Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
83° F Dallas, TX


By D Magazine |

Built in 193l, Highland Park Village has become somewhat of a legend in Dallas. A historical market cites it as the oldest shopping center in the country, yet this neighborhood hub is hardly resigned to standing still.

Its most distinctive landmark, the neon-tipped AMC Highland Park Village 4 Theatres, is opening after a brief hiatus for remodeling. The 1935 structure originally held two screening rooms, one on each of two levels. It now sports a jazzy art deco interior and four screens.

The remodeling of the Village Plaza Building, still referred to by many as the “old bank building ’ is almost complete. First RepublicBank Park Cities (formerly InterFirst and Park Cities bank) occupied the space before moving down the street. The renovation, a mix of retail and office space, adds 14,000 new square feet of retail space and 27,000 square feet of office space to the Village. Calvin Klein and The Gap will be located on the ground floor of this building. Fishburn’s Dry Cleaning and Laundry, Coach Leather, Sox Appeal, Benetton 012 and Sisley, and Pep-peroni’s, an Italian restaurant, are other new tenants scheduled to open in the Spring at Highland Park Village.

Not only is Highland Park Village America’s oldest shopping center, it was also the prototype for modern shopping centers. It was the first retail development planned as a cohesive unit, with stores facing away from the main street with customer parking contained within the center.

The developers of the Village were sons-in-law of the developer of the Town of Highland Park. John S. Armstrong purchased farm land in 1906 that he later turned into Texas’ first planned city. In 1931, his sons-in-law, Hugh Prather, Sr., and Edgar L. Flippen, planned just as carefully the look and layout of the Village. Having decided on Spanish style architecture for their new shopping center, Prather and Flippen spent months traveling through California, south Texas and Spain, in search of inspiration and a sense of authenticity. They considered Spanish architecture the style most adaptable to both the Texas climate and needs of modern business.

When the Village opened, however, it was not the shopping mecca it is today. Downtown Dallas held the corner on that market. But, the Village’s first Store, Hunt’s Grocery, moved over from downtown and the tide began to change. Soon, Volk Brothers moved in, becoming the first suburban loction for a downtown clothier.

All in all, it look Flippen/Prather 20 years to complete High land Park Village. Underground parking was added in 1953 and is used today for complimentary valet parking.

A partnerehip led by Henry S. Miller, Jr., acquired the shopping center in December 1976. Over the past eleven years, Miller has strived to restore the Village to an aesthetically pleasing sight with nineteenth century lamps, lush landscaping and a continuity of exteriors and signage. The result? Highland Park Village is one of Dallas’ most attractive landmarks and exciting shopping experiences.

A tour of Highland Park Village will bring shoppers into contact with some of the finest retail establishments in the world.

Hermes has achieved legendary status as a maker of fine leather goods. And its silk scarf is recognized internationally as a French symbol of elegance. Hermes began in Paris in 1837 as a harness maker By 1850, the company had moved to a three-story showplace on the Left Bank where they still welcome shoppers today.

The arrival of the automobile in the late nineteenth century caused Hermes to expand into other areas such as coach interiors and luggage. Eventually, watch straps, wallets, belts, hunting ready-to-wear, and scarves became just as much a part of their repertoire. Today, the company is still owned and run by the Hermes family.

Fortunately for lovers of Hermes, there are two hundred shops around the world. The Dallas location, opened in 1985, is one of six in the United States and one of only three that boasts a full tack department. Riding accoutrements and ready-to-wear items range from an $8 bar of glycerine soap stamped with the Hermes logo to a $6,300 ostrich saddle.

The 2,500 square foot shop carries a good representation of Hermes products including handbags and fragrance. The famous silk ties and scarves are the biggest sellers. The men’s ties were quoted by a fashion publication as being “the ultimate status symbol for up and coming young businessmen.” The 36″ by 36″ silk twill scarves are silkscreened with designs taken from old equestrian prints and paintings in the Hermes museum in Paris. The most difficult scarf ever produced was entitled “Flora and Fauna of Texas” and required thirty-two silkscreens, a different one for each color. The very expensive process was done in honor of the Texas Sesquicentennial which coincided with Hermes 150th anniversary.

Another Hermes trademark is the Grace Kelly bag. The story is told that the Princess loved the bag, which at that time was called a high-handled bag. When she became pregnant with Princess Caroline, she didn’t warn the public to know so she hid her stomach behind the largest bag Hermes made. A photograph of the pose appeared on the cover of Life magazine and in other publications and subsequently the bag became named after her.

