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August 9, 2012

Designers gush over the color oxblood


Stephen Chernin, Associated Press

For the fall, shoe designers are gushing over the color oxblood

The weather may be toasty right now, but it’s not too early to start thinking about fall boots. Oxblood emerges as a hot shade for footwear in the cooler season, and Stuart Weitzman will soon offer several options for oxblood motorcycle boots, pony hair ankle boots and over-the-knee boot silhouettes.

Look for fall merchandise on stuartweitzman.com starting Monday. Stuart Weitzman is also at The Domain, 11601 Century Oak Terrace, Suite 113, 834-2800.

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August 3, 2012

Silk ribbons, ikat adorn Chuck & Jake tees

Bright and light colors are what Austin-based clothing brand Chuck & Jake’s new summer line is all about this season. Known for giving basic T-shirts and tank tops a hip edge with interesting pockets, Chuck & Jake now adds a greater range of pocket patterns from raw silks to ikat fabric from Ecuador. Chuck & Jake is also adding patterned silk ribbons on its pockets.

The new line is available at chuckandjake.com and also at Melissa’s Custom Gifts/AustinTXbooks at 2116 Guadalupe St.

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July 19, 2012

Austin hairstylist up for award in Las Vegas


Jean Scheidnes

Allen Ruiz, an Austin-based stylist and Aveda artistic director of hairstyling, has been nominated for a North American Hairstyling Award. Ruiz, of Jackson Ruiz Salon (500 N. Lamar Blvd. 478-7744, http://jacksonruiz.com), will showcase an artistic presentation on stage on Aveda’s behalf at NAHA.

In 2007, Ruiz won NAHA’s Master Hairstylist of the Year. Winners will be announced in Las Vegas on Sunday.

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July 12, 2012

Georgia Bramhall's salon's got the vibe and the rep

Honeycomb Hair Boutique, Georgia Bramhall’s salon on East Fifth Street, opened quietly in September 2011. She had scheduled an opening party inside the Moroccan-influenced retreat with its high ceilings and warm feelings at the 501 Studios for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

She spoke to her father, beloved musical artist Doyle Bramhall, then living in Alpine, to make sure he would attend. Yes, the proud parent confirmed, he’d travel to Austin the Sunday before the affair. On Saturday, Nov. 12, however, Georgia Bramhall received the news that her father had died suddenly at 62. She canceled the party.

“I tried to work that first week,” she says “It was too hard. It took me several months to find the excitement and joy for the salon again. I just lost the spark. I had to pick up and move forward. That’s finally happening. And I love it here.”

Georgia Bramhall, 41, is a hit with wide cross-section of Austin women — plus a few men. Musical luminaries like Charlie Sexton, Kathy Valentine and Kat Edmonson seek out her offbeat sensibility and assured skills.

For more on this fabulous salon owner, read Michael Barnes’ story here.

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June 21, 2012

Match your style to your wine at Blo Austin event

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The blow-dry bar Blo Austin is hosting the debut of Be. wines with a wine tasting and summer hair trends demonstration.

Be. wines were created for young women to match their moods and style. Learn how to pair pinot grigio (bright), pink moscato (flirty), riesling (radiant) and chardonnay (fresh) with your personality while enjoying wine samples, appetizers and complimentary hairstyling to match whatever mood strikes you.

6 to 9 p.m. today. Blo Fifth Street, 1611 W. Fifth St., Suite 145. 355.1256, www.blome
dry.com.

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May 24, 2012

Designer will personalize your jewelry purchase

Greek jewelry designer Konstantino will be at Saks Fifth Avenue today presenting his latest collection.

Known for his intricately designed men’s and women’s pieces, Konstantino creates fine jewelry from sterling silver and 18 karat gold. His items are “inspired by art, architecture, mythology and people of Greece.” Purchases made today will be personally engraved by the designer, and shoppers who spend $300 or more on Konstantino jewelry receive a special gift. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saks Fifth Avenue, 9722 Great Hills Trail. 231-3700.

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May 3, 2012

Celebrate Derby in fine fashion at Four Seasons

The Kentucky Derby has always been about much more than horse racing — it’s a fashion event in itself.

The Four Seasons Hotel Austin is opening its lobby lounge for a Kentucky Derby watching party.

Women are encouraged to arrive in their best dresses and fancy hats, while the men suit up in seersucker. The day’s best-dressed man (seersucker suit) and woman (best hat) receive a sterling silver engraved mint julep cup with one free refill at the Four Seasons’ bar each week for a year. 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Lobby Lounge, 98 San Jacinto Blvd. $10 per person, includes one mint julep (ages 21 years and up). Call 685-8300 for reservations.

Celebrate a day at the races with a fashion show featuring dresses from Tess Designs and custom derby hats and fascinators from Milli Star. Saturday’s event helps support R.O.C.K. (Ride On Center For Kids), which is an organization offering equine-assisted therapy to children and adults facing cognitive and physical challenges.

The event features complimentary bites and sweet treats and drink specials along with raffle items. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed gentleman and best hat. 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Star Bar, 600 W. Sixth St. Tickets are $20 plus a small fee.


David J. Phillip /Associated Press

To purchase tickets, visit www.derbyday2012.eventbrite.com.

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April 19, 2012

Tim Gunn to host Lucky You Runway Contest Saturday

Tim Gunn has been encouraging young designers to make it work since “Project Runway” premiered in 2004. Now, the fashion guru wants to see if you have what it takes to work the runway as a model.

Gunn makes a stop in Central Texas this week — he loves Austin, just don’t take him to the Congress Avenue Bridge to see the bats; he’s not a fan. He’ll be here to host the Lucky You Runway Contest featuring the spring 2012 Lucky Brand Jeans collection on Saturday. The runway show features real Austin models chosen at a casting call today, followed by Saturday’s live show at Barton Creek Square. (Gunn won’t be present at the casting call, but will have final input on who walks the runway.)


Lucky Brand Jeans Runway Show

4 to 7 p.m. today casting call for “real” runway models. Lucky Brand Jeans Shop, Barton Creek Square Mall, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360).

1 p.m. Saturday Lucky Brand Jeans Runway Show featuring Tim Gunn at Barton Creek Square Mall, Macy’s court, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). Seating is limited.

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March 22, 2012

Big hair and sleek dresses

Get ready for big hair for a good cause at benefit

The Theatre Action Project is hosting a good old-fashioned country and western country fair with an Austin twist. The Big Hair Country Fair is a step back in time featuring live music by Hot Club of Cowtown and Oliver Rajamani.

The team at Birds Barbershop will give the ladies obligatory big Texas hair by teasing it into a retro bouffant. The event features all you can eat Salt Lick barbecue, carnival games, a cake walk, armadillo races, vintage photo booths complete with costumes and a live auction.

Proceeds benefit the Theatre Action Project, which encourages creative arts programs in schools and in the community. 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday . Salt Lick Pavilion, 18300 FM 1826, Driftwood. Tickets are $75. To purchase, visit theatreactionproject.org. To purchase a table, call 442-8773.

For prom, try Vera Wang’s White line

If your teenager wants to look feminine and elegant on her prom night, look no further than the leader in bridal and evening wear, Vera Wang. The latest White by Vera Wang bridesmaid collection has great potential to work as prom dresses and is found exclusively at David’s Bridal for less than $200.

According to a statement on the White by Vera Wang website, Wang sought inspiration from flowers for this year’s collection that is “romantic, classic and whimsical.”


White by Vera Wang

Now you can own an affordable, yet luxurious satin or chiffon dress with strapless or asymmetrical designs and skirts with pleated flower shapes.

White by Vera Wang also features accessories like bows, headbands, belts and sashes, shoes and veils. For more information on White by Vera Wang, visit www.whitebyverawang.com.

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February 16, 2012

Style X creator promises more fashion

To define Joah Spearman as a style social connector would be an understatement. This entrepreneurial 28-year-old has parlayed his insatiable appetite for learning and an obsession with style with an aptitude for knowing the right people into co-founding Style X, South by Southwest’s showcase of emerging fashion designers.

Style X runway shows consist of musician models wearing outfits put together from participating trade show brands. Pattillo, who also co-owns Sanctuary Printshop, oversees production, creative direction and behind-the-scenes details of the massive event, while Spearman approves each vendor selected — he enjoys meeting new designers and hearing their stories. His extensive world travels have given him a plethora of opportunities to learn about emerging designers and brands.

Spearman sees the fashion-forward crowd moving away from the complete designer outfit look.

“I think ‘fashion’ is moving toward ‘style,’” Spearman says, meaning a more mix-and-match philosophy.

Spearman knows about defining personal style. He owns between 200 and 300 neckties, collects designer socks, and mixes it up with suspenders and, of course, his prized sneaker accumulation.

Spearman has booked popular style bloggers like Jace Lipstein of the Grungy Gentleman, Marcus Troy, who was recently featured in the New York Times, and Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller to be speakers. Just this week Style X confirmed additional official partnerships with Neiman Marcus, W Hotel Austin and Aveda, as well as other media and technology partners.

Spearman believes technology and social media are continuously changing the world. He sees technology and style as a natural partnership, rightfully deserving a seat at SXSW. “I want to see Style X grow bigger, but in an authentic and organic way,” says Spearman.

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February 13, 2012

Austinite's Urban Posh on the national scene

You’ve seen the delicate, precious and semiprecious stone jewelry from Urban Posh featured in the fashion pages of Lucky, In Style, The Knot and Elle magazines. The Austin-based jewelry line has exploded on the fashion scene since its creation in 2004. Gold earrings and necklaces crafted with light-colored gemstones and beautiful stack bangles made of gold-plated brass with stones such as amethyst, onyx and quartz are just the beginning of the Urban Posh collection.

Urban Post earrings

Austinite Jeanne Kirkland’s appreciation for the jewelry-making process began with her gemologist grandparents who traveled the world seeking gemstones. She received her management information systems degree at the University of Texas and pursued a career in the high-tech industry before the economic downturn ended it. A serendipitous stop at Austin boutique Crofts Originals, during which owner Susan Crofts commissioned Kirkland’s first jewelry line, led Kirkland to pursue a new occupation. Urban Posh is now available worldwide and in more than 300 boutiques nationwide, including such national retailers as Neiman Marcus, private labels and catalogues. Kirkland is working on developing a line for Anthropologie.

Kirkland debuts three to four lines each year, and her latest, the Boho Luxe, features gold chain links and suspended gemstones. She’s now working on a fall line.

“When I’m developing a line, I put a lot of passion and thought into it. I handpick stones that go into the pieces and put a lot of care into the design,” Kirkland said.

She wants her customers to get out of their comfort zones and have fun with her jewelry. Kirkland admits to not really following any rules or keeping up with trends — she’d rather create a piece that transcends time.

Kirkland has showrooms on both the East and West coasts, which could naturally lure her away to bigger fashion scenes, but lucky for us, she can’t imagine living anywhere else but Austin. Kirkland is in the process of working with nonprofit agencies in the Austin area and is excited about helping local dog rescue group Austin Pets Alive!

Urban Posh is available at local retailers Eliza Page, Adelante and Anna Gray and can be purchased online at www.urbanposh.com.

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February 2, 2012

Fancy-up Fridays with coffee and vintage wear

Your workplace more than likely embraces casual Fridays. The baristas at Hounds-tooth Coffee are out to change the way you view Fridays - at least in the coffeehouse. Baristas don their most dapper attire complete with fedoras, suspenders and bow ties for “Fancy Fridays.”

It didn’t take long before “Fancy Fridays” inspired a shopping event. The North Lamar coffee shop hosts a pop-up shop every Friday in February featuring wears from Hold Vintage, an Austin-based online vintage clothier. Sift through men’s accessories such as ties and pocket squares and women’s offerings such as purses, aprons and jewelry while getting your caffeine fix.

Houndstooth not only serves high-quality coffee and tea, but their beer and wine selections are pretty stout as well. Hold Vintage sets up shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday in February. Houndstooth Coffee, 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., No. 120. 531-9417, www.houndstoothcoffee.com.

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September 13, 2011

Update: Missoni for Target sells out. Any left on shelves in Austin?

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UPDATED 2:24 p.m. Sept. 14: Target.com is working again, and Missoni for Target items are available.

For weeks, we’ve seen the television commercials about luxury Italian label Missoni’s capsule collection for Target, and last week we told you about the 400 items available.

The Missoni for Target selections, which were covered in the brand’s iconic, colorful zigzags, arrived in stores and online this morning. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, news reports said the line had sold out at most locations nationwide and high demand caused Target’s website to crash.

The line also was a hit in Austin and other parts of Texas.

Austin Suellen Hale Young, who runs the Le Garage Sale events, reported on Facebook today that the Missoni for Target shelves were empty at the Target store at 10107 Research Blvd. near the Arboretum when she went to shop.

Austinite Jane Vanisko McCan said in a Facebook comment, “We were there at 8am and shelves were cleared out within 30 minutes… crazy! we scored some zigzags though! :)”

Target.com was down for most of the afternoon but was working somewhat with the ability to buy Missoni for Target pieces when we checked between 6:10 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. today. (This writer could get onto the site, while another person in my office couldn’t.)

Throughout the day, a message on the site had read: “Woof! We are suddenly extremely popular. You may not be able to access our site momentarily due to unusually high traffic. Please stay here and we’ll try to get you in as soon as we can!”

Much of Missoni for Target’s men’s offerings, including ties, socks and scarves, were out of stock online, while many women’s selections were available. Home accessories, bikes and other goods also were available online.

According to the Chicago Tribune, selections from the collection, which was scheduled to have a six-week run, are now being sold on eBay. Many of the items were originally less than $40, but were being sold on sites like eBay for more than the original retail price.

Save a fellow Austinite a trip from driving from one Target store to another. If you spot Missoni for Target still in local stores, send a comment and we’ll post it.

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September 8, 2011

Blood runs orange this season

Longhorns will never stop loving burnt orange. Show your team allegiance from head to toe this season.

Austin’s Rae Cosmetics (1206 W. 38th St. 320-8732, www.raecosmetics.com) has introduced a Game Day Set, including a burnt orange eye shadow palette ($58). The makeup set, which is available online or at Rae Cosmetics Studio, is made up of Lucky Lips lip gloss in a coral color called Pixie as well as the burnt orange and bronze eye shades.

GarciaDress

Be on time for kick-off with the Texas Longhorns Ladies Stainless Steel Eclipse Open Link Watch, a sporty yet classy bracelet-style band available at http://www.footballfanatics.com/ ($94.95).

Show your spirit on your fingers and toes. The Spa at the Four Seasons (98 San Jacinto Blvd. 685-8160, www.fourseasons.com/austin) is offering new UT-inspired services, the Longhorn Manicure ($40) and Longhorn Pedicure ($50). The treatments use Texas-made bourbon-sugar scrub, which is used before an orange blossom massage. These treatments are available Friday through Sunday during UT’s home football game weekends.

Saunter to your seat in University Co-Op’s exclusive student designed T-Back Dress by Alyssa Garcia. This dress was featured in the 2011 UT Innovation Fashion Show and is available only at University Co-op (2246 Guadalupe St., 476-7211, universitycoop.com‎) for $39.99.

What’s a great dress with a good bag to accompany it? The University Co-Op also has the Gathered Leather Purse ($39.99) available online and in stores. This Texas Orange leather purse is gathered by a leather strap and contains two pouches.

Burnt orange sneakers from Adidas Originals and Austin-based retailer Nice Kicks (2815 Guadalupe St., 320-8100, www.nicekicks.com). The sneakers, which retail for $80, will be available online as well as at Nice Kicks’ Austin store. Nice Kicks began as a blog dedicated to sneaker culture before evolving into a retail store in 2010.

See what Longhorn fans wore during the pre-game tailgating action at the UT Longhorns- Rice Owls game, September 3, 2011.

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August 29, 2011

Update: Adidas, Nice Kicks pay tribute to UT with burnt-orange sneakers

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Updated 3:47 p.m. Aug. 30: Austin-based Nick Kicks will have a launch party from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 2 at its local store (2815 Guadalupe St. 512-320-8100). The event will include free beer, barbecue and custom branding irons for those who purchase a pair of the Adidas Original shoes.

Do Longhorns fans ever stop loving burnt orange? We already know the answer. Nope, nada, not a chance.

So here’s more more fashion item to add to your collection: Sneakers for the University of Texas fan from Nice Kicks and Adidas Originals.

The two have teamed up for exclusive, old-school Adidas Back to Campus ’80s sneakers. The burnt-orange sneakers are made from suede with cowhide stripes, canvas and heathered fleece, and a heel tab that pays tribute to Austin and UT.

The line also include two other schools, Stanford and Georgetown. The original campus line was introduced by Adidas in the early 1970s as a full-grain leather shoe in an oxford cut. In the 1980s, materials changed and the shoes were made from suede, and now they’re back in burnt orange.

The sneakers, which retail for $80, will be available starting Sept. 2.

Nice Kicks began as a blog dedicated to sneaker culture before a retail store was opened in 2010.

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August 27, 2011

Update: Austin Fashion Award winners announced

Updated 5:34 p.m. Aug. 28: We lived tweeted from last night’s Austin Fashion Awards. We captured all of the awards, categories and fashion shows and offered commentary during the nearly 4 hour event at ACL Live at the Moody Theater.

Show organizers said approximately 1,300 people attended the awards show, which concluded Austin Fashion Week.

Some awards were announced early Saturday, and you can read the names of those winners below this update. Here’s a short list of the winners announced last night during the show:

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS:

Best Designer: Demian & Alex

Best Retailer: Touch of Sass

Best Salon: Bella Salon

Best Model: Cassidy Burke

Best Mashup Team: Bella Corazon

Best Photographer: Cory Ryan

Best Hairstylist: Martha Lynn Kale

Best Makeup Artist: Mandy Hernandez

INDUSTRY CHOICE AWARDS:

Best Designer: Kendra Scott

Best Retailer: Estilo

Best Salon: Salon by Milk + Honey

Best Model: Brianna Fleet

Timothy White Award for a mashup team: Wild Horses

Best Photographer: Chad Harlan

Best Hairstylist: Lisa Brooks

Best Makeup Artist: Rochelle Rae

Follow me (@marquesharper) on Twitter or check out the Twitter section below for more details and to see images from the festivities.

This morning award winners were announced as part of today’s Austin Fashion Awards festivities. The award show will conclude this year’s Fashion Week of shows and parties. A list of winners was posted on Fashion Week’s website.

The remaining industry choice and people’s choice awards will be presented at 7 tonight during a ceremony at ACL Live at the Moody Theater on West Second Street.

The ceremony also will include a special presentation by celebrity photographer Timothy White as well as fashion showings from Los Angeles-based labels Wren and Rory Beca as well as Austin designers Linda Asaf, Gail Chovan and Michelle Weisman.

Here’s the list of winners announced this morning:

Best Women’s Designer: Linda Asaf

Best Men’s Designer: Demian & Alex

Best Jewelry Designer: Kendra Scott

Best Accessories Designer: Annemarie

Best Bridal Designer: Jessica Ciarla

Best Children’s Designer: My Gigi

Best Intimate Apparel or Swimwear Designer: Megan Summerville

Best Home Accessories Designer: Deborah Main

Best Retailer: Women’s Clothing: By George

Best Retailer: Men’s Clothing: Stag

Best Retailer: Vintage Clothing: Feathers Boutique

Best Retailer: Accessories & Handbags: Cypress Vanguard

Best Retailer: Jewelry: Eliza Page

Best Retailer: Kids & Baby: Wee

Best Retailer: Furniture & Home Decor: Howl

Best Spa: Milk + Honey Spa

Best Hair Stylist: Women’s Cut: Nina Gay

Best Hair Stylist: Men’s Cut: Johna Simon

Best Hair Stylist: Colorist: Lisa Brooks

Best Photographer: Runway: Chad Harlan

Best Photographer: Editorial: Julian Humphries

Best Photographer: Product: Gregg Cestaro

Best Photographer: Editing: Tania Quintanilla

Best Wardrobe Stylist (People’s Choice): Lisa Barnes

Best Wardrobe Stylist (Industry Choice): Brandy Joy Smith

Best Wardrobe Stylist: Stage or Film: Lisa Barnes

Best Wardrobe Stylist: Runway: Sandra Antoun

Best Female Model: Editorial: Cassidy Burke

Best Female Model: Runway: Brianna Fleet

Best Male Model: Editorial: Christian Ramirez

Best Male Model: Runway: Ken Echols

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August 25, 2011

Austin Fashion Week: Waterstone Aesthetics delivers with Mode-Kei

On our busy Monday night zipping around town, we dropped by Waterstone Aesthetics’ Mode-Kei show at Enzo on West Fifth Street. We knew Waterstone would deliver the goods, or at least, entertain us, because last year the team put on one of our favorite hair-extravagant shows with bigger and bigger wigs.

This year’s show was another intriguing romp, especially by the time we got to the final model, who was from Wilhelmina Brown. We were told she had only practiced on the stilts once, which, of course, could have meant there would be a total disaster on the runway. Alas, there was no such reason to worry.

Check out the Japanese inspirations, the kimonos and the Harajuku vibe that made up this international-flavored hair and style show, which was emceed by the always-charming Marcus Swagger. (For the record, Swagger isn’t a Smurf despite his blue tone in the video. It’s all lighting.) The show, which featured clothes from Ayers Design and Alchemy, was a benefit for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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Austin Fashion Week: And the Austin Fashion Award nominees are?

If you’ve been too busy partying, dressing up and looking at frocks, well, we think that’s just mighty fine.

That’s what Austin Fashion Week appears to be about. Now if you can take a moment to put down your refreshing cocktail or pause from the hours you’ll spend wondering what you’ll wear today, here’s a chance speculate on who might win at the Saturday’s Austin Fashion Awards at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. This year, Golden Boot awards will be doled out for People’s Choice and Industry Choice.

In case you need to brush up on the selections and rock the vote,here’s the list of nominees. Keep in mind voting ends 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26.

