There are lots of things Orlando is known for — Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, a terrible interstate highway, a 16-year-old building that’s never been completed — but one thing that gets overlooked frequently, due to our booming tourism industry, is the more unique places around town.
Ask any Orlandoan, and they’ll proudly tell you about all their favorite essential Orlando places (none of which are a theme park). There are plenty of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, amazing bars and unique shopping experiences — and Artegon Marketplace was at the top of that list for this Orlandoan.
Artegon was a mall, but not your run-of-the-mill kind of mall. It’s Orlando’s “anti-mall,” an artisan marketplace located in the midst of tourism central (AKA I-Drive). It featured cute little shops of every kind, an indoor rope course, food trucks by the entrance on certain days, and so much more.
It was a hang out for my friends and I — we’d get food from Fuddruckers, a piña colada served in a pineapple and go watch movies. Sadly, Artegon closed its doors on January 26.
To say farewell, my friend Mo and I went for one final hurrah to take pictures, because seriously, you’ve never seen a mall better suited to photographs. In order to properly honor Artegon’s colorfulness, I wore my Red Seville Gina dress from The Pretty Dress Company.
I saw this dress in a production of West Side Story late last year, and I’d been obsessed with it ever since. I couldn’t resist temptation and I had to snatch it up, and let me tell you — I haven’t regretted it for one second since.
The Gina dress features a flattering scoop neckline, cap sleeves, a full, pleated skirt and pockets! While they pockets aren’t too big, they’re big enough to fit a phone (provided that it’s smaller than an iPhone 6). The skirt is so, so full (it twirls beautifully!) and it can comfortably fit a petticoat. I’ve been obsessed with my vintage lace petticoat from Malco Modes, which isn’t very full but it gives the dress a nice silhouette.
I wanted to bring out the pink in the dress, so I chose a light pink vintage hair scarf tied with a nice big bow on top. For shoes, I went with my trusty Jessica Simpson flats (which, as a matter of fact, are really worn out on the sides and I need to replace them soon).
I forgot a necklace, but I accessorized with my new white crystal mermaid earrings, which I got from my friend Kate! Seriously, go check out her etsy, you will undoubtedly find something you’d love — there’s something for everyone!
I saved my favorite pictures for last — Mo’s artistic vision made for some great shots, and these were definitely a highlight for me. I love how well you can see the detail of the dress in the shot on the left, and I love how candid the one on the right looks.
I’ll definitely miss Artegon, but I’m glad I got to experience it as much as I did. It’ll be hard, but here’s to hoping whatever occupies that space next lives up to Artegon’s legacy.