Perfumes at Hermes are usually named after an equestrian theme. There is Caleche, which means a carriage; Amazone, which refers to a German woman riding bareback; and L’Equip-age, the essentials a man would take on a carriage ride.

The newest Hermes fragrance is actually one of their oldest. Eau d’Hermes was their first fragrance made in the ’40s, but it was discontinued in the ’50s. The formula was later lost, or so they thought. Two years ago, Hermes talked to the great perfumier who had created the fragrance, thinking he might be able to recreate it from memory. And indeed he could. Eau d’Hermes had been his favorite fragrance and he had been making it for himself all along.

Even the signature orange and brown Hermes boxes tell a story about the company’s oldest trade, leather goods. The textured orange box represents pigskin. Once tanned, it turns brown, thus the brown edges and ribbon. The ribbon, imprinted with the store’s name and logo, has become the latest fashion accessory for young Parisian girls. The trend is to spray it with one’s favorite Hermes scent and tie it in the hair or use as laces in tennis shoes.

Hermes, 21 Highland Park Village, 528-0197.

Cooter’s Village Camera has been serving customers out of Highland Park Village since 1941. A family-owned business, Village Camera carries the finest photography equipment available. They deal extensively with Leika, the top 35mm camera of its class. Nikon and Canon are also represented as are the simpler shoot-and-focus cameras that are popular because of their ease of operation.

A full range of accessories including tripods, filters, lenses and dark room supplies are carried as well as telescopes. The addition of a card shop with gift wrap, candy and other items makes Village Camera unique among photo shops.

But what really sets it apart is the service and attention given each customer. The Village Camera staff takes time to show various cameras and accessories to the customer and is knowledgable enough about the equipment to be able to explain its use thoroughly and intelligently. They know their customers’ needs and are often on a first-name basis with them.

Special services offered include regular developing of film, the copying of old prints, and conversion of old movies to video.

Cooler’s Village Camera, 12 Highland Park Village, 521-4553.

Umphrey’s is a look, not an age. Though short skirts and capri pants are on view, so are longer skirts and walking shorts. But beyond fashion, the foremost goal of this specialty store that’s been twenty years in the business is personalized service and a professional sales staff. They know how to pamper their customers.

The store’s concept is to treat each customer as if she had been invited to their home, which indeed the store resembles with its beautifully arched windows, mirrored armoire, and crewel-work sofa. The staff strives to not only serve the customer, but delight her, making her whole shopping experience a fun one.

An advantage of shopping in a specialty store is that one is no! faced with myriad racks of clothes; the store has already edited down the collection.

The staff at Umphrey’s is trained to help assemble a wardrobe, intermingling pieces and honestly guiding a customer to her best fashion look. Customers are allowed to browse and are offered coffee or wine, At the beginning of each season, the store conducts a fashion seminar, accompanied by either a breakfast or wine and cheese, to keep customers abreast of new silhouettes, colors, and most recently, the controversy over skirt lengths.

For spring, Umphrey’s sees silhouettes moving closer to the body with jackets worn either long or cropped. Fashion colors include corals and jades along with frosted pastels and neutrals. Floral patterns are showing up everywhere and the cabbage rose is queen thanks to the influence of Christian LaCroix’s couture collection shown in Paris, Dots and stripes are also hot and sometimes these patterns are combined.

Fabrics this season boast crinkled linens, rayons and jerseys. Waistlines are important, often defined by a wide cinch. And as an accessory, flowers are blooming on lapels, hats and in the hair. Jewelry is bold, fun and frivolous, worn to make a statement. And for after 5, the pouf, ruffle and flounce arrive in varying lengths.

Umphrey’s, 30 Highland Park Village, 528-2896.

William Noble Rare Jewels is an exclusive jewelry salon owned and operated by Texas native Bill Noble. Most recently, Noble has become more involved in purchasing fine estate jewelry from the public. He is also looking into the possibility of opening a second location out of state.

But, besides estate jewelry, the store offers both finished pieces of platinum and gold jewelry and loose gemstones from around the world. Three full-time geologists assist Noble in selling to clientele both in Texas and across the country.

