by Sarah Ellen Berman
Babette, elegance personified, reigns at her boutique. When crossing the threshold of Elegance II, one is instantly surrounded by beauty and its infinite possibilities. Whether the motivation is a quest for a new accessory or the desire for a radically different look, the recognition that this is the perfect place is felt immediately.
What is it that keeps customers coming back in droves season after season? Babette’s sense of style is certainly an integral part of the draw. She honed her fashion sense at an early age while accompanying her mother–a stylist to the elite in France–on buying expeditions. Babette returns to the city of light twice a year to stay in tune with the latest in fashion trends. Stop by any day and check out what she’s wearing for the answer to what is chic.
Babette’s friendly demeanor and effervescent personality contribute greatly to the attractiveness of her shop. An inquiry about a pair of Manolos or a Louis Vuitton purse brings a smile to her face and a twinkle to her eye. The advice she offers and the style she imparts are welcomed by all.
Glance at the window display when entering the store. Here are Babette’s treasures: Chanel bags. This is the showcase for the latest model from Paris as well as the classics. “If you start wearing Chanel, you’ll never wear anything else,” Babette affirmed.
Her collection of distinctive dresses contains gems from the world of haute couture. From Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and Chanel to Dolce and Gabbana, Babette has it all. For those seeking the ultimate in luxurious coats, she has an extensive array of mink coats. For casual dressing, try on a pair of Theory jeans with a cardigan by Three Dots.
Babette attributes part of her success to the rise in popularity of consignment venues. In the past, many people harbored the misconception that the quality of the products was not of paramount importance. When Hollywood stars including Demi Moore were sighted at shops, consignment’s reputation soared.
Whether it’s a gift certificate or an outfit, a present from Elegance II is destined to delight the fashionista in your life. Babette’s exquisite taste pervades her collection. For those who think that the present of an Hermes scarf is too extravagant in this parlous economic climate, a trip to Elegance II will be pleasantly enlightening in every way except on the wallet. Recent finds included a violet dress by Alexander McQueen and a multi-colored coat by Jean Paul Gauthier.
The clientele are unanimous in their affinity for Elegance II. Eileen Josefs, a very frequent shopper, enjoys each and every visit. “It’s fun. It’s an adventure,” she said. When comparing the prices charged on Madison Avenue to those of Elegance II, customer Rosemarie Bedenson said, “You think you’re crazy for paying retail!”