There’s a new boutique coming to the Melrose district in Phoenix, along a section of Seventh Avenue dotted with vintage shops, eateries, and other locally owned fare. Phoenix creative Michelle Sasonov, who goes by Mello Jello, is getting ready to open Eternal Noir at 4206 North Seventh Avenue, where she’ll curate fashion, accessories, and art that reflect her own distinct style.
Sasonov is well known within the Phoenix arts scene for both her photography and her distinctive fashion choices. She’s photographed the local arts and music scene, often for Phoenix New Times, for several years now. But she’s also been working on a degree in business, which she recently earned from ASU.
Often, she’s spotted sporting clothing with a punk, goth, or vintage vibe. Last Saturday night, she strolled into the opening for a Tempe art show dressed all in black, from tall lace-up boots to a long coat with a lush fur collar, reflecting her gift for choosing clothing with dramatic flair. “I’m always going to nightclubs and art shows, and people always ask me where I get my clothes,” she says.
Now, Sasonov is putting the finishing touches on her first retail space, where she’ll sell curated clothing and accessories, as well as artwork. “I have a lot of merchandise already, including rocker and glam clothing,” Sasonov says. Typically, it will be sourced from local thrift and consignment shops, which she visits several times each week.
Sasonov embraces creative expression beyond the mainstream, with a focus on inclusion and individuality. “EN is for boys, girls, and everyone in between,” she posted on the Eternal Noir Facebook page. She’s hoping her clientele will include club kids, drag queens, lovers, punks, goths, and others looking for fashion that’s off the beaten path.
Eternal Noir will also host changing art exhibitions, and participate in First and Third Friday art walks. During the soft opening, she’ll be spotlighting Touko Valio Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, a 20th-century artist whose homoerotic works reflected gay culture, and Phoenix-based Lord Zep. Additional events will happen there as well.
The soft opening takes place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 15. Sasonov says she’s eager to share the new space with the community. “Fashion can be art, and I really want people to be part of it.”
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