Imagine an enormous limestone building, outfitted with solid bronze doors, intricate metal grates gracing beautifully detailed lead crystal windows, and massive interior columns of gleaming marble. This building isn’t a faraway castle in Europe but rather here in the vibrant heart of downtown Memphis. Completed in 1929, the former National Bank of Commerce today serves as an event space called The Columns for weddings, special events, and other parties. The Exchange Club of Memphis will host its annual fundraiser, “Hands of Hope,” here in March and more recently it was the perfect location for the February fashion shoot inspired by Roxy Music’s video for their 1982 hit, “Avalon.”
We re-created the after-party scenes from the video with the help of two of Memphis’ most sought-after leading musical men — Resource Entertainment Group’s Gary Escoe and Memphis Jones. They paired nicely with our gorgeous models, who wore some of the very best in formal attire accessorized with elements of fantasy. High on drama and romance, The Columns commanded the theme of our story from the moment we walked in to scout the location. The classical symmetry of the property brought to mind the scenes from the video of the model dancing around after her big night and being serenaded by Bryan Ferry.
Modern-day event season is in full swing and weddings are all around the corner. The space, the dresses, the musicians — all are some of the best our city has to offer for your own party fantasy.
Now the party’s over.
Drinks are spilled, shoes are off, and dresses are wrinkled but the fantasy is still unfolding.
On Breon (left): Crinkled gold dress by XSCAPE, $189, from Macy’s Oak Court. Aged metallic platform pumps by Sam Edelman, $129, from Peria. Wide cuff bracelet, $475, and statement ring, $425, both by Rebecca, both from Mednikow.
On Sommer: Camel-colored, cowl-shouldered jersey dress by Butter, $350, from Kittie Kyle. Cuff, $475, and necklace worn as belt, $250, both by Rebecca, all from Mednikow. Both feather and sequin headpieces by Brave Designs.
Gary is wearing his own white dinner jacket ensemble with a Mednikow “Weekend” Watch, $600; sterling silver and tiger eye spiritual bead bracelet, $400, by David Yurman. Sterling silver and black sapphire band, $720, by Stephen Webster, all from Mednikow. Gary’s guitar is a rare Gibson Nighthawk with a honey butcher-block finish.
Our musicians have finished performing but the after party is about to begin.
On Breon: Rust silk pleated dress by Max and Cleo, $170, from Southern Couture. Champagne quilted pumps by Poetic Licence, $98, from Peria. Twenty-four-karat yellow-gold hoop earrings, $7,015; 24-karat yellow-gold diamond bangle bracelet, $7,780, both by Yossi Harari; sterling silver and 18-karat gold Etruscan bracelets with rubies, $4,000, and $2,750; 19-karat yellow-gold ring, $3,225, by Elizabeth Locke, all from Mednikow.
On Memphis: Classic white dinner suit rental from American Tuxedo. Antique guitar case at his feet.
With Gary: White custom Takamine guitar with leopard strap. Background guitar is a rare Gibson Nighthawk with a honey butcher-block finish.
On Sommer: Purple Grecian dress by Blank of London, $405, from Kittie Kyle. Satin bow pumps, $109, from Peria. Nineteen-karat yellow-gold necklace, $10,200, with smoky quartz briolette pendant, $3,375, both by Elizabeth Locke; sterling silver, 18-karat yellow-gold and ruby Etruscan bracelet, $5,125, all from Mednikow. Feather headpieces both by Brave Designs.
Very special thanks to:
Breon Rosser and Sommer Hughes of COLORS Agency
Paul Chandler and Stacey Keeneof Resource Entertainment Group
Gary Escoe of the Gary Escoe Band
Classic Party Rentals
Angela Watson of Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals
Carlos Isales for his helping hands