Best Designer: People’s Choice
Ana Reign
Bon Bon by Micah Yancey
Demian & Alex “D&A”
Jodi Rae Designs
Megan Pinto Designs

Best Designer: Industry Choice
Linda Asaf
Dean Fredrick
Catherine Nicole
Kendra Scott
Megan Summerville

Best Mash Up Team: People’s Choice
Bella Corazon
Feisty Couture
Wolf Pack

Timothy White Award: Best Mash Up Team Photo
Arcadia
Denim Rock
Wild Horses

Best Retail Store: People’s Choice
Charming Charlie
Cypress Vanguard
Kendra Scott
Rae Cosmetics
Touch of Sass

Best Retail Store: Industry Choice
Cypress Vanguard
Dress Shop
Estilo
Plain Ivey Jane
Rae Cosmetics

Best Salon: People’s Choice
Bella Salon
Mirror Mirror
Roar Salon
SALON by Milk + Honey
Urban Betty

Best Salon: Industry Choice
Bella Salon
Jackson Ruiz Salon
Jose Luis Salon
SALON by Milk + Honey
Urban Betty

Best Model: People’s Choice
Anya Brill
Cassidy Burke
Brianna Fleet
Davy Green
Ashley Johnson

Best Model: Industry Choice
Anya Brill
Cassidy Burke
Brianna Fleet
Lauren Real
Britany Walker

Best Photographer: People’s Choice
William Behr, William Behr Photography
Chad Harlan, La Pistola Photography
Christie Mathis, Ultralicious Photography
Natalie & Jorge Pino, Peanut Photography
Cory Ryan, Eye Candy Photography

Best Photographer: Industry Choice
William Behr, William Behr Photography
Chad Harlan, La Pistola Photography
Julian Humphries, Julian Humphries Photography
Tania Quintanilla, TQPhoto
Cory Ryan, Eye Candy Photography

Best Hair Stylist: People’s Choice
Alexandria Elizondo
Marisa Esparza
Nina Gay
Jeni Hoover
Martha Lynn Kale

Best Hair Stylist: Industry Choice
Lisa Brooks
Rachael Dunn
Nina Gay
Jeni Hoover
Martha Lynn Kale

Best Makeup Artist: People’s Choice
Katie Astoria
Crystal Glass
Lecia Harkins
Mandy Hernandez
Rochelle Rae

Best Makeup Artist: Industry Choice
Maris Malone Calderon
Kandy Glass
Lecia Harkins
Mandy Hernandez
Rochelle Rae

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Austin Fashion Week: A look at opening night, finally

We’ve been terribly busy running from Austin Fashion Week event to event this week and needed to get to blogging pronto. It’s hard to believe the city’s Fashion Week is coming to its final days. (The fashion celebration ends Saturday with the Austin Fashion Awards.)

So let’s take a quick look at the opening party from days ago, which started the third annual celebration of fashion and style. Above is one of our latest videos, and later there’s a link to photos from the opening night.

Our four favorite moments from the party at Cowboy Harley-Davidson?

Surprisingly it wasn’t having to take a shuttle bus from a nearby parking lot to the motorcycle dealership. We heard it again and again. Many guests said they were pleased this year’s event was in an air-conditioned facility large enough for the hundreds of people who attended the party. Singer Tiffany or no Tiffany, having air conditioning trumps last year’s opener, which was outside (Fashion Week co-founder Matt Swinney said he was expecting 1,500 to 2,000 people, but we estimated about 500 to 700 people were in attendance.)

So there wasn’t Tiffany again for a second performance and a chance to take us back to the 1980s with her smash teen remake of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Darn. Instead we got 1980s (we think there might be a Fashion Week theme here) cover band LC Rocks whose members had big hair and performed Journey and Bon Jovi and other hits for about an hour. We must say the lead vocalist had a fan blowing his hair that would give Beyonce’s hair and its fan a run for their money.

Next? From our front row seat, we looked over to see the Austin Chronicle’s Stephen Moser get back to his seat late as Fashion Week’s mashup teams of hairstylists, makeup artists, designers, models and photographers presented their concept garments on the runway. (We’ll get to the garments another time.) Unfortunately, two women were in his seats. No worries, though. Without saying a word, Moser used his black, decorative fan to direct the women out of his reserved spot, and they scooted to a spot on the floor at his feet. Thought he was playing Mr. Nice these days?

And lastly, seeing the model in the aqua mini dress who fell on the leather-covered runway get back up as gracefully as she could and keep moving on was a moment to gasp at and applaud. The runway seemed as if it gave many of the models moment to pause. Unfortunately this model closed the show of looks from the mashup teams. But as they say, the show must go on.

However, we thought the parade of models in Harley-Davidson clothes at the start of the evening could have been a bit, well, sexier. If you’re going to have models in leather chaps, play up the sex appeal with boy shorts and briefs instead of jeans.

Also, we were expecting wild, colorful, zany Betsey Johnson frocks, only to be somewhat disappointed by the toned-down, “Mad Men”-like pieces we saw on the runway. Thankfully the mashup teams didn’t disappoint. They were an array of good, questionable and nearly wonderful. Among the looks we just adored was designer Malissa Long and her team’s champagne-colored, flowy gown.

Here’s a look at photographer David Weaver’s images from the night in one of our photo galleries.

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June 21, 2011

New Austin Fashion Week 2011 details; open model call on July 17

Wilhelmina Brown modeling agency has been named the official agency for Austin Fashion Week 2011, which starts Aug. 20 and will include more than 100 events.

Fashion Week wraps with the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 27 at ACL Live.

There will be an open casting call for male and female models on July 17.

According to a media release today, “Models who want to participate have two options: a free option and a $45 option, both including an invitation to the open model call 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17, at the Driskill Hotel. To participate in the open call, models should register in advance by Friday, July 8, for either option.”

The $45 option includes a runway walking classes, a feature on the Fashion Week website and other services.

For more information, click here.

The American-Statesman is a media and in-kind partner of Austin Fashion Week 2011.

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June 7, 2011

TOMS adds sunglasses to its charity-based lineup of goods

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We all know sunglasses can be an investment. Well, here comes a line that’s all about protecting your eyes and someone else’s. (Consider it your gift with purchase).

Former Austinite Blake Mycoskie announced today his Santa Monica, Calif.,-based TOMS brand will expand from shoes and now include sunglasses.

The sunglasses, which come in three styles, will sold in a similar style as TOMS shoes: For every pair of shades sold, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need through medical treatment, sight-saving surgery through a partnership with Seva Foundation, and prescription glasses. TOMS Eyewear will first serve Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia.

TOMS shoes, which started in 2006, are sold at retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Tyler’s, Whole Foods Market.

The new eyewear line, which is made in Italy, will be sold at Nordstrom and at Tyler’s locations in Austin and other retailers.

The sunglasses for men and women range from $135 to $145. Here’s a look at some of the eyewear options from TOMS:

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Photos: Courtesy of TOMS and Nordstrom

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May 19, 2011

UPDATE: Austin Fashion Week 2011 poster art revealed

UPDATED 9:08 p.m. May 21: Updated versions of the Austin Fashion Week posters.

It’s almost runway time. Here’s a look at the new poster art for Austin Fashion Week. The posters were designed by Gary Dorsey of Pixel Peach.

Austin Fashion Week will be Aug. 20-27. New this year will be nightly fashion showcases at Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin.

What do you think of the new Austin Fashion Week posters?

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April 14, 2011

UT students offer thoughts about their senior fashion collections

Each year, the seniors from the University of Texas’ School of Human Ecology’s Division of Textiles and Apparel (now, that’s a mouthful) offer their visions of fashion during the biggest fashion show in Austin.

The event, which is sponsored by the University Co-Operative Society, starts at 6:30 p.m. April 21 at the Erwin Center. Prizes will be awarded to the student designers in categories: Best Fashion Collection, Most Innovative Fashion Collection, Most Marketable Fashion Collection, Best Constructed Fashion Collection and Best Evening/Bridal Gown.

You can see a gallery of photos here.

Here’s what some of the student designers have to say about their work and what’s next:

Christopher Pham, 24, of Plano

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Post-graduation plans: I interned at Ralph Lauren in their men’s Purple Label, Black Label and Polo tailored garments department and they told me to contact them once I graduated. So I’m crossing my fingers and moving to New York after the summer.

What material did you use for your collection: I really wanted to use the highest quality of fabrics because I was really influenced by traditional English bespoke tailoring. Most of my fabrics are 100 percent fine wools. I have a great Carolina Herrera silk and wool blend that has an amazing body. And I used super soft Armani white linen for my white women’s pant.

What was your inspiration: I’m a rower for the University of Texas at Austin’s Club rowing team, Texas Crew, and my inspiration came from one of the oldest and most prestigious regattas, the Royal Henley Regatta held every summer in Henley, England.

Elise Romero, 23, of Austin

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Post-graduation plans: Intern at Anthropologie or intern somewhere in New York.

What material did you use for your collection: All natural fabrics, silk, wool (one of my fabrics is a Valentino wool brushed with gold), a silk-rayon blend to create a burn-out texture.

What was your inspiration: I am always finding inspiration from nature and anything vintage or Old World. This particular collection began with old 1920s camping photos I came across in a vintage store. I came up with this idea of a glamorous camper walking through the forest. I love metallics so I wanted that to be a play off of the light coming through trees in the woods. I like the romantic idea of getting lost and having an adventure through that experience. This collection is for a girl who likes to wander and wants to look good doing it.

Sophia Al-Banna, 21, of Houston

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Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I will be an assistant designer for an interior decorator here in Austin for the months of June and July. Then, in the fall, I plan to live in New York for a semester and intern in the fields of either styling or fashion design. After getting experience in these two fields of design I will hopefully begin my career in the one I am most passionate about.

What material did you use for your collection: I focused on the natural fibers of silk and leather. I incorporated two shades of silk burlap, silk chiffon, dupioni silk, and silk crepe. I used three thicknesses of leather and about five shades, all of which are in the neutral family. In addition, I incorporated a beaded lace to add sheerness with the burlap.

What inspired this collection: I wanted the garments to express myself as an artist, working in the medium of clothing. In addition, I wanted to create a line inspired by haute couture; one that could make any woman - even on her worst hair and makeup days - look stunning when she walks in the room. My garments are bespoke statement pieces, each being individually and strategically placed to create an architectural design!

Colton Gerard, 24, of Austin

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Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I hope to land an internship that leads to a career in menswear.

What material did you use for your collection: I incorporated a lot of leather as well as outdoor fabrics like duck cloth and wool. The most interesting fabric in my collection was the water-resistant material I used for my rain coat.

What was your inspiration: I was inspired by a lot of different things for my senior collection titled Heritage. I drew inspiration from hunting outdoors and combined that with designs that are reminiscent of old World War II uniforms. I looked at movie characters such as Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones” as well as Clint Eastwood in “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.” I used those characters to create a muse that reflected my adventurous collection.

Jessica Bird, 24, of Houston

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Post-graduation plans: I have worked in sales for 8 years and have been doing freelance personal styling/shopping for about 3 years. After interning for Vogue stylist/contributing editor Tabitha Simmons in NYC last summer, I decided styling is the direction I want to go in. That being said, my post-grad plans are two-fold: corporate fashion sales and building my personal styling business.

What materials did you use for your collection: Brushed silk charmeuse, three-ply silk, leather, poly crepe and cotton monk’s cloth.

What was your inspiration: The inspiration for my collection was taken from lingerie and gemstones. I used muted jewel tones for my colors and incorporated seam lines derived from lingerie and and different cuts of stones. The goal was to create something wearable, marketable and sellable that can be easily styled into any woman’s wardrobe. The result is a modern twist on current silhouettes and classic, unique garments that can be worn for years to come.

Dhanny W. Indrakusuma, 21, of Pekalongan, Indonesia

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Post-graduation plans: I am still in the process of looking for a job. I hope that after graduation, I would be able to work as an assistant stylist, coordinating fashion photo shoots or work as a buyer for an international brand.

What material did you use for your collection: I used luxurious materials that feel comfortable to the skin such as cotton sateen, silk crepe and charmeuse, lightweight silk/wool blends and cashmere. For my technology, I have dyed the fabrics with sun-blocker coating to protect both the garments and the wearer from the harmful effects of the UV rays.

What was your inspiration: My collection was inspired by the South Korean ceremonial dress, the hanbok. I incorporated several design elements from hanbok into my garments; such as the fullness of the skirt and the asymmetrical bow, to produce a fresh and unique design that is also marketable. In my collection, I combined my pieces with military-inspired outerwear to give it a modern, tough women look.

Briana Gardner, 21, of Dallas

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Post-graduation plans: After graduation I plan to spend the summer backpacking across Europe then move to New York to start an internship.

What material did you use for your collection:I chose to work with a variety of denims from chambray to bull denim and stretch denim. I also designed my own print on a lightweight cotton voile which serves as the focus of my collection.

What was your inspiration: I was deeply inspired by ethnic fashion and folklore meshed with eccentric cuts and shapes. The print I designed was inspired by the Japanese lantern flower, which represents good fortune and blessing.

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April 10, 2011

Capital City Style: Guess Whose Shoes

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The Report Signature booties belong to … (drum roll please) … Reality TV star Tabatha Coffey of Bravo’s “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” and the upcoming “Tabatha Takes Over.” She visited BookPeople this month to promote her recent book, “It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love and the Business of Beauty.”

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April 7, 2011

'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 16: Weekly recap

High drama infected Wednesday’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model.”

The remaining model contestants have turned against Alexandria Everett. She’s spirited, opinionated and bratty and each week she has made it through the judging round.

Turns out this week the table’s turned for Alexandria, at least with the judges. She and the other contestants were asked to take part in a photo shoot for Warriors in Pink, a campaign to raise awareness about cancer. Judge and photographer Nigel Barker had double duty as he was the photographer on the shoot.

Tension on the set boiled over when Brittani Kline took shots at Alexandria as Barker and representatives from Ford (as in the car company, not the modeling agency) were in ear shoot. Brittani told Alexandria that Alexandria’s attitude should have caused her to be sent home already. Of course, the fuss came up again during the judges’ panel discussion at the end of the episode.

Alexandra won the challenge, which included a Ford Focus as a prize, to the dismay of the other contestants. But the big emotional explosion was yet to come.

Before Brittani’s emotional meltdown, there was another challenge. This time it was at Universal Studios, where the contestants had to portray mentally unstable characters who were obsessed with objects such as faux fur, shoes, bags, jewelry and shopping. The strong photos came from Belton resident Jaclyn Poole whose character was obsessed with makeup. Loved the red lipstick smeared on her face. It was a brilliant, and showed how strong this Southern sweetheart can be in front of a camera. The other strong photo came from Kasia Pilewicz, who portrayed a woman obsessed with her hair.

During the judges’ panel, Barker mentioned the issue during the Warriors in Pink shoot. That’s when Brittani broke down, completely lost it and stormed off the set to cool off from her high emotions. Turns out Brittani and Mikaela Schipani, who never seems to have emotion in her eyes, were in the bottom two.

What was intriguing was the conversation during the judges’ discussion. Host Tyra Banks wanted to send Brittani home, while the other judges didn’t want to see her go. Banks referred to an incident during the show’s third cycle when she was outnumbered by the other judges.

The judges thought Alexandria held her own, and they admired the way she handled the argument with now-bratty Brittani.

In the end, Mikaela was sent home, while Brittani remained. However, Banks explained her thoughts and how she hadn’t voted for Brittani.

I’m still thinking that Jaclyn, who got the best photo of the challenge, goes far in the competition. So let’s see if Hannah Jones, the St. Edward’s University student, steps up her game. I figure the next two episodes will be make it or break it for these Texas models.

And as a side note, did anyone catch Barker during the commercial break? Do you like him with long hair or a shaved head?

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March 31, 2011

'America's Next Top Model' weekly recap

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Finally, we’re getting to the good stuff. The preview for next week’s episode of long-running “America’s Next Top Model” looks good to watch with snacks in hand. The claws will come out. The tears will be shed. And the anger and nasty words will be spoken.

However, we can’t get to next week without talking about this week’s episode.

Host Tyra Banks started off the episode by giving the model contestants a lesson in how to determine their archetype and play up their strengths. During the lesson, Molly O’Connell cried again about her bad weave job, which was removed during the episode to her delight. The weave issue has been an ongoing storyline this season. Too bad the producers didn’t have a rest in peace notice at the end of the episode.

Of course, Banks’ lesson also came with a challenge, which was judged by J. Alexander. The models had to meet the fans, sign autographs and learn the do’s and don’ts of dealing with fame. When one male fan insisted on kissing Monique Weingart, she told him to get a kiss from control-freak Alexandria Everett. Turns out Alexandria caved and gave the male fan a kiss on the cheek. Umm, can we say, “That’s a big no-no” and the fastest way to have to ask for a restraining order?

In the end, Miss J. selected Kasia Pilewicz, the cool-headed, real-life-model contestant who chose Brittani Kline and Jaclyn Poole to accompany her and Miss J. to dinner. The other models were left to clean up after the fans, and that’s when we saw more of Monique’s diva side.

The major challenge of the night was muddy. Literally. The model contestants had to pose covered in mud and they were divided into two categories of blonds and brunettes. After all, who says blonds have more fun?

Later, judge Andre Leon Talley said it best: The blonds’ photo looked good enough for a billboard, while the brunette contestants’ photo was fashion-oriented.

I thought Alexandria was finally going to get the boot especially after an on-set spat with Jay Manuel. Turns out the blond contestants were spared this week. What has continued to be impressive is how Jaclyn Poole from Belton is often seen as squeaky clean but she turns out good photos, and Hannah Jones, who attends St. Edward’s University, always has good photos.

In this week’s bottom were two brunettes: Diva Monique and lost-eyes Mikaela. (Week after week Mikaela is told that her eyes have no life.) The judges sent Monique home.

Now onto next week. The promo shows an explosion of emotion with Brittani storming off the set in front of the judges. Boy, I can’t wait. Who else is excited?

Photo: The CW

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Capital City Shopping with My-Cherie Haley

On a spring day last week, Austin model My-Cherie Haley and I ventured on South Congress Avenue. This new mom wanted to look for spring clothes. As a bonus, she was able to introduce her 5-month-old son, McIntosh, to the wonders of the Austin fashion scene.

You can read more about our visit here.

Now here’s a closer look at some of Haley’s favorite finds as we dropped by Maya Star and Feathers Boutique. Haley, who created the Shimmer & Bliss line of scarves and accessories, recently returned to the runway after taking time off to be with her husband and son.

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March 24, 2011

Want to be a model? Consider the Model for a Day event.

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Think you have a walk perfect for the runway? Drop by a model casting for the Model for a Day contest at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26, (registration opens at 3 p.m.) as part of the Simon Fashion Now event, at the Domain II near American Eagle Outfitters (11010 Domain Drive).

Twenty teenagers and adults in their 20s (contestants must be older than age 13) will be selected by judges, including this writer, to wear teen-oriented selections from retailers Forever 21, Southern Thread, Aeropostale and others for an April 8 event at the North Austin shopping center.

The Simon Fashion Now event will be April 8 and 9 at the Domain.

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March 23, 2011

Why this style writer will miss Elizabeth Taylor

Growing up in the 1980s, I was enamored with Academy Award winner Elizabeth Taylor, who died today from congestive heart failure after years of health challenges. She was 79.

Taylor was a vision of old Hollywood glamor and beauty, which we don’t come across today. She won two Academy Awards and made more than 50 movies. She died nearly four times, had eight marriages and battled issues with alcohol and prescription drugs.

Not bad for a screen legend.

And of course, there was a big first. She was one of the first in Hollywood to acknowledge HIV/AIDS epidemic during the 1980s, when her friend and “Giant” co-star Rock Hudson died of AIDS complications. She helped found amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research and later she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

In a statement reported in ">an obituary on the Los Angeles Times’ website, Taylor’s son Michael Wilding said:

“My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

For me, Taylor was a larger-than-life personality. I realized it around the time she introduced her perfumes, Passion and White Diamonds, one of my mother’s favorites. (Taylor’s most recent fragrance, Violet Eyes, was released in 2010.) I become fascinated by Taylor’s style, sharp tongue, compassion, those tabloid aspects of her life and times and her business savvy.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ obituary:

“With her acting career in decline, she turned to business. In 1987 she introduced Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, a perfume sold in a purple, heart-shaped flask for $165 an ounce. It would eventually become the fourth-bestselling women’s fragrance in America, grossing $70 million a year. In the 1990s she introduced another successful scent, White Diamonds.”

And who could forget the famous line from the White Diamonds commercial that has aired for decades? At the end of the glamorous clip clearly inspired by Hollywood, Taylor stops a high rollers’ card game, takes off a diamond earring and says, “These have always brought me luck.” Every so often I post the commercial on my Facebook page.

I’ll miss Liz and all the old Hollywood style she symbolized.

Here’s a photo gallery of Taylor over the years with Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli and others.

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March 22, 2011

A look back at all that was South by Southwest's Style X

I want to make one thing clear from the start: The first Style X event, part of South by Southwest, should be applauded because it captured the essence of what makes SXSW, well, SXSW.

With any first, there’s always room for improvement and additions that would make Style X feel more connected to the interactive, film and music components and not a stand-alone event for passersby on a break from concerts and other shows.

Under one roof, shoppers and others were able to catch some weird, bits of a traditional trade show, some futuristic design, and a good dose of hipster notions. But the heart and soul of Style X (pronounced “Style by”) were the numerous emerging designers who were able to introduce curious shoppers to their garments, glasses, tote bags and other goods.

Some of the lines were a bit odd yet popular with shoppers (Spirit Hoods). Others were a mix of vintage finds and classic style (Cavortress), while others were street savvy (We are the Process).

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Style X was created by Joah Spearman, a former Second Street boutique owner, and Jon Pattillo, co-owner of Sanctuary Printshop, with assistance from SXSW officials.

The two-day style event at the Austin Convention Center - it was on Friday and Saturday - included style shows and shopping opportunities and displays from established brands such as Keds and American Apparel as well as newcomers including Austin labels TIKKR and Criquet and others. Sanctuary offered screen printing.

