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World Chess Hall of Fame

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators Part II

Not surprisingly, Todd Lannom and Ginny Stewart, co-owners of Centro, 4727 McPherson Ave., have taken the minimalist approach to making gift shopping easy. There are simply three plywood tables at the front of the shop filled with beautifully designed, unusual gifts. Two tables hold items made in America, the third, selections from Italy.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Almost everything on the American table, above, was designed by artisans located in Brooklyn. Front: AreaWear by Bower designs clever geometric trivets that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The larger herringbone shapes, front, are $35 each. The smaller tiles far left (made of wood) and right, can be mixed and matched and used as individual coasters too, $18.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top left: American designer David Weeks’ beechwood gorilla, $100, and bear, $90, have movable parts. The Balancing Block dog at the top of the photo is a Snake Block®, a classic toy composed of 24 wooden triangles with an elastic band throughout, $48.  Top right: Balancing Blocks wooden shapes from Fort Standard are also $48.

Bottom photos: The latest in art lamps: “Filo” from Foscarini with glass ornaments comes in 8 different color palates, $550. Right: Decorative American-made outlets with 3 different cord lengths are handsome enough to leave in full view. Some have USB ports as well, $59 to $179.

Check Centro’s website for more information.

Don’t pout if you still need holiday cards, gift bags, or gift wrap. You’ll find them at Cassie’s, 316 N. Euclid.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

From top: Boxes of Papyrus holiday cards are $14.95 to $24.95, Right: a large selection of holiday gift wrapping paper ranges from $8.95 to $9.95: Bottom: Gift bags are $4.50 and up. Cassies also has a perfume bar where you can create your own scents, see bottles above.

Head to Cassie’s website for hours and more information.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., below,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top left: At The Candle Fusion you can purchase ready-made holiday candles in scents such as Cozy Fireside, $22, Holiday Ale, Balsam Fir, Cranberry, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane, $18 each. Top right: Or you can blend your own scents to create your own candle.

Bottom: You can choose from a variety of glass jars and scented oils to create the perfect gift.

The shop does a brisk business hosting candle-making parties. For more information, visit The Candle Fusion website.

At Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Ave.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: A show-stopping faux-fur vest from Furious Fur in shades of beige to brown is $129.95; colorfully patterned socks from Sock Smith for men & women range from $9.95 to $19.95.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

At Enchanting Embellishments, you’ll find zany Betsy Johnson Holiday Purses, $89.95.

Visit the website for more information.

At Shelton Davis, 4724 McPherson Ave.,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

you’ll find a selection of English tea caddies as old as King George I or George II, spanning the 18th to 19th century, $800 to $1200. Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Clockwise from top: Antique Venetian Glass bedside water carafe with glass lid, $145; a pair of French Art Deco jeweled perfume bottles, $375; English cut glass round perfume bottle with sterling silver top, $150; cut crystal perfume bottles with sterling silver tops, $275.

Visit Shelton Davis website for more information.

World Chess Hall of Fame carries a wide variety of gift items, and this Saturday everything is 20% off:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: Jaunty bow ties by Cyberoptix, $50. Right: Chess sets include top left: a 14″ folding magnetic set with travel pouch $119, WCHOF member price: $95.20, top right, 7 1/2″ square magnetic chess set, $59, member price, $47.20, and front, 10 x 5″ magnetic chess set, $79, member price $63.20.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: Ball point pens disguised as quill pens with stand, $12. Right: There is a large selection of children’s toys at WCHOF including top left: Ogobolli Rattles, $11 each; 6-piece Pound & Tap Bench for age 12 months, $33; and a magnetic puzzle for age 24 months, $28.

Check out World Chess Hall of Fame’s website for more information.

At Mike’s Bikes, 324 N. Euclid,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top: Striders for ages 2 to 5 years are $120, and bottom photo: Pop some batteries into Kazam “blinkies,” $100, and the trail will blaze as they push ahead.

Visit Mikes Bikes website for more information.

Wolfgang’s Pet Stop, 330 N. Euclid,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

An assortment of freshly-baked holiday-themed dog cookies will be a welcomed treat for your four-legged friend this Christmas. Mix & match organic peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal, or choose one with liver, 4 for $5.

Wolfgang’s is also offering a small group (4-5 dogs) 1-hour dog training class on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. starting January 19, $150 (five sessions). For more information click here.

Don’t miss the last of this year’s Window Walk festivities taking place this Saturday, December 22.

Shop local and have a wonderful Holiday everyone!

A visit to PINNED! A Designer Chess Challenge

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

If you are into fashion and haven’t as yet visited Pinned! A Designer Chess Challenge at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., you’re in for a big treat.  The exhibition opened on October 6 (when these photographs were taken) and closes March 25.

