With her beautiful interpretation of Alys Beach homeowner Meredith Pope’s role as 2021 Mrs. USA Earth in “The Meredith” scarf, offered at the Alys Shoppe along with other inspiring designs, artist Courtney Buchanan of CB Grey grabbed our attention and hasn’t let go. Courtney has a special ability to capture the essence of her muses and tell the stories of their gifts and passions in color, pattern, and the most thoughtful of details in a hidden illustration or a scripted message, all within the most luxurious designer silks. Naturally, we wanted to see how she might weave a story of Alys Beach. What elements and details would she connect with and draw inspiration from as an artist? How would she choose to celebrate Alys in her own visual, tactile way? One thing we knew, Courtney would create a luxurious and fashion-forward, yet classic, accessory that will offer our Alys Beach community countless ways to share the beauty, the design, the artistry of the beloved town in a subtle, unexpected way.
In early January 2022, while our ped paths and streets were a little quieter, Courtney explored Alys Beach as a guest, soaking in the vision from the monumental and the iconic to the most discrete detail, connecting with the town both personally and aesthetically. As she does for so many, Tänzerin, the voluptuous dancer of Caliza Courts, resonated loudly with Courtney in her positioning at the entrance of Caliza Pool. Before a space where those entering may be inclined to feel vulnerable or self-conscious, Tänzerin celebrates her form with uninhibited joy, perhaps inviting us to do similarly while swimsuit clad. This moment, evoked by the response between the sculpture and the architectural space, earned recognition within Courtney’s design.
From the “architectural gifts to the street” that give passersby cues to slow and take notice of the details, to the thoughtfulness and intentionality behind every stair, entranceway, door and window, chimney and courtyards wall, Courtney drew upon the artistry of Alys Beach – not only the art pieces found within the natural gallery spaces of the landscape, but also the artistry of the architecture, the landscape itself, the careful planning, and the relationship between the Gulf coastline, the town, the community, and the natural environment. The lines, the shadows, the engagement of the art and architecture with the changing light from day to night, the constant play of water, all of the nuances that contribute to the Alys Beach experience and yet only reveal themselves, like secrets, to those who slow and engage, immersing themselves to reveal a town full of life, full of soul, full of stories, and riddled with more texture and color than one may recognize at first glance.
This is the experience that Courtney has distilled into the elegant yet whimsical design of “The Alys” scarf. In an interpretation that feels like a peek behind the courtyard walls with little moments of playful familiarity, a driftwood horse steps through a window, a mermaid flips her tail in the pool, the dragon sculpture swims in the Gulf waters… We are so delighted to share with you the product of our partnership with CB Grey – the silk scarf and the silk/modal shawl or sarong, “The Alys.”
We are sure that you will enjoy Courtney’s interpretation of the town of Alys Beach as much as you will enjoy the many ways of wearing and displaying this CB Grey + Alys Beach work of art. Worn traditionally draped around the neck, looped as a headband or necklace, tied as a shoulder bag or halter top, wrapped as a pareo for the pool or beach, as a flowy one-shoulder dress, or even tied bandana-style as a bold accessory for men, these scarves and sarongs (or shawls) can be worn in an endless array of configurations. Follow CB Grey on Instagram @shopcbgrey for style guides and inspiration for creative ways to wear, utilize, and display her pieces.
“The Alys” can be purchased at the Alys Shoppe, both in-store and online.
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