Earlier this week, the corner of State and Walton in the Gold Coast was abuzz with brides to be and lovers of lovely things when BHLDN ("Beholden") opened the doors for a preview party of their second brick-and-mortar store.
The gorgeous 3,600 square foot shop resembles a 19th century European townhouse with 15-foot ceilings, grand windows and a spiral staircase.
BHLDN partnered with Martha Stewart Weddings to host the party, with Editorial Director Darcy Miller Nussbaum in attendance!
Over 300 guests ooh'd and ahh'd over the gorgeous items.
The aforementioned staircase...
...with this lovely gown near the top. Look at the detailing!
While the first floor is for bridesmaids and occasion dresses, the second floor holds wedding gowns, accessories, and day-of decor. Angel wings adorn the coffered ceiling of the main accessory room.
And those blue walls! Stunning.
BHLDN is part of the Anthrologie/Urban Outfitters family. While there are touches of influence from both (the vintage style of Anthro and the whimsy of UO) its style is uniquely BHLDN.
These luxe shrugs definitely caught my eye. They work for the bride or for black tie.
As the evening went on, Truffleberry Market provided sustenance, along with some clever ideas for passed hors d'oeuvre displays. Below, a hat box filled with rice gives tuna cones a boost, while paper pinwheels adorn a tray of truffle pinwheels.
And yes, the sea salt peanut butter chocolate cups were as delicious as they sound.
You might be wondering if there's anything at BHLDN for the gents. Why of course! Look, they get a whole bookcase all to themselves! :)
In the decor room I briefly chatted with Darcy Miller (pic to come!) while trying not to dart my eyes around at all the gorgeous things. Don't you just love that delicate confetti in the first picture?
In the lingerie room (yes, there's a lingerie room) I found these vases which pull double-duty as charming table markers.
Also in the lingerie room, paper artist Ruth Monsell was busy making silhouettes. I got mine done just in time...when I was finished, I looked up to see that the line had grown to huge proportions! BHLDN was certainly the place to be that night.
Back in the accessory room, I found some fabulous shoes and vintage rings...
...and lots of fascinators. The royal wedding really gave state-side milliners a boost, I think.
BHLDN's visual merchandisers deserve a round of applause. It's very easy to look at the items, thanks to museum cases such as this one.
But what about wedding dresses? Isn't this a bridal store?
Behold, the wedding gown room!
Some of my favorites are below. I'm seeing shades of Pippa in the first one.
BHLDN is at 8 East Walton in Chicago and is definitely worth a visit...even if you're not a bride!