• Match, Set, Crush

    SPACE 519’s own Jim Wetzel, co-owner and style guru, talks about one of the biggest trends in ready to wear—the matched set.

     First, can you clarify what a modern matched set is?

    Two pieces that are made out of the same fabrication that are worn together. People immediately think suiting, but it’s not. Think of a beautiful peplum top with a long skirt, a blouse and wide leg pant, or pajama dressing with a matching top and bottom.

    It can go many different ways, from menswear inspired to the modern lady.

    Why do you feel that now designers are showing matched sets?

    There is a throwback to the 50s, especially with the European designers like Prada and Delpozo. Designers are reminiscing about a more ladylike moment, for example Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, she took the brands edge back to a softer silhouette.

    What about the matched set, is the modern woman drawn to?

    The matched set provides a lot of diversity. The pieces of these matched sets can be broken apart and the blouse can go with a jean-that’s a great weekend outfit. Or, the skirt can be paired with a cashmere sweater and boots.

    Matched sets also lend themselves to a woman on the go. When you are traveling you have this beautiful put together outfit, but you can quickly break it apart, add two or three pieces at the most, and you have a multidimensional travel wardrobe.

    How are you styling this new trend?

    If you have a matched set in a solid color, then it is begging for statement accessories. You can take a great earring, or statement necklace, and pair it with this long column of color.

    Or, if you are doing a print set that is matched or unmatched, to break it up, a wide belt at the waist would be beautiful.

    Then, it is fun to play with shoes. You are already set with the two pieces, no pun intended, to do a statement shoe, and it makes sense. Even if you are doing pattern on pattern, because you don’t have all of these different elements fighting. A floral blouse and skirt, which reads like a dress, paired with a statement shoe is on point.


    Tibi Pre-Spring 2019

    At SPACE 519 what matched sets are you looking forward to and why?

    We always have a ‘set’ moment at SPACE 519. But for Pre-Spring in particular, which is arriving any day, there are a handful of lines that come to mind.

    Asceno, based out of London, does the pajama dressing trend very well. A heavy gauge silk set, paired with a pointed high heel, feels so elegant and effortless. In the past these set have sold out almost immediately and have become a staff favorite.

    Another master of the matched and unmatched set is La Double J. Often times La Double J will pair crazy patterns together, but we will go in and pull the same pattern to pair together-a paisley secretary blouse with a matching full skirt to make a dramatic set.

    La Double J Pre-Spring 2019

    Tibi also does a great set in a very modern way. Solid pieces on top of each other; but what makes it interesting are the shapes. The top might be oversized with and angled shoulder and the skirt might be a draped, a more body conscious skirt, but all in the same fabrication.

    Tibi Pre-Spring 2019

    Apiece apart is getting into the match game by doing a wide leg trouser with a matching long sleeve printed blouse.

  • Au Revoir to Skinny Jeans


    Sitting down with Jim Wetzel, co-owner of SPACE 519, we talk about one of the biggest shifts in ready to wear fashion right now, denim. We talk styles and washes and why buying quality denim is worth your while.

    After your market appointments, what are the new trends that you are seeing in denim?

    After our last buying trips in Europe and New York we are certainly seeing a shift in denim to a wider leg and a higher rise. There is definitely a reference to the 70s American Sportswear movement a la Lauren Hutton.

    Are there any cuts that you see fading out this season?

    Super skinny and legging type jeans are feeling really forced, even a slimmer straight leg seems a little more dressed. None of the cool new designer denim lines are offering true skinny fits anymore.

    But does the ‘not so skinny’ jean trend work on the average American woman?

    The fit works on even more body types than a skinny fit because it emphasizes the smallest part, the waist, and helps to camouflage the thigh.

    How are you styling this new trend?

    We are seeing a ‘chic French’ blouse and jean moment. The rise is high, the tops are tucked, and the fabrics are softer; like a light wool crepe or a silk. For a shoe, in Paris, I definitely saw a wider crop jean with a pointy toe; weather it was a pointy toe flat or heel. For evening, women were wearing a great statement shoe in the vein of Gucci or Balenciaga; the wide leg of the jean tempers the extreme of the shoe.

