Sunday, January 30, 2011

Philly SEPTA to get smart card system?!

While I was reading Philly Mag's blog today I came across a post about Philadelphia's plan to introduce SEPTA smart cards. I am so excited! I always misplace my tokens and end up having to pay the two dollar charge each time I use SEPTA's public transportation. Two dollars doesn't sound so bad until it happens to you every single day, story of my life lately. According to the article, the plan was put on hold due to a cut in state infrastructure funding last year. As of now the smart cards won't be in full effect for another 2-3 years, but a girl can still dream it'll happen overnight. Right?

Would you rather SEPTA keep the token fare system or cash in for an electronic fare system? 

xx Kate

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

We're over all this snow!  Check out some of our newest early-springtime arrivals.  My personal fav?  The Terry dress, of course!

Terry Dress $78 image via shopbop

Duncan Jacket $88 image via shopbop

Alexander Pants $72 image via
Josephine Tank Dress $64 image via revolve clothing


Friday, January 28, 2011

Art @ Arcadia: Interview With Katherine Fraser

Just in case you missed our last art reception in December, we wanted everyone to have the chance to get to know our current featured local artist- Katherine Fraser. 

The Modern Woman
Oil on Canvas

What are a few things about yourself that would give viewers a solid sense of who you are as an artist?
I think a big thing that distinguishes the way I work from many other artists is the fact that my process is almost entirely intuitive. I'm not the kind of artist who plans a painting out, does a study, transfers a finished design to the canvas, and then executes the plan. I start each day in the studio sketching whatever comes to mind, flipping through books and magazines and sketching faces and poses and gestures that I like, and then eventually I get bits and pieces that I want to work with, and I start putting those bits and pieces together on the canvas. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want the entire image to look like, and sometimes I just start with a figure, because there's an emotion that I want to express, and after I look at it for a while I get ideas for what I want in the background of the painting. I cobble my images together from a variety of different sources, and from my imagination, and I use myself as a model if I run into a question about lighting or anatomy. I work on un-stretched canvas, tacked to the wall, so that I can decide later where to crop the image. I always work on a number of paintings at once, and by going back and forth like this, themes start to emerge, and the work grows up as a body. What makes this way of working fun is that I feel like I am in dialogue with the work; it's a combination of actively making decisions, and of being quiet and letting the paintings tell me what they need.

In your artist statement, you state to paint “people experiencing these moments of profound self-awareness and growth; when the rest of the world drops away and we are left bare.” What is it about a particular memory or moment that causes you to want to document it through painting?
Right now, for example, I am working on a group of paintings that is turning out to use a lot of bird, feather, and boat imagery, particularly boats on land. I didn't set out to do this because boats symbolize something particular to me, but now I can stand back and look at them and see that my subconscious is trying to tell a story. Looking at the paintings I make is a little like interpreting dreams. My hope is that the universality of these symbols will allow each viewer the freedom to create their own narrative for what is occurring in the painting.
For this reason, my paintings are not depictions of specific memories that I have, but they are recreations of feelings that I have had at certain times in my life. I try very hard to make the images open-ended so that there can be many interpretations. I'm always reluctant to answer the question "what is this painting about?" because while I have a story for every single one of my paintings, I'm afraid that if I tell it, the viewer will be inhibited from coming up with their own story, and therefore their own personal connection to the painting. One of the things I find most rewarding about this process, is when someone buys a painting, and then tells me why it spoke to them. The stories are always so personal, and so different from what I was thinking when I made the work. This opportunity to connect with people, to communicate, is a huge part of why I make art. It's not enough for me to just make the paintings and express myself, I need the paintings to get out and have a life of their own. The process is only complete when people see and relate to the work, and when someone ultimately decides that they want to take the painting home and relate to it every day. A big part of how I define art in general is that it must be engaging, it has to have the ability to continue speaking to you after many viewings. Hopefully this defines the line between the stories that I tell, and illustration.

Her Own Devices
Oil on Canvas

Have you always painted portraiture?
My focus has always been portraiture and figure painting because I am so interested in depicting emotion. One of the first artists that I really drew inspiration from as a young student was Edward Hopper, and one of the things I still love about his work is the fact that the paintings with and without people all have the same emotional resonance. I hope that this is true of the few paintings I have done without figures, but it’s challenging! I would actually like to do more, but it doesn't come easily. Plus, painting people is just so much fun!

Space-Time Continuum
Oil on Canvas

Set Dressing
Oil on Canvas

Does inspiration come easily to you?
Inspiration comes in waves. I usually work intensely for a few months in creating a new body of work, and then take a break for month or two. When I am starting out, and getting settled back into the studio after a long break, it usually takes a little while to get cranked up. I will spend a full week just drawing and looking at books to get back in the groove and get the ideas flowing, and then suddenly they just start pouring out of me. Once they start flowing I end up with more than I can even use.

