Inspired by new artists, Joan “Lilly” Carney brings timeless fashions designed and created from all over the globe.
Lilly has always had an discerning eye for fashion. Her background in critiquing art and design grew as she was a model in her high school and college years, wearing fashions as a representative for Boston Store and Marshall Fields.
In 1992, Carney opened her first store, Lilly’s Boutique, and moved operations to her house four years ago. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she began to miss interacting with customers on a more frequent basis. Joan then decided to reopen her storefront in Zionsville.
Her passion is to help artisans and her visual collection of unique clothing will accommodate anyone looking for that timeless one-of-a-kind piece of art.
Lilly grew up in Milwaukee and began sewing her own wearable art in the 4th grade. After high school, she went on to graduate from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY with a BA in Art History and Education.
Lilly was fascinated by world travel and followed artisans at art shows ~ especially those whose focus was fashion both in the United States and abroad.
Lilly’s passion is helping artisans, giving them a space within the store to promote their work. She also does trunk shows and fashion shows for spectacular organizations including the Lafayette Museum of Art, Indy 500, Indianapolis Symphony, Carmel Symphony, and well as various hospitals and country clubs.
Lilly was mentored by some famous wearable artists including Mariana Zaharoff who designed President Reagan’s daughter Patty’s wedding dress. She also learned from Beverly Rice, a known fashion icon in Indianapolis and was able to feature the collection of Gorbochev’s designer, Elena Pelaniva here in Indianapolis.
Lilly put the top designer in Finland, Annikki Karminen on the map in the United states with one of a kinds created in Finland and designed by Lilly. She sold 32 of these beautiful coats and was able to take clients to Annikki’s factory and home in Finland.
Lilly travels abroad each year to learn about the work of foreign cultures in the fashion arts.
One memorable trip took her to Uzbekestan to study Suzani’s embroidery work.
Lilly was also honored to meet Galina Kostanda at a show in the US where she featured her incredible felted clothing. Galina learned her craft from her grandfather who felted boots and shoes. Lilly held a show in her home and developed a following. Galina’s incredible coats can be worn 4 ways. Lilly spent a week in Florida, witnessing and filming the process from start to finish so that she could share this beautiful art with others.
Using her passion for fashion combined with her art-history education Lilly carefully curates items for her wearable arts boutique.
A visit to Lilly’s store is a treat, a rare opportunity to see one-of-kind and limited edition works of art that you can purchase and wear! Her beautiful wearable art is surprisingly affordable and showcases artists from around the world.
Wearable Art brings out the beauty in you!