By Becky Bartkowski
Shopping for the fashionable among us is never an easy task. Taste, after all, is subjective. Instead of taking a risk on this season's "it" bag or playing it safe with a gift card, shop for the serial shopper with confidence this holiday season. These gifts will leave the slickest, pickiest prima donna uncharacteristically giddy. Pinky swear.
ACI Nouveau Membership at Phoenix Art Museum Are you shopping for someone younger than 35 who would die for a group of gal pals to pour over the latest Vogue? Get your giftee a membership to PAM's Arizona Costume Institute Nouveau. The group works with the 35-and-overs of the Arizona Costume Institute to support the museum's fashion programming through style-savvy fundraisers. In the past, they've hosted Sylvia Plath biographer Elizabeth Winder and screened iconic films, including Blow Up. ACI Nouveau membership is $25 per year, and being a member of PAM is a requirement that'll cost $40 for students and $75 for adults. Call 602-257-2124 or visit www.arizonacostumeinstitute.com/ACI/Nouveau.
Turquoise Thunderbird Necklace from Against The Grain This handmade necklace from jeweler Ashley Weber's Against The Grain is a statement piece that'll transcend seasonal trends. The mythological creature is rendered in sterling silver and turquoise on a 30-inch chain, and it's sure to elevate any wardrobe.
Life of Pi T-Shirt from Urban Outfitters Greg Kerr's Phoenix-based literature-inspired T-shirt company Miles to Go has officially hit the big time.
Urban Outfitters picked up Kerr's Life of Pi crew-neck and the hip-kid retailer is currently carrying it online for $24. UO is the shirt's exclusive seller, and Kerr, a 2012 Big Brain finalist, notes that, just like all the MTG shirts folks buy directly from his site, all the shirts purchased through UO were printed locally at Acme.
It's the perfect present for the bookish type who has an eye for strong graphics and a knack for dressing up casual pieces. See more from Kerr at www.milestogoclothing.com.
The Fashion Book @ Changing Hands For the aspiring fashion know-it-all, The Fashion Book is required reading. Vogue famously dubbed it "the fashion bible," and, lucky for those who worship the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel, Phaidon released a new edition in 2013 with an illustrated cover by Mats Gustafson.
It collects 200 years of fashion history, stitching together stories of designers, retailers, photographers, and models. Pick it up at Changing Hands for $59.95.
Made-to-Order Design from Cleo & Clementine If you are terrified of buying your stylish pal an item in the wrong size (which, in all honestly, you probably should be), give the gift of custom clothing this holiday season. Designer Monique Sandoval of Ouma and her C&C team will create a one-of-a-kind piece for your stylish pal who loves being in the know when it comes to the next big designer. All you need to do is decide what kind of item she'd appreciate. The shop's custom options range from a skirt for $120 to a special occasion silk dress for $520. Get the gift card at the shop or online at www.cleoandclementine.com.