Because of its location in the convention center, Style X felt more like a trade show than a style showcase. For locals, the setup was like Le Garage Sale.

A major draw for some shoppers was the American Apparel flea market, which was moved indoors to be a part of Style X. The financially trouble brand offered discounted goods and a chance to become a future American Apparel model. I found the men’s offerings to be limited this year, while female shoppers I know were able to leave with bags of clothes.

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Austin style blogger Indiana Adams sent me a tweet last week about my lack of American Apparel finds: “Really? I had GREAT luck at the American Apparel flea market: 3 chiffon shirts, 1 skirt, 2 v-t’s, 1 blazer, & 1 sweatshirt!”

The addition of American Apparel brought in more fanfare and more shoppers looking for deals. From what I observed, foot traffic ebbed and flowed at Style X during its two days.

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Ideas for the unknown future are just that. Spearman has talked about his plans for the next Style X. And I hope Style X is granted a second act and that it doesn’t go the way of the pop-up shops such as Apple’s and Sony’s that were staged in Austin. They were here to flirt with us for a few days before checking out of town.

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March 20, 2011

Video: A look at South by Southwest's Style X event

We’ll have a recap of South by Southwest’s Style X (pronounced “Style by”) on Monday. Until then, here’s a look at all that was SXSW’s first fashion and style event on Friday and Saturday of last week.

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UT graduate Kelly Framel to appear on 'The Nate Berkus Show' on Monday

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Want to personalize your living space? Get advice from University of Texas graduate Kelly Framel, left, who appears on “The Nate Berkus Show” at 2 p.m. Monday on the CW.

Framel, a fashion blogger who now lives in New York, was invited to talk about how she was able to translate her personal style into her own home.

According to a show publicist, viewers will watch as Framel and Berkus help a newly divorced guest transform her living space after she has to move in with her parents.

Framel, who also is a jewelry designer, returned to Austin in recent days during South by Southwest. She was a speaker on a panel discussion at South by Southwest’s Style X event.

Photo courtesy of Julie Holder/Sony Pictures Television

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March 17, 2011

SXSW musicians-turned-models announced for Style X shows

Looking for a dose of runway action and South by Southwest musicians?

Turns out some of them will get to strut their stuff during Style X runway shows starting at 6 p.m. March 18 and 19 at the Austin Convention Center. The first SXSW style event will be free and open to the public. Style X hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday.

According to a media release, here’s the list of artists and bands who will appear in the runway shows:

Ages And Ages - Portland, Oregon

Alexis Foxe - New York

Anamanaguchi - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Andreya Triana - England, United Kingdom

Asobi Seksu - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Becky Middleton - Dallas

Blackbird Blackbird - San Francisco

Black Cherry - London

Candy Claws - Fort Collins, Colo.

Claire Monesterio (La Manchita) - Minneapolis

DJ I Wanna Be Her - Austin

Dorian Colbert - Austin

Eagle Eye Williamson - Austin

The Echocentrics - Austin

Erin McLaughlin - Yucalpa, Calif.

Freedom or Death - Toronto

Iroquoisfalls - Toronto

Jessie and the Toy Boys - Los Angeles

Kosha Dillz - Edison, N.J.

Kyla la Grange - London

League510 - Oakland, Calif.

Lenka - Sydney, Australia

Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Los Angeles

Matrimony - Charlotte, N.C.

Michelle Armstrong - Chicago

The Novocaines - Northam, Western Australia, Australia

The One AM Radio - Los Angeles

Pearl and the Beard - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ryan Harkrider - Austin

Sahara Smith - Austin

The Soldier Thread - Austin

Wakey!Wakey! - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Zeale - Austin

ZE! - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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March 14, 2011

Spring fashion: Orange really is the perfect color for spring

Updated 9 p.m. March 14: Correction: Texas designer Lela Rose’s name was misspelled in a prior version of this blog entry.

With all of the South by Southwest madness continuing for a few days, you might have forgotten we’re about to enter spring.

Actually, we’re a few days away from marking the annual occasion. That means it’s time to put away your winter clothes (well, everything except a cardigan, perhaps).

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I told you about my favorite choices for spring. You can review my picks here. I also styled several spring looks in March’s Glossy magazine. (The photo above is from our Glossy photo shoot at the Four Season Residences last month.)

Just the other day I was wandering Neiman Marcus at the Domain. I was taking in all of spring, and I checked out the designer caravan of goods that usually aren’t at our local store in North Austin. This is the final week to shop the selections from designers and labels including Jean Paul Gaultier, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Missoni and Texas designer Lela Rose.

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The big colors on display at Neiman Marcus are oranges, pinks and corals. A shade of pink is the color of the year, as we know. Of course, orange and coral come from the same color family and are a distant cousin of pink.

What’s funny is that everywhere I’ve been in recent weeks I’ve noticed women have been embracing coral and orange for their lipstick choice and their blouse color.

So you want to stand out this spring? Think orange, I say. Sorry, Jeannette Winterson. (She wrote Women’s Studies classic, “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.”)

Oranges are perfect for a spring wardrobe.

Photo courtesy of Ricardo B. Brazziell (top) and Angelina Daves

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Style X event panel discussions announced for Friday and Saturday

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Here are some new details about Style X, the South by Southwest fashion and style event this weekend at the Austin Convention Center.

Style X officials announced Monday that there will be a media tour, including a chance to meet some of the Style X vendors, called Shop Hop starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10. Interested media members should contact Style X officials no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.

According to a media release, “The tour will begin at the Austin Convention Center, and a service will be provided for attendees to shuttle between the various locations which include streetwear focused Complete Clothing, denim savvy HEM Jeans, closeout-couture shop Plain Ivey Jane, contemporary clothing boutique Estilo, Austin fashion staple By George and menswear shop Stag.”

At By George (South Congress Avenue location), StyleCaster founder and CEO Ari Goldberg will give an address.

Also, an official 2011 Style X Lookbook is available online and for mobile viewing here.

At the convention center, there will several shopping opportunities as well as educational ones. One of the announced panelists for Style X will be Houstonite and “Project Runway” Season 2 winner Chloe Dao.

Music and Style: Force Amplifiers

Friday, March 18 at 3:45 p.m., Friday, March 18, at the Austin Convention Center

Difference Between Fashion & Style and How to Break into the Biz

1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Austin Convention Center

Technology+Fashion

3:45 p.m Saturday, March 19, at the Austin Convention Center

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March 10, 2011

"America's Next Top Model" Cycle 16: Weekly recap

It was all about hair weaves and attitude on Wednesday’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model.”

The contestants were given makeovers by hairstylist Laurent D and later photographed by fashion photographer Troy Jensen. Host Tyra Banks and her team usually come up with creative hairdos. They always play up a model’s strengths, and this time I was surprised I liked most of the ‘dos.

During those scenes, I kept thinking about how we’re a culture of fake. A majority of the models were given fake hair, and sure, the results were dazzling, especially when the fan was turned and they looked like Beyonce on stage. I just wonder if we’ve simply gone too far with hair extensions and tinted eyebrows. Even contestant Sara Longoria, who was given a short cut, longed for fake hair to soften her masculine appearance.

Of course, no makeover show is without makeover meltdowns. Bratty Alexandra Everett was cranky during her makeover and bossy most of the episode. And of course, there was a bad weave in the bunch. Molly O’Connell’s blond locks turned into a big, fuzzy mess.

Later in the show, the models were styled in couture gowns and unusual accessories (in other words, pieces that would Lady Gaga’s eyes light up) by stylist royalty, Lori Goldstein. They did group shots that had an “Alice in Wonderland” quality for photographer Pamela Hansen.

Of course, the group work led to more meltdowns.

In the end, red haired, freckle-faced Dominique Waldrup from Houston was dismissed for not finding inspiration. (She’s the first Texas model to be sent home.) And androgynous model Longoria was given another chance to become … “America’s Next Top Model.”

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March 9, 2011

Topman to set up SXSW shop at Stag; By George to have men's pop-up store on South Congress

Updated 6:11 p.m. March 9: Second Street retailer Estilo will have a men’s trunk show from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12. There will be selections from Kasil Denim, Shirt by Shirt and Jet Lag.

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It’s going to be a man’s (shopping) world on Congress Avenue during South by Southwest.

Topman, the men’s counterpart of British retailer Topshop, will be a part of a shopping night on March 16 at Austin men’s store Stag on South Congress Avenue.

According to an e-mail, the Topman event at Stag (1423 S. Congress Ave., 512-373-7824) will include Topman selections, cocktails and dj sets by Ian Orth and Veronica Falls.

The sartorial men’s event will go from 6 to 9 p.m. Topman is known for its men’s suits and rock-influenced casual selections as well as shoes and accessories.

Topshop Topman has locations in New York, London and other cities worldwide. It doesn’t have a store in Austin, but a flagship store will open later this year in Chicago.

And let’s not forget about this week’s men’s shopping opportunities: Matthew Culmo, co-owner of Austin retailer By George (524 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5951; 1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-441-8600), shared some store news with me this week via an e-mail sent from Paris Fashion Week.

Starting this week, By George, which sells garments by Lanvin, Current/Elliott, Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga and others, is having a pop-up men’s store at its SoCo location. The full men’s store is at By George’s flagship North Lamar store.

Selections at the pop-up shop include NSF, Steven Alan, Rag & Bone and Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The store also will sell a SXSW-inspired tote bag.

And from noon to 5 p.m. March 11 and 12, there will be a Robert Graham trunk show at Keepers (515 Congress Ave. 512-473-2512) Also, there will be cocktails and hors d’oeurves. In the mix will be jewelry by Sikara & Co. and women’s spring garments by Austin designer Linda Asaf.

Just off Congress Avenue, Second Street retailer Estilo (234 W. Second St. 512-236-0488) will have a men’s trunk show from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12. There will be selections from Kasil Denim, Shirt by Shirt and Jet Lag.

Photo: AP

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March 7, 2011

Nordstrom Rack store to open Thursday with shopping spree event

Updated 6 p.m. March 7: Doors to the new Nordstrom Rack store will open at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 10, for customers. Guests will be able to enter the drawing for the shopping spree starting at 7 a.m. that day.

Haven’t you felt South Austin and North Austin are becoming more alike on the food and fashion fronts? Here’s one more reason: The opening of the new Nordstrom Rack store (5601 Brodie Lane 512-697-2600) in Sunset Valley.

Beginning 7 a.m. Thursday, guests will have an opportunity to enter a drawing to win a 90-second, $2,000 Race through the Rack shopping spree.

The 34,000-square-foot store sells discounted premium men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and shoes from labels such as BCBGMaxAzria, Converse, Geox, Jessica Simpson, Joseph Abboud, Paige Premium Denim, Splendid, Steve Madden, Tahari and Vans.

The first Nordstrom Rack store opened to much fanfare at Gateway Shopping Center in North Austin in 2009. There’s an existing Nordstrom department store at Barton Creek Square.

Upcoming events at the Barton Creek store include a personal appearance by shoe and accessories designer Donald J. Pliner on March 16 and a bra-fitting event on March 18 (For every bra purchased, $2 will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

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March 3, 2011

Courtney Love settles lawsuit with Austin designer for $430,000

Grunge queen Courtney Love has settled a lawsuit brought against her by Austin fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir.

In an e-mail, Simorangkir, 47, referred questions to her attorney, Jesse Kaplan, who confirmed details of the settlement first reported on the Hollywood Reporter’s website on Thursday.

According Kaplan, the settlement was for about $430,000, with the first payment due this week and the remaining ones spread out over the next few years.

“I think $430,000 is a little more than bragging rights,” Kaplan said. “For whatever reason, things escalated to what they did, and Courtney said what she said.”

Simorangkir is known in Austin by her married name, Dawn Younger-Smith. Simorangkir, who created the Boudoir Queen line, claimed her business was damaged and she was defamed by a series of tweets Love posted about her on Twitter as well posts allegedly written by Love on MySpace and on Simorangkir’s storefront on Etsy.com.

Citing unnamed sources, the Hollywood Reporter said a formal announcement about the settlement would be made next week.

On Thursday, Kaplan said, “I’m sure there will be some sort of public announcement.”

In a Thursday blog entry on her website, Simorangkir, who lives in South Austin, wrote, “I want to thank all my friends and family for being there for me during the past 2 years. I want to thank the customers who stood by me. I especially want to thank my amazing legal staff. Many Many thanks.”

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Official SXSW swag bag gets a green makeover ... Sort of.

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Turns out the death of the official South by Southwest conference bag was a bit premature.

Contrary to online reports, the official SXSW bag, which was filled with swag such as condoms, CDs, magazines and fliers, isn’t going away. However, the conference bag will be slimmed down for 2011 as part of a SXSW eco-friendly effort. That means less paper and plastic to haul around on your shoulder.

Months ago, it was announced that the traditional SXSW canvas conference bag would be replaced by a digital swag bag called SXswag. The digital bag would allow registered SXSW attendees to download music, services and software for free or at a reduced rate. The move would scale back on the amount of paper and plastic products such as magazines, restaurant menus and CDs given to attendees.

For 2011, there will be three available canvas bags, which could be used for swag or other goodies from the trade show, said Elizabeth Derczo, publicist for SXSW.

The music bag, which was designed by Yoko Ono, will contain a program directory, Austin Chronicle, music party pocket guide, music fest pocket guide and Flatstock guide.

Art for the film bag was created by Rob Jones, a frequent collaborator of Jack White, while Molly Crabapple designed the art of the interactive bag.

Photo: File 2009 Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 16: Weekly recap

I’ve been completely surprised by “America’s Next Top Model.” And yes, I realize we’re only two episodes into the show’s 16th cycle.

Wednesday’s episode delved a bit deeper into the psyche of the models. First, host Tyra Banks and her nutritionist Heather Bauer taught the models about making solid and healthy food choices.

Then the models were whisked away to a theater where they did an acting exercise to deal with their inner demons. You know, that inner voices that tells most people they’re no good at something.

This totally doesn’t sounds like a show about models, does it? The exercise, which was led by Eugene Buica, brought up emotional issues for many of the models, including Ondrei Aroe, who revealed earlier in the episode that she had lost two of her brothers, one of them weeks before the show began filming.

Belton resident Jaclyn Poole tackled the inner voice that told her she has a baby face and her voice is too high pitched. Sitting on my couch, I felt suddenly compelled to do the exercise. (Yes, I’m very serious.)

All of this soul searching, though, wasn’t enough to prepare some of the models for their next big challenge: A beauty shoot involving jewelry covered in live bees.

The best part of the episode was the first half. What I did like is that the episode wasn’t about the challenge. It almost seemed tacked on.

At the start of judging, which involved guest judge Alek Wek, Aroe quit the show, saying she wanted to deal with the emotions she was feeling about her late brothers. Her leaving didn’t change matters for the other models. Someone still had to go. In the bottom two were Dalya Morrow, whose eyes didn’t photograph well, and Nicole Lucas, who was told she looked older than her age two weeks in a row.

Looking old when you’re a teenager or early 20-something is a big no. And that’s why Lucas got the boot. So far, the Texans are sticking around. (FYI: To clear up any confusion, Hannah Jones, the St. Edward’s University student, is being credited as being from her hometown Houston. She lives in Austin for school.)

Even with the drama finished for a week, I still felt unsatisfied. At the end of the night, I wanted to tackle my own inner voice.

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SXSW officials announce Style X fashion and technology panel

Want to find out what happens when technology and fashion meet?

Drop by the South by Southwest panel during its Style X event at the Austin Convention Center. At 3:45 p.m. March 19, there will be a discussion about the growing link between fashion and technology with executives from technology companies.

SXSW officials announced the panel discussion today. Style X (pronounced “Style By”) was created by Austinites Joah Spearman and Jon Pattillo.

Panel members will include representatives from Square, Go Try It On, GroupFlier and Lyst. Also, Syuzi Pakhchyan, author of “Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting,” will make an appearance.

Style X is free and open to the public from 3 to 9 p.m. on March 18, and noon to 9 p.m. on March 19. Exhibiting designers will be selling their lines on-site and Square, a San Francisco-based startup company, will serve as the official payment processor for Style X.

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March 1, 2011

Austin designers Rene Geneva, Linda Asaf to open shop with party

Updated 4:35 p.m. March 10. Correction: At the party, Geneva will show looks inspired by Austria, not Austin as previously stated.

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Eco-friendly Austin designer Rene Geneva has opened a shop with Austin designer Linda Asaf. Now, the design duo wants you to dress up in your favorite frock and drop by their dress party on Wednesday.

Asaf and Geneva will have a party and sample sale at 1405 W. Sixth St. from 6 to 9 p.m. March 2. There will be music from from DJ Manny as well as food, cocktails and models. At the party, Geneva will show looks inspired by Austria. Selections use fabrics such as silk mixed with woven hemps.

This is the first storefront venture for Geneva, who has sold her work through her website. She has joined Asaf, who already has an existing shop in the West Sixth Street space.

Last October, Geneva’s Spring 2011 collection had its runway debut at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria.

Asaf, who specializes in bridal and ready-to-wear garments, will show selections from her spring line of contemporary neutrals and colorful ombre chiffons, according to an e-mail about the event. As for the sale, dress prices will start at $40.

Photo courtesy of Rene Geneva

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February 28, 2011

Which stars looked amazing on Oscar night?

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Style is everything in Hollywood, especially on Oscar night.

Red ruled the red carpet as did minimal jewelry and makeup for the 83rd annual Academy Awards ceremony. Some of my favorites included Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman and Hilary Swank.

Check out my picks for the most intriguing looks of the night here.

And don’t forget about our photo gallery of red carpet looks.

Which stars do you think looked amazing during the Academy Awards ceremony?

Photo: AP/Matt Sayles

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February 25, 2011

Vogue's Anne Vincent to offer style tips at new Loft at Barton Creek Square Saturday

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Sure, fashionista, you could spend Saturday watching the documentary “The September Issue” for the umpteenth time.

Or you could meet one of Vogue’s many players in person. Vogue style expert Anne Vincent will visit the new Loft women’s store at Barton Creek Square (2901 S. Capitol of Texas Highway, 512-732-2830) for a one-day event on Saturday. She’ll give style tips and advice live from 1 to 3 p.m.

There will be champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a DJ set. The Loft event goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Shoppers will get 20 percent off full-price selections, and you’ll receive a gift from Vogue with a purchase of $100 or more. (And nope, that gift probably won’t be Anna Wintour’s sunglasses.)

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February 24, 2011

American Apparel and others join South by Southwest's Style X event

Despite its financial woes, racy fashion brand American Apparel will continue to have a presence during South by Southwest. It has signed on to be a part of Style X, SXSW’s new fashion venture, SXSW officials announced today.

American Apparel, the Los Angeles-based clothing company, has had its annual outdoors flea market of discounted goods during SXSW for years.

This year the flea market will move inside the Austin Convention Center for Style X (pronounced “Style By”), an event that will be a showcase for emerging fashion talent and some established fashion brands including Keds. The two-day event will be March 18 and 19.

Other brands to have a presence at Style X include New York-based women’s eyewear company Lumete, Atlanta-based streetwear line Fresh.i.am, Austin-based Sanctuary Printshop, women’s line Toxophilite, and Tortoise and Blonde, a new New Jersey-based eyewear company.

Also in the mix will be:

TIGI Haircare will be the official haircare provider for the Style X runway shows on March 18 and 19, according to the SXSW media release. The runway shows will include a showing of accessories, streetwear, and men’s and women’s wear. Musicians will star as runway models.

Frank’s Chop Shop, a popular full-service barbershop in New York, will provide a gifting suite for musicians. Also, there will be an opportunity for music acts to get old-fashioned straight razor shaves.

Go Try It On, the New York-based techology startup, was announced as Style X’s official casting call partner. It will have a website for musicians to submit photos and give them an opportunity to win a spot as a model for the runway shows. Details are available here.

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February 23, 2011

Texans still in it to win it on 'America's Next Top Model'

Finally, someone in reality TV did it right. Cycle 16 of long-running reality show “America’s Next Top Model,” starring model Tyra Banks, started off Wednesday by cutting out most of the drama, high anxiety and sobbing of a drawn-out preliminary round and jumped right into the nitty-gritty catwalk action. After all, a show like this one, “Project Runway,” “What Not to Wear” and “Survivor” are getting a bit long in the tooth, and anything to keep me glued to the tube is really, well, a miracle.

Jaclyn Poole, the brunette babyfaced waitress and student from Belton with her Texas twang, and Hannah Jones, the blond Houstonite-turned-Austinite by way of St. Edward’s University, were tossed into the finalist mix of models. (Thankfully the show’s high drama wasn’t too overwhelming. We didn’t get the annoying attitude from the contestants that generally causes me to get anxious and turn the channel. Well, not yet anyway. My plan this time is to switch to whatever is on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network if the drama is too much or press fast-forward on the DVR.)

Turns out Banks decided to trick the actual 14 contestant hopefuls by convincing them — well, having Mr. J (Jay Manuel) and Miss J (J. Alexander) fib to them — that they were going home. Those are the breaks in modeling. Little did the contestants know that in reality TV nothing is necessarily a reality. Curtains wore were pulled, and the women found themselves standing in their downtown Los Angeles apartment. Of course, there were tears. Now that’s reality for you.

The big challenge of the week was brought to the group by Mr. Jay and model and designer Erin Wasson. The contestants, who had to wear T by Alexander Wang and Wasson’s jewelry, had to walk along a narrow runway in a swimming pool inside a plastic bubble without falling into the water. (Perfect for reality TV because, yes, there were a couple of falls.)

Texan Poole said she worried about getting stuck in the plastic bubble. (Bless her heart.)

Before the catwalk action, the models were photographed for a behind-the-scene photo shoot by fashion photographer Russell James.

When it got down to judging, Nigel Barker, Andre Leon Talley, Banks and Wasson decided who made the cut. In the bottom two were Angelia Alvarez and Dominique Waldrup.

