Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly serve as muses to Jaclyn Bethany, owner of the Jackson, Mississippi boutique Audrey Grace, but for her New York City pop-up shop she found inspiration in a very different type of woman: Marie Antoinette.
“I’m just after a really feminine, girly aesthetic,” said Bethany, who’s dressed up her temporary space at the Highline Loft with all the frills and flowers worthy of the onetime Queen of France. The one-week shop, which opens its doors on Friday, is stocked with pieces that seem to answer the question, What would Marie Antoinette wear? “Things with bows and lace and a Peter Pan collar—it’s very whimsical,” Bethany adds. Among the designers featured in the space are Erin Fetherston, Rachel Antonoff, Wren, and Sretsis, all go-to brands for women looking for cutesy-chic, along with select vintage pieces—Bethany is most excited about the selection of 1950s prom dresses—and works by up-and-coming artists like photographer Stacey Mark and illustrator Caitlin Shearer.
For New Yorkers who aren’t heading south anytime soon, Bethany hopes the Audrey Grace pop-up shop with give them a sense of her very particular aesthetic. “This is catered toward a fuller vision of what I originally wanted to do—it’s an extension [of the Jackson boutique], but also an achievement of everything I want the brand and the store to be,” she says. Indeed, some of the very brands Bethany once fantasized about working with are now collaborating on 40 one-off pieces (all exclusive to the Audrey Grace New York pop-up). “A couple of years ago, I made a list of designers who, if I opened a store, I wanted to stock. There were labels like Chanel, but below that were the people I got!” she notes gleefully.
Although she plans to spend as much time as she can working at the Audrey Grace pop-up, Bethany can’t be there full-time—she’s still in school and doesn’t graduate until May. “I’ve been on this crazy schedule for about a year, and I have been in shows at school and I opened the store in Jackson in December and then I’ve been doing a lot of styling for the store and for myself for the past two months,” she says. “But what’s gotten me through it is I love all the things that I’m doing.”