Just a few miles separate downtown’s Palm Avenue from Sarasota’s beaches. But the shopping ambiance is worlds apart.
Palm Avenue is all about sophistication and style—at fashion boutiques, jewelry studios and elegant gift shops. It’s also home to interesting galleries, from iconic Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art to the new Lazare Gallery, an intriguing ode to Russian Realism. Check out the wonderful sculptures and fine art at Galleria Silecchia, the antique prints at William Hartman and the fiber and fabric art-to-wear at the new Scarlett’s Feather. Spend the day exploring both sides of Palm Avenue for artfully curated shopping—and nibbling.
From Russia with Love John and Kathy Wurdeman have opened a Sarasota branch of their Virginia-based Lazare Gallery specializing in investment-quality art from the Moscow School of Russian Realism ($600 to $180,000). Don’t miss their impeccably curated exhibits. Lazare Gallery, 10 S. Palm Ave., (941) 487-7134.
Floor Show Antique rug aficionado Eileen Hampshire has a must-see trove at her gallery, with everything from new Persian tribal rugs to authentic Arts & Crafts reproductions woven in Ireland and this Tibetan dragon pillar rug, c. 1890 ($8,750). Art to Walk On, 64 S. Palm Ave., (941) 951-5454.
Paparazzi Power Sarasota’s fashionistas are abuzz over Eliett’s, the hot new destination for edgy clothes that won’t break the budget. Everyone’s fawning over Emmy Award-winning costume designer Shelley Komarov’s packable, washable dresses ($250). Eliett’s On Palm, 45 S. Palm Ave., (941) 953-2999.
Global Mosaic Cheryl Burke has reopened her Sarasota gallery after traveling the world for the past six months in search of rare and unique Chinese, French, and African antiquities. It’s the go-to spot for collectors. Burke Antiques, 12 S. Palm Ave., (941) 952-0042.
Romantic Crush? Dreamy beach cottage bedrooms begin with Belle Notte’s quilt with pale pink crushed velvet patches. Add coordinates in silks, linen and gauze for ethereally elegant shabby chic. Custom bed ensembles from $295 at Posh on Palm, 33 S. Palm Ave., (941) 954-7674.
Fairytale Weddings Forget Kate Middleton’s demure and lacy: Opt instead for the sculptural silk chiffon bridal couture of Parisian sensation Ugo Zaldi. Beloved across the Continent for affordable luxury (from $1,000), the line just hit the U.S. and is already making waves for beach weddings at La Mariée, 56 S. Palm Ave., (941) 955-1600.
Ocean’s Bounty Metal artisan Michael Aram replicates plant forms from around the world for giftware like the Gooseberry Collection’s incredible pierced serving bowl of gold plate and blackened stainless steel in three sizes, from $249. M.L. Gosling, 43 S. Palm Ave., (941) 366-2500.
Sarasota’s Jewel Box
The crown jewel of downtown, Palm Avenue has boutiques brimming with original jewelry hand-crafted or designed by noted local artisans. Don’t miss Nikki Sedacca’s gallery (49 S. Palm Ave., (941) 957-1957), where signature wire-thin strands of 18K gold are woven with apatite gemstones to create the sculptural treasure island bracelet ($3,290) and earrings ($1,200), right.
Call for an appointment to peek at beautiful cases brimming with June Simmons’ custom and couture jewelry, including her dazzling engagement ring designs (June Simmons Designs, 68 S. Palm Ave., (941) 388-4535). And check out the unique butterfly-inspired adornments at Mariposa Designs, 51 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota (941) 366-9510.