Noble, thirty-one, is from a three-generation South Texas banking family. Noble’s grandmother, Margaret Noble, was known as the first woman banker in the state of Texas to own and operate her own bank. Raised to be a banker from age nine, Noble rebelled against family tradition and entered the jewelry business with Neiman-Marcus eight years ago. Discovering a love and fascination for gemstones in addition to a knack for selling, Noble decided to take a bold step at age twenty-six and attempt to break into the close-knit society of international jewelers. He was immediately accepted by the old-line families who have controlled the precious jewelry industry for generations. Noble was appreciated for his aggressiveness, honesty and keen understanding of gemstones. Never straying away from an institutional image, Noble began his business with an unprecedented advertisement for Texans: a single one-half million dollar diamond for sale. Now, five years later, his main enjoyment still comes from the buying and selling of gems and jewelry. Noble travels frequently on buying and selling trips to places such as London, where he was recently invited as a guest to a sight offering of diamonds with DeBeers.

The staff of William Noble Rare Jewels is composed of men and women from various jewelry backgrounds, such as Christie’s, Tiffany’s and Neiman-Marcus. The store is remarkably small-fifteen hundred square feet-yet holds a record for sales per square foot. Arab princesses, Hollywood celebrities and Mexican financiers, have been seen frequenting the doors of William Noble; in contrast, on any given occasion, you will always find Highland Park housewives in their jogging suits or tennis outfits, accompanied by their children, also being assisted by Noble’s staff. Noble still maintains that Dallas, and indeed the state of Texas are his primary markets and that his staff must daily adhere to the three philosophies which made his store a success: Texans should sell to Texans; a relationship with a client versus a sale should be emphasized; when the client is given selection, value, quality, service and integrity, they will keep

coming back. William Noble Rare Jewels, 16 Highland Park Village, 526-3890

For high fashion from Milan, there is no place quite like Gianni Versace, A Tori Steele Boutique. A master of ornamentation, this stylish couturier achieves a perfect balance between style and fashion in his stunning collections. Never trendy but always highly individualistic, Versace is an investment to treasure.

The sleek Dallas boutique carries Versace en toto, from men’s and women’s clothing to shoes, lingerie, jewelry, and dark glasses. The spring collection brings lots of bright colors, polished cottons, and windowpane plaids for both men and women. Beautifully turned out garments for women include bubble skirts above stretch leggings (called a Dancer), as well as long, fitted blazers that are nipped in at the waist and coined a Blady. A trend towards more suiting rather than dresses is evident, but sundresses abound as do Bermuda shorts paired with bustier tops. Black and white combinations remain strong, as in all Versace collections, but too there are colorful prints and more florals than ever before. Watch for geometric jewelry and silver detailing on belts, as well.

Versace’s menswear approaches a new classicism this spring with trimmer trousers and less exaggerated shoulders and lapels. Blacks and whites, and a shade halfway between brown and gray are patterned in geometrics including houndstooth, herringbone and a zig-zag. These suits do not call for a tie, but can be dressed up with the addition of a black scarf tucked in at the neck. Fabrics are reminiscent of the ’30s with silk resembling a feather-weight doeskin and cottons that are crisp and fresh.

Gianni Versace, a Tori Steele Boutique, 55 Highland Park Village, 559-2119.

With 7,000 stores worldwide, it is said that everyday, a Benetton store is opening somewhere in the world. One day soon, that day will belong to Highland Park Village. Due to open in April, the Benetton store is being designed and built in Italy and will be shipped to Dallas along with a construction team to reassemble it in the Village. True to the company’s international theme, “United Colors of Benetton,” employees of the new shop will be from different parts of the world.

This Benetton will be different from others in the city in that it will carry not only Benetton’s Fantasy and Classic lines but Sisley and 012 as well. Sisley is designed for Benetton’s up market and is very European, very high fashion. 012 is for children from infant to twelve years. Benetton’s cosmetic line will also be represented.

Benetton has become synonymous with fashionable, quality merchandise at affordable prices. Every six months, the entire inventory of Benetton stores is cleared to be filled with next season’s merchandise. That means if you bought a sweater last season, you won’t see it in the stores once the season is over. And since Benetton changes its collection entirely, yours will be a collector’s piece unique to the current stock.

Benetton, opening spring of 1988.

Florida Adams offers exciting alterna-tives to the career woman’s wardrobe. For those who require a professional look, yet don’t want a cookie-cutter image, Florida Adam’s created the “Jessica” line.

This includes knit separates in a range of colors and styles that can be mixed and matched to suit the customer’s personal taste. To further distinguish one’s look, the store receives monthly shipments of limited editions. These designs are manufactured exclusively for Florida Adams, so there is less chance of seeing your favorite outfit repeated on someone else.