The $10,000 design challenge was created in partnership with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, located at 1533 Washington Ave.  The challenge for each member of Saint Louis Fashion Incubator’s inaugural class—Agnes Hamerlik, Emily Brady Koplar, Allison Mitchell, Audra Noyes, Charles Smith II, and Reuben Reuel—who was paired with a Grandmaster from World Chess Hall of Fame, was to create an ensemble for today’s chess player. It had never occurred to me that dress codes for professional chess players were a topic of conversation, until I read Macauley Peterson’s article in Chess News.

Each class member’s work is shown on the 2nd floor of the World Chess Hall of Fame. The winner of a $10,000 prize was Audra Noyes, who was paired with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, for the gorgeous dress shown in the photo above. More of Noyes’ designs are shown in the photo below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

For the challenge, each designer was asked to complete 2 designs, one for a chess player and the other more avant-garde.

Audra Noyes exceedingly charming illustrations and poetry are shown above.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Seeing what St. Louisan Emily Brady Koplar created, above, it’s not surprising that she won the People’s Choice Award. She was paired with Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade. Learn more about the designer on a blog post here, and about her successful career on the Fashion Incubator’s website.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Brooklyn native Reuben Reuel designed the imaginative fashions shown above. Read more about Reuel on the Incubator’s website here. (A couple of neighborhood friends have been spotted looking absolutely smashing while wearing Reuel’s custom-made dresses made of his signature African cloth, example far right).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Allison Mitchell, a Dallas native, was working in digital marketing when she made her first handbag that everyone wanted. Her success led her to St. Louis to further her career while participating in the Fashion Incubator. You’ll enjoy her story here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Chicago-native Agnes Hamerlik, whose dramatic creation is shown above, was paired with Grandmaster Alejandro Ramerez. Hamerlik followed a more traditional couture path, which you can read about on the website.

The video takes you behind-the-scenes as the designers describe their creations for the PINNED! challenge, followed by the moment when the judges’ winner was announced.

World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., suggested donation $3 per person, $5 per family.  Mon.-Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12 to 5.

Saint Louis Fashion Incubator, 1533 Washington Ave., is open to the public Saturday, February 7, from 10 to 4 for a day of shopping the designers’ collections.

A CWE Valentine’s Gift Guide – Part II

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A Chocolate Trio with a crisp heart-shaped waffle at jeni’s, 389 N. Euclid, may send you into a swoon, but isn’t that what Valentine Day’s all about? The selection features scoops of Darkest Chocolate, Milkiest Chocolate and Roxbury Road, $6.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame St. Louis Q Boutique MO jeni's East + West Central West End AG Jeans 10denza

Josh Castleberry at Q Boutique at The World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., pulled together some clever Valentine ideas. From top left: xoxo dish, $13; red-beaded necklace with elephant charm that doubles as a bracelet, $15; Zenzii beaded multi-chain necklace, $99; Love Sonnets by William Shakespeare & “fill in the blank,” $15, & What I Love About, another “fill in the blank” book, $11; 20 Vouchers for Lovers, $9; Quotable card, $3.50; World Chess Hall of Fame Kakao Chocolate Chess Pieces, $15.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame St. Louis Q Boutique MO jeni's East + West Central West End AG Jeans 10denza

At East + West Brian Simpson suggested gifting leather goods from Portland-based Tanner Goods. Card cases, wallets, valet trays (not shown) and passport holders, far right, $60 to $120. The scent of the Blind Barber candle, $32, made in Brooklyn, is reminiscent of a barber shop.

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Left: CWEnder artist Sarah Doriani creates handsome all-occasion and Valentine’s cards, $5. Right: Proprietor Simpson describes Chance, above, as “off the wall” at home but mellow as can be in the shop, located at 387 N. Euclid.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame St. Louis Q Boutique MO jeni's East + West Central West End AG Jeans 10denza

Chris Lanter, proprietor of 10denza, 44 Maryland Plaza, suggested presenting your Valentine with a Daniel Wellington watch, $175 to $249. Or right: a simply beautiful necklace by St. Louis designer Salma Dena featuring an 18 carat gold charm on perodite and gold chain, $98.

Check out the Winter Sale at 10denza, men’s & women’s apparel & shoes are 50 to 75% off.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame St. Louis Q Boutique MO jeni's East + West Central West End AG Jeans 10denza

The staff at AG Jeans, 36 Maryland Plaza, commented that Valentine’s Day and their new spring colors make a perfect match. From left: Noah cotton cashmere turtleneck in wine, $168; biker jacket in cotton, modal, polyester & elastine has a “fun edge,” $355; and blush prima crop skinny jeans are $178.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame St. Louis Q Boutique MO jeni's East + West Central West End AG Jeans 10denza

From left: Men’s Highland Tech jacket is 100% polyester and 100% wind- and water-proof, $298; slim white khaki pant is 98% cotton & 2% elastine, $168.  Slanted pockets make them, I was told, “dressy enough for the golf course.”

With appreciation to the proprietors of CWE shops for their assistance in assembling this post.

Have a wonderful weekend and a lovely Valentine’s Day.