SCENE

CLUB DAZE
ATLANTA--Where can the trendy clubgoer buy rubber pants and a matching vest or a coffin-inspired purse and get a tattoo all under one roof? Not where you might think. Purple Haze, a rare gem of a store, is nestled in the heart of preppy Buckhead.
Store owners Melissa Hallman and Heather Webb met six years ago at the American College for the Applied Arts in Atlanta. During school, they came up with the idea and started making plans for their store.
Now two years old, Purple Haze has gone through many transitions, looking for it's niche. It seems to have found it in the discount market, offering club clothes at 50 to 70 percent below retail. Prices range from $10 to $100, with the average item around $30. "We are consumers as well as retailers, and it hurts us when we have to buy clothes at high prices," says Webb.
Purple Haze carries about 30 to 50 different lines, from large manufacturers like Hi-Fi to smaller ones like Mantrap. The store also sells owner Melissa Hallman's own line of structured Ts, skirts and dresses called Eclectic Cat. Of course, there's also Brian, the tattoo artist, who's always available to add the perfect club accessory.

HEAVY METAL
ATLANTA-- "Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer," explains Kaycee Binns. "But in college, I learned that it wasn't about creating, it was about copying other designers' work and reinterpreting it into your own." So, the 27-year-old decided to become a jewelry designer instead. Her collection consists of cleverly designed pendants, rings and pins, some of which open or change to reveal a new element, like the medicine chest pin that opens to display a tiny razor. There's also a collection of specialty gift items, including brandy snifters and candlesticks. Her most popular items are the sterling silver baby spoons that feature children's book characters Peter Rabbit and Tom Thumb on the handle.
Binns says design ideas come from the environment around her. "As a child, I always had my face glued up against the window of the car, absorbing it all."
Now, those visions are available in several Atlanta retail shops, including Moon Cake and Eclectic Electric. She has three sales reps in Atlanta--Anisa International, David Harwell and Lauris Liljestrand--and, although she has no rep in the apparel mart, she is interested in representation. She also plans to show at the Atlanta Gift Market in July. Binns explains that she has no regrets for dropping the idea of being a fashion designer. "Metal sculpting is allowing me to satisfy my fashion design desire; now I'm just making miniature fashion statements."TASTER'S CHOICE
ATLANTA-- It's not that easy to get a table, but if you're looking for creative cuisine right in the middle of the charming neighborhood atmosphere of Virginia Highlands, Indigo Coastal Grill and its sister restaurant Partners fit the bill.
Chef Joe Scully, who came on board in January, says the two side-by-side restaurants have a "compressed excitement that appeals to a crossover crowd, from young well-heeled locals to yuppie baby-boomers."
Partners has a romantic bistro ambience, with Mediterranean and regional pastas, salads and meat dishes. Just recently, they introduced half-portion entrees. "It's part of the whole grazing trend," says Scully. "Half-portions also make Partners more affordable to all age groups."
Indigo Coastal Grill is also changing with the times. "It's still a laid-back seafood place," says Scully. "But we're experimenting with seafood from any coast, including some Asian influences." His favorite is his Pacific Rim version of mussels and clams, which are steamed in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fermented black beans and sake, topped with diced tomatoes and served with sourdough bread for dipping.
Also nearby is the year-old Indigo Out-To-Go, offering prepared dinners and down-home sweets, cookies and cakes. Perfect for a picnic at Chastain or Piedmont Park, points out Scully.

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