Oil on Canvas

How does living in Philadelphia affect you as an artist? Do you feel grounded here, or are you still ultimately rooted in Maine, where you’re from originally?
I like this question about what Philadelphia means to me as an artist, because it's something I've been thinking about lately. I've been here for thirteen years, and I love it, but I've started considering the possibility of moving back to Maine, or trying to divide my year between both places. It's raised the question in my mind of how my work would change if I lived somewhere quiet and rural, after creating myself as an artist in an environment that is gritty and tough. The idea of Maine has always figured into the backstory of my work, in the sense of an archetypal homeland, as well as with reference to its distinctive landscape, but I think that the sense of cynicism and alienation in my work is undoubtedly urban.

Act Of Love
Oil on Canvas

What are your favorite galleries in Philadelphia?
My favorite galleries in Philly for painting are Rosenfeld, Wexler and Lapelle. I actually look at more photography than anything else for inspiration, so I also like to keep an eye on Gallery 339, and the photo gallery at the PMA.
Of the selection of work currently at Arcadia, which painting is the most important to you, and why?
Of the paintings hanging at Arcadia, I have to choose "The Cynic," the picture of the girl in front of the Christmas tree, as my favorite. I love to work large, and I think this painting is really unusual and striking. In a sense, all of my paintings are self-portraits, and this is very much a reference to me as an only child. My idea for this painting was to show a girl on the brink of adolescence, waiting up in the dark to see is Santa is going to show. She's old enough that she doesn't believe that he will, but since there's a tiny part of her that hopes he might, she has her camera at the ready just in case. It's a painting about being on the cusp of innocence and experience, the fragility of innocence, and the incongruity of such a smug and cynical look on such a youthful face. I think the painting has sadness, a sense of something lost, but also a little element of humor, and if I can capture two such opposing things in one painting, then I feel like I nailed it!

The Cynic
Oil on Canvas

Katherine's work will be on display until the first of March, make sure stop by either location to see her stunning work in person.
In the meantime, check out her website:
-Cory & Mallory

We've Got Valentine's Day Covered!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Line at Arcadia - Margarita Saplala

image via W.29 Showroom

I am so freaking excited for our first shipment of Margarita Saplala's Spring 2011 Collection to arrive (fyi, should be in next week). Saplala's prints are well known as prints for the "non-girly girl." They are colorful and playful, & the silhouettes are easy & chic. The uniqueness of the designers prints reflects her background in drawing & painting. Her spring collection consists of amazing separates that can be worked into your existing wardrobe & her dresses are perfect for any special event. I know I cannot wait to get my hands on this collection!

Here is a sneak peek at the Spring 2011 Collection from one of our favorite showrooms and blog, W.29. 

image via W.29 Showroom

image via W.29 Showroom
image via W.29 Showroom

Let us know what some of your favorite styles are... if you can even choose a favorite ;)


Blue Valentine

I fell in love last week with a film that has been causing quite a buzz, Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The film is about a love story that speaks more to our generation without being overly dramatic or cliché. The story centers around Dean (Gosling) and Cindy's (Williams) relationship, sketching a portrait of who they were as individuals first, how they eventually met, fell in love, and ultimately began to face the hardships of marriage. Between flashbacks, the film follows modern-day Cindy and Dean, as they attempt to rekindle the flickering ember of their relationship before it goes out. Their relationship really makes you think about falling in and out of love with someone, and question if marriage can save or ruin a relationship. In Blue Valentine, you feel truly connected to their crumbling relationship full of highs and lows, due to the amazing performances by both Gosling and Williams. I left the movie crying and smiling, so it was definitely worth the $6 ticket and a box of Junior Mints.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Falafel Love

 image via Mama's Vegetarian
Just a quick shout-out to our Center City neighbor, Mama’s Vegetarian, where the falafel is to die for (and totally blog-worthy). My co-workers already know all about this little gem, I'm there at least twice a week.  Not a vegetarian? That’s ok - their small menu of Middle Eastern staples pack such a flavor punch you really won’t miss the meat. If you’ve never been, I suggest you head on over to their spot on 20th street lickity split (between Market and Chestnut). The place is always packed (see below) so be prepared to get your goods to go.

image via Mama's Vegetarian
Why not walk that tasty treat down the street to our Rittenhouse store and enjoy a power lunch with us?
One more reason Arcadia loves Mama’s – all plates, utensils and to go containers are eco-friendly. 


Friday, January 21, 2011

Recycled Windows!

The next time you're at Arcadia Rittenhouse make sure you check out the new window displays! Staying true to Arcadia's roots of being an eco-conscious boutique, I used old Arcadia event postcards and items from the recycling bin. I had an awesome time cutting and collaging the day away. I think the window display is kind of reminiscent of a psychedelic snow fall! What do you think? Stop by and let us know!