I loved when Wasson said Poole was a like a glass of sweet tea. (Bless her heart.)

In the end, Waldrup, the freckle-faced Houstonite, joined the 12 contestants, one of whom will become America’s Next Top Model. We’ll see what drama unfolds next week.

Now, what did you think of Wednesday’s cycle 16 premiere? And who’s your pick for the cycle’s winner?

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Capital City Shopping ... with Nils Juul-Hansen

The first thing you must know is this: Austinite Nils Juul-Hansen loves clothes and shoes. Check out the complete shopping story here. (It’s also in print in Thursday’s Life & Style section.) Here are some photos from our time shopping in South Austin.

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Before shopping at Laced with Romance, there was a detour at Once Over Coffee (2009 S. First St. 512-326-9575). Juul- Hansen wanted a quick jolt: a European cappuccino called a Rumpel, which was served in a tiny cup.”Give me a little bit of something good,” he said. “You want to a little bit of hunger left.”

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We slipped into a busy Bouldin Creek Cafe (1900 S. First St. 416-1601). Juul- Hansen wanted to indulge his sweet tooth. At dinner at Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse, he recently discovered Carrie’s Cacao vegan, fair-trade gourmet chocolates. Each of the decedent chocolates includes a message. Tucked at the wrapper’s bottom were the words ‘I love you.’ “It’s just one of the details that adds value to my life,” he said.

But then there was shopping to do. So off we went to Laced with Romance (1601 S. First St.). Laced With Romance, which opened a few months ago, is a trove of fashion, shoes, jewelry and other sartorial pieces for men and women. Stephanie Villalobos-Fellabaum started the shop, and Juul-Hansen has been there enough that she knows him by name.

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Juul-Hansen found a long S. Howard Hirsh printed Southwestern, hooded cape in the mix of goods. “You just want to see the woman walking in this,” he said. “Who is she?”

We could wonder, but we had to do some shopping.

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Then it happened.

During a final circle of the store, he struck fashion gold: a pair of Army-green, vintage Woolrich knickerbockers.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “These are done. I have to have these. That’s unusual. I’ve been looking for something exactly like this.”

He tried them on. They were the right size but didn’t have a lining. He didn’t mind.

“I’m one of those people who can wear wool,” he said. “It lets you know it’s on you.”

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February 22, 2011

Two Central Texans to appear on 'America's Next Top Model'

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When it comes to winning “America’s Next Top Model,” it might be a Lone Star State repeat. Five of the 14 participants for the show’s 16th cycle are from Texas, including two contestants from Central Texas.

The new cycle begins at 7 p.m. CST Wednesday on the CW.

There’s 20-year-old Hannah Jones, a St. Edward’s University sophomore majoring in photocommunications.

Her biggest fear about being on the show? “That I might come across as a ditz,” she said in her show biography. Jones’ hometown is Houston, and she said her favorite designer is John Galliano.

Jaclyn Poole, a 20-year-old student and waitress, comes from Belton near Temple.

Biggest fear? “Having to do any sort of modeling with a shark,” she said in her bio.

The winning model will get prizes including a photo spread in Vogue Italia and contracts with IMG Models and CoverGirl.

Ann Ward of Dallas won cycle 15 of “America’s Next Top Model.” There was a model search for the new cycle in Austin last year. Tyra Banks is the show’s host, and Vogue magazine’s Andre Leon Talley is a judge.

Photo courtesy of Troy Jensen/Pottle Productions

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February 18, 2011

Salado couple to say 'Move that bus' on Sunday's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'

A Central Texas couple will shout “Move that bus” when ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The story of Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler and wife Jessica Hansen of Salado will be the focus of the episode. The couple was engaged when Zeigler returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. Zeigler was shot four times, including one time in his head, during the shooting at Fort Hood in 2009. As a result, the couple’s wedding was postponed.

During the episode, the couple not only gets their dream home but also a surprise wedding. Austin-based event planning firm Caplan Miller Events had 10 days to plan the wedding, according to Courtney Caplan, founder of Caplan Miller. The firm assembled a team, including Austin hairstylist Martha Lynn Barnes, Filo Production Services, Serendipity Bridal, Barton Strings and others, for the actual wedding.

“It continues to amaze me how willing Austin businesses are to step up when called upon to help for a good cause,” Caplan said in a media release.

Also during the show, look for home furnishings by Diane Koenig, owner of Curtain Call in Leander. She created drapes and pillow and duvet covers for the Salado home

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February 17, 2011

'Trading Spaces' personality Christi Proctor to visit Kreiss Austin Feb. 19

“Trading Spaces” personality and Baylor University graduate Christi Proctor will visit Kreiss Austin (1214 W. Sixth St. 512-476-2121) for its Designer Days series.

The networking and informational event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. A light luncheon will be served from noon to 2 p.m.

Proctor represent her line Moon Rein, a Texas-made collection of upscale bedding and pillows. Also in the mix will be presentations from the Charles Stewart Co. and Dian Malouf jewelry.

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February 16, 2011

Want to make your own body care products? Take a class with Hugo Naturals founders.

Here’s a video preview of my print column, which will run in Thursday’s Life & Style section. (You web savvy folks can find it online soon.)

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I learned how to make my own body care products: Mango Body Butter and Brown Sugar and Kumquat Body Polish.

How so? I attended a class at Whole Foods Culinary Center by Hugo and Debra Saavedra, founders of Chatsworth, Calif.,-based Hugo Naturals. (Yes, Hugo got me to taste the brown sugar scrub as he did with the woman in the video.)

At the downtown Whole Foods Market store, the couple taught curious Austinites and guests the ins and outs of the natural body care movement.

You can get my thoughts on the movement in my column, but for now, see if you can spot me in the video.

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February 3, 2011

Austin Fashion Week 2011 announced

This is just in. Here’s what we know about Austin Fashion Week 2011, which is scheduled for Aug. 20-27 in various parts of A-Town.

More than 150 events are planned, according to Austin Fashion Week’s website, and there are some changes and new events from previous years. We’ll gather more details later. Austin Fashion Week was founded in 2009 by Austinite Matt Swinney.

For now, here’s a look at the upcoming Austin Fashion Week:

Saturday, Aug. 20: Austin Fashion Week Kickoff Venue & Time TBA

Sunday, Aug. 21 through Friday, August 26: Austin Fashion Week showcase events

Designers will be paired with local retail and salon locations. According to the website: “The best of the best of Texas-based designers will be selected to showcase their work throughout the city in gorgeous retail and salon spaces.”

Fashion Week will have a daily focus by neighborhood:

Sunday, Aug. 21-26: Austin Fashion Week runway presentations

A runway on the mezzanine level will be constructed at the Driskill Hotel, and every night during Fashion Week there will be three different runway shows 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Austin Fashion Awards and after party

The annual awards show will move to ACL Live at the Moody Theater. An after party will be announced at a later date.

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January 20, 2011

W Hotels brand, Austin jewelry line Shaesby to debut collection at New York Fashion Week

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Here’s a look at the new Southwest-inspired jewelry line from Austinite Shaesby Scott. The line called SW by Shaesby will debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York in February as part of a showing by the W Hotels brand.

The new diffusion line of cuffs, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and other selections is part of the W’s exclusive Global Glam Collection, which is sold at designated W hotels. Pieces from the SW line are made from brass, turquoise, wood, guitar stings, resin and leather. (Sounds very Austin inspired.) The W’s fashion director Amanda Ross curates the Global Glam Collection.

According to the Shaesby’s website, “The line was designed in the Austin studio taking creative cues from the surrounding environment and culture.”

SW by Shaesby is expected to arrive in W Hotels by the summer. There’s an existing Global Glam Collection store online. In December, the W Austin Hotel & Residences opened at 200 Lavaca St.

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What to expect when Lady Gaga comes to Austin? New fashion show video might offer clues.

What would a new fashion season be without Lady Gaga whose new album, “Born This Way,” will debut in May? Here’s a hint at what fans might expect. The video is a remixed track from her new album.

The video was shown during the Thierry Mugler menswear show in Paris on Wednesday. The label’s new creative director Nicola Formichetti is Gaga’s personal stylist.

Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour will arrive at the Frank Erwin Center in April.

For more details on the video, here’s what the Los Angeles Times reported in a blog entry today:

According to stylelist.com, Lady Gaga cooked up this remix (this is the first time, it should be noted, that she’s ever released a song in remix form first) for the Mugler fashion show Wednesday in Paris. Mugler and the New York University alum are tight — creative director Nicola Formichetti is also Gaga’s personal stylist. Shot by fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco, the video focuses on Zombie Boy and is interspersed with scenes from the Mugler fashion show. A little Internet sleuthing (a.k.a. Google) tells us that Zombie Boy is model Rico Genest. Formichetti found him through his Facebook page — très moderne! Genest told a website called Bizarre that part of what inspired him to cover his entire body and face in tattoos was his childhood love for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Good enough for us!

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January 19, 2011

Video: Second Street spaces

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January 3, 2011

Got 3 minutes? Check out footage of Tom Ford's new women's collection.

Alas, a video has emerged of Austin-born designer Tom Ford’s secret women’s wear show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last fall. I found it on Elle’s website. Nope, it’s not a video taken on someone’s smartphone and smuggled out of the show. Turns out our look-see is a highly produced, fast-edited video of the show set to mellow music.

I’m surprised to see any video evidence considering Ford said in recent interviews that he wouldn’t release images of his work to the media or blogosphere, and only the eyes of magazine editors would be allow to gaze at his collections in advance of their delivery to stores.

Check out all of the frocks worn by Beyonce, Julianne Moore and others, and the star-studded crowd, including Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, and Ford’s partner, Richard Buckley.

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December 9, 2010

Style 411: News about Ralph Lauren, SoCo Block Party, Creatures, Moss and Ron King Salon

Who said Austin wasn’t a stylish capital city? For the holiday season, there are several holiday fashion events. Put on your favorite frocks. It’s time to shop.

Today: What time is it? Find out today at Ralph Lauren (11600 Century Oaks Terrace 512-490-0812) at the Domain starting at 6 p.m. Check out the watch collections from this luxury American designer for one night only. Fifteen percent of all sales will benefit the Long Center for the Performing Arts. There will be champagne and hors d’oeuvres served.

Today: From 5 to 9 p.m., drop by Y&I Clothing Boutique, Parts & Labour, Goodie Two Shoes, Wet Salon, Doc’s Motorworks and Storyville (1109-1123 S. Congress Ave.) for the SoCo Holiday Block Party.

You’ll get champagne & dessert plus 15 off merchandise at Y&I; wine and cheese plus 15 percent off merchandise at Storyville; gift wrapping for anything purchased at the block party (donations go to Austin Pets Alive) at Parts & Labour; tamales and Tecate plus 15 percent off merchandise at Goodie Two Shoes; and $2.50 Texas drafts at Doc’s with a receipt from one of the stores in the block party.

Today: Feathers Boutique Masha Harmeier and Emily Hoover are moving the vintage fashion scene forward. From 7 to 9 tonight, they will show off the designer goods at Moss Designer Consignment (705 S. Lamar Blvd.), the duo’s new fashion venture near Uchi.

Today: Stop by Creatures Boutique (1206 S. Congress Ave. 707-2500) for Rarefactions jewelry, cocktails from mixologist Lara Nixon and chair massages from Paul Russell.

This weekend: Hairdresser Ron King finally celebrates his new hair emporium, Ron King Salon at the Four Seasons Residences (315 Cesar Chavez St. 512-615-1500). You’ll get a weekend of New York style-meets-Austin.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, meet and greet Darius Baptist, celebrity stylist and fashion director of YRB Magazine. (Baptist has styled Kim Kardashian and Jason Derulo). Also, in the mix will be Daily Candy’s resident beauty guru Aja Mangum and Women’s Health senior fashionista Thea Palad. Click here to RSVP. You’ll get drinks and Cirque de Soleil-inspired dancers provided by Belvedere Vodka.

And if you need to get rid of those wrinkles for the season, Dr. Ted Lain of Steiner Ranch Dermatology is will offer private Botox treatments with 15 percent of proceeds being donated to the Ron King Foundation, which will award a cosmetology scholarship to one American YouthWorks teenager this weekend.

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December 6, 2010

Round Rock baby named one of 20 finalists in national Gap contest

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Wesley Barnett is one step closer to being a face for Gap.

The young Round Rock resident was named one of the 20 top finalists for a casting call contest for which there were more than 1 million entrants.

Not bad when you’re 9 months old.

According to a Gap media release, Wesley, son of local photographer Mary Barnett and her husband, Shane Barnett, is “a tiny dancer who loves to rock back and forth to ‘Wheels on the Bus.’ This all-American darling can be found rooting for his siblings at their sporting events and never leaves home without his trusty pacifier in one of his jeans’ pockets.”

Through Dec. 20, you can vote and decide which four children - that’s one girl and one boy for babyGap and one girl and one boy for GapKids - will have their faces shown in Gap stores nationwide and get a $1,000 Gap gift card. Cast one vote a day in each of the four categories here. Or you can download the free Gap Casting Call iPhone application.

Voter will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $1,000 Gap gift card.

This fall, parents were allow to uploaded photos of their babies and kids wearing their favorite denim looks on the Gap website. The winners will be announced in mid-January.

Last month, the 20 finalists and guests were flown to Gap’s photo studio in San Francisco for a photo shoot with Stefano Azario. Mary Barnett said she and her husband turned the trip into a family outing with Wesley’s siblings, Abigail, 11, and Clay, 10.

You can catch behind-the-scene footage from Gap here.

According to an entry of her blog, Mary Barnett wrote: “I submitted his photo on a whim one night NEVER expecting to be selected out of over 900,000 other children. You can imagine my surprise when I got a call letting us know that he was chosen as one of 5 “baby boys” and that we were flying to San Francisco for 5 days for a photo shoot!! We had an incredible time and got star treatment- what an experience! “

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December 2, 2010

After the season, what do you do with holiday photo cards?

I’m a holiday card novice. You can read more about my remedial card-sending skills here.

But this post is about another holiday issue. Most years I get a couple of photo holiday cards from friends, bosses and acquaintances with their children or sometimes it’s just a photo of the kids.

After the season is over, what am I supposed to do with these cards? Do I recycle them? Do I store them away? Is there an etiquette rule for how long you’re supposed to sit on these cards?

I’d much rather get a letter from a friend that sums up her family’s entire year with wit. And I always loved getting those cartoon-inspired cards from Hank Stuever, a former Statesman writer who penned the Christmas-inspired book “Tinsel.” (Stuever now covers TV and pop culture for The Washington Post.) These missives I’ve kept.

What I tend to do is leave those photo cards in a kitchen drawer. If I keep it up, I’ll be on an episode of “Hoarders.”

Recently, a co-worker suggested I should trash those cards. In my attempt to go real simple for the new year, I think she’s right.

So now I’ll ask you for advice: What do you do with photo holiday cards? … Come on. Be honest.

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December 1, 2010

Send us photos of you wearing your favorite holiday sweater

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In this season to be merry and bright, I have a true gripe. I despise holiday sweaters. I can’t stand them and I know I’ll see plenty as I drop by holiday parties and performances this month.

I’m not really sure what’s worse: a holiday sweater or a Bill Cosby sweater.

On second thought, I’ll take a Cos sweater over a holiday one any day. Seeing a holiday sweater covered in snowflakes or worse cutesy images of Santa Claus or polar bears wearing scarves makes my skin crawl and gives me the same weird feeling I get when I hear someone on TV say, “Make love to me.” Yuck.

Seriously, what’s the fastest way for any guy to lose major testosterone points? Wear a holiday sweater to work or out on the town. (However, the rules change if you’re attending an ugly holiday sweater party.)

If you want to show your holiday spirit, I say celebrate the season by wearing dazzling combinations of the season’s colors (red, green, silver, blue and gold). And to go all the way, add some festive sparkles and sequins. Skip those cheesy, schmaltzy, frumpy sweaters.

Want to try to change my mind about holiday sweaters? Send photos of you, loved ones or your co-workers wearing your best holiday sweaters for a photo gallery here.

Photo by David Weaver

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November 19, 2010

Austin inventor to appear on TLC's 'Homemade Millionaire"

Austin resident Tonya Engelbrecht will appear in talk-show host and actress Kelly Ripa’s new show, “Homemade Millionaire,” which begins airing at 9 tonight on TLC.

The show is a six-part series starring Ripa, who’s best known for “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and it will feature three female entrepreneurs who compete in New York to win a deal with the HSN cable channel. Each woman claims to have the next million-dollar invention.

Engelbrecht created the Magickurl, which, according to TLC’s media release, is “a self-adhering heated roller consisting of a standard hair roller with a special metal sleeve to conduct heat for quicker, better looking curls.”

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November 16, 2010

Austin-born designer Tom Ford returns to making clothes for women

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Luxury designer Tom Ford showed off his new women’s collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in September. His models included Beyonce, Lauren Hutton and Julianne Moore, who starred in Ford’s movie, “A Single Man.”

The showing sent bloggers and fashion writers scrambling, but no photos turned up in the blogosphere until now.

In a Vogue magazine exclusive story, check out what Ford - actually, he’d rather be called Mr. Ford these days- had to say about fashion, bloggers, style and what’s next for the 49-year-old designer, who once designed for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

Unfortunately, according to the story, which will run in the December issue, Ford’s new 1970s-inspired women’s collection isn’t for the Gucci girl he left behind. He told the writer: “At this point? She’d be too trendy.”

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

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November 12, 2010

Underwear lingerie shop to open new spot in W Austin

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And who said lingerie was going out of style?

Shops selling intimate apparel have been popping up in Austin in abundance in the past year. And here comes another spot to get your lingerie and loungewear, especially if you’re spending the night in A-Town.

This one is at the W Austin Hotel and Residences (200 Lavaca St. 512-542-3600), which is scheduled to open Dec. 9.

At the hotel’s Away Spa, Austin lingerie retailer Underwear will open a satellite store, which will sell swimwear, loungewear and intimates, according to a W Austin media release. (This writer took a tour of the hotel this morning.)

Underwear (916 W. 12th St. 512-478-1515) is owned by Elizabeth Tigar. The hotel’s spa also will have retail space for Cain & Able pet products and skin products from Malin + Goetz, Eminence Organics and G.M. Collin.

Tigar’s store sells Stella McCartney, Huit, The Lake & Stars, Myla and Kiki de Montparnasse and other lines.

For more information on spas and salons, click here.

Photo courtesy of Stella McCartney

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November 11, 2010

Catching up with fashion designer Steven Alan





In the hustle and bustle of last week, I was able to chat with designer Steven Alan, who’s clothes are sold at By George, Bows + Arrows and other spots. Alan was visiting By George’s North Lamar Boulevard store for a trunk show of his fall, holiday and spring selections.

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November 4, 2010

Designer Steven Alan, Odin New York to visit By George today

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Cocktails and designer fashion join forces as designer Steven Alan drops by By George (524 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5951) from 4 to 8 today for a trunk show of fall, holiday and spring goods for men and women.

Also, experience a new fragrance from Odin New York. Odin’s new fragrance, 04 Petrana, is a modern scent of wild orris root and green violet leaf absolute as well as herbaceous coriander, spicy pink pepper and deep purple cassis with touches of spice and pepper.

Whiskey and wine will be served to shoppers. The style trunk show continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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November 3, 2010

Nominate someone you know who deserves a makeover

Who couldn’t use some much-deserved pampering?

Avant Salon and Spa (various Austin locations) wants to hear about local people - perhaps it’s a single mom or dad, someone battling a health issue or a person who’s out of work - who deserves pampering.

Avant employees will select winners who will receive a one-day package of services including a facial, makeup application, hair styling and coloring expertise.

Nominations should be no more than 500 words and sent here with the words “makeover entry” in the subject line. Ten to 15 winners will be announced Nov. 22. Deadline to enter is Nov. 15. For information about salons and spas, click here.

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November 2, 2010

Austin designer offers a lingerie set a month

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Looking to spice up your undergarments? Lingerie designer Megan Summerville (606 E. Third St. 512-922-6843) has debuted a new collection called Signature Sets: Lovely, Luxurious. A new set (bras are $88 and various bottoms are $27; sizes small to extra-large) will be released each month for the next year.

This month’s bra selection comes in leopard-print cotton with fuchsia nylon lace with a black bow and dyed mother of pearl accent. A thong is made from the same fabric and has similar accents.

Ten percent of all proceeds from this month’s set will be donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas. Pieces are available in the store and online.

Photo courtesy of iMiko.

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October 28, 2010

Finding the perfect fit with your denim

I dropped by Sue Patrick on Burnet Road to meet with denim fit special Joseph Tassoni from FDJ French Dressing Jeans. The Toronto native also is a fashion designer.

Tassoni chatted with me about the struggles some women have finding the perfect size in jeans, and he also talked about the hot color for denim for next spring and offered a number of tips for your next denim purchase.

Through the end of this month, a donation to a breast cancer resource group will be made for people who try on a pair of jeans from the line, which is available at Sue Patrick and other retailers.

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October 26, 2010

Update: H&M to open first Texas store in ... Dallas

Updated 12:36 p.m. Oct. 27:

In a statement, H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said: “At this time, we do not have plans for an Austin store, but look forward to continued expansion in the Texas market as a part of H&M’s focus on providing fashion-forward style to customers in new markets. Austin is a very important retail market, and we hope to be there in the future; however right now we are excited about opening our first Texas location at NorthPark Center in Dallas in 2011.”

So after many years of speculation and frustration for select fashionistas, Swedish retailer H&M finally has announced it will open its first Texas store at NorthPark Center in Dallas during the second half of 2011.

The new space will be 24,000 square feet, according to a media release e-mailed on Tuesday.

There are about 200 H&M stores in the U.S. and about 2,000 stores in 37 countries worldwide.

Now, the big question remains: When will Austin finally get an H&M store?

After all, it took a couple of years for A-Town to get a Zara store. Zara, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, operated stores in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio before opening a location in Austin at the Domain in 2009.

