Raleigh chef and restauranteur Ashley Christensen is well known for her culinary prowess. But she recently lent her talent to another arena – fashion.
Christensen teamed up with Alabama designer Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin line to create a collection for women. The line is now available on alabamachanin.com.
Friends before their business partnership, the two decided to work together after Christensen took Chanin up on an offer to create an article of clothing out of her company’s organically-grown cotton jersey fabric.
“I had a pullover that I loved, and had worn it to the point of holes,” Christensen says. “I was getting ready to part ways with it, and then remembered Natalie’s offer. I reached out and asked if she could look at it for me, then mailed it to her. She responded to me with a few different designs based on the original, and I picked my favorite. A few months later, she sent me a new Alabama Chanin pullover that was even better than the original on which it was modeled.”
That pullover led to a capsule collection that includes tops, double-breasted cardigans and pullovers that reflect Christensen’s personal style and her lifestyle as a chef.
“This collection, although based on Ashley’s original sweater, was also inspired by culinary art,” Chanin says. “The double-breasted feature on all the garments was inspired by the classic chef’s coat.”
For Christensen – owner of Poole’s Diner, Death & Taxes, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s and Fox Liquor Bar – the common thread between food and clothing is taking something that’s often seen as ordinary and taking it to a higher, more artistic level.
“Clothing, like food, is first and foremost, a basic necessity, and I think both Natalie and I approach what we do with that top of mind – using creativity to make a staple as fulfilling as possible,” Christensen says.
Brides-to-be looking for a wedding gown deal, take note: Two of Raleigh’s top bridal boutiques hold their summer sample sales this week.
▪ Alexia’s will discount designer gowns 30-70 percent during its sale, July 25-29. Gowns are available in sizes 2-8. To reserve an appointment, call 919-829-5900.
▪ Traditions by Anna Bridal Boutique’s summer sample sale is slated for July 28-29. Shoppers can score deals on designer bridal gown samples priced $500-$1,950. To schedule an appointment, call 919-783-8652 or email email@example.com.
Send Style Watch tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.