Kansas City Shopping Barbara Kingstone February 9, 2011 North America, Shopping, United States Country Club Plaza is the first outdoor shopping mall and is known for its Spanish/Moorish architecture and multi fountains a la Spain. HALL’S WHO;. The Hall family founded and owns this exclusive small department store but are known worldwide as the Halls of Hallmark Card fame. Legend has it that when Joyce Hall returned from a trip to Seville, Spain, she decided that this open air, city block plaza should be in Spanish and Moorish architecture. Not only do they have lapis lazuli inlaid in the floors but the Baccarat chandeliers certainly make the statement that they can position themselves with any high end larger chain stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. They are also highly respected for all the input into the community, their foundation donates millions each year to various city causes. WHO SHOPS; No need to feel intimidated, there is no snootiness from the sales staff at this exclusive, high energy hub. The staff is as friendly and helpful as they are elegant. WHO IS WEARING; Since this is a small department store for home, men and women, as expected, in this chic environment, the buyers’ choices are on the upper end of stunning designs and with top end price range. Men can find Hugo Boss and Armani and the other latest proliferating brands. As for women, why not start at the bottom and work up. The devine jewellery has marvelous Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati designs, bags by native born Kate Spade are among many other designers. Then head to the top, the second floor where there are goodies from Gucci, Christian Lacroix, Hermes and Donna Karan and more. Again, go in once and the salesperson remembers what you’ve purchased and your name. And that friendliness is what Kansasites are known for. MUST HAVES; Who would expect In the land of Dorothy and Toto, that the outfit in this seemingly conservative city that flew out of the store, was the brightly coloured feather skirt shown with a simple but dressy, t-shirt top. Power shoppers are in active mode. Black Bamboo WHO; The entrepreneurial handsome and youthful Tim Butt, opened this shop in the Crossroad area. He’s filled it with special items mostly for the home. He embraces the eclectic mix from antique to the newest of the new home décor. WHO SHOPS; Since Black Bamboo isn’t in the city centre, those in the know, usually the savvy Kansas dweller, are constantly amazed by the changing variety of objects from custom made sofas to lamps, unique candles and gadgets, mirrors and pillows and most importantly, Asian antiques to mix with modern home décor. MUST HAVE; The eye catchers are the seemingly always sold out reclaimed wood sculptures on a stand. 1815 Wyandotte St. TEL. 816 283 3000 Birdie’s WHO; When the twenty something Peregrine Honig, decided in 2003 that she didn’t want to teach art which she had studied, she opened this jewel-box sized lingerie and swimwear boutique in the budding Crossroad area of Kansas City. Obviously, there was a gap which she recognized and there are times when there is actually a small queue to get in. WHAT; Soft, fun and comfortable. She doesn’t like pastels but opts for daring colours in her choices of bras and panties. Peregrine also thinks, that although everyone should get the colour they prefer, pale skins look better with grayish blues and red while coral is great for the darker skinned women. Underwear designers are from Europe, Canada, and locals while bathing suits come from Brazil and Colombia. MUST HAVE; Belgium’s Marlies Dekker’s bras and bottoms are a major success since the closures look like jewellery. The idea is to let these bras show through sheer tops and become part of the outfit. Colours are dark so the impact is a visual experience. 116 W 18th St.