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October 20, 2010

Candlelight Ranch to celebrate fashion, raise money for cause tonight at Saks

The event list for tonight is long and lengthy. If you want to mix fashion and charity, here’s a stylish option so you can wear your favorite Prada heels.

Candlelight Ranch will have its second annual Dress By Candlelight style event at Saks Fifth Avenue (9722 Great Hills Trail (512) 231-3700) from 7 to 10 tonight (Oct. 20). Tickets are $50 at the door.

You’ll get fall designer fashion from Saks mixed with music by DJ Chicken George and cocktails by Grey Goose. Also, there will be a live auction with items such as getaways, luxury goods and celebrity dinners.

Candlelight Ranch is a non-profit organization that provides outdoor educational, recreational and therapeutic programs and events for children with special needs.

Here’s a hint about tonight’s event: A certain fashion writer will walk the runway.

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October 18, 2010

Atlanta man who sold his house for charity to visit Austin today

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So are you stuck and trying to figure out how to give back to your community?

Take a lesson from the Salwen family of Atlanta.

Dad Kevin and daughter Hannah co-wrote the recent book “The Power of Half,” which tells the story of how the family, at the suggestion of Hannah, completely downsized their life. And here’s the kicker: They sold their million-dollar home and donated half the money to the Hunger Project to help farmers and families in Africa.

“I think people are looking for ways to be more selfless,” Kevin told me last week prior to his first visit to Austin today. “I think they recognize that it’s positive for them and they just don’t know how. It’s touching people in ways that we never anticipated it would be. We started this as our little family project. All of a sudden we look up, and people are paying attention. It gives a opportunity to have a conversation with people about their lives and where they can go.”

Kevin will speak as part of Impact Austin’s annual speakers series. The talk starts at 7 tonight (Oct. 18) at Congregation Agudas Achim. Tickets are $25 and include a copy of the book. He will return to Austin next month for the Austin Jewish Book Fair, where he’ll be a luncheon speaker on Nov. 18.

“We do believe that everybody has enough of something in their lives whether it’s time or talent or treasure,” Kevin, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor, told me last week on the phone. “It can be the number of hours you spend surfing the Web and want to cut that time in half and use those free hours to visit a nursing home or visit a camp for kids with cancer.”

Here are a few of Kevin’s suggestions - ones thought up by his family and others people are doing in the world:

Kevin said his family doesn’t believe that people should sell their homes and give the money away. However, he said we can make little changes in our lives to give back.

“We have lost some friends over this,” he said. “People who thought we’re flat out too weird. Or people who only liked us when we were accumulating things. There were some people who felt quiet uncomfortable with the types of decisions we were making.”

For a time, there was even doubt and questioning in their extended family with their paternal and maternal grandmothers wondering what the Salwens were up to.

“Both our mothers were shocked by our decision,” said Kevin about his mother and his wife Joan’s. “Joan’s mother called us said, ‘What are you doing? This is your kids’ home. This is not a game. My mother was equally shocked for the same reason. We talked them through the rational. They started to come around.”

Ultimately, changing the focus of the family and giving back has provided deeper relationships for Kevin, his wife and children, Joseph, 16, and Hannah, 18.

“We can always have a conversation about the issues of the world,” he said. “We know so much more about each other and we’re so honest with each other we can have these conversations at a depth we never had before.

“I think I wake up in the morning thinking there’s opportunity to do some good,” he said. “It’s funny. It took a then 14-year-old girl to kick us to that point. I love the fact that we are on a path.”

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Photos courtesy of the Salwen family (top) and Allison Shirreffs

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October 10, 2010

2010 Fashion Festies Award winners from ACL Fest

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Sure, the major musical acts known for their combination of fashion savvy and singing prowess weren’t out in high number at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. We did get Gogol Bordello, Muse and M.I.A., but no Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lady Gaga or Erykah Badu.

The lack of style show stoppers didn’t stop music fans in Zilker Park from turning on the fashion heat. (Unfortunately, I was out for the count for much of ACL because of a nasty sinus infection, but I did manage some time in the park taking a few photos for this year’s Fashion Festie Awards.)

This year casual wear beat out costumey looks, and of course, last year’s top style items, rain boots and ponchos, were forgotten among the masses.

This year’s major ACL Fest trends included rompers, sequins for day, plaid shirts, pork pie hats, bikini tops, boots of every style, fringe handbags and oversized sunglasses.

And it appeared guys collectively decided to show off their months spent at the gym, adding an element of “Jersey Shore” style to ACL.

With warm fall temperatures, numerous male fest-goers were spotted immediately removing their shirts upon entering the festival grounds. And you guessed it: Not everyone had abs chiseled like “Jersey Shore’s” Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

Pecs and six-pack abdominals aside, we present you some of this year’s winners of our annual Fashion Festie Awards from the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

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September 29, 2010

H&M coming to Austin? Well, only on TV.

Don’t you hate it when you see a fashion commercial on TV and fall in love with the outfit or accessory that’s being advertised, and then you realize it’s a commercial for Hennes & Mauritz AB, commonly called H&M?

As most Austinites know, there’s no H&M in the city.

I’ve been seeing these H&M commercials often this season as I’ve watched some of my favorite shows. As you know, the world’s third largest fashion retailer has completely bypassed this country’s second largest state.

So if you want to own the collection from Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz, which will be launched in November, then you must do some traveling because there isn’t an H&M to be found in the Lone Star State.

By car, some of the closest H&M stores to Austin are in Atlanta, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix, and Tucson, Ariz. The closest store to Texas in general is at the Tucson Mall in Arizona. The company’s new stores to open are in Ventura, Calif., and Freehold, N.J.

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All of the style that was Tribeza Style Week

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It’s almost hard to believe that Tribeza, the Austin lifestyle magazine that’s always filled with gorgeous photography and clean layouts, could translate its version of Austin’s style scene with such ease.

For its seventh style week, no stone was left unturned, and based on this effort, there should be no confusion about Tribeza Style Week and Austin Fashion Week. They are two distinct creatures with the same goal: To celebrate Austin’s fashion offerings.

The start of Style Week began with a festive gathering at By George on North Lamar Boulevard that mixed models, fashionistas, pretty people, cocktails and food, including oysters with caviar and prime rib sliders.

Also, there was a first for Style Week with the midweek men’s fashion show at ND at 501 Studios, which offered a rare showing of fall looks by newcomer Stag as well as Service Menswear, which hasn’t participated in a fashion show in years, and Estilo, which also celebrated its fifth anniversary the next night with dazzling cocktail party including a dj, drummers, style vignettes and a layered cake covered with the store’s logo.

During the show, we saw cardigans, layered outfits, military influences, work wear, European-cut suits, denim and other trends of the moment.

By week’s end, the celebration of style included a panel discussion for high-school and college students about the fashion industry, where I met a young woman who might become the next Tavi Gevinson, the young fashion blogger who started her blog at age 11 a couple of years ago. And then the week’s actual closer: a special supper club at newbie Uchiko.

Anyone who has attended Style Week before knows the major event is the main fashion show, this time at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. And it’s hard to believe the magazine would be able to outdo last year’s showcase at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. It was the right people at the right time at the right place. But somehow this year’s event did by using the museum’s three levels, two for parties and the ground level for the show.

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That show as well as the men’s show was produced by Caplan Miller Events. Event producer Erika Stojeba, who worked for John Varvatos and Giorgio Armani Prive, helped create the shows.

Usually, my biggest complaint about the main fashion show has been that the boutiques typically repeat each other with the same looks and themes. This time, that wasn’t the case. On the long elevated white runway, we saw all of the significant trends I’ve told you about in my column and stories: dashes of military, sequins, evening wear as daytime looks and others.

However, a trained eye could tell the distinct tastes of the owners and buyers for the boutiques and stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, C. Jane, Valentine’s Too, the Garden Room, Adelante Boutique, Julian Gold and Estilo, which all showed a series of looks. The more established boutiques and stores had the strongest looks on the runway, and this time menswear was sprinkled into the show with looks from Saks, Service Menswear and Estilo, which closed the runway affair.

One of the show’s misstep was the casting of a model who looked as if she hadn’t eaten in months. From my spot on the front row, I could hear people around me gasp as the dark-haired model walked the runway wearing lingerie from Underwear. Otherwise, the runway action was professional, and the models kept up with the pace. A few more models could have been added to the mix just so we could have seen fresh faces.

And in the days since the show, I’ve heard from attendees who felt the show should have ended with a major splash.

All of this aside, it’s hard to believe what Tribeza will do for its eighth Style Week next year. It will be a challenge topping this Style Week, which emphasized that luxury and adventure are back. Then again, I seem to wonder this with each passing year.

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Photos courtesy of John Pesina for Tribeza

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September 24, 2010

Tribeza Style Week: Rock + Runway Show

It’s hours before Tribeza Style Week’s big fashion show at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Here’s a look at the week’s first Men’s Rock + Runway Show at ND at 501 Studios earlier in the week.

The audience saw men’s looks from Estilo, Service Menswear and Stag and got a photo booth by Birds Barbershop, Scotch tasting, beard and moustache trims, food from Frank and Takoba, complimentary cocktails and beer and music from Shapes Have Fangs.

Click here for photos from the event.

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September 22, 2010

Tribeza Style Week welcomes a fresh fashion season for men and women

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Sometimes you want a refreshing moment that takes you away from your reality and plants you into a more fashionable experience. Each September, that’s what Austin lifestyle magazine Tribeza attempts to do with its annual Style Week.

Certainly after six other Style Weeks, the brand could have gotten stale or gone astray after the recent changes in the magazine’s leadership, including the recent departure of its longtime art director.

Last night, the week’s initial party, which was at By George, was no exception to Tribeza’s high standard that others should follow.

Among the displays of Lanvin, Givenchy, Balenciaga and John Varvatos, the champagne was flowing. The music was popping, and models from Wilhelmina Brown were working the space in fall clothes. The oysters with caviar were on ice. The prime rib sliders from Ruth’s Chris Steak House were gobbled up often without the buttery bun. (Remember, a fashionista has a fall wardrobe to fit into.)

Speaking of fashionistas, they were joined by fashion industry types, artists, stylish gay and straight guys, shoppers, socialites and people who want to be scene.

So for a few hours on a wet Tuesday night, guests were able to forget the troubles of the day and get happy in style. But it all leaves me wondering what the rest of the week will bring us?

Here are the details for the week, including information about the magazine’s first Style Week fashion show dedicated to menswear.

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August 29, 2010

Designer Carolina Herrera donates $10,000 gown to Ballet Austin's Fete10 auction

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We can report this, fashionistas: Here’s a black and silver embroidered lace strapless evening gown from the pre-fall 2010 collection from designer Carolina Herrera.

And guess what? The gown, which is valued at $10,000, can be yours.

The gown will be part of the auction at the Austin Ballet’s Fete10 presented by the W Hotel on Sept. 10, the same day as the national Fashion’s Night Out.

The event will include a gala dinner, tribute performance and dance party as well as a formal runway presentation of Herrera’s collection presented by Neiman Marcus.

The event will be at the Seaholm Power Plant (214 West Ave.) and Ballet Austin (501 W. Third St.).

Tickets are $125 and $250. If you buy your ticket before Aug. 31, you get a chance for a weekend stay at the W Austin hotel, which is scheduled to open in December.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera

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August 27, 2010

UPDATED: Employees of St. Thomas at the Domain locked out by mall management

UPDATE 11:08 Aug. 31: According to a Domain spokeswoman, St. Thomas has reopened.

Employees of St. Thomas at the Domain, a longtime Austin women’s apparel store, have been locked out of the store of designer evening gowns, dresses and accessories, according to several e-mail messages sent to the store’s newsletter subscribers this week.

The e-mail also states St. Thomas is two months behind on its rent at the North Austin shopping center, which is run by Simon Property Group. Owner Tomas Estebes de Silva, whose e-mail address was mentioned in the e-mails, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment, and the store’s voicemail was full on Friday.

Mary Spaulding, general manager of the Domain, said in a statement on Friday, “St. Thomas has been a good tenant at the Domain since our grand opening in 2007, and we regret that they have closed. We are working closely with the store and hope for a positive resolution. Additionally, we are trying to work with St. Thomas management to meet individual customer needs.”

The boutique has raised half of its $67,000 rent goal, the e-mail message states. The e-mail also asks readers and shoppers to write e-mails to Simon to allow the boutique’s management to open the store on Monday and Tuesday so it can sell merchandise to pay the remaining debt before a Sept. 1 deadline.

Another e-mail asked readers and clients to donate money to help cover the store’s rent.

“We are very grateful for the clients who have already reached out to us in order to help us raise the first half of our goal of $67,000,” the e-mail read. “It really means a lot that they believe in our business so strongly. Our deadline of Wednesday, Sept 1st, and if we are able to re-open our store. … We will give you a gift certificate worth double what you gave us! Any amount will be greatly appreciated. If we are unable to negotiate with Simon Property Management, your funds will be returned to you in full.”

Last year, St. Thomas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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August 23, 2010

A chat with 'America's Next Top Model' winner Krista White

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A day before the end of Austin Fashion Week, I ventured to the Long Center for the Performing Arts and met the stunning “America’s Next Top Model” winner Krista White.

White was a welcomed last-minute addition to the lively Austin Fashion Awards show, and on Friday she was busy rehearsing during her first visit to Austin.

If you missed the show, White, 25, modeled for Betsey Johnson and her old friend, designer Sergio Guadarrama, a Cedar Park native who designs the Celestino collection. White, wearing a stunning single-shoulder, short red dress with a 20-foot train, closed Celestino’s show of 1960s-Barbra-Streisand-meets-Jackie-Kennedy garments.

Having attended a few other Celestino shows in the past, I will admit this showcase was a magnificent collection of tailored women’s dresses and gowns. The elegance of the handful of pieces we saw clearly stated that luxury is back.

Back to White, I had to make a confession. Turns out I had stopped watching Tyra Banks’ modeling competition show years ago.

I returned to it this last cycle because the addition of Vogue’s contributing editor Andre Leon Talley, who’s now a judge. However, like many series on my DVR, I haven’t watched the entire season yet.

Now I know who won. White said other Austinites told her a similar story during her visit here.

White, who says she’s blunt and speaks her mind as she did on TV, is sweet, warm and almost bubbly. She’s the type of woman you’d want to go shopping and

“I was myself the whole time,” she said.

White loves being in front of the camera as you can see in these images below. And I agree with Banks’ thoughts, White’s features are similar to the first black super model, Naomi Sims.

So what was her biggest challenge on the show? White, who still keeps in touch with a few of her other cast members, said trying to find the balance in what the judges were telling her to do and what the show’s mentor and photo shoot director, Jay Manuel, wanted during the photo shoots.

“I’ve always wanted to be a model,” White said sitting in a conference room in the cavernous Long Center. Her stylist and a representative for the local CW affiliate were in the room with us.

In the months since she was named America’s Next Top Model, she has noticed one thing: “Your life is not your own anymore,” said White, who grew up in Arkansas. “I just can’t go out in the mall anymore.”

Now living in Las Vegas, she has a busy schedule of photo shoots and travel. Recently, she travel to Italy for work.

“I feel like I live out of my luggage,” said White, who is represented by Wilhelmina Models. “It’s definitely lonely.”

So she enjoys the shoots when she is allowed to bring someone with her, she said.

White filmed the finale of her show’s cycle last year in New Zealand. Turns out the day after she won, she celebrated her birthday alone in New Zealand. The crew members were gone, and no one brought her a cake. She flew back to the United States by herself.

She didn’t mind. With the time difference, White got another sweet surprise to add to the life-changing experience.

“I had my birthday on two days,” she said.

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Top photo courtesy of David Weaver for American-Statesman

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August 22, 2010

Video: Shipley & Halmos designers visit Barneys Co-Op at the Domain

It was during Austin Fashion Week, after a party at Neiman Marcus at the Domain, that I met up with designers Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley, better known as Shipley & Halmos. The duo were in the midst of their Texas visit for their Fill in the Blank Photo Tour, in which they visit with fashionistas and fans of all types at Barneys Co-Op stores.

The two New Yorkers are collecting photos and stories of their fans for a book that will be available at Barneys this fall.

The two are visiting 13 stores in two weeks, and will end their road show in Seattle. You can follow their adventures on Facebook and on Twitter (@ajeffandsamjam).

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August 21, 2010

UPDATE: Jose Luis Salon, Dean Fredrick, Touch of Sass win big at Austin Fashion Awards; a complete list of winners

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At the Austin Fashion Awards on Saturday, Jose Luis Salon, jewelry label Dean Fredrick and Touch of Sass boutique were among the ceremony’s big winners.

About 20 Golden Boot awards were handed out during the actual awards presentation at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

Singer and reality TV star Mandy Lauderdale was the host for the affair, which came across like Austin’s version of the MTV Video Music Awards.

Lauderdale, who once co-starred on Fox’s “Temptation Island,” even took a few jabs at me in her opening segment. (We’ll offer a complete wrap-up of Austin Fashion Week, the awards show, and photo galleries on Monday as well as in my column on Thursday and in Michael Barnes’ Out & About column and blog.)

The presentation included fashion shows from Betsey Johnson, “Project Runway” winner Chloe Dao, Dawn Younger-Smith’s Boudoir Queen line and Cedar Park native Sergio Guadarrama’s Celestino collection.

“America’s Next Top Model” winner Krista White modeled looks from Celestino and Betsey Johnson.

Jose Luis, which is owned by Jose Buitron and partner Bill Pitts, won critics’ choice for best salon on Saturday. That added to the salon’s wins for peer choice for best salon and best hairstylist (Buitron) earlier this week.

Touch of Sass, which is owned by Currie Johnson Bucher, won people’s choice for best retail store. Earlier this week, Touch of Sass won the critics’ choice award for best accessories and handbags and the peer choice award for best retail store.

Jewelry designer Dean Miller, who designs the Dean Fredrick line, won critics’ choice for best designer. Earlier this week, he won critics’ choice for best jewelry designer.

Another winner, By George, the luxury boutique owned by Katy and Matthew Culmo, was named critics’ choice winner for best boutique during the awards presentation. Earlier this week, the boutique, with locations on South Congress Avenue and North Lamar Boulevard, also won critics’ choice for best women’s clothing.

We published a list of winners for critics’ choice and peer choice awards earlier this week in a blog entry. Now, here’s the list of winners from Saturday’s second annual Austin Fashion Awards show:

  • BEST DESIGNER (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Dean Fredrick

  • BEST DESIGNER (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Tracy Tenpenny Design

  • BEST MASH-UP TEAM (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Maison de Noir

  • BEST MASH-UP TEAM (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Knotty Youth

  • BEST RETAIL STORE (CRITICS’ CHOICE): By George

  • BEST RETAIL STORE (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Touch of Sass

  • BEST SALON (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Jose Luis Salon

  • BEST SALON (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Roar Salon

  • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Cory Ryan

  • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Andrew Chan

  • BEST HAIRSTYLIST (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Giacomo Forbes

  • BEST HAIRSTYLIST (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Martha Lynn Barnes

  • BEST MAKEUP ARTIST (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Rochelle Rae

  • BEST MAKEUP ARTIST (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Zoraima Peleaz

  • BEST FEMALE MODEL (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Brittany Powell

  • BEST FEMALE MODEL (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Jessa Peters

  • BEST MALE MODEL (CRITICS’ CHOICE): Kennedy Lemi

  • BEST MALE MODEL (PEOPLE’S CHOICE): Christian Ramirez

    UPDATED 10:04 p.m. Aug. 23: The name of Jose Luis Salon was misidentified in the original headline of this entry.

    Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

    August 19, 2010

    UPDATE: Austin Fashion Week: We're giving away tickets to the awards show and VIP after party

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    We’re still rolling through Austin Fashion Week. Before you get nice and pretty for tonight’s big affair on Second Street, we have a challenge for you.

    We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to the Austin Fashion Awards at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Aug. 21, and the exclusive VIP after party at the Frost Bank Tower.

    Now, here’s the deal: Last week fashion brand Robert Graham showed several fall men’s looks during the opening fashion week party at GSD&M Idea City.

    What is Robert Graham’s motto that appears on every garment?

    Answer correctly, and you might get a pair of tickets. We’re giving the tickets to the fifth and sixth people to send an e-mail with the correct answer.

    (Hint: The words appeared in my column about Robert Graham last week.)

    Send your guess to me here. (That’s mharper@statesman.com.) To officially enter, you must include the subject line “Austin Fashion Awards tickets” in your e-mail.

    Only one entry per person will be allowed. Please include your name and phone number with your entry. You must be 18 or older to enter. You must be able to pick up your tickets at the American-Statesman (305 S. Congress Ave.) by 4 p.m. Friday.

    UPDATED 1:39 p.m.: We selected our winners and notified them via e-mail. Thanks!

    Permalink | | Categories: Style

    August 18, 2010

    Fashion show to take flight without help of Austin Fashion Week

    Austin’s style and beauty scene will march on without the support of Austin Fashion Week on Thursday.

    Event planner Nichole L. Wright of Austin newcomer Bon Vivant is putting the finishing touches on a fashion show of Austin and global designers to support Austin Pets Alive.

    Originally her plan was to have her event be part of Austin Fashion Week, she said.

    However, there was a scheduling conflict: The Second Street District, which is run by AMLI, is a major sponsor of Austin Fashion Week, and had planned the shopping district’s five-year celebration of events the same night.

    In a recent interview, Wright said she approached fashion week founder Matt Swinney, former publisher of Rare magazine, about her event months ago, before the Second Street events were announced for the same night as her sartorial soiree. She said she and Swinney couldn’t work out a sponsorship deal.

    So the Fashion in Flight style show at the Mexican American Cultural Center on River Street will go on as planned, just not under the fashion week umbrella. (Think of this event like you would one of the unofficial shows of South by Southwest.)

    Fashion week officials said they are aware that Wright’s show will go on.

