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Southern Girl Fashion Adventurers

In both October and November I went on trips to Little Rock. The original purpose was amoung other things to visit the William J Clinton Presidential Center. Not for me, the BF is a big fan. But before I go tarnishing my snarky girl reputation on here but doing something seemingly nice I'll say that I was very critical of this museum and vocal to said bf about it. But they also has an Oscar De La Renta exhibit so I was a little more willing to go - hence why we had to go back so soon when the great government shutdown canceled our first visit , ODLR was on display through December 1st. 

So one of first visit we did lots of fun things in lieu of visiting a giant tacky trailer - no joke, that's what the building looks like! While researching trip activities I discovered there is a purse museum in LR. FUN! So obviously, I had to check it out. Here's what I told the world on yelp: 

What a great little gem in Little Rock. I can't remember how I found out about this online but I am so glad I did. The Esse Purse Museum is a collection you can tell was very carefully curiated by the museum founder. The current exhibit is their first exhibit and is very well done: A century of women and handbags. There are 10 cases each representing a decade with purses from the time as well as items a lady would have carried in her purse at that time and a plaque with notes on the time periord. As someone who LOVES purses I really enjoyed the information. There are also some permanant installations artfully displayed. The guest book is next to an old fashioned scale and visitors are invited to document the weight of their own purse- what a fun interaction. Although small, the care that went into this collection make the $10 admission worth it. I'm a very fast reader but also took some nerdy photos throughout the space and was there for 35 minutes. The gift shop is great as well and I spent just as much time there deciding which of the amazing items I would be taking home. Although my love came from an interest in fashion I also appreciated the historical notes of how women's roles have changed over the past 100 year and how our purses represent that. 

To make your visit more substantial I recommend checking out the neighborhood, which apparently the museum founder has had a big hand in revitilizing. There is a beautiful garden across the stress that hosts a small farmers market on the weekend. We did not get to try the restaurant but did visit the corner store / soda fountain. So charming and the locals were SO friendly. We spent a delightful 2 hours in the neghborhood and will make this a stop on future little rock visits.

Here's me out front post visit souviners in hand

Weighing my purse, it was a about 6lbs! 

The main gallery: 

I saw a compact with crescent moons on it , obviously needed a pic of that. Please excuse the Princess Beatrice smile, I just had Botox and smiling was a challenge. 

In this months Southern Living the museum is  featured as a place to visit. Y'all know I nearly died with excitement knowing I had been there, and BEFORE southern living told me to. 

Nearby are two of the houses whose exterior is featured in the show Designing Women. Obviously this was another necessary stop. 

The Villa Marie, aka Julia Sugarbaker's home : 

The Arkansas Governors Masion, Aka Suzanne Sugarbaker's home: 

We saw a lot of other sights that weekend but they don't fit with my fashion theme here so moving on. 

Thanksgiving weekend wound up being our return to Little Rock trip, this time we were only there for the day. 

About to head into the exhibit, I was so excited / relieved to be taking a Bill and Hilary Propaganda break. 

This exhibit wasn't huge but was very nice. About 30 dresses on display worn by the Clinton ladies and other First Ladies and plenty of just fashionable dresses. There was also a video intro from the Clintons (all 3) and a video presentation on ODLR. Here's some pics: 

First Lady dresses. The far left was worn by my personal hero, Laura Bush. Hilary appeared on the cover of Vouge in the one on the far right. 

Vouge Cover: 

More dresses: 

I had to have my picture by this one, pink carnations (the Gamma Phi flower) swoon! 

All the dresses were very lovely and I enjoyed the visit. Before we went home I had one pit stop to make. Dillards corporate headquarters is in LR so designer items get sent there to go one sale if they don't sell elsewhere. . . And Dillards carries my favorite, Lilly Pulitzer! Being its the holiday season I didn't want to spend a lot on myself but I managed to squeeze 3 tops from the 65% off rack into my $100 budget. 

While I was looking the sales lady told me LP purchases got a free bracelet. So when I checked out I asked the other lady about it, pretending not to be a fashion addict fully aware that it was for full price items only. . . But the original lady came over and gave me one, score: 

I made the BF take my pic since this location is kinda "famed" in the Lilly world. 

So yes, lots of fashionable fun to be had in Little Rock, who knew! 


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