"Fashion gets under your skin," says Wendy Getchell, founder of five-year-old Lotus on Main Street, and now a new cyber store called Knickers. A veteran of Saks Fifth Avenue in Boca Raton and 15 years repping for resort apparel lines, Getchell opened Lotus to fill a fashion void for locals in downtown Sarasota.
"I wanted to show that luxury is not about price: It’s about finding things that make you happy, whether it’s a truly figure-flattering swimsuit or an undergarment that makes a difference in how your clothes look," she says. That philosophy led to Knickers, a Web store that focuses on lingerie and loungewear— the hottest category in fashion today.
Getchell created fictional fashionistas Gigi and Bridget, who blog on the Knickers site about clothes and travel (and were inspired by what she calls the Gigi twins—the iconic Ralph Pucci-designed mannequins at Lotus). "In this economy, people are staying home," she says. "They’re buying cozy loungewear, not couture dresses." Lotus, 1451 Main St. (941) 906-7080, shopknickers.com
Can’t live without Comfortable, pretty sleepwear and lingerie. I love our Prima Ballerina cami set with vintage lace trim ($136) by Eberjey, a Florida company. What this town needs People who will support downtown and discover its treasures, Getchell says. Cyber customers from as far away as California have discovered the virtues of Knickers’ best-selling Papillion strapless bra ($68). Little luxuries like Claus Porto bath soaps, hand-milled in Portugal since 1887 in fragrances like Condessa (Wild Pansy), are big sellers on the new Knickers Web site at $16.
Hide and Chic
Charles and Ray Eames’ classic plywood chairs (from $799) are among the mid-century icons now available at Home Resource, recently named a dealer for Herman Miller for the Home. Now there’s no need to leave town to buy notable classics like the Eames lounge chair, Nelson bench, Noguchi cocktail table and more. Home Resource, 741 Central Ave., (941) 366-6690.
Thank the real estate downturn for the return of East Indies Home to Sarasota after a two-year hiatus. The Naples-based firm hasn’t sold the North Trail showroom since their original buyer reneged, so they’ve reopened with all the plantation-style furniture we love, plus a new outdoor woven wicker line. East Indies Home, 1312 N. Tamiami Trail, (941) 951-9222.
Viva Las Vegas
Check out buildersshow.com for a peek at the show-stopping interiors for the 9,000-square-foot New American Home 2009, created by designers from Robb & Stucky in Las Vegas and unveiled at this year’s International Builders’ Show. The furniture brands in this incredible idea house can all be found at Robb & Stucky Interiors, 7557 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 922-2274.