With the return of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival to downtown Raleigh this weekend, local accessories designer Holly Aiken continues her tradition of creating limited edition designs for the festival.
Last year, Aiken adorned her signature vinyl bags with banjos, and this year, the upright bass is the instrument of choice for the designer.
“We went through the lineup of all the instruments that we thought were the most bluegrass related,” she says. “And then since we cut out all the little parts that go into a design, it’s got to be something that we can cut and sew and still translate into a recognizable instrument. Some of them we thought would be a little hard for us to make, but the bass worked. We also got a lot of requests for it.”
In addition to the bass, banjo bags also will be back, with the collection available in six styles.
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This is one of several collaborations or special collections Aiken has done with local artists and events. She says it gives her an opportunity to step outside the box, both in design and audience.
“It gives us fun projects to work on that we might not necessarily have done otherwise, and it allows us to reach a broader audience,” she says. “It’s a fun way to come up with something new or unexpected.”
Aiken particularly enjoys the bluegrass-themed bags, and says the partnership was a natural fit.
“It’s just a very special weekend for us,” she says. “The festival has a good vibe, and the product lends itself well to the graphic images of the instruments.”
Aiken’s bluegrass-inspired bags will be available at the Stitch booth in the Shop Local section of the festival, as well as in their Hargett Street store. Get more info at hollyaiken.com.
Other local designers and artisans also will have booths at the event. Participating vendors include Ara Leigh Studios jewelry, Lisa Stewart Designs leather accessories and Suzanne Love Jewelry, among others. For a full list, visit wideopenbluegrass.com.
Another week full of fall trunk shows is on tap:
▪ Kannon’s Clothing in Wendell will have fall/holiday and spring looks from Joseph Ribkoff in sizes 2-22 during a trunk show Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. A representative from the brand will be there to answer questions, and shoppers can enjoy a 10 percent discount and gift with purchase, along with lunch and other refreshments. Call 919-365-7074 for more information.
▪ Certain Things in Raleigh’s Cameron Village welcomes designer Kathy Moca of Beija Flor jeans for a trunk show of new styles on Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Moca will assist shoppers and offer styling advice. For details, call 919-828-5055.
▪ Pumps, booties and more from Vaneli will be available in hard-to-find sizes during a trunk show at Main and Taylor on Friday. Main and Taylor is in North Hills, 919-821-1556.
▪ Kristen’s Shoes, Apparel and More in Cameron Village will have cozy sweaters, outerwear and more from Capote for a trunk show Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 919-678-1234 for more info.
▪ Dovecote boutique in Pittsboro’s Fearrington Village continues its fall trunk show with European-inspired coats for men and women from Schneider’s Outerwear on Saturday and Sunday. Call 919-542-1145 for details.
Baubles and Bags
Score deals on new and gently used designer handbags and jewelry while helping a good cause during the Assistance League of the Triangle Area’s Baubles and Bags sale Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jewelry and bags from a number of designers will be available, and proceeds benefit the organization’s philanthropic programs such as Operation School Bell, Women in Need and A Kid’s Place. The sale will be held at the organization’s A-Z Thrift Shop, 1621 N. Market St., Raleigh, 919-875-8901.
Joint Venture Jewelry in Cary hosts its annual Vintage Show through Saturday. The store will have an assortment of vintage pieces on display, including Victorian, Art Deco and 1920s pieces. For details, call 919-678-0092.
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