Remember, one man's trash is another man's next work of art!


Looks Inside

The sunny is shining here in Philly, the snow is melting, and lets just say that Spring can not come soon enough. We are all drooling over the upcoming season’s look books and as we here transition our sale merchandise to make room for all of the new product it seemed like the perfect day to change up the looks around the store.  For my first entry I am excited to share what goes through my head while layering up looks here at Arcadia…. (bear with the phone photos please - I just couldn't wait)
We JUST got in these amazing Greylin jackets and I immediately knew one had to go in the window (paired with this Skunkfunk dress made of bamboo this look can be yours for less than $200!) The deco Birdqueen necklace totally pulls together the graphic feel of this ensemble. Ps – I spy a white Matt and Nat structured Moneen bag - which is a must-have for Spring.
For the Men’s look (yes we have an ever-growing mens section at Arcadia too!) I wanted to feature all of the great layering pieces we offer the boys in your life. Get this – the Original Penguin long sleeve striped tee is reversible! Oh, and when I’m styling mens - popping collars is a must.
To me this is what Arcadia is all about – eco fabrics, local design, and chic comfort. This outfit is so easy to wear you’d be silly not to snag everything seen here! The hooded drapey cardigan is Alternative Apparel (as is the tank) and cotton Tuxedo leggings by Prarie Underground are perfection. Bullet/feather necklace by local jewelry designer Sultana Aschim. Each piece one-of-a-kind and made from all kinds of cool found objects.
 We are all dying over this Thayer goddess dress. All I want to do is go on vacation and wear this dress to a fabulous dinner with the beau. Oh you fancy huh – why not rock this poolside? I'm also obsessed with the tassel necklace by Canoe Crafts - another spot-on spring trend.

I had to show off our new separates line Hester (see Mallory's entry below). I love the way the jacket pops against the neutral base.
I kicked the quirk up a notch with our Eco-Mesa braided skinny scarf. Not for you? How about keeping it neutral with this felt feather necklace by Feisty Elle?

I own this Mink Pink “Storm in a Teacup” tee and let me tell you- this gorgeous print lends itself to be easily dressed up or down. Tuck it into a high waisted skirt or keep it caz with jeans and a cozy cardigan.  Don’t you love the little loops on this belted sweater? And yes – that necklace is pink yarn meticulously knitted into silver chain (you NEED to come in and see it up close).

We have such a fun assortment of vintage pieces in our NoLibs store. I love loading up our vintage gal and I especially love the idea of pairing this bold Aztec print sweater with a dainty floral maxi skirt. The only this outfit needed was a pair of crème wicker heels. (FYI – if you want this sweater I would hurry because it won’t be here for long – mostly because I think I need it.)

I hope this little peak inside the store helped lift you out of this winter rut. Stay tuned because amazing duds are arriving daily!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


HESTER Angular Tweed Suit Jacket

Meet HESTER, She may not be a pretty girl, but the way she carries herself makes it impossible to look away; she has a granny name, but that only fuels her impudence; she is dangerous and has little regard for convention, but that only makes her the center of attention; she is unabashedly sexy even though a bit awkward; she is an innovator and an intellectual but also a coy coquette; she is hard and soft; she is of the future and the past; she is, as the French say, jolie-laide.
HESTER is the fashion alter ego of Brooklyn resident, Tasha Green. Tasha was a writer and editor at Men's Vogue magazine. Green’s literary background brings a highly conceptual approach to design, while her lifelong passion for vintage grounds these abstract ideas in a feminine and classic form. She is compelled by the emotional experience of dressing, as a person's first level of projection, a means of escape, and an opportunity to tell a story without saying a word.

Tasha Green (right) in a HESTER Suit at Frock in Nolita

Stop by either location and try on a HESTER skirt suit. The HESTER suit is contemporary take on the Thierry Mugler eighties power suit.  Tasha explains that “the pieces need to work from the office to cocktails, so I created them to be worn together or as separates that blend with other pieces in a closet.”

Tweed Angular Jacket & Angular Skirt in Grey

Angular Jacket in Blue & Angular Skirt in Black

HESTER Suits Featured in Vogue Magazine
*Suit Jackets are also available in Black & Grey.

HESTER’s new line for Spring 2011 is equally as exciting! We’re loving the soft color palette paired with the same angular silhouettes. It’s fun & flirty yet completely sophisticated.

I'm in LOVE with this look, I think I need my own "M" pin!

For more info on HESTER:
Also check out Tasha’s inspirational blog for a behind the scenes look:
Let us know what you think about the HESTER Spring 2011 collection, we’d love to get your feedback!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mel Kadel- Spacing Awake Opening

Really excited for the Mel Kadel opening at Moore College of Art and Design this Friday. Her work is so fun and whimsical, everyone should check her out. 

