Specialty: Wedding and party attire and decorations
Price Range: ($$-$$$) Mid-to-High Range
As a singleton, I usually make it my policy to avoid wedding shops. I made an exception for the Houston store for Anthropologie's new wedding concept, BHLDN, just to give you readers a little peek...and because it looked so beautiful I couldn't tear myself away.
The Houston store is currently BHLDN's only bricks-and-mortar location, which may come as a bit of a surprise to some. "I get calls, all the time," the manager, Lindsay, told me. "They're like, Houston Street? And I'm like, no, Houston, Texas."
Why Houston? - I asked Julie, another manager. (Don't get me wrong - I love Houston, having lived here for most of my life, but we're not used to getting things ahead of New York and Chicago.) BHLDN picked Houston for their first location, she explained, because customers at the Houston Anthropologie buy a lot of dresses. (I've bought a few myself, having attended no less than nine weddings last year.) Weddings (and parties) are a big deal in Texas.
If you want just the right look for your blowout shindig, BHLDN has you covered. There's a whole room devoted to decorations, full of jars of silk ribbon, fancy champagne flutes, and vintagey paper goods. The front room houses an assortment of party dresses; towards the middle is the accessories room, painted in a gorgeous, deep royal blue. In the very back of the store, row upon row of somber mannequins display a seemingly endless array of wedding gowns. All in all, the effect is more museum than store. I wanted to linger and ooh and ahh over everything.
Anthropologie Creative Director Kristin Norris oversaw every aspect of the store concept, not just the decor, and it shows. In fact, my very favorite things about BHLDN were two tiny details. I couldn't take my eyes off the Harry Potter-esque winged lightbulbs that seemed poised to fly right off the walls, and I couldn't say enough good things about the salted caramel macaroons that the salesladies offered me to snack on while I shopped. I may not be getting married anytime soon, but I'll be back for the ribbon. And the cookies.
Highland Village Center
4056 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77027
For more about BHLDN, visit their store page over at Marketplace.
Images: Nancy Mitchell.