Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NEW! Madison Mannequin: Finely Dressed Friendship

Guest blogger Alexandra Graves is an intern here at Madison Magazine and my eye on the streets for all things chic, eccentric or otherwise inspirational. So check back weekly for the latest “Madison Mannequin,” posted every Tuesday from now on. Lex will be conducting all interviews and providing commentary for this special weekly segment.

I caught up with this chic duo as they paid for smoothies from a sidewalk cart. In the late morning heat, the light summer pieces that outfitted Amy Chinanzvavana, 26, and Amrita Batra, 26, were like smoothies for the fashionable eye—airy, refreshing and tasteful.

Chinanzvavana (above) and Batra (below) met at Grinnell College in Iowa but parted ways geographically after—Batra now lives and works in Madison at an environmental NGO, while Amy struck out to Washington, D.C., where she works as a program assistant at the Open Society Institute.

Although they live a thousand miles apart, Chinanzvavana and Batra looked almost as though they had coordinated—big, bright bags, eye-catching jewelry and breezy ensembles. Surprisingly, the two have differing fashion sensibilities.

“I like to buy standout pieces,” says Batra, who listed Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathaway as her modern fashion icons. “I wouldn’t be happy wearing a cardigan and jeans.”

“I don’t think I have a style,” says Chinanzvavana, who claimed she wasn’t fashionable enough to have a fashion icon. “I pick for fit.”

“You have a style—you have dreadlocks, that’s stylish!” Batra protests. I’d have to side with Batra on this one—Chinanzvavana’s lovely sundress doesn’t shout utilitarian, and while that bag may be useful, it’s certainly got style.

For her part, Batra’s quest to stand out from the crowd knows no boundaries—one of her favorite new designers, James Ferreira, operates out of Bombay, where he makes seamless pieces that Batra loves. Her blue-and-white striped shirt was a new Anthropologie purchase and she got the Marc Jacobs arm candy as a birthday gift.

Chinanzvavana’s bag was also a birthday gift and her bracelet was a gift from Batra. These two may have different approaches, but their looks are as strong as their friendship.

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