Mel Kadel: Spacing Awake
Graham Gallery
Moore College of Art and Design
20th and the Ben Franklin Parkway
January 29 – March 15, 2011
Reception: Friday January 28; 6 – 8pm
California-based artist, Mel Kadel creates detail-rich ink drawings using found or stained paper and small Micron pens. The figures in many of her narrative works portray a strength and defiance as they endure and persist through various trials and adventures in the highly imaginative world created by Kadel. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kadel received a BFA in illustration from Moore College of Art & Design in 1997.  She resides in Los Angeles.

xx Cory

Golden Globes 2011 Best Dressed: Arcadia Edition

I have to admit that I don't ever watch the Golden Globes, or any awards show for that matter, but I always enjoy looking at what the celebrities wore once it's posted online and I can view it at my leisure. Yesterday Ali, Cory, and I were looking up pictures from the show and discussing who we thought was the best dressed.

Ali came into work already decided on her favorite as Clare Danes' neon silk Calvin Klein Collection gown.

Cory's favorite dress of the night was the amber open-back Giorgio Armani Privé gown, which was embellished all-over with paillettes and Swarovski crystals, worn by Anne Hathaway.

Looking through the images I was surprised at how many of the actresses were wearing one shouldered gowns. I'm not a big fan of this silhouette, I much prefer a more classic look- which is exactly what Livia Firth chose to wear. What's even cooler is the story behind her gown designed by Jeff Garner of Prophetik.

Firth's gown is made form Tussah silk, also known as Peace Silk. The process of making Tussah silk doesn't kill the silkworm in the process, unlike normal silk. In addition to being animal cruelty free, Tussah silk is made without the chemicals and waste that's used in the production of normal silk.

In my opinion, Firth blows the other women (and their dresses) away with her ability to prove that eco-fashion is wearable, beautiful, and chic. Hopefully more actresses take note of this and choose to support sustainable fashion lines for their next red carpet appearances!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My friend Ross Moulton posted a beautifully written piece on his thoughts concerning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his blog today.   A very worthwhile, moving read. Hope everyone is having a peaceful holiday.

xx Cory

"It’s not very often that a human being is awarded their own national holiday. The scarcity of such an honor implies a notion of unparalleled achievement and prestige. In the United States, we have three holidays of such distinction. The first holiday is named in honor of a man responsible for leading a crusade against tyranny and unfair taxation. George Washington was ultimately responsible for dethroning the greatest monarchy in the world with an army of misfits lacking any sensible means of appropriate resources. The second holiday is named after a man who sailed into the infinite abyss and physically founded our great nation, Mr. Christopher Columbus. He was a man driven by a blind faith in the unknown despite the inherent risks. Suffice to say, you had better hold some pretty impressive credentials if you want your name included in this discussion. Arriving fashionably late to the national holiday talk is the incomparable civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Without saying, his accomplishments could extend well beyond a blog space, but lets look at a few. Dr. King entered college in the racially afflicted South at the tender age of 15. He was a pastor that led his own congregation at the age of 25, roughly the same time that we are still learning the intricacies of leading one person, ourselves. He led one of the greatest boycotts in the history of the world, lasting over a year and ending bus segregation in the South. His various sit ins and acts of defiance, among them the Birmingham campaign, the Albany Movement, the St. Augustine protest, Bloody Sunday, ultimately leading to the greatest civil rights legislation this country has ever seen. Dr. King delivered one of the most riveting speeches of all time in Washington in 1963, intimating his dream and calling upon us to see the people of this world as equals.

He did all of this with an admitted knowledge that he would probably not live to reap the benefits of racial equality. He lived under the constant, consuming threat of death. His house was bombed, he was stabbed in the chest, he was arrested and imprisoned, often refusing bail to prove his determination and undying willingness to succeed in his mission. After he was ultimately assassinated, his autopsy revealed a heart reflecting that of a 60 year old, rather than the 39 years he had endured. Take the occasional stress in your life, times it by 10, and then do it six times a day. That was the life of Dr. King. He sacrificed more than you or I probably ever will. He saw a world unjust in its practices of humanity and attempted to change it, despite the ultimate cost.

I was thinking recently about the numerous holidays that we celebrate as Americans and our methods of observation. Our moments of remembrance are often qualified, encompassed by brief recognition of newspaper headlines, possibly a few minutes viewing a TV tribute. We often take for granted a day off from work as just that, a respite from our normal activities, attributed to the greatness of another human being we never knew. It’s not our fault really. Once you celebrate something annually for an extended amount of time, it tends to lose its’ novelty. I’m writing to you today to ask you to carve out a few minutes this Monday on your day off from work. To take a pause in your indulgences, and to think for a moment about the sacrifices Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made for the progression of humanity. You’ll be better off for it."