Drunkn Butterfly, the easy-to-miss boutique on East Johnson Street, is a prime source of street style. Ex-Los Angelenos Layla and Wesley Martin opened the space in August 2006, with the hopes of infusing Madison's eclecticism with the relaxed sophistication of the West Coast. By combining a traditional boutique with gallery-quality artwork that hangs on its walls, the Martins have created both a fashion and a lifestyle mecca.
Any male hipster can find something perfect in the 'Fly's diverse inventory. Into skateboarding? Pull on a hand-drawn Rebel8 sweatshirt ($56). Feeling artsy? Try an T-shirt original by Quiet Life ($32). An academic or professional, too, can slip on a black cardigan by WeSC ($142) with asymmetrical knit and cruise confidently through town with a limited-edition pair of Nike Air Trainers ($130).
"We like to carry things that are different, more art-based, that no one else has," says Layla. "I like the brick-and-mortar concept that gives people a chance to examine things, feel things and find something that's right."
For the modern woman, there certainly is plenty to touch and admire. Hellz Bellz, a Vivien Westwood-inspired line, offers checkered denim, screen-printed Jane Fonda tees, and a ruffled hooded sweatshirt jacket complete with dagger pocket ($130). For nicer occasions, there are several cutesy-pie WeSC dresses with the label's trademark bell sleeves ($96-$110).
As for accessories, there is jewelry made locally by Stoned, two gals from the now-defunct Jade Mountain, and a necklace by Root'd in Style that's perfect for faraway friends: "608" is constructed right in its vermeil ($200).
845 E. Johnson St., 256-9119
11 am-7 pm Tues.-Sat., noon-5 pm Sun.