    At SPACE 519, with this new trend in mind, is there one style that is a good option for all body types?

    Khaite has a new style called the Raquel that really works well across a lot of body types. The Raquel is very constructed, with a slim, cropped bootleg; this is a great way to do a modern denim without being restrained, like you would in a skinny jean. All Khaite jeans are made from Japanese denim which is higher quality, it holds it shape without stretching, and launders better so it is a great investment piece.

    In this new trend do you favor a certain wash?

    For summer we focused on a really light cream, versus an optic white, which is a little softer and a little more sophisticated. The light cream is a color you can take you into the Fall season, which makes it a better buy.


  • Shop Talk | InStyle May 2018 Feature

    The Lizzie Fortunato for SPACE 519 Earrings are part of our 'Towards the Lake' exclusive capsule collection. Anchored with mother-of-pearl posts these silk tassel earrings embody the modern woman-sophisticated, with an element of oh la la. Available for purchase online.

  • April 2018 Chicago Magazine | Controlled Clutter

    In their Lake View apartment, Jim Wetzel and Lance Lawson mix clashing styles-and make it work. 

    Though their store, SPACE 519, deals in prim modern housewares and clothing, life and business partners Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel are masters of cacophony at home. Their newly renovated Lake View apartment is a whirl of contrasting styles carefully crafted into a balanced mosaic. As they prepare to open Space 519’s new Chestnut Street location this month, the couple walk us through their living room.

    1. “Pick some themes and go with them,” says Lawson. Here, those include plants and animals (note the dog figurines atop the brass ram’s head coffee table).

    2. The pair constantly add objects from estate sales and their travels. “It keeps the conversation evolving,” says Lawson. The circus of high and low combines midcentury tchotchkes like these ceramic horse and jockey bookends with wares from Target and Crate & Barrel. “The room is approachably formal,” says Lawson. “We use it, so it has to be comfortable.”

    3. Lawson and Wetzel went for a “1950s country club chic” vibe that began with this vintage love seat upholstered with fabric depicting a British hunting scene. That cemented the palette for the room: red, green, and pink with flashes of ebony and brass.

    4. “When you have a lot going on, you need to layer the whole room,” says Lawson. They threw a cheetah-print cowhide over their rug, paired an American shell-back chair from the ’40s with a Chinese garden stool, and matched the Mexican horse bookends with a stool upholstered in Tibetan fabric.

    5. The Victorian mirror reflects Lake Michigan from the 14th floor, making the room look bigger. “There’s no TV, and that’s deliberate,” says Wetzel. Instead, the fireplace takes center stage at their cocktail parties.

    By Heidi Mitchell  

  • April 2018 Modern Luxury | Men of the Moment

    Modern Luxury | Men of the Moment | Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel

    On April 5, SPACE 519, the boutique that Lawson and Wetzel own, is moving from its space inside the 900 North Michigan Shops to a street-front store just blocks away at 200 E. Chestnut St.
    The new location will have coffee and a lunch cafe in addition to its already impressive curated collection of women's fashion, gifts, home decor, men's accessories and apothecary.



    "Obviously the new store allows us to take certain areas of the business and expand them, like home and apothecary and women's  - all in a great way - but we also want people to know that we're keeping the basic business model the same. You'll recognize your favorite brands and we're keeping our target price points but we also have the change to do some new things. The one we're most excited to announce is that  this fall we'll be rolling out a private label that will start with five pieces all made with Italian cashmere. They'll all be very travel-ready, and you'll  be able to mix and match everything. They're pieces our clients have been asking for but that we could't find in the markets, so we went out and made them ourselves."



    "We've always had a vision of a full-blown European concept store like Colette or Merci that includes a cafe, but the old space wasn't conducive to that. So moving allows us to fulfill our concept by adding food, a coffee program and outdoor seating. We're even doing the menu ourselves. We're both big food enthusiasts, and we went to California last year to explore what's creative and light, and also seasonal and fresh. We're getting an expresso machine from Italy that literally costs as much as a small car! We like having a space where we can do our total vision and create and experience for our clients. It's really exciting for us to be able to choose every single thing, from the products to the wallpaper. Everything you touch in this store will be us."

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