It was high summer, and I could feel the pavement bake underneath my feet as I stood outside the old check cashing place next to the Beauty Bar on Fremont Street. The space has recently undergone a metamorphosis, and is now a fabulous fashion boutique, which is of course why I was there. Coterie, which means a gathering place for like-minded people, is the vision of Sarah Nisperos, owner, stylist, and fashionista. As part of the Downtown Project, it is successfully creating an atmosphere where people can shop, hang out, create, and just generally feel like they are part of the community.
I was here to meet and shop with Lauren Wright, a fellow fashion blogger and Las Vegas native. A descendant of the love generation, her blog, A Hippie’s Daughter, transcends fashion from that era into a modern framework, and is truly a visual feast.
“Both of my parents were hippies. My mom actually went to Woodstock and my dad lived in a yellow van. I love hearing their stories about that era and seeing their pictures. I am a true hippie’s daughter (two hippies to be exact!)”, says Lauren.
“I have always been in love with fashion. Everything about it. I love the finished product, but I also really love all of the work that goes into creating something beautiful, and the team of people that come together to ultimately create art. Some of my earliest memories are of playing dress up in my mom’s closet and reading her fashion magazines. My taste is definitely influenced by the 60’s and 70’s era, but I dress in whatever just makes me happy! Fashion is all about having fun and wearing things that you like.”
Lauren was working as a successful fashion designer by her early twenties. She owned and designed her line, Lauren Jane, from 2003 to 2008. It was women’s ready-to-wear, and she loved to use soft modal jerseys and silk crepe. She decided to put her fashion career on hold to focus on motherhood, and is focusing her creative energies more on family life these days. However, she continues to work as a stylist and maintains an aesthetic that is true to her poetic vision.
We were getting into the groove of Coterie. The art of shopping requires one to set down some roots; once you feel like you belong there, certain pieces will start speaking to you and you will just naturally want to try them on. It was happening.
Then Lauren pulled down this beautiful flesh-colored, pleated caftan dress that I had actually seen when I had come in on First Friday and had been thinking about ever since. It was a gown that had intrigued me and amazed me, and left me wondering what it would look like on, what it could be worn to, what to wear with it. Every now and then it would float through my mind, and I would wonder if it was still there, hanging on the rack. Now it was becoming clear. It was meant for her, without a doubt.
It was from the Sheri Bodell
Spring 2013 collection, and it was going to the dressing room with Lauren.
What emerged was a vision. That dress has such beautiful movement, and is cut in such a way that it reveals only a fleeting moment of a leg, which accomplishes the softest, most subtle suggestion of sexiness.
As she twirled in front of the mirror, the dress spiraled into a creamy froth, and then into butterfly wings, and then into exquisiteness . It was a goddess dress. That’s what goddess dresses do when you wear them, and every woman should own at least one.
We both tried on a few more things, including an eclectic pairing of jungle inspired shorts with a multicolored beaded top by Maison Scotch
, and a few more Sheri Bodell dresses, all lovely. I also tried on the Dahlia dress by Valeria Tolosa
and immediately wished I had a giant bun and platform heels and an event to wear it to right after.
The standout of the day was definitely the caftan dress. The universe had aligned the stars in such a way that it will now be a permanent member of Lauren’s closet, but I am pretty sure there is one more left inside Coterie. I would love to see the life it takes on when another woman tries it on.
Our shopping excursion and meeting of the minds had been a success. “There were some really great pieces there. I especially love that it’s downtown”, mentioned Lauren. “Everything that is happening downtown right now is amazing”, and our experience at Coterie was nothing less. You may even find one of us blogging there on a given day. It should definitely be on your list of places to shop in Vegas, and if you find yourself on Fremont Street, you should definitely stop in and hang out.