift sets including their aromatic hair, bath and body products and candles. (Regular prices ranging from $17 to $85).


1201 Story Ave. in Butchertown Market, (502) 365-3405; 11613 Main Street in Middletown, (502) 797-3400.

Their handmade, natural beauty products for her and him are the perfect pampering gift for just about anyone.  On Black Friday and Saturday, they'll offer giveaways to the first 50 shoppers and 20 percent off all sleepwear ... plus everyone who spends $25 or more gets their choice of a free lip balm, lip scrub or two-ounce lotion.


801 E Market Street, (502) 690-5707

During the NuLu Holiday Open House this weekend, this cozy boutique filled with handmade (on the premises) beauty products, candles and gifts is offering 20 percent off all holiday merchandise. They'll also have extended hours, prizes and flash sales on Small Business Saturday and 20 percent off their online products on Cyber Monday with the code cybermonday2015.


This wonderful, locally-owned toy store is the best place to browse with your kiddies and will make you remember days before the mega toy store ... and they're offering 15 percent off everything on Small Business Saturday.

The remodled interior of Rodeo Drive, in Holiday Manor

The remodled interior of Rodeo Drive, in Holiday Manor Shopping Center. Oct. 20, 2015. (Photo: By Pat McDonogh, The CJ)



2212 Holiday Manor Center, Louisville, (502) 425-8999

If you haven't been to this freshly renovated designer boutique full of coveted lines like Alice + Olivia, Tracy Reese, Nicole Miller and Stuart Weitzman, now's the time. Starting Dec. 1 through Christmas Eve, you can save 20 percent off a single item every time you bring in a donation for the Family Scholar House, a wonderful community organization that supports women and children who have experienced homelessness or domestic violence. (Items needed include toiletries, spa kits, lotions, picture frames, perfumes, scarves and any items that make great small gifts.) And during their Twelve Days of Christmas (the 12 days before Dec. 25); they'll also be sending out email blasts and posting about special last-minute deals on social media.


12121 Shelbyville Road, (502) 254-0400

In case you haven't been yet, this friendly shop in Middletown is the perfect place to pick up thoughtful gifts for teachers, hostesses, babysitters, friends, family, you name it. And starting Monday, Nov. 23, they're offering 20 percent off everything right through Small Business Saturday. After that, they'll have specials every day through Christmas - on scarves, jewelry, ornaments. Check Facebook/TwoChicksandCo daily for details.


657 S Hurstbourne Parkway, (502) 423-9822

This inviting East End boutique has piles of cashmere wraps, fur scarves, gloves, fabulous accessories and designer fashion from Joseph Ribkoff, Frank Lyman and don't forget those crazy-flattering Lizette pants. On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, you can enjoy refreshments, free gift wrapping and a gift-able $40 fur key chain/purse charm with every purchase over $200.

Reach Christine Fellingham at (502) 582-4472. Follow her on Twitter at @herscene.