    Tickets for the Fashion in Flight: The Collective show, which will use models from Wilhelmina Brown modeling agency, are $75 to $200. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the runway show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

    You’ll get to see designs from Tashia Senn (Washington D.C.), Yordanos Stefanos (New York), Dora Mojzes (Eastern Europe, Budapest), Davie Clothing (Austin), Tenielle Design (New York), Adriana Cobo (Ecuador) and Glamour Dog (Dallas).

    Also, there will be accessories from Margot Wolf Jewelry (Austin), My Green Pillow (Arizona), Ana Reign Jewelry (Los Angeles and Austin) and NYC Chic handbags (New York).

    Rare, which is now run by Taylor Perkins, is one of the media partners for the the event.

    “I think we’ve put together something really fun that will be during Austin Fashion Week that hopefully won’t take away from the other events,” Wright said. “We’re excited to do something a little bit different, and bringing pets on the stage is a little unusual during fashion week.”

    Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

    Austin Fashion Week: Golden Boot critics' choice and peer winners announced

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    And the Golden Boot award goes to … Here’s a list of winners for the Austin Fashion Awards. The following list of winners were announced today in technical categories.

    More than a dozen other Golden Boots will be handed out during Saturday’s fashion awards show at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

    You can vote in the people’s choice categories through midnight Friday here.

    • CRITICS’ CHOICE WINNERS:

    • DESIGNERS:

    • BEST OVERALL DESIGNER: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST JEWELRY DESIGNER: Dean Fredrick

    • BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING DESIGNER: Linda Asaf

    • BEST HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIES DESIGNER: Anne Marie Beard

    • BEST BRIDAL DESIGNER: CIARLABride

    • BEST CHILDREN’S DESIGNER: Momiko Organics

    • BEST INTIMATE APPAREL OR SWIMWEAR DESIGNER: Megan Summerville

    • BEST HOME ACCESSORIES DESIGNER: Deborah Main

    • MASH UP TEAMS:

    • BEST MASH UP TEAM: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • RETAIL STORES:

    • BEST OVERALL RETAIL STORE: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING: By George

    • BEST MEN’S CLOTHING: Stag

    • BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING: Feathers

    • BEST ACCESSORIES & HANDBAGS: Touch of Sass

    • BEST JEWELRY: Eliza Page

    • BEST KIDS OR BABY STORE: Wee

    • BEST HOME DECOR: Prototype

    • MOST “AUSTIN” RETAIL STORE: Parts & Labour

    • SALONS & SPAS:

    • BEST SALON: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST SPA: Milk + Honey

    • MOST “AUSTIN” SALON: Birds Barbershop

    • PHOTOGRAPHERS:

    • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHER: Cory Ryan

    • BEST EDITING / POST-PRODUCTION (PHOTOSHOP): Chad Harlan

    • HAIR STYLISTS:

    • BEST HAIR STYLIST: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST WOMEN’S CUT: Martha Lynn Barnes

    • BEST MEN’S CUT: Eric Massey

    • BEST COLORIST: Rory McNeill

    • MAKEUP ARTISTS:

    • BEST MAKEUP ARTIST: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST THEATRICAL MAKEUP: Pilar Davila

    • MODELS:

    • BEST FEMALE MODEL: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST MALE MODEL: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • PEER CHOICE WINNERS:

    • BEST DESIGNER: Megan Summerville

    • BEST RETAIL STORE: Touch of Sass

    • BEST SALON: Jose Luis Salon

    • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER: Tania Quintanilla

    • BEST HAIR STYLIST: Jose Buitron

    • BEST MAKEUP ARTIST: Maris Malone Calderon

    • BEST MODEL: Jessa Peters

    • PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNERS:

    • BEST DESIGNER: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST RETAIL STORE: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST SALON: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST HAIR STYLIST: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST MAKEUP ARTIST: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

    • BEST MODEL: To be announced at the Austin Fashion Awards on Aug. 21

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      August 12, 2010

      Austin Fashion Week: Singer and reality TV personality Mandy Lauderdale to be host of Austin Fashion Awards

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      Reality TV personality and jazz singer Mandy Lauderdale will be the host of the Austin Fashion Awards show on Aug. 21, officials for Austin-based events planning company Launch787 announced today.

      Launch787 produces fashion week, which begins Aug. 14. The awards show will conclude Austin Fashion Week.

      Lauderdale, who lives in Austin, is known for her cabaret performances. The Atlanta native appeared on the Fox reality show “Temptation Island” in 2001.

      The Austin Fashion Awards show will be at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. It will include red carpet arrivals as well as fashion showings from “Project Runway” winner Chloe Dao, Boudoir Queen and others.

      Award winners will receive a golden boot.

      Photo courtesy of Angela Morris

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      August 11, 2010

      Austin Fashion Week: A look back at 1980s singer Tiffany's hit

      Let’s zip back to 1987. Yes, by now anything from the era seems like a classic. That makes it perfect fodder for the fashion industry, which loves to dip into the retro pot for inspiration.

      In recent seasons, we’ve seen plenty of ’80s styles, including leggings, leather jackets, neon colors, vintage Madonna and Michael Jackson looks, and designer sneakers. Certainly, the list goes on and on.

      On Saturday night, you can catch another hit from those times: Pop singer Tiffany, who will perform during the opening event for Austin Fashion Week at GSD&M Idea City. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

      Let’s take a moment to check out the 1980s styles in Tiffany’s video for her hit 1987 single, “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Yup, she’s wearing an acid wash jean jacket.

      If you miss her in Austin, Tiffany will appear on the Syfy network.

      According to news reports, Tiffany, a former Playboy model, and her ’80s singing rival, Debbie (call me “Deborah”) Gibson, who also appeared in Playboy, will star in a Syfy original movie called “Mega Python vs Gatoroid.” See a preview here.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      August 9, 2010

      Austin Fashion Week: GSD&M Idea City releases videos celebrating city's fashion scene

      We’re days away from the start of the second Austin Fashion Week.

      A video series with some of Austin’s style was released to build buzz for Saturday’s style event called Bright Lights Idea City: Austin Fashion Week Kick Off at GSD&M Idea City’s office on West Sixth Street near Whole Foods Market. (Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.)

      Starting today with a video about Touch of Sass boutique owner Currie Bucher, GSD&M will release one video from its Profiles in Creativity series each day through Aug. 13. GSD&M and Austin Fashion Week officials will use social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote the videos.

      The individuals profiled include makeup artist Maris Malone Caldron, Ilios Lighting owner Brian Azar, sound engineer Richard Belisle and fashion photographer Gerry Hanan.

      The videos were created by GSD&M interns. University of Texas graduates Hua Liu, Reagan Ward, Madeline DeWree and Amanda Phelps created the videos, which were produced by Kelly Sutton, a senior at Texas State University, and Haley Berry, a junior at Indiana University.

      “For the casting, we sought out people who represent unique roles when it came to the Bright Lights, Idea City event - from presenters to the experts working behind the scenes,” said Melanie Mahaffey, senior manager of media relations for GSD&M Idea City in an e-mail. “Our goal with the profile series is to not only highlight but recognize these people for their hard work and influence on Austin’s creative scene.”

      Saturday’s event will include a performance by 1980s pop singer Tiffany and a fall runway showing by Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and Robert Graham as well as a showing of looks from Austin’s growing fashion industry.

      The event will raise money for charitable organizations Austin Involved and Dress for Success.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      July 14, 2010

      Local shoppers, send us your top fashion finds and get a prize

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      Finding that perfect fashion shoe, shawl or handbag is an instant pick-me-up.

      So much so that you immediately want to tell someone about it.

      Tell us, and we’ll publish the best finds in Thursday’s Life & Style section and on Statesman.com.

      Send an e-mail with a 150-word description of your latest find (just a couple of sentences will do), a photo and your contact information to Style Editor Tara A. Trower.

      Don’t forget to include where you found it (Central Texas finds only, please, and the price limit is $200).

      Three entrants selected will be eligible to receive a makeup palette from YouTube makeup guru Lauren Luke.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      July 1, 2010

      Are you 'America's Next Top Model'?

      Not that long ago, Chantal Jones, the former Austinite, was walking the catwalk before Tyra Banks and company during cycle 9 of “America’s Next Top Model.”

      Now it appears you’ll get your chance during a casting call for an upcoming cycle of the show, which has Vogue contributing editor Andre Leon Talley as one of its judges.

      Click the link to get the full report from TV writer Dale Roe:

      Are you “fierce?” If so (and if you meet the other qualifications - ferocity alone does not cut it, I guess), “America’s Next Top Model” is looking for you. The show is holding an open casting call in Austin in conjunction with the local affiliate of The CW. Applicants will be evaluated on Thursday, July 8 at The Driskill, 604 Brazos Street, from 2-7 p.m. One hopeful selected by a panel of judges will move onto the next round in California.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      June 9, 2010

      Mix cocktails, shopping at a GlamShop event

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      How about an evening with your girlfriends sipping cocktails and shopping for summer threads? From 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, venture to the Second Street District for GlamShop, a national shopping event promoting shopping and camaraderie. Pick up a wristband for $15 at Beyond Tradition (221 W. Second St., 512-499-3995).

      The wristband will get you free cocktails at BoConcept and other boutiques in the district, free nibbles, a goodie bag (for the first 100 people), discount parking in the AMLI garage near Lavaca Street, discounts at nearby retailers and happy hour prices at some neighboring restaurants. The shopping event has expanded to cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif. Naima Singletary started GlamShop in 2008. For more information and $6 tickets, click here.

      Photo courtesy of GlamShop

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      June 8, 2010

      Fresh Goods: Shuron sunglasses for those sunny days

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      On these sunny Austin days, sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, and of course, look good. Shuron shades are available at Service Menswear (1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-447-7600).

      The South Carolina-based optical company has made eyewear since 1865; the options at Service range from $132 to $162 and include iconic styles such as the Freeway and the Sidewinder.

      Photo courtesy of James Newman

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      May 27, 2010

      Toast Carrie Bradshaw and friends around town this week

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      If you want to get in on the fashion action, check out some of these local ‘Sex and the City 2’ events:

      • At boutique SoLa, enter to win four tickets to the Alamo Drafthouse’s Ladies Only screening of ‘Sex and the City 2’ plus a $50 gift certificate to SoLa and a $25 Drafthouse gift certificate. Enter through today at SoLa locations at 2005 S. Lamar Blvd. and 815 W. 47th St. There will be a drawing at the South Lamar shop at 6 tonight and a drawing at the Triangle shop at 6 p.m. Friday. You must be present to win.

      • For this ‘Sex and the City 2’ premiere weekend, Townhouse (303 W. Fifth St.) will offer specialty cocktails from mixologist Garrett Mikell inspired by ‘Sex and the City’ characters including Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha.

      • Visit Charlie’s (1301 Lavaca St.) for the bar’s ‘Sex and the City 2’: The Pink Party from 6:30 to 7 p.m. tonight. The event will include specials on cosmopolitans and poster giveaways.

      • Hudson Patio Bar and Lounge (301 W. Fifth St.) will have a ‘Sex and the City 2’-themed event tonight: free cosmopolitans and cupcakes starting at 8 p.m.; free massages, makeovers and manicures from Milk + Honey, Ayuma Therapy, Better Bronze, Got Beauty; beauty portraits by Velvet and Lace. A fashion show with Goodie Two Shoes, Wish, Bandita and Painted Butterfly will be at 10:30 p.m. DJ Mike Swing will deliver the tunes at 11 p.m. JoJo Marion will provide the photo booth. The first 50 people through the door will receive a gift bag from the event sponsors. Also, enter a raffle to win a basket of prizes. Proceeds will be donated to SafePlace.

      • They’ll be celebrating ‘Sex and the City 2’ at the Speakeasy (412 Congress Ave.) during a girls’ night out starting at 7 tonight, with a fashion show and cocktail party.

      • Oilcan Harry’s (211 W. Fourth St.) will have a ‘Sex & The City 2’ movie premiere party from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The event will include promotional items from the movie, tickets to the Alamo Drafthouse, giveaways from Live Oak Pharmacy and a drink special.

      • At 10 p.m. Friday at the Madison (307 W. Fifth St.), there will be ‘Sex and the City’-inspired cocktails and music from DJ Mike Swing.

      • At the local Alamo Drafthouse theaters, there will be four character-themed drinks available. On Saturday at the Alamo Downtown Ritz, there will be a ladies-only brunch and screening of the movie. Visit the website for details.

      • Catch actor and comedian Mario Cantone (he’s Anthony Marentino in ‘Sex and the City 2’) during a performance at 6 p.m. June 5 as part of Austin Pride 2010 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $29 to $49.

      Photo: AP Photo/Warner Bros., Craig Blankenhorn

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      May 23, 2010

      New details on the upcoming Austin Fashion Week

      Mix fashion labels Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and Robert Graham with tunes from pop singer Tiffany, and what do you get?

      You get the upcoming opening party for Launch787’s second annual Austin Fashion Week, which goes from Aug. 14 through 21. The party will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at GSD&M Idea City’s office on West Sixth Street. (Austin businessman Matt Swinney founded Fashion Week and Launch787, an event planning and production company.)

      According to a media release, the night will offer the works of various mashups of local talent, including designers, photographers, hairstylists, makeup artists and models as well a runway showing of garments from Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and Robert Stock, who designs under the Robert Graham label.

      There will be a silent auction, and proceeds from the evening will be donated to Dress for Success and Austin Involved.

      Austin Fashion Week will include more than 100 events. Austin designer Linda Asaf, Brilliant magazine co-founder Lance Avery Morgan, designer and Blackmail Boutique owner Gail Chovan and designer Dawn Younger-Smith will help select which designers will show their work during Austin Fashion Week.

      Like last year’s event, new talent as well as established designers who are selected to show their work will be paired with participating retailers and salons.

      According to media release, all participants will be eligible for the People’s Choice Awards. However, Austinites will be eligible for Critics’ Choice Awards and Peer Choice Awards, which will be doled out during the Austin Fashion Awards show on Aug. 21 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

      There are VIP passes for Austin Fashion Week for $300 for a single pass, and a VIP pass plus a guest goes for $550. A VIP pass includes the following:

      • Priority seating at the Austin Fashion Week party at GSD&M (exclusively available to the public through VIP package only)

      • VIP red carpet photo opportunity at the party

      • Orchestra or parterre seating at the Austin Fashion Awards, which will close the week-long festivities

      • Admission to the Austin Fashion Awards after party (exclusively available to the public through VIP package only)

      • VIP red carpet photo opportunity at the Fashion Awards

      • Access to red carpet ready events personalized to each VIP at local boutiques prior to Austin Fashion Week. Test shots will be available at each event to preview your look.

      • Hair and makeup consultations

      • A VIP gift bag

      • Complimentary Passport to Fashion (10-percent discount at participating salons and boutiques and a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree)

      • Limited-edition signed and numbered Austin Fashion Week poster by Gary Dorsey

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      May 19, 2010

      Fresh Goods: Now men can shape up with Spanx, too

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      So maybe you didn’t hit the gym as hard as you should have during the winter, mister. Then you might consider Spanx.

      Yes, that’s right. Spanx by Sara Blakely, which has made body-shaping undergarments for women for a decade, is offering cotton compression shirts for men that come in crew neck ($58), V-neck ($58) and a tank style ($55).

      According to Spanx’s website, the “man Spanx” undershirts firm your chest, flatten your stomach, support the lower back and improve posture. Sizes range from small to extra-extra-large.

      Available online and at Neiman Marcus (3400 Palm Way Drive. 512-719-1200).

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      April 30, 2010

      Video: A look at the University of Texas student fashion show

      We spent the night at the dazzling UT fashion show called High Voltage. The show featured 32 designers from the School of Human Ecology’s Division of Textiles and Apparel. There were more than 100 looks on the runway, and this time there was menswear.

      Here’s a look at the runway action and what people were saying about the show.

      And here are my quick thoughts: For the most part the looks the students created were very current, and some of them were garments you could imagine on the racks at Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus.

      Others, though, weren’t so hot and didn’t offer the high voltage I was anticipating. The evening and bridal selection was so-so with a few strong standouts.

      If you were at the show, what were your thoughts?

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      April 26, 2010

      Are your jeans adding to global pollution problems?

      We’re a city that loves denim.

      Denim, particularly jeans, is an everyday wardrobe staple in Austin (and of course, in numerous other cities in the country thanks to the denim craze during the past decade).

      Now, have you ever thought about how jeans are made?

      Turns out a bulk of denim comes from factories in China, where environmental standards aren’t strict.

      Just check out the Pearl River Delta in China, which is polluted with scraps of denim as well as dye and several toxic chemicals, according to the CNN report below.

      Permalink | Comments (13) | Categories: Style

      Fresh Goods: Limited-edition Carrot & Gibbs bow ties

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      A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I’ve been spotting numerous guys in Austin wearing bow ties to dress up their look. And boy, are there bow tie aficionados in A-Town including hairstylist Ricky Hodge, hotel manager and retailer Bobby Johns and so many others.

      From what I was told, the day my column ran Neil Borin, owner of Carrot & Gibbs, dropped by Congress Avenue men’s store Keepers with new bow ties. I guess we can say it was perfect timing.

      These colorful ties from Boulder, Colo.-based Carrot & Gibbs retail for $65.

      Available at Keepers (515 Congress Ave. 512-473-2512).

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      Photos courtesy of Keepers

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      April 22, 2010

      A look at Zac Posen's upcoming Target collection

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      Four years ago, designer Zac Posen swept into Austin for a showing of a spring collection. And boy, were those different financial and fashion times.

      In this recession era, hit up Austin Target stores for pieces from the limited-edition Zac Posen for Target collection, which range from $16.99 to $199.99 and includes swimwear, belts, floral-printed dresses, a tuxedo jacket, ruched skirt, leather jacket and raincoat.

      Posen’s run comes after recent designer Go International collections from Rodarte and Jean Paul Gaultier. The Posen collection goes on sale at Target stores and Target.com on April 25.

      And while you’re at Target for Posen, fashionista, keep an eye out for those hard-to-find Cynthia Vincent for Target wedges to finish your summer looks.

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      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      April 20, 2010

      Put international style into your big wedding day

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      Would you like to add some international flavor to your nuptial day? If so, visit a style and bridal event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25, by Bridal Motif, which specializes in Indian cocktail and traditional wedding attire, at the Westin Austin at the Domain (11301 Domain Drive 512-832-4197).

      There will be raffles and giveaways as well as a fashion show, champagne and appetizers. Also, you’ll get bridal tips, a beauty bar, chocolate samples and a chance to see Indian wedding clothing and accessories as well as an opportunity to chat with bridal planners and decorators. The fashion show will include Bollywood-style and hip hop dance and music and live entertainment. Admission is $10.

      Bridal Motif was started by sisters and designers Jaya P. Shukla and Priya Agnihotri. For more information, click here.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      April 14, 2010

      GQ magazine falls for New BROhemia in South Austin

      “GQ recently named its top 25 vintage stores in America, and South Austin’s own New BROhemia claimed a spot (and rightfully so, in my opinion),” wrote my Statesman colleague Matthew Odam in an entry in his blog, The M.O.

      Find out what else Odam had to say here.

      Now I want to know: What’s your favorite spot for men’s vintage clothes?

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      April 13, 2010

      UPDATED: Meet 'Project Runway' designer Mychael Knight, become a fashion reality star and say goodbye to 'Ugly Betty'

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      Once a upon time our former favorite fashion show, “Project Runway,” called uber-hip Bravo its home. And back then, Atlanta designer Mychael Knight was known as Michael Knight when he was a contestant on Season 3 of “Runway.”

      Ah, weren’t those the days?

      Well, if you’re nostalgic for “Runway” (or the life you lived when Knight was on the show), meet Knight, the Art Institute of Austin’s artist in residence, on Wednesday evening during his visit to A-Town.

      The event goes from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Art Institute of Austin (101 W. Louis Henna Blvd.). The evening will include a showing of Knight’s fall/winter 2010 line, Carte Blanche, as well as a questions-and-answer session with the designer. Check here for more details.

      Speaking of “Runway,” if you think you have what it takes to be judged by Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum and Michael Kors, apply for the new season by clicking here.

      But if you’re more of a Bravo person, then consider trying out for “The Fashion Show,” which is returning for a second season despite rumors it didn’t make the cut. There will be a casting call on May 22 in Austin. Get more details here.

      If you’re a true fashionista, then you’ll tune for the “Ugly Betty” series finale at 9 p.m. Wednesday on KVUE. Betty Suarez has blossomed without her braces, and now has taken a job as a magazine editor in London. In the past few episodes, we’ve seen former boss Daniel Meade start to see Betty in a new way.

      So I guess the real question is: Will Betty end up with Daniel? Or will she make a new life for herself in London? Find out the answers to these questions, whether editing diva Wilhelmina Slater survived the shooting, and more by saying goodbye to our favorite New York junior editor with a heart of gold.

      Photo courtesy of Sundaypaper.com

      UPDATE April 29: Casting call for Season 2 of Bravo’s “The Fashion Show” will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Art Institute of Austin (101 West Louis Henna Blvd.).

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      April 12, 2010

      Will 'Sex and the City 2' deliver the designer goods?

      Based on Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice-over, “Sex and the City 2” takes place two years after Big and Carrie tied the knot in the first movie.

      I was wildly in love with the actual TV show. I wasn’t crazy about the first film until I caught it on HBO months after its initial release. Having stumbled upon it at least five times, I eventually came to enjoy the first “Sex and the City” movie.

      This time our favorite fashionistas are back with issues surrounding love, life and raising children. Of course, it’s all discussed while our favorite New Yorkers wear the latest designer clothes.

      And that’s why New York magazine presents a convincing argument: Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are no longer young fashionistas who can get away with wearing the whimsical high-end frocks and other sexy goods. (Or can they?)

      After all, Samantha, who’s in her 50s in the new movie, wears the same red, spiked outfit in the new movie as singer Rihanna, who’s half Samantha’s age. RiRi wore the look late last year.

