It's important to look good, but it's even better when your outfit could carry your dinner conversation. Something along the lines of, “Oh, this clutch? It was once painted canvas scraps, sewn together by an Indonesian woman named Ann,” or “This necklace was vintage Chanel in a past life.”
810 Waugh Dr.
Clothes with a meaning and a story are the specialty at Wardrobe, Claire Carmichael-Grant’s new boutique on the upper echelons of Montrose, opened in August.
“The whole concept of my store is fashion awareness, so nothing is made in China,” says Carmichael-Grant.
At Wardrobe that means a focus on goods designed or created locally, as well as more mainstream brands that donate a portion of their sales to a good cause or promote global artisans with fair-trade projects. Before moving to Houston in 2000, Carmichael-Grant owned a personal shopping business in England, and she's planning to incorporate a similar personalized service at Wardrobe in 2015.
There's the aforementioned painted canvas clutches from local artist Whitney Riley, high-style leather jackets, cropped sweaters and formal shorts handmade in Bali by Cleobella, flowy maxis from up-and-coming Los Angeles brands, Dallas-based designer Gresham Hodges' line of rough gemstone jewelry, exclusive leather and hide cuffs by Sugar Land artist Linda Morgan-Soders, super-stretchy Yoga Jeans made in Canada, and Catherine Page’s regilded Chanel pieces.
(Page, who is based in Frisco, will be having a trunk show at Wardrobe on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m.)
The commitment to ethical sourcing doesn't just stop at the racks, either. Wardrobe's dressing rooms are constructed from reclaimed doors from a tear-down in the Heights, the shopping bags are made by a company in India that uses old newspapers, and her jewelry case is made from salvaged metal from a condemned building.
"Everyone thinks that if you’re earth-friendly you have to wear Birkenstocks and have that tree-hugging look," said Carmichael-Grant. "We're high fashion, but it has a meaning."