Ever wonder what it feels like to enter a glamorous 1920’s starlet’s dressing room….on drugs? Well then step into A. Turen, Ashley Turen’s new shop in the Lower East Side. All the décor, from the romantic velvet dressing room curtain to the gold hands dripping with dazzling baubles, has a tripped-out, antique sensibility, creating the perfect backdrop for Ashley’s signature designs. Look to the right and you’ll notice retro mannequin display heads next to a beautiful wooden boudoir. Or look up and you’ll see gorgeous chandeliers surrounded by oversized and upside-down picture frames filled with various shots from the A. Turen look book.
Ms. Turen’s welcoming oasis is filled with her own collection of multi-colored painted clothing and accessories, which all spun out of an “accidental mess.” One day while painting (a favorite hobby), she accidentally spilled a little metallic paint on her pants. Running late for a friend’s birthday party, she decided to run out of the house with her painted pants on. This slip turned out to be a huge hit. “It was completely shocking – everyone was asking me where I got my pants, saying they had to have them!” It was from this moment that sparked the idea for own collection, which lead to her very own shop.
“Everyone has items in their wardrobe that they live in; their ‘go-tos’ when they want to feel confident,” Ashley explains. She “takes these basic, flattering shapes and makes them one-of-a-kind by painting them in dark metallic hues and sometimes embellishing them with lace, appliqués, jewelry, and buttons.” She does the same revamping with selected vintage pieces too, such as a quilted Chanel purse or an aviator leather jacket. The result is a collection that’s a little bit romantic and a little bit rock n’ roll.
Customers can bring their clothing back as many times as they want. (There’s a special discount card for the second time around.) Everything can be recycled over and over again to match your mood and the time of year. “I have one client who brings me the same leggings every month, and we collaborate on a whole new design for her.”
Along with the A.Turen Original label, there are basics to compliment the pieces, such as Enza Costa, Neesh tees, and a great line of undergarments, called Top Secret Society. There is a slew of vintage jewelry, and she exclusively stocks Martin Bernstein jewelry.
Ashley will take that favorite piece that needs a little retouching, and give it an extra special twist. “Everyone who comes in to ‘A.Turen’ can be a designer by adding his or her own special personalized touch.” Not one piece is alike and this attention to customization is what makes her shop so refreshing and unique – definitely worth the trip.
A.Turen, 124 Ludlow St. (between Rivington and Delancy), New York, NY 10002