by Whitley Adkins | photographs by Amy Kolo
Amy Korta’s love of fashion and style was largely impressed upon her by two things — her grandmother, and jewelry. Growing up in Chapel Hill, Amy often visited her favorite bead store, Original Ornaments, on Franklin Street.
“I remember bringing beads home and having birthday parties around them, and as I got older, I always loved jewelry,” she says. “I think back to my grandmother and my mother getting dressed for occasions, and I remember more the jewelry that they wore than the outfit itself.”
As an adult navigating a career in fashion, Korta, who works at Coplon’s, realized she missed the thing she loved so much as a child: working with her hands. “Once I started making my jewelry, I had a positive response to it, so I kept exploring it … I finally arrived at this aesthetic that I felt represented the things that inspire me: nature, travel and street style.” Her handmade jewelry consists of semi-precious stones, diamonds and oxidized metals she describes as “a mix of chunky and delicate — feminine with an edge.” Follow her on Instagram @AmyGordonJewelry.
Comments have been lightly edited.
How do you describe your personal style?
Evolving. There’s an influence from the era that I picture my grandmother getting dressed up in the ’50s, but also this really free spirit, boho style and influence from the ’60s and ’70s. I want to feel beautiful for myself, because I think that projects the most confidence, but I also want my husband to see me as beautiful.
Do you have a style icon?
My grandmother, who is 92. My great-grandmother and my grandmother had a women’s clothing store in downtown Statesville. She is fierce, witty, raw and honest, and she pushes me to wear the extra accessory or stand out. I like Carrie Bradshaw, and Arielle Charnas, the Something Navy blogger. Bradshaw’s style is not as approachable, but I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously, which I can be guilty of.
Are there any trends that you love?
I think animal print is an ongoing thing, [along with] the strong shoulder and a puffy sleeve (that my husband hates). I think it’s important with trends to dress with what looks good for your body type, because there are a lot of trends that don’t work.
What are your favorite items?
My Raquel Allegra red dress that I wore on my first wedding anniversary — and I’ve worn it every anniversary since, for seven years. To me, it’s important to have things in my wardrobe that I not only want to own, but that I want to wear. I have made this mistake so many times, especially with shoes that just aren’t comfortable. Otherwise, you can have a closet full of clothes and still feel you have nothing to wear.
Where do you like to shop?
Coplon’s and Poole Shop in Charlotte; Shopbop online, as well as Zara and H&M; and I love Vermillion in Raleigh and Hampden in Charleston.
Do you have a uniform?
A boho-style dress and Golden Goose? An easy sneaker and a flowy dress? Yep, probably.
Do you have a hero piece in your closet?
I always feel cool when I put on this Michelle Farmer top. A friend of mine had one like it, so I called the store and ordered it. It’s a store out of The Hamptons and Palm Beach — this is their own label. Also, this white Oscar [de la Renta] top that I got from Coplon’s.
You and your husband, Luke, love to travel. What are your packing essentials?
Easy dresses, and I love good sunglasses. Scarves are great — they are versatile, they keep you warm on the plane, cover your shoulders if it’s cold at night, wrap around your neck if it’s fall or winter.
Your entire closet is amazing. Tell me about the design and those acrylic hangers.
Chad Sheets with Linnane Homes spent hours with me configuring the shelves, hanging space, lighting, all of it. He really helped bring my vision to life. I found the hangers on the Something Navy website. I think it’s important, no matter what type of hangers you have, that they are uniform in order for your closet to feel uniform. SP
THIS OR THAT
Skirts, pants or dresses? Dresses, but I love a good jeans-and-T-shirt moment.
Boots or sneakers? Depends on the day.
Heels or (scanning the shoe wall) … clogs? Heels, but I love a good clog.
Favorite handbag? My Chanel quilted jumbo classic bag. It’s art to me. The inside of the bag is maroon because Coco Chanel’s uniforms when she was young [living in a convent orphanage] were maroon. Also, my pink shearling Chanel bag and my brown leather Celine Big Bag — I can throw everything in it.
Clutch or tote? Crossbody
Favorite era for fashion? Maybe the ’70s. I love to be dressy and frilly, but I love to feel cool and effortless.