A 'Peacock' at the Park Shelton
TAKING WING: The Peacock Room in Midtown's Park Shelton building is a fashionable feather in the cap of the neighborhood's rejuvenation.
LEFT: The Peacock Room's owner, Rachel Lutz, renovating her space. RIGHT: A detail uncovered during the refurbishment of the 1926 spot.
photographs by paul hitz
Given the scarcity of fashion retail in Detroit, the rare opening of a new shop is a proud moment — peacock proud, perhaps, which makes the name of Midtown’s newest boutique doubly apropos.
The Peacock Room, which at press time was set to open by Thanksgiving on the main floor of the 1926-era Park Shelton condominiums, has a name rooted in local history and an interior color palette evocative of the flashy fowl: rich emerald greens and deep sapphire blues with glints of gold.
“I really believe that there’s no place other than Detroit where anyone should open up a retail shop right now,” says owner Rachel Lutz. “Detroit is hungry for retail.”
The boutique will feature a mix of new and upscale consignment attire with a touch of vintage clothing and accessories, ranging from 1920s silk lingerie to 1960s mod dresses. It will also carry antique furniture and gifts.
Women will find professional and playful attire, bags, jewelry, and hats. For men, Lutz will offer shirts, ties, blazers, and cuff links. Also included will be on-site tailoring and pieces by local designers, when possible.
“The consignment brands would be brands that you would typically find in the Somerset Collection,” says Lutz, who will carefully select and edit her stock to suit her clientele. She explains: “Because I’ve been a part of this neighborhood since I was a child, I think I have a pretty good sense of what people wear when they live, work, and play here.”
The Peacock Room derives its name from a piece of Detroit residential history. The nearby former home of Charles L. Freer, a wealthy industrialist and art collector, once housed an elaborate room designed and painted by American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler. That Peacock Room was shipped from its original site in London to Freer’s Detroit home, where it was reinstalled. Today, it’s on display in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.
“In picking the name, I wanted a Detroit historical reference,” Lutz says.
“Freer really left a legacy, not just with the Peacock Room, but also how people collect and display their art.”
The Peacock Room, 15 E. Kirby at Woodward (in the lobby of the Park Shelton across from the DIA); peacockroomdetroit.com.
photographs by paul hitz