by admin on December 7, 2011

dorothy at chartreuse

it never ceases to amaze esme when she finds an unexplored local shop.  this happened yesterday when her fashion class took a field trip (with signed permission slip and everything!!) to a below-the-radar boutique in pacific grove called chartreuse.  it’s easy to miss this little shop, but once you are in you will be gasping with desire.

the owner, dorothy, designs and sells her own clothing lines.  her most recent line is called quelques choses.  it includes simple but elegant pieces in sumptuous fabrics:  bias-cut silks, rich velvets, crumpled cottons.  delicate, often asymmetrical details (hand-sewn bits on silk blouses, little ties in place of buttons, frayed edges on velvet) add to the distinctive style.

blue velvet dress

it was fascinating to hear dorothy describe her career journey.  an art history major with no formal training in fashion, she came to this country from europe.  she had always been interested in fashion (her grandmother was a seamstress) and became putting together outfits from scraps of material and salvation army finds which she deconstructed.  she was poor and hungry, but resourceful, and set out to sell her pieces in order to survive.  as she described the process (charmingly and succinctly), “they sold, i ate, it was fabulous!”

dorothy takes her inspiration from her fabrics.  she saves all the bits and pieces created as she works.  often she will notice a scrap that has fallen to the floor and use it as inspiration for her next project.  she works on intuition, letting chance lead her to new discoveries.  being an intuitive type herself, esme loves this approach.  esme is always on the look-out for found art, found poetry, found fashion, found blogs—-and here she found 2 in one shop!

esme will certainly be back for further exploration of chartreuse.  and the girls in the class were eager to bring their moms!

finding fashion everywhere,



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