Pigtown Design Pop-up, Fine Swine Finds and Wardrobe Harvest at Cross Keys

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The autumnal season is upon us and the shops in the Village of Cross Keys are busy welcoming fall with stylish seasonal fashions, all-occasion gifts and home decorating options alike. We at Fishbowl treated ourselves to a shopping trip this week to see what was new in the village. As always, we were not disappointed.

The Fine Swine is Cross Keys’ very own haberdashery of unique menswear and gifts for every occasion. New for fall, their collection of brightly colored authentic Scottish Shetland wool sweaters and handsome Harris Tweed jackets and vests will keep any dapper fellow warm this season. The shop’s popular cross-stitched key fabs are well stocked in all your favorite school colors and local zip codes and are customizable to any interest. The Fine Swine also offers a selection of customizable men’s clothing such as rugby shirts in any color combination imaginable. Choose your school colors, or your favorite shades and join in on falls biggest menswear trend.

Cross stitched belts and fashionable silk ties and pocket squares are among the shops other popular accessories, and a carefully curated collection of thought-provoking housewarming gifts such as cocktail sets, vintage housewares and books fills the space with a welcoming, homey vibe. Open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am-5pm and by appointment, The Fine Swine is your go-to shop for menswear and gifts at the village of cross keys. For more information on the shop, visit thefineswine.com or call 240-426-3437.

Octavia Boutique has been serving well dressed women in the Baltimore area since 1965. The shop, which is known for its ever-rotating selection of special-occasion gowns and unique jewelry also offers a huge selection of casual womenswear, targeting professional women over 40. Regularly featuring brands such as Frank Lyman, Joseph Ribkoff, Habitat, Color Me Cotton, Weaves, IC Collections and Designs Today, and offering jewelry and purses from all over the world, the store has something for every occasion. Whether searching for a new work wardrobe or glamorous black-tie attire, Octavia offers a rainbow of selections in sizes 0-22, and has a professional, in-house tailor for custom alterations to boot. The shop is currently aglow with new fall sweaters, jackets and outerwear, and we especially love this cozy, synthetic blend Burgundy jacket with feminine shoulder pleats.  We also couldn’t take our eyes off this off sparkling, ruffled-shoulder gown in celestial, deep royal blue, which would be dazzling and perfect for an autumn gala or winter wedding. Octavia Boutique is open 10am – 6pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am – 4pm on Sundays. Find the shop online at facebook.com/octaviaboutique.baltimore or call (410) 323-3066.

Chezelle is a specialty clothing shop carrying women’s sizes 14 and up, with a prominent collection of fair trade, artisanal jewelry, gifts and womenswear. The shop is curated with interesting and comfortable basics with a cheerful color pallet and unique lines and details. Even if you’re not in the market for larger sizes, there is still reason to visit. Chezelle has gift offerings for every budget including accessories, bags and homewares.

The shop’s rotating jewelry offerings very purposefully feature socially conscious and worker-friendly brands from all over the world. Current jewelry lines include one-of-a-kind statement pieces made from interesting materials like upcycled wood, rubber and leather, and hand-carved tagua nut – also known as vegan ivory. Chezelle regularly hosts trunk shows with boutique brands, such as the all-cotton, fully customizable, Brooklyn-based (and produced) Margaret Winters line. On Saturday, November 3, the store will host a one-day-only Fair Trade Fair, featuring new inventory from international artisans across the globe. Chezelle is open 10am – 6pm Monday through Friday, and 12pm – 4pm on Sundays. Find the shop online, at https://www.facebook.com/pg/Chezelle-of-Cross-Keys or call 410-532-6442.

The Store Ltd was one of the first shops to open in the Village of Cross Keys in 1965, and its original owner, renowned jeweler Betty Cooke, is still in charge as she celebrates her 94th birthday. The shop – co-founded by Cooke and herhusband, designer Bill Steinmetz – is part miniature Museum of Modern Art gift shop, part jewelry showroom. Cooke is still actively designing and creating her jewelry in Baltimore, with the help a few highly trained assistants. In one section of The Store Ltd (which was opened primarily to feature Cooke’s work, but named before its founders had decided what else they would sell), Cooke’s modernist and Bauhaus-inspired collection seems to emit light from its pristine wall cases. In the other sections of the space, modernist, design minded homewares are propped carefully atop museum-like pedestals, alongside a careful curation of design-related books, and substantial assortments of both adorable children’s items and swoon-worthy, tactile women’s clothing.

While a showroom featuring a glowing row of sculptural animal lamps, and a wall of silvery wire trees (the latter created by a local artist), caught our eye, Cooke’s jewelry is what took our breathe away. An oversized sterling silver star pendant blazed almost religiously on a simple wire necklace in the middle of the showroom, prompting thoughts of the upcoming holiday season and wish lists to adjust. The Store Ltd is open 10am – 6pm Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. Information on the shop can be found at facebook.com/thestoreltd

Before becoming a Pop-Up Shop in the Village of Cross Keys, Pigtown Design was the design, decorating and travel blog written by Baltimore local Meg Fairfax Fielding, who, in addition to writing and photographing her adventures, provides graphic design services to the non-profit community. Fielding, who describes herself as “more of a hunter than a collector” and is a longtime appreciator of Wedgewood china, recently opened a monthlong pop-up shop in September with the theme of Anglo-American antiques, curating together English china and cutlery, and beautiful American antiques and vintage quilts.

The shop has been an instant success, quickly and repeatedly selling statement-making pitchers, soup tureens, mother-of-pearl handled silverware, and pieces from a large acquisition of authentic Amish and Pennsylvania quilts. Offering truly unique pieces that would make equally thrilling wedding gifts, housewarming tokens, or magnificent fall refreshers to a personal dining collection, the Pigtown Design Pop-Up is not to be missed. Visit the shop yourself 11am – 6pm Fridays, 10am – 6pm Saturdays and 10am – 3pm Sundays; September 2018 only. More info online athttps://www.facebook.com/events/1327313947404963/?event_time_id=1327313960738295

Rachel Bone

Rachel Bone is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Fishbowl.


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