To assist you in coordinating a Florida Adams wardrobe, the store offers a personal shopping service. Simply call and make an appointment with one of our trained sales associates. They will be more than happy to build a wardrobe around your business and personal needs.

Florida Adams, 52 Highland Park Village. 520-6611

Dallas Galleria, 490-6414

The reopening of The AMC Highland Park Village 4 Theatres has been awaited with much anticipation. But the wait has been well rewarded with a totally remodeled theatre boasting four screens and an art deco interior. Peach and teal comprise the color scheme known as Rio Bravo. The black and white tiled lobby floor bordered in peach provides a stunning backdrop for the numerous art deco lamps and accessories.

General manager Michelle Schultz says it has been a real challenge to maintain the Spanish exterior while completely gutting the interior. The change was necessary however in order to create the best theatre in Dallas.

The four auditoriums (all equipped with handicapped seating) are located upstairs and are accessible by stairwell, escalator and elevator. The largest auditorium seats 250; the others seal 125 to 100 each. All are equipped with the latest hi-tech equipment for optimum sound and picture quality. Stereo surround sound will enrapture audiences as they watch first-rate films on curved, non-perforated screens. These, too, are large in proportion to auditorium size.

All seats are equipped with cupholder armrests and nearby concessions offer popcorn, hotdogs, candy and soft drinks. The popcorn is popped fresh throughout the day. Anchoring the first level is a Barracini ice cream shop offering sixteen flavors of ice cream for dips, shakes, floats and freezes along with frozen yogurt and a selection of toppings. Cappuccino, espresso, cafe au lait, and coffee are also served. The first level is open apart from the theatre (mornings till around 10:30 pm) so that non-moviegoers and early morning shoppers may enjoy a cup of espresso amidst the art deco design (no ticket purchase necessary).

Highland Park Village Theatre will also welcome the USA Film Festival this year. For the first time the newly reopened theatre will be the site of the annual spring festival which will be held April 28 through May 3. For the past 18 years the USA Film Festival has designated a week each spring filled with premieres of new films, encore performances of classics and discussions and encounters with filmmakers and lecturers.

The Dallas-based, nonprofit organization is dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in the film and video arts.

The AMC Highland Park Village 4 Theatres, Highland Park Village, 526-9668


AMC Village 4 Theatres 526-9668

Ann Taylor 522-4700

B. Dalton Bookseller 528-6756

Beaujolais Cafe 522-4170

Benetton, 012, Sisley Opening Spring 1988

Boutique Descamps 522-2171

Cafe Pacific 526-1170

Calame 528-2866

Calder-Mays Realty 522-3940

Calvin Klein 522-6870

Centennial Liquor 528-2041

Chanel Boutique 520-1055

Coach Leather Opening Spring 1988

Collections 528-8030

Collectors Covey 521-7880

Connatser & Co. 522-7373

Cooter’s Vil. Camera 521-4553

Cravate 526-6800

Crawford, Betty, Realtors 528-0986

Crystal Charity Ball 526-5868

Deno’s Shoe Repairs 521-1070

Fishburn’s Dry Cleaning and

Laundry Opening Spring 1988

Florida Adams 520-6661

Foley’s 559-1924

The Gap Opening Spring 1988

Dr.’s Gaylord & Brady 528-6116

Gianni Versace/T. Steele 559-2119

Guy Laroche 522-2910

Hair Transplant Center 559-4447

Harold’s 521-4770

Hermes 528-0197

HSM Residential Realtors 559-2000

John Haynsworth Photo. 559-3700

Lakeside Realty 521-2045

Leon’s Fashions, Inc. 521-0828

L’Image 526-6410

Los Vaqueros 521-0892

Mead, Bill 522-7500

New, Dr. Oscar T. 528-5722

Umphrey’s 528-2896

Mrs. Field’s Cookies 526-5133

Peeper’s 522-0352

Pepperoni’s Opening Spring 1988

Pierre Deux 528-5830

Polished Perfection Nails 528-9211

Polo/Ralph Lauren 522-5270

Randall Morgan Village Stationers 521-8240

Revco Drug Store 521-3126

Rosemary Byrd 522-1940

Southland 7-11 521-7372

St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange 521-3862

Tom Thumb 521-5025

Valentine Furs 528-1172

The Village Bakery 528-3100

Village Barber Shop 528-2497

Wallace Energy Co. 526-2360

Wicker Gardens Child. 528-6100

William Noble 526-3890

Williams Sonoma 696-0348

Jas. K. Wilson, Ltd. 526-7931