Meet Denise Fike
What do you do for a living?
Artist, Illustrator, Designer, Event Fashion Illustrator for the most chic Philadelphia events. Nonna!
What do you most love about your job?
I am thrilled to meet so many lovely, stylish, fascinating and quite gracious Philadelphians! As I draw them, our conversations allow an intimate perspective into the variety of truly unique individuals that inhabit our town.
"My style inspiration is my mother. She always wore a hat and was a fashion standout. Going shopping in Philadelphia, we called it ‘Town’ and it was an occasion that we longed for. My mom dressed us in hats and gloves and we wandered the shops. She taught me to be an individual, to never care what anyone else thought as long as I knew my mind, not to ‘bend to trend’ and to take chances with fashion. And NEVER leave the house without lipstick!"
Describe your go-to look:
Stunning wide brim hat, narrow fitted dress to the mid-calf and stand out stiletto! Black.
Cabotine by Madame Gres.
Favorite places to shop in Center City:
Oh my so many options! Right off the bat, Joan Shepp! The eye that woman has! I venture to say that Philadelphia is truly blessed to have her in our midst. Wandering through her boutique is equivalent to a front row seat at the most innovative runways in all of fashion. And her staff...the most gracious and welcoming group on the east coast! The atmosphere is ‘dress up party time’ with a soundtrack of fun European and domestic tunes that are oh so fresh.
"DiBruno Brothers, a big giant yum! My love of DiBruno Brothers is generational. Whenever I host one of my legendary cocktail parties DiBruno’s Emporium in Center City is my one stop shop for cheese and all the ingredients I need for the tapas style bites I prepare."
Nicole Miller at The Bellevue. Such a lovely boutique in an extraordinary building. Just walking up that grand staircase to the lobby prepares you for something special. Joseph Fox Bookshop represents what a great bookstore was before the big box bookstores took over. I could spend hours there.
How would you spend a perfect day in Center City?
A perfect day in Center City begins at The Sofitel. Though we live in Queen Village every now and then we spend a night here. Coffee at Elixr. Off to Joan Shepp to see what's new; there is always something new. A quick dash to Reading Terminal Market to feel the swirl of food, flowers, provisions, and the tinkle of an out of tuned piano played by anyone who gets the urge. On to Miel for a French pastry! Take a bit of a wander through Rittenhouse Square, with a picnic of the best the world offers from DiBruno Brother’s. Then a drink at The Ranstead Room, followed by dinner at Vernick.
"My favorite Center City hidden gem is Stadler-Kahn. A playfully curated shop that blends whimsy, lovely design, and a huge helping of fun."
Favorite places to eat in Center City:
Oh my, don't get me started! Vernick is a standout! The bartenders make a mean ‘Alaska’ and the scrambled egg with sea urchin is like biting into a sublimely briny cloud. Vetri is where we celebrate something truly special. Like 45 years of marriage! Each exquisite plate is a masterpiece! Samson Street Oyster House! Raw Oysters and gin martini’s need I say more? Parc is lovely. The view of Rittenhouse Square, the bread, the bar… I love this spot early morning with my four grandbabies in tow. We sit outside. It's best to train them young.
Favorite places to drink in Center City:
The Ranstead Room. I love the approach through a tiny street, barely visible sign, the exquisite drinks and the boudoir art! The bar at Parc, superb Martinis and oh, the life of the place!