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Clothes-Minded – Fashion Deconstruction

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Galeana Woodson’s eponymous new boutique in Monte Vista is filled with colorful, high-end, party-perfect clothes — none of them available in size 0. During several years in (eventually helpful, but terminally boring) international business, strategic planning, and advertising, Woodson dreamed about opening a clothing store stocked with the clothes she wanted, for the kind of woman she is. “After 30, after having a baby, your body changes, but your style doesn’t have to,” she laughs. Woodson, a curvy blonde, is wearing a chic black trapeze dress; when we meet for lunch I notice that the subtle trim on her shoes echoes a similar accent on the hem of the dress, an understated, but attentive detail I love. This woman can dress me.

Manning the counter at Galeana every day means Woodson has plenty of opportunities to dress people, a task she obviously relishes. When asked about her ideal customer, Woodson rattles off a list of traits: “sophisticated, well-traveled, open to new experiences, risk-taking, already has a strong sense of style.” She adds, “fashion is transformative, a way for us to discover and challenge ourselves.” Woodson likes to read her customers when they walk in, and then offer overlooked items that might be a bit outside the realm of the expected. “A lot of my things look terrible on hangers,” she admits, “but wear amazingly. Rachel Pally’s draped jersey dresses are like that.”

In keeping with the friendly, casual, “just us girls shopping” vibe Woodson projects, Galeana feels more like Woodson’s bedroom than a sleek designer boutique. The location, on Main near Justin’s Ice Cream, is part of the recent commercial development in Monte Vista, and Woodson, a life-long San Antonian, is happy to see more retail in the area. She was thrilled to lease the historical property close to downtown, with its tin ceiling, wooden floor, and strong bones. Woodson put as much thought into the environment as the lines she carries, even choosing the background music herself. (Depending on the weather or her mood, it could be anything from Gnarls Barkley to Patsy Cline.) Galeana is accented with a big swath of pink, her signature color, and while warm and cheery, the space is also big-city sophisticated.

When buying in New York and Los Angeles, Woodson’s philosophy is again refreshingly personal. In addition to staying on top of new designers and trusting her gut, she buys the kinds of clothes she’d put in her own closet. I asked for some recommendations for New Year’s Eve. Expect to see Woodson in one of the following:

Out with the girls: Pair Meghan Fabulous’s red, black, and gold flutter top with a pair of JBrand’s black skinny jeans. Top it off with tall boots and one of nOir’s cocktail rings (available in a variety of colors). PRICE: $158 (jeans); $287 (top); $45 (ring).

Impress the boss: Strapless, simple, and sexy. TIBIs black bubble dress with an array of cream flowers at the hem is perfect for a black-tie affair. PRICE: $375.

The morning after: Be comfortable yet stylish at that New Year’s Day brunch in a strappy, cotton jersey dress by t-bags. PRICE: $190. l

Galeana is located at 2508 N. Main. Phone: 735-2227.  


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