      Guess we’ll find out in round 2, which includes scenes shot in Abu Dhabi. At the very least, we see from the trailer that Carrie’s one-time beau Adian is back in the picture. Or is he a mirage?

      Guess we’ll find out May 27.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      March 30, 2010

      GRAPHIC IV Art Bra Fashion Show and Auction to strike a pose May 22

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      Sometimes the most fashionable item a person is wearing, well, is his or her undies. (We’ve seen those Calvin Klein commercials.)

      If this makes sense to you, then you’ll be up for GRAPHIC IV Art Bra Fashion Show and Auction, the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas’ annual event.

      This year there’s a new location: From 7 to 11 p.m. May 22, you’ll find the annual art bra fest at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (1800 Congress Ave. 512-936-4639). Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For ticket information, click here or call 512-544-0902.

      News 8 anchor Crestina Chavez and the Paramount Theatre’s executive director Ken Stein will be the hosts. The museum’s rotunda and lobby will be used for a full stage and catwalk.

      In recent year, the Dixie Chicks, The Gourds, Vickie Petersen of The Bangles, Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s, Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong have signed a number of designs.

      Previous artists to design bra art are Lauren Dolinsky (LD Design), Kathi Herrin (Real Gallery), Sheron Stone (Girls with Pearls), Vanessa Farrow (Sikara & Co.), Kim Curtis (MissBerly’s Designs) and Val Asensio (Ride Texas Magazine).

      Last year, Austin designer and boutique owner Gail Chovan was one of the model for the show, which featured a selection of art bras. (Last year, I wrote about Chovan’s fight against breast cancer.)

      This time there will be eats from the Belmont, Bona Dea Bread, Cover 3, Cupprimo Cupcakery, J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge, North by Northwest and Pie Fixes Everything.

      Brooklyn Barbieri will provide live music, while a DJ will keep the tunes flowing during the fashion show.

      You’ll also find a silent auction as well as a live auction with items such as a chance to have dinner with Nobelity Project creators Turk and Christy Pipkin in the wine cellar at Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with News 8’s Chavez, and a year-long pass for two to Antone.

      As I’ve reported before, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Texas. The National Cancer Institutes reports this year there will be about 200,000 new cases of breast cancer in the United States.

      The Breast Cancer Resources Centers of Texas, which first opened in 1995, assists thousands of women in Central Texas.

      Photo courtesy of Barbara Formichelli

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      Fresh Goods: Belt buckles by Austin artist Mark Joiner

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      Often men add pop to an outfit through accessories such as shoes, jewelry and belts. On the belt front, that means looking for buckles.

      After building a reputation for his modern, shiny and colorful pieces, Austin artist Mark Joiner has a new collection of signature belt buckles, with a more subtle finish.

      His new works are sandblasted matte buckles with layers of wood grain-inspired browns and grays. The buckles are $92. You can find his new minimalist collection at Service Menswear (1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-447-7600) and through his Web site.

      Photo courtesy of James Newman

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      March 26, 2010

      Texas modeling industry icon Kim Dawson dies at 85

      Kim Dawson, an icon in Texas’ fashion and modeling scene, died Thursday in Dallas of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 85.

      The Dallas Morning News reported her death on its Web site on Thursday evening. Dawson, a former model in the 1940s, advised Jerry Hall to purse modeling in Europe and New York and she helped launch the careers of actress Angie Harmon and others.

      Over the year, some models from Dawson’s agency have appeared in Austin publications, including the American-Statesman’s luxury magazine, Glossy, as well as in Tribeza magazine.

      Click here to read Dawson’s obituary in The Dallas Morning News.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      March 24, 2010

      Stanton Clothing Co. offers threads for price-conscious shoppers

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      Remaking your designer wardrobe on a dime?

      Then check out the spring offerings at the new Stanton Clothing Co. (908 W. 12th St. 512-474-1405), which was started by sisters and Hem Jeans owners Loree Massouh and Aimee Lindgren. (The boutique is next to Hem.)

      Stanton carries price-conscious clothing for both men and women from lines such as Hause of Howe, French Connection, Linq, Alternative, Just A Cheap Shirt, Gypsy 05 and Costa Blanca. You can find shirts for $25 or a men’s blazer for $199.

      The store carries items such as jewelry, scarves, T-shirts, hoodies, dress shirts, tops, dresses, shorts and tank tops. “We tried to fit a little bit of everything,” Massouh said.

      Permalink | Comments (6) | Categories: Style

      March 22, 2010

      Announcing The Goods blog's On the Runway Contest winner

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      We braved the cold spring temperatures on Saturday for a trip to the Domain to help judge The Goods blog’s On the Runway Contest, which we co-sponsored with Simon Property Group, which manages the North Austin shopping center.

      We had a handful of contest participants who showed us their runway walk inside Gold Class Cinemas, which opens in April.

      Let’s get to it. The winner is Sibylle Rhein.

      Rhein, 46, told me she was a model in her 20s and 30s in her native Germany. Here in Austin, she wants to get back to modeling.

      Rhein will participate in a wardrobe fitting and get hair and makeup styling before she gets to stroll the runway during the annual Simon Fashion Now for the White House Black Market fashion show at 4 p.m. March 27.

      She also will get reserved seats at the show for family and friends.

      A prize package will include a weekend night stay and breakfast for two at the Westin Austin hotel at the Domain, a $50 White House Black Market gift card and a $250 American Express Simon gift card.

      Thank you to the participants. And congratulations, Sibylle!

      Permalink | Comments (4) | Categories: Style

      March 17, 2010

      Footwear designer Steve Madden to visit Nordstrom

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      Footwear fashionistas, take a South by Southwest break and meet footwear designer Steve Madden at Nordstrom at Barton Creek Square (2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway 512-691-3500) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

      (Steve Madden Music will have a part in the Entertainment Weekly Lounge at SXSW from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Malaia World Lounge (300 E. Sixth St.)

      At the Nordstrom event, MTV host and movie personality Julissa Bermudez will be the host of the shoe bonanza, which will include an appearance by a surprise guest DJ. Madden will autograph free tees and tote bags.

      Guests will get a chance to win a pair of Steve Madden shoes and other giveaways during the event.

      Photo courtesy of Steve Madden

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      March 15, 2010

      UPDATE: Win a chance to be a runway model in Domain fashion show

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      Are you hoping to strike a pose?

      The Goods blog and Simon Property Group, which runs malls and shopping centers including the Domain and Barton Creek Square, are giving you a chance to be a runway model through The Goods blog’s On the Runway Contest.

      At 2 p.m. March 20, drop by the audition location at the Domain near Dillard’s and Gold Class Cinemas off Domain Drive in the new section of the North Austin shopping center.

      The contest is open to women 18 and older. You must have proper identification to enter the contest, which will be open to the first 100 to line up or by 3 p.m. - whichever comes first. Every contestant will have a chance for a spot in White House Black Market’s runway show at 4 p.m. March 27 during the two-day annual Simon Fashion Now style events and free shows, which begin March 26.

      Click here for more information about Simon Fashion Now.

      One winner will participate in a wardrobe fitting and get hair and makeup styling. The winner also will get reserved seats at the show for family and friends. A prize package will include a weekend night stay and breakfast for two at the Westin Austin hotel at the Domain.

      UPDATED 11:05 a.m. March 16: The prize package also will include a $50 White House Black Market gift card and a $250 American Express Simon gift card.

      Photo courtesy of Simon Property Group

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      March 11, 2010

      Austinite Mehcad Brooks stars in racy Calvin Klein ads

      NOTE: This video is for an adult audience and may not be appropriate for younger viewers.

      OK, so we really got to know him well on season 2 of “True Blood.” Now starring in ABC’s “The Deep End,” Austinite Mehcad Brooks - he’s the son of American-Statesman editorial writer Alberta Phillips - is showing some skin in a Calvin Klein short film to promote the new Calvin Klein X underwear line.

      And certainly Calvin Klein is at it again. We’ve seen plenty of racy CK ads over the years, including ones starring Brooke Shields and Mark Wahlberg.

      The new short films star several other chiseled beefcakes, “Twilight” actor Kellan Lutz, tennis star Fernando Verdasco and fashion icon and former Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata. The models, who also appear in print ads, are against a white background in these expletive-ridden shorts, in which the guys are seen tugging at their undies.

      “What the … are you wearing?” Brooks asks in the first of the spots.

      Certainly, the print ads and these spots will make most guys want to hit the gym hard.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Awaiting Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' video? Stay on the line with these retro styles.

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      Yes, we’ve heard the news: Lady Gaga’s new video for “Telephone” featuring Houston native Beyonce premieres at 10:30 tonight in Austin on the E! channel.

      The video, which was directed by Jonas Akerlund, contains numerous looks and plenty of Gaga face-time. In one scene, she wears soda cans in her hair as rollers and a distressed leather jacket. In another scene, she has a hat made from telephone parts.

      The song is from Gaga’s album, “The Fame Monster,” and the video is a follow-up to her “Paparazzi” video.

      According to MTV, the new video also features glam rock band Semi Precious Weapons, whose members were here in Austin this time last year for South by Southwest. The nearly 10-minute video will pay tribute to the films of friend of Austin Quentin Tarantino. The famed Oscar-nominated director will be inducted into the Austin Film Society’s annual Texas Film Hall of Fame tonight.

      To get all of Gaga’s Little Monsters in the mood, I spotted these vintage telephones at Mercury Design Studio (209 W. Second St. 512-236-0100) in the Second Street District. These colorful rotary phones are pretty fashionable in the age of the iPhone.

      The phones, which were made from actual leftover parts from an English distributor, remind me of the black one my grandparents used for decades. The phones go for $238.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      Meet 'Project Runway' designer Korto Momolu today at Dillard's at the Domain

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      Unfortunately, I’m too ill today to visit with fashion designer Korto Momolu, one of my favorite “Project Runway” cast members. I was going to bring an update on this laid-back designer who came in second place during Season 6. (She also was a fan favorite, and I really wanted her to win).

      While I can’t make it, you certainly can. Meet Momolu today while she’s in Austin and check out her affordable and colorful new jewelry and handbag line at the new Dillard’s store at the Domain. Until 2 p.m. she’ll be meeting with guests.

      Just keep in mind, her appearance at Barton Creek Square later this evening has been canceled.

      If you go to the Dillard’s opening at the Domain, please e-mail your photos of your time with Korto and send me a note about your thoughts on her new line.

      We’ll post some of her jewelry line on The Goods blog as soon as I’m feeling better.

      Photo courtesy of Arkansas Times

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      March 9, 2010

      UPDATE: Zach Theatre announces 'Our Town' wedding giveway

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      So this one takes the cake - the wedding cake to be exact.

      For its ‘Our Town’ Wedding Giveaway, Zach Theatre is asking Central Texas couples to submit a two-minute video through YouTube explaining why they should win an Austin-themed wedding and reception.

      Here’s the catch: The wedding will take place on the “Our Town” set in Zach’s Nowlin Studio. Thornton Wilder’s play - you might have seen or read this production in high school as I did - runs from April 15 through May 23.

      The contest - turns out it’s sponsored by the American-Statesman and KXAN - is open to residents who are looking to experience their first wedding, renew their vows or have a commitment ceremony.

      The wedding may take place on non-performance times - Sunday evening or any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning or afternoon during the play’s run.

      Entries will be accepted through March 28. Finalists will be select before the public gets to vote for their favorite couple from March 29 through April 11. A winner will be announced April 12.

      Couples may upload video submissions to their personal YouTube page and send an e-mail with the link to mywedding@zachtheatre.org.

      According to a media release, the wedding package will include - but isn’t limited to this list of prizes and services:

      A fully decorated private event room

      Personal wedding coordination by Amanda Dudley of Big Day Events

      Selected wedding rentals from Premiere Party Central

      Wedding favors from Nuptial Necessities

      Custom wedding cake by Tammie Barnhill

      Floral Arrangements by Just’in Blooms and Roses

      $500 gift certificate from Unbridaled toward the bride’s wedding dress

      Hair and makeup from Rae Cosmetics

      Photography by Ron Parks Photography and Meaghan D Photography

      $1,000 of reception catering from Fion

      DJ music for the reception by Encore Entertainment

      Thank-you notes or programs courtesy of Dragonfly Designs

      The notice on Zach’s Web site also mentions a honeymoon will be part of the prize package.

      Rules are available here.

      UPDATED March 24: According to Zach’s Web site, contest dates have changed.

      March 8 - April 2: Wedding contest contestants are invited to submit their videos and essays. April 3-11: The public votes for their favorite couple. April 12: The winner will be announced. April 15-May 23: Dates available for the winning couples’ wedding date, which may take place on the Sunday evening, or anytime Monday or Tuesday during the run of “Our Town.”

      UPDATED 2:17 p.m. April 6: Voting is now live on Zach’s Web site for the Wedding Contest at www.zachtheatre.org/wedding/vote. The deadline has been extended to April 16th, and a winning couple will announced at the “Our Town” opening night on April 17.

      Photo courtesy of Photos.com

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      March 8, 2010

      At Stag, become a whistleblower for peace

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      Mix charity and style as Falling Whistles visits Stag (1423 S. Congress Ave. 512-373-7824) from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday.

      Falling Whistles, which was started by Sean Carasso, is an organization that raises awareness about civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa.

      All proceeds from sales of whistles are donated to help war-affected children through rehabilitation programs and advocacy. The whistles come in brass, gunmetal and brushed metal finishes and range from $30 to $100.

      While on a trip to the Congo, Carasso, friend of TOMS Shoes founder and former Austinite Blake Mycoskie, heard stories about children who were too small to carry a gun and sent to front lines armed with just a whistle.

      Falling Whistles’ installation, which has appeared at Fred Segal in Los Angeles and a Donna Karan store in New York, will be displayed in the men’s shop through the end of South by Southwest. The campaign has gained support from Jon Stewart, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Salma Hayek and others.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Men's store returns at By George

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      Fella, are you looking to spruce up your wardrobe for spring? Check out By George men’s store (524 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5951), which has returned after a three-year absence.

      Located in the former space of the women’s designer collection, the men’s shop, which is owned by Matthew and Katy Culmo, carries fragrances, shoes, accessories, ties, jackets, denim, sportswear and business casual attire.

      Spring items, which range from $28 (a cotton T-shirt) to $1,800 (a cashmere jacket), include selections from Billy Reid, The Row, NSF, Gilded Age, Steven Alan, Dries van Noten, Golden Goose, Relwen, Jean Shop, LVC (the heritage collection from Levi’s) and Levi’s Made & Crafted.

      You also will find accessories such as bags, belts, wallets, scarves, sunglasses from Tom Ford, Randolph Engineering, Paul Smith and Oliver Peoples, and novelty items such as Beats by Dr. Dre and Heartbeats by Lady Gaga headphones.

      This year the store will add offerings from the signature line from John Varvatos and selections from Comme des Garcons.

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      March 5, 2010

      Video: A behind-the-scenes look at March's Glossy magazine

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      Months ago, I had an idea for our March’s issue of Statesman luxury magazine Glossy. I wanted to celebrate Austin’s film history and show the trends for spring - you’ll see most of the sticking around through the year.

      After fleshing out my idea, the shoot became a three-day adventure in Austin and Smithville with models Brandy Joy Smith, Megan Rainbird and Laura Ann. The week we planned to do the shoot the weather turned on us, but we were pros and rose to the challenge of the rain, sleet and cold temperatures.

      Statesman multimedia producer Jenni Jones came along to capture all of the action.

      Photo by Benjamin Skelar for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      March 1, 2010

      Bringing new life to Versace line Versus

      Christopher Kane, the Scottish designer, is working wonders for Versus, the diffusion line from Versace, as seen at Milan Fashion Week. See for yourself below.

      I’m delighted to see Versus is back, and for his second collection, Kane tapped into the Versace archive for Bruce Weber images that were printed on T-shirts and bags.

      I still recall Versus from the late 1980s and early ’90s. Gianni Versace created the line for his sister Donatella, who’s now creative director for Versace. The fall collection has been getting strong reviews.

      In fall collections dominated by menswear inspirations, these party dresses are the perfect mix of flirty and feminine without being syrupy sweet.

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      Photos courtesy of The Associated Press

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      February 26, 2010

      A spring preview party at Stag

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      I dropped by Stag, the new men’s store on South Congress Avenue for a spring preview party on Thursday night. The whiskey was flowing, and the pizza from neighbor Home Slice was being nibbled.

      But really, everyone was there to see the movers and shakers and to check out spring fashion. Just think spring is less than 25 days away. Can we let out a collective sigh of relief?

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      Stag co-owner Ted Allen

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      Scott Butler

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      Mauricio Cremer

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      Andy Campbell and Claudette Murphree

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      Tiffany McPherson

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      Catherine Abston

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      February 22, 2010

      Tribeza editor, vice president exit the Austin lifestyle magazine

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      Tribeza editor and co-publisher Dale Dewey and executive vice president Karen Landa, who oversaw the magazine’s sales and marketing, are out as part of a series of changes for the lifestyle magazine in less than a year.

      In May, Zarghun Dean, who founded the magazine in 2001, sold Tribeza to Scenic Creek Enterprises LLC, which was run by businessman George Elliman, a founder and investor in several Austin start-up companies, and Dewey, a former CEO of French luxury companies Christofle and Fauchon.

      Dewey and Elliman met in the 1980s at Middlebury College in Vermont. According to a media release from last year, they hadn’t seen each other since graduation until a chance meeting in 2008 at an Austin restaurant. Later, the two were introduced to Dean.

      The partnership between Elliman and Dewey ended last week, and Elliman, the magazine’s sole publisher, now controls the magazine.

      “The partners of Tribeza got to the point where they didn’t necessarily agree how to take the company forward,” Elliman said in a phone interview. “One needed to buy the other one out. So I did.”

      Managing editor Lauren Smith Ford and art director Stephen Arevalos remain in their positions at Tribeza. Newcomer Ashley Beall is the magazine’s advertising account executive.

      Landa and Dewey’s names and biographies were dropped from Tribeza’s Web site.

      In a letter received by retailers and others during the weekend, Dewey and Landa, who are romantically involved, said they decided to leave the magazine because Elliman wouldn’t make Landa an equity partner.

      “Her impact was so significant that it became apparent to me that she deserved to be an equity partner,” the letter stated. “I, therefore, proposed to my partner to give an equity stake to Karen. Surprisingly, he refused.”

      Elliman said he wasn’t opposed to Landa getting a stake in the magazine, but he was concerned about the timing of a stock option plan that would allow Landa to buy shares.

      “There was never an outright refusal,” Elliman said.

      He also said there were opportunities for the couple to purchase his shares of the magazine.

      In their parting letter, Dewey and Landa mentioned other details about Tribeza’s past financial health. When Dewey and Elliman took over the magazine, it was “close to failure due to a heavy debt burden caused by a failed expansion to Dallas and Houston,” the letter stated.

      The letter also stated the former owner launched a Web site using Tribeza content and started offering magazine advisory services. The act was a “blatant breach of his no-compete agreement” and resulted in a protracted lawsuit, Dewey and Landa wrote in their letter.

      Now after a change in leadership, Tribeza, a monthly freebie, has to combat issues challenging many publications: declining advertising and an audience that reads online and uses social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to gather news.

      In the past year, Tribeza’s layout and graphics were updated and a new e-newsletter, a series of blogs and a Facebook page were added.

      The magazine’s next issue will be released March 1.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      February 17, 2010

      More images from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

      About 24 hours from now, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will come to a close in New York.

      We’ve seen plenty of runway action and received tales from Austinites who are watching or working the shows, including Allen Ruiz of Jackson-Ruiz Salon, Megan Summerville of Sew Sister Fabrics, Rochelle Rae of Rae Cosmetics, and Cheryl Conley Bemis of the Web site Fashionably Austin.

      Here are some images sent from Conley Bemis and her business partner, Melissa Shea. … As for Fashion Week, it’ll be back in September in a new home at Lincoln Center. You can have your say on what’s hot or not from the runway by clicking here.

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      Monique Lhuillier

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      Tadashi Shoji

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      Toni Maticevski

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      Jill Stuart

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      Mackage

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      Fashion, charity and faux gambling? Check out Viva Las Vegas.

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      Now that I have your attention. Why not spend a night in Monte Carlo via Las Vegas? Perhaps you can let out your inner Bond - James Bond, that is.

      At 8 p.m. on Feb. 20, drop by Austin Music Hall (208 Nueces St. 512-495-9962) for the Monte Carlo edition of AIDS Services of Austin’s annual Viva Las Vegas event, which will include music from DJ Chicken George, faux gambling and a fashion show by Webber Productions with clothes from Saks Fifth Avenue.

      There was buzz after last year’s fashion show, which included scantily clad models and a drag queen finale. Out and About columnist Michael Barnes and I agreed that last year’s show was among our favorites of the year. (Another one on our short list was the Tribeza Style Week show at the Long Center.)

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      Vendors such as Austin Cake Ball, East Side Show Room, Garrido’s, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, Parkside and Whole Foods Market will provide nibbles. A list of silent auction items includes a getaway to Acapulco, Mexico, a meet-and-greet with actress/comedian Sarah Silverman, a night at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel, a New Orlean’s package with a two-night stay at the W Hotel, tickets and airfare to a New Orleans Saints game and other items.

      Tickets can be purchased at BookPeople or at AIDS Services of Austin’s Web site for $50, and they will be available for $60 at the door.

      Photos courtesy of Sam Mason

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      February 16, 2010

      Men's shop at By George to reopen March 1

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      We’re in the middle of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. While our eyes might be gazing at what’s going on in Bryant Park in New York, we can’t overlook what’s happening in Austin’s fashion scene, which is about to get another sartorial boost.

      This time it’s the growing men’s category that will get a new store. Or rather, it’s a sorely missed favorite for some A-Town clotheshorses that will be returning.

      After a three-year absence, Katy and Matt Culmo will reopen the men’s shop at By George. The shop, which opens March 1, will be inside the existing North Lamar Boulevard location of designer women’s shoes, frocks, accessories and other goods.

      We’ll have more details early next week about the new shop.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Update: Austin jewelry line Anthony Nak to close

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      UPDATE: Anthony Nak will be shuttered in March. You can find remaining inventory at 50 to 80 percent off at Anthonynak.com.

      His first solo collection, Eden, is influenced by French romanticism and Gothic architecture.

      Anthony Nak, the popular Austin-based jewelry line, will be shuttered this spring.

      “Anthony and I have decided to amicably part ways professionally,” co-creator Nak Armstrong wrote in a note this morning. (The line was created by Armstrong and Anthony Camargo more than 10 years ago.)

      “As you know, I’ve been working on launching my own collection,” he said.

      Selections from the Anthony Nak line have been worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Beyonce and Rosario Dawson.

      In December, Anthony Nak, a former finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, returned with a trunk show of its high-end jewelry at By George.

      In recent years, Armstrong and Camargo closed their downtown showroom and sold heavily discounted goods from the 18-karat gold collection through the Anthony Nak Web site. The line remained faithful to its entry level collection, which is sold through QVC.

      Camargo has been living abroad, while Armstrong, who remains in Austin, has been working on his signature line.

      An official press release should come my way today, and I’ll update this entry as needed.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      February 12, 2010

      Winter Olympic fashion: Update 5

      Let’s get to it. More thoughts on the Olympic fashion:

      I was digging yellow and blue combination from the Ukraine. Yellow has been a strong color, but red has been the color of the night.

      I might be biased, but the United States really has a strong look with puffy coats with red details, winter hats with deer on them, and cable-knit sweaters. As a friend pointed out on Facebook, what’s the deal with Shaun White’s hair? Yes, perhaps, Carrot Top would be proud.

      The Canadian athletes have a very festive style with red coats and hats that read “Canada.” I’m a big fan of the plaid scarves.

      My favorite outfits of the opening ceremony have come from Germany, the United States and Canada.

      Ah, now Nelly Furtado looked stunning with her fitting one-shoulder blue dress. That was a bold shoulder. I wasn’t crazy about her chunky shoes, and her makeup was a bit harsh. I mean she’s already has striking features.

      So far, this opening ceremony in Vancouver hasn’t topped the one from Beijing. This one seems like I’m watching a combination of the Ice Capades and “Dancing with the Stars.”

      But I do have Olympic fever. I’m looking forward to the ice skating and some of the ski jump competitions.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Winter Olympic fashion: Update 4

      Thankfully there’s a commercial break. So what are your thoughts about the fashion so far? I haven’t been too impressed, but there have been a few gems worth noting as I have been doing.

      Irish athletes brought spring with their bright yellow pants and black jackets with yellow details. Very nice.

      The wool trench coats of the Italian team are understated and beautiful. Another one of my favorites.

      Finally! Some fur thanks our neighbors to the south, Mexico. Keep warm.

      For a moment I thought we were seeing the University of Texas team, but nope, it was the athletes from Netherlands, who wore jackets that were a shade of orange. As they came into focus, I noticed it wasn’t the burnt orange I’ve come to like. Wishful thinking on my part.

      Puru’s team game with delightful puffy red coats; a nice change from all of the warmup-style coats we’ve been seeing.

      Poland’s red, gray and white outfits are another strong contender. The looks were modern and tasteful.

      Wow. I was expecting fur coats and big hats from Russia, which surprised me with athletes wearing red and white baseball jackets. Were those really baseball jackets?

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Winter Olympic fashion: Update 3

      Here are some quick comments about the opening ceremony fashion:

      Czech Republic had multi-colored winter gear I liked.

      Estonia snowflake-styled outfits were perfect.

      Intriguing coats from Finland had graffiti-style print.

      France, you’re disappointed me with these so-so clothing. Why not have Jean Paul Gaultier design your opening ceremony outfits?

      Athletes from Georgia were wearing black armbands and long red coats and black scarves.

      The Germans definitely are one of the best dressed teams with their yellow, blue and pink fitted jackets and white cargo ski pants. Loved the looks. Very modern a.

      The British athletes looked stunning in their modern outfits and hoodies and caps and berets. Definitely some of the best looks of the night.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Winter Olympic fashion: Update 2

      OK, so certainly this isn’t Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but it’s looking like the United States team has the best Olympic outfits courtesy of Ralph Lauren. I’m sure the French and English will bring the fashionable goods.

      So far this is boring in terms of fashion. We’re are the colorful coats, scarves and big fur hats. … Perhaps I spoke a moment too soon.

      Austria really should have its male athletes in purple outfits, not blue ones. What’s wrong with guys also wearing purple? Nothing. Purple isn’t only a women’s color. Embrace it, Austria.

      Azerbaijan brought the colorful Robert Graham-style slacks. Very nice.

      Red really appears to be the color of the night.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Winter Olympic fashion: Update 1

      I love watching the opening ceremony to the Olympics. I’m sitting here on the couch at home.

      This should be an entertaining opening with Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado and k.d. lang waiting in the wings. Here are some of my quick thoughts so far while we hear the Canadian national anthem:

      I guess I’ll forgive snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis for her awful hairdo and her less-than-fab makeup. Well, maybe not. Just stick to snowboarding.

      Love the cream-colored cable knit sweaters that Team USA is wearing tonight.

      Royal Canadian Mounted Police are just looking fabulous. I love seeing all of this red clothing tonight against the icy blue of the stadium.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Photos of Winter Olympic fashion by Ralph Lauren

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      We’re moments away from the official start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. You can catch the opening ceremony and all of the Olympic fashion starting at 7 p.m. on KXAN, and I’ll be jumping in with some thoughts through the night.

      Until then, here’s some of the Olympic looks, including the closing ceremony clothing selections, for Team USA by luxury designer Ralph Lauren. The pieces from the Olympic Collection are available at select Polo Ralph Lauren retail stores, Ralphlauren.com and at select department stores in the United States and Canada.

      Thoughts?

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      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      Jose Luis Salon celebrates hairstylist Oribe, raises money for Haiti effort

      Sorry for the late post on this one. …

      I had a moment with celebrity hairstylist Oribe, who has styled Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Mariah Carey and others, the other night when he was in town to visit the hairstylists of Jose Luis Salon, where his hair products are sold. Oribe chatted. I listened. He didn’t give me any dish about Season 3 of “Shear Genius.” (In case you didn’t know, he appears in an episode at the end of the season.)

      Jose Luis owners Bill Pitts and Jose Buitron had an area of their salon setup where guests got to see Oribe worked his hair magic on several models.

      The event, which was attended by the likes of former “Bachelor” star Brad Womack, Tribeza managing editor Lauren Smith Ford and KEYE anchor Michelle Valles, helped raise money for a project of I Am Change, a Woodlands, Texas,-based organization, that is raising awareness about sustainable access to clean water and sanitation in Haiti.

      Earlier in the day, Oribe met with Jose Luis hairstylists for a styling seminar, in which he offered tips and advice.

      And from what I’ve been told, Dr. Ruthie Harper, who runs a nutrition and skin care clinic on Medical Parkway, has been involved in developing Oribe’s upcoming organic hair care line.

      Here’s a look at the night’s festivities:

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      February 11, 2010

      Remembering fashion designer Alexander McQueen

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      Alexander McQueen was the rebel fashion needed. After all, in recent months, where would someone like Lady Gaga be without McQueen’s inspiration and, well, his stunning lobster claw shoes that everyone talked from the video for “Bad Romance”?

      And really, where would fashion be without his controversial fashion shows and breath-taking collections for the past two decades?

      While a talented designer and tailor, McQueen was ever a showman, the type of which we rarely get to see in the fashion industry.

      From what I’ve read, McQueen, 40, was affected when Isabella Blow, an eccentric stylist who discovered him, committed suicide in 2007. He also was believed to be devastated by his mother’s death on Feb. 2.

      I was stunned to learn about his death from an apparent suicide this morning, the same day as the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, before our style team left for a day-long photo shoot in Smithville for March’s Glossy magazine. (McQueen’s death was just as shocking for me as when I first heard Gianni Versace had been killed in Miami Beach, Fla.)

      I never met McQueen, but I was fortunate to use some of his pieces for a photo shoot, one of my first here in Austin.

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      I styled models My-Cherie Haley and Anna Monette in McQueen’s lower-priced McQ line from the now-defunct FactoryPeople.com for the December 2007 issue of Glossy, the Statesman’s luxury magazine. (The purple dress, above, and the cable-knit scarf are from the McQueen line.)

      McQueen was one of those rare talents who was with us for far too short of a time. To see a gallery of McQueen’s work click here.

      Statesman photo by Laura Skelding. Photo of Giorgio Armani and Alexander McQueen courtesy of The Associated Press.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      February 10, 2010

      Austin hairstylist Giacomo Forbes quits 'Shear Genius'

      I might have met celebrity hairstylist Oribe tonight at Jose Luis Salon, but the “Shear Genius” Season 3 guest didn’t warn me about the show’s big news tonight involving a certain Austin stylist.

      Three minutes into Wednesday’s episode on Bravo, contestant Giacomo Forbes, a hairstylist at Bella Salon (1221 W. Sixth St.), announced he was quiting the show. He said his children were the reason he wanted to leave the show.

      “I’m going to ask to leave the show,” he told the remaining contestants and host Camila Alves, the girlfriend of sometime-Austinite Matthew McConaughey. “I have three beautiful babies at home, and I’m having a hard time without them.”

      “So that means you’re quitting?” Alves said.

      “I’m going to have to bow out gracefully so,” Forbes said.

      Later, in a moment in front of the camera alone, he said, “Not an easy decision, but my kids are more important to me than a billion dollars.”

      The native Italian was one of the 12 contestants trying for $100,000 in seed money from Nexxus, an apprenticeship with the salon care company and an opportunity to style hair for a feature in Allure magazine. The new season debuted earlier this month.

      Permalink | Comments (11) | Categories: Style

      February 3, 2010

      Recap: 'Shear Genius' Episode 1

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      You know what? “Project Runway” could take a lesson from “Shear Genius,” which began its third season tonight on Bravo. This episode had some drama, sex appeal and even a bum slap from a towel-wearing Austinite named Giacomo Forbes.

      And speaking of Forbes, the native Italian, who works out of Bella Salon & Day Spa (1221 W. Sixth St.), was introduced as one of the 12 contestants trying for $100,000 in seed money from Nexxus, an apprenticeship with the salon care company and an opportunity to style hair for a feature in Allure magazine.

      In the first few minutes, we got glimpses into the work of the contestants, and they got to show their skills for judge and former “Blow Out” star Jonathan Antin (whose face is looking a little plumped and fillered out like Madonna’s. This season, I guess we’ll see if he is able to smile. Nope, I’m not an Antin hater, and, I very much miss his old reality show).

      The short challenge involved taking several women with punk hairdos and taming those heads into stylish looks in two hours. Forbes got so worked up he had to cool down by fanning himself with his open shirt.

      Or was he really fanning himself because he got a glimpse of sometime-Austinite Matthew McConaughey’s girlfriend, Camila Alves, the show’s host? Um, Forbes, in the opening minutes of the show, did say he likes Latinas.

      His hard work got him into the top three for the challenge, but he didn’t win it. The hairstyle he created was light, airy and fresh.

      Later in the show, Orlando Pita, who has styled Madonna’s locks, was brought in as the stylists’ mentor. He introduced the elimination challenge, which was to design a hairstyle that looked satisfying on the runway and covered the female models’ breasts. The models wore bikini bottoms.

      There was plenty of big hair on the runway, um, for coverage, and plenty of intriguing ways of making sure none of the models’ goods were exposed.

      Forbes’ big hair look made the cut, but the winner of the challenge was Janine from Los Angeles. The loser was Joey from Australia. Sorry, mate.

      I’m hooked. Well, after one episode, “Shear Genius” might be that refreshing delight in a sea of fashion reality TV.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      Preview: U.S. Olympic team looks by Ralph Lauren

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      Here’s a glimpse of the U.S. Olympic team offerings from designer Ralph Lauren. The opening ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia, is Feb. 12.

      We’ll show you more Olympic wear next week on the blog.

      Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren and The Associated Press

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Jen Schefft of ABC's 'The Bachelor' fame visits Austin for a clothes swap party

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      Jen Schefft, a former contestant on “The Bachelor” who was featured on “The Bachelorette” on ABC, met me for a drink at Jo’s Hot Coffee on Second Street earlier today. (She had water; I had iced tea.)

      With the cold, dreary weather, we thought some retail therapy would hit the spot. So I ventured with her and her publicist to nearby Mercury Design Studio. (Check out my video with Schefft below.)

      Schefft, who’s now married and living the suburbs of Chicago, is in town as the spokeswoman for Little Black Dress Wines, which is promoting a fun, frugal and fashionable concept: Closet swap parties. She’ll be the guest for one tonight in Hyde Park.

      The parties involve women gathering with their old or unused clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and other accessories and swapping their goods with each other at the party. What items are discarded can go to charity, and everyone is asked to bring $5 to donated to a charity such as Dress for Success or Clothes Off Our Back Foundation.

      Sounds great in this economy. Why not swap your old clutch for something completely new to you?

      For you “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” fans, here’s some dish on what Schefft, 33, is up to these days and what she thinks about the ABC reality show.

      On marriage:

      “Married life is great,” she told me. “We got married in May.” Schefft, who’s a publicist, married Joe Waterman. The two met on a blind date, and they recently bought a house in the suburbs.

      On being on reality TV:

      “I did ‘The Bachelor’ seven years ago,” she said. “It’s funny that people still recognize me. After ‘The Bachelorette,’ I didn’t watch it until this season.”

      She and her hubby have been watching “The Bachelor,” and she said he has told her: “I really can’t believe you did this.”

      Looking back on her time on the show, she said she’s glad she did it. She was 26 at the time and single. Her friends signed her up to be a contestant as a joke.

      On any regrets she might have:

      “I got to do some many fun things,” she said. “I’m glad I’m not currently in the process of doing it. All of the girls I’ve kept in touch with are married and have kids.”

      On reality TV vs reality:

      The situations the show and its producers put you in are far from reality, she said.

      After all, who takes a helicopter to a remote castle for a date?

      Her biggest worry came after doing “The Bachelorette,” in which she didn’t select any of the potential bachelors. She wondered: “Who else is going to date me after I’ve been on national television?”

      On dating former “Bachelor” star Andrew Firestone:

      “Andrew and I don’t keep in touch,” she said. “We were together for nine months. It didn’t work out.”

      On the swap closet parties:

      “The whole point of the closet swap is to be fashionable but frugal,” said Schefft, who has been to similar parties in Los Angeles and Chicago. So that means don’t splurge on fancy appetizers and bottles of wine. Keep it simple.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      February 1, 2010

      Favorite fashion looks from the Grammys

      By now, you know Beyonce won the most Grammys (six new ones to add to her 10 from her days with Destiny’s Child) at Sunday night’s ceremony, which aired on CBS.

      I didn’t give her a nod for her peach-colored dress with the dreadful exposed front zipper by Stephane Rolland on the red carpet. (The dress looked like it could have made perfect drapes.) For all of the Beyonce lovers, I’m not hatin’ on the Houston native.

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      Beyonce

      She won me over later in the show during her performance of “If I Were a Boy” and Alanis Morissette’s “You Outta Know.” She just looked stunning, rock inspired and more than capable of giving Lady Gaga, who wore striking Armani Privi dress on the red carpet, a run for her money in the style department. (Watch out, Haus of Gaga, the singer’s troop of stylists and fashion collaborators.)

      John Legend, Maxwell, Mary J. Blige, Heidi Klum and others made my fashionable list. (Certainly, there were plenty of style losers, including Quentin Tarantino, Muck Sticky, Miranda Lambert and Miley Cyrus, but let’s not focus on them.) Now, let’s get to the rest of the winners. For more photos, click here.

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      Lady Gaga

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      John Legend

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      Jonas Brothers

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      Rihanna

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      Pink

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      Mary J. Blige

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      Leah Michelle

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      Heidi Klum

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      Maxwell

      Photos courtesy of The Associated Press

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      January 29, 2010

      Say goodbye to Austin garden and nursery center Gardens

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      Gardening aficionados, Gardens (1818 W. 35th St. 512-451-5490), the popular nursery and garden center, is closing its original location on Jan. 30 after already closing a second shop in Dallas earlier in January.

      Still available at the Austin store are terra-cotta pots and some home decor items and furniture. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The landscape architecture part of the Gardens business will stay remain open.

      Gardens was most recently owned by Bill Bauer, who bought the business about four years ago. Bauer wasn’t available Friday for comment.

      Landscape architect James David and Gary Peese, shown in the photo above, owned the original concept for years.

      A nearby women’s store with a similar name called the Garden Room is still in business. The Garden Room is owned by Patty Hoffpauir.

      According to Gardens’ Web site, Gardens was started in 1981 as a landscape architectural firm, and later the business grew into a retail nursery, home and garden store.

      The store opened a second location in Dallas a couple of years ago.

      Just recently Bauer and Gardens were featured on D magazine’s Best of 2009 list. “This is one of Dallas’ best boutiques for the home whether or not you’re an FOF (Friend of Flora),” according to D magazine.

      The store’s Web site doesn’t mentioned the closing or that the Dallas store was shuttered.

      Photo by Larry Kolvoord AMERICAN-STATESMAN

      Permalink | Comments (8) | Categories: Style

      Tips for shopping Le Garage Sale this weekend

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      Ready for some retail therapy? Le Garage Sale, the twice-yearly event for discounted designer merchandise, is back this weekend.

      The two-day event will go from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Look for home goods, accessories and fashion from Austin Art Garage, West Coast Salvage, Betty Cupcake, Estilo, Fetch, Minx, Moxie, C. Jane, By George, Herff Christiansen, Perriberri, Designer Clearance House, Girl Next Door, Shiki, SoLa, Service Menswear, Solid Gold and others. The fashion fest will be at the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Road).

      Tickets for the sale are $10 person (cash only) and available at the door. A two-day pass is available for $15 per person (cash only); children and teens younger than 16 are free. There are no dressing rooms at the event. There will be food and beverages from Starbucks as well as a full bar.

      Now how can you be a successful Le Garage Sale shopper? Well, we have tips to share.

      Last August we ran a blog entry by Statesman.com editor Kristi Kingston, shopping guru and mother of three. Here’s a version of the entry with Kingston’s thoughts on shopping the sale:

      General strategy:

      — Know what you’re looking for before you go. Check legaragesale.net to see which of your favorite boutiques will be there, and then plan accordingly. I have typically used these twice-a-year events as my primary shoe shopping for the season (alas, this was before Fetish went out of business).

      — If you’re designer hunting, it helps to know which designers the boutiques carry. I will be looking for Chie Mihara at By George and Kooba at Shiki. (Editor’s note: Shiki’s store on Second Street has closed.)

      — Get there early, and expect to wait in line. This only works if you don’t have kids (if you do, see below). It opens at noon both days. I have also heard of folks who wait until nearly closing time on Sunday because of even deeper discounts, but I don’t know if this is true. (Please share in comments below if you’ve had success with
      this.)

      — If you really like something, but it’s still out of your budget, ask the sales folks if they can discount it any more. I picked up a Kooba Cameron bag a few years ago, and the Shiki folks took an extra 10 percent off the Le Garage Sale price. (I made a random trip to Saks a few months later, and the same Cameron was still full price.)

      — Bring cash. In the past, some places have taken checks and some take credit cards, but you’ll have way more luck with cash.

      — BYOB. Leave the purse at home and opt for a tote or duffle with pockets. You’ll hopefully have a lot of loot, and you’ll need one big bag to carry it all in.

      — Dress for success. To be sure, there are plenty of folks who will be dressed more for Friday night than Saturday morning, but only a few places will have “dressing rooms,” and they will be crowded. I’ve seen gals in bike shorts and sports bras, so that they don’t have to worry about trying stuff on in the open. A fitted tank top and loose skirt will work just fine too. I highly recommend flip-flops.

      — Eat and hydrate (but not too much) before you arrive. There are normally refreshments and tables, but if you’re a hard-core shopper, you may not want to take a time out to refuel.

      If you have kids:

      There is no way around it; you are hampered. It’s tough to shop with kids, period, and it’s tougher to find bargains. It’s even more important that you make a plan for which boutiques you want to visit and recognize that you’ll be lucky if you get two hours of shopping.

      — Wait at least half an hour AFTER it opens before you arrive. You don’t want to waste the finite kid attention span waiting in line. Once, I did luck into actually getting in BEFORE it opened because I had my kids with me and it was pouring down rain at the Austin Music Hall, but that won’t be a problem at Palmer.

      — If you have babies, take a small stroller (this is no place for the Bob). I am going to bring it and a baby carrier this time around, but it’s really tough to try on shoes, or anything else for that matter, with a baby carrier.

      — Pack snacks and drinks, and of course, for the younger ones the full diaper-changing accoutrement. Older kids could easily be entertained in the refreshment area with a Nintendo DS or a book.

      — Keep a good eye on smaller children. It’s packed and easy for little ones to get lost.

      — Recognize your children’s limits. This is not the time nor place for marathon shopping with children.

      Happy hunting!

      Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      January 28, 2010

      Thoughts on rugged menswear, fashion and photo shoots

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      As I’ve said before, much of fashion is aspirational, and it’s largely about fantasy and creativity.

      Certainly, fashion serves a basic purpose. Anyone who shops or admires fashion knows you don’t have to have designer goods to look good.

      Having style is really about finding pieces at any price and putting them together in such a way that the look is provocative, in some cases, and captures the essence of who you are in the moment.

      In my print and online column, I often offer items at various price points that are available at local boutiques and stores. Any images (such as the one above with Andy Scahill, who did an awesome job modeling for our rugged menswear photo shoot last week) truly are a starting point. They are shown to get your wheels turning, to get you thinking about fashion and your next possible look.

      The topic of the column, which ran today in the Life & Style section, is realistic. It’s what’s happening in fashion right now. Contrary to some readers’ comments, my column was about how menswear, which is slow to change, is now changