The Local Fashion Advantage by Renowned Fashion Designer Hilton Hollis


Renowned fashion designer Hilton Hollis, a proud Mississippi native, was born in Natchez and brought up in Carthage.  He attended elementary school at “The Old School” in Carthage.  When Hilton received word of its possible destruction, he was devastated and knew that he had to do something to help preserve it.  His connections to not only his home state, but also to his hometowns run deep.   Hollis has incorporated his Southern roots into his chicly tailored designs ever so perfectly.  “The architecture of Natchez is very Gothic, and I take a lot of inspiration from that….When I am designing, I look at [the process] like creating a garment to sit on the body…how it is structured to accentuate areas of the body—just as the wraparound porches and stained glass windows [in Natchez] compliment the structures of antebellum homes in my hometown,” explains Hilton Hollis. With his Southern accent and love of fried apple pies, Hilton joins the ranks with Mississippi’s finest stars. “I am so proud to be a Mississippian,” exclaims Hilton Hollis. “Things can get fast-paced and hectic…whether I am in New York, Paris, or Hong Kong, but a little piece of Carthage and Mississippi goes with me to each of those places.  It brings things into perspective and helps keep me grounded, which I truly appreciate,” states Hollis.

Hilton Hollis has not let his designer celebrity status and world travels go to his head.  He is totally delightful, and his passion for community and giving back is contagious.  He recently received a commending resolution from the state of Mississippi where Governor Phil Bryant awarded Hilton for his outstanding philanthropic and fashion designs. “I am really honored and amazed that the governor of Mississippi gave me this wonderful award,” says Hilton Hollis in an interview with Abby Hathorn at Gus Mayer in Birmingham, Alabama.  “Growing up in the South and coming from a small town in Mississippi, as a kid I would never in a million years imagine that I would be standing there getting an award from the state that I call home…I give a lot of my time to my philanthropic interests…I am very proud to be a Southerner and a Mississippian! So, for my home state to recognize my achievements and to give me this award is really humbling,” states Hollis.


Hilton Hollis will be showcasing his passion for community and fashion at his “The Local Fashion Advantage” event benefiting The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi on July 18-20.  The Local Fashion Advantage event was arranged, in conjunction with The Leake County Advantage, to help save “The Old School” in Carthage.  Hilton’s support of The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is a personal one.


What is the Local Fashion Advantage?

“The Local Fashion Advantage is about the community coming together to support two very important groups, The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. There will be a series of events for everyone to enjoy including: a trunk show and sample sale of my ‘Ethereal Angels’ spring 2013 line, a silent auction, and the big headliner fashion show,” explains Hollis.

What inspired you to create this event and fashion show?

“My father passed away from complications due to diabetes, so I wanted to give to a group committed to bettering the lives of people with diabetes.  In addition, I wanted to give back to my community of Carthage by helping to save our old elementary school, which was almost in ruins before a group took the initiative to begin renovating it,” states fashion designer Hilton Hollis.

Hilton Hollis attended elementary school at “The Old School” and was devastated when he received word of its possible destruction. The school is such an important staple in Carthage, so Hilton took action. This event [The Local Fashion Advantage] was arranged in conjunction with The Leake County Foundation to help save the school, which is a basis for many of the fashion designer’s earliest childhood memories.

What should people expect to see at the Local Fashion Advantage event?

“High energy runway fashion paired with local talent from around Mississippi. I have models from all over the South walking in this event. Imagine New York City runway fashion in the small town of Carthage,” exclaims Hollis.

What is up next for Hilton Hollis?

“We are ALWAYS moving forward! As I speak to you, I am on a train from Newport, Rhode Island where I just had an amazing trunk show. It was my first time in Newport, and I as expand across the United States, I plan to always be doing more to bring awareness to our great state [of Mississippi] and the place I call HOME,” says Hilton Hollis.


The Local Fashion Advantage is the event of the summer. You will not want to miss it!  Fabulous fashions for a great cause—it does not get any better than that!  “The Local Fashion Advantage event will be full of passion, excitement, energy, and caring—the vision has come together perfectly,” states Hilton Hollis.  Twenty percent of the proceeds from the trunk show and sample sale will go directly toward The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.  One Hundred percent of ticket sales and silent auction proceeds will go to these two charities.  What a great way to revolutionize your wardrobe and do something proactive to give back to not only the residents in the Heart of Mississippi, but also to all the Mississippians living with and battling diabetes! 

Trunk Show and Sample Sale: July 18-19 from 12 noon to 5pm at Flaunt in Carthage, Mississippi.

Fashion Show and Silent Auction:  Saturday, July 20 models will hit the runway at 7pm at the Old Carthage Elementary School located at 500 North Van Buren Street, Carthage.

For more information about The Local Fashion Advantage and to purchase tickets, please visit


Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Columbus Pilgrimage 2012- Part 1:

This year marks the 72nd Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage which is a spectacular event that displays the most glorious and authentic antebellum homes in the South. It was so delightful to see the men, women, and children all dressed in time period attire.

It was a lovely experience that I want to share with y’all! I would also like to thank Nancy Carpenter for her kindness and hospitality! Nancy Carpenter is the Columbus/Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation Executive Director, and the Director of the Columbus Spring Pilgrimage. Miss Nancy was soo darling to my mom, dad, and me!

I’d like to give a shout-out to all the super sweet people I met while attending the Pilgrimage! They were all so precious and excited to have a blogger visiting and reporting about the awesomeness of their historical homes and city! It made me feel so special and welcome:)

I encourage you to go and see these pulchritudinous homes for yourself! There is still time to attend the Columbus Spring Pilgrimage because it doesn’t end until April 7.

Twelve Gables was the first home we visited, and is located within walking distance from the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center. It was a beautiful day for a nice little stroll with the family.

Me and Mrs. Ray Gildea Jr., the owner of the home Twelve Gables. Mrs. Gildea is an adorable story teller with a true passion for the history of her home! I loved her warm welcome and background story of the home Twelve Gables.

Twelve Gables is known for being the gathering place of local women who in 1866 planned a decoration day for the graves of the Confederate soldiers in Friendship Cemetery. "An early memorial ceremony honoring the Civil War soldiers buried in Friendship Cemetery has been credited as the forerunner of the modern Memorial Day." ( According to legend, one woman suggested that they put flowers on Union soldiers graves because they were also someone's sons.

A few cool facts that I learned about Twelve Gables while visiting it:

  • The facade of the home has the same carved Ashlar pattern as Mount Vernon.
  • The home is insulated with cedar chips.
  • I learned that suitors’ calling cards were quite interesting…I’m afraid my dad may have gotten some ideas…

I love the birds on this wallpaper, and the green because it is one of my VIP colors:)

Is there anything better than blue and white together??? I'm feeling outfit inspiration...

This Flowers Dictionary is by a Lady because women of that era were not allowed to put their names on books. This dictionary is located at the Twelve Gables home.

One of the upstairs bedrooms in Twelve Gables. The rug is absolutely gorgeous!

How cute:)

People from here, yonder, and everywhere were at the home tours on Saturday, March 31!

My parents and I then continued our stroll several blocks to White Arches. Along the way, I encountered squirrels frolicking, bees buzzing, birds chirping, people enjoying the carriage rides and double-decker bus tour, and other charming historical homes.

Me outside White Arches which was built in 1857. The current owners are Mr. and Mrs. Dick Leike.

My favorite thing about this edifice is the “tower” which is really a cupola… inside there are stairs leading to a small room and observation deck which was used by the women looking for their husbands returing from the War Between the States…many of these women descended the stairs as widows…that is how it became known as “the widow’s walk”.  The porch ceilings of this home are painted sky blue in order to keep insects and birds from building nests…this is the idea my dad really needs to take home!

The crowds outside White Arches learning about the history of the home.

The architecture of White Arches is called "Columbus Eclectic" which is a combination of Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate. The details and craftmanship of White Arches is inexplicable!

The front door entrance is surrounded by red Venetian glass which took gold to make and represents wealth. The home has time period furnishings, Stanton Hall fabric pattern (as in Natchez, Mississippi), and suprisingly modern amenities like an incredible bath that was created from a porch. A cool factoid is the private balcony of the blue bedroom, which was originally General Harris’s daughter’s room, has no outside handles on the doors to prevent intruders and especially suitors from entering…I am sure…once again, my dad was given a brilliant idea!

Me and Mrs. Leike, such a super sweet lady and dressed so darling!

The last stop on the Yellow Tour was Rosedale…I do not recommend walking to Rosedale…even though some of the tourists did. My family and I used the drive as a perfect time for a water break…and a chance to cool down from the mid 80s temperature.

Rosedale, consisting of approximately 500,000 handmade bricks is furnished with Rococo Revival and Renaissance furnishings. Mr. and Mrs. Imes, the current owners, hired an architect to restore this antebellum home to its original glory. Some say that Rosedale is named after the rose that is carved into the mantel in the ladies’ parlor.  Rosedale has the most fabulous faux painting ever! Some of the baseboards and mantels were painted to look like marble and fine wood…I am still not convinced that they were painted:) One of the coolest features of the home is the Gib windows which open to allow not only ventilation, but walk through access to the porch. Rosedale houses an extensive collection of John Henry Belter furnishings.

Rosedale was built in 1856 and the current owners are Mr. and Mrs. Gene Imes.

Children playing outside of Rosedale.

This was only the first three homes that we toured…my next blog will contain the Blue Tour places which are Whitehall, Rosewood Manor and Gardens, and Colonnade Garden.

While at the Columbus Pilgrimage, I visited a vintage store called The Attic! It is so AWESOME! I could spend all day in there just trying on and picking out things!

In a later blog, I will be showing you the vintage finds I purchased from The Attic!

To follow The Attic on facebook, visit!/Atticville 

To learn more about Columbus and the Pilgrimage, visit &

IMPORTANT: If you are NOT following me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM please do so to keep up with me while I’m on the go!

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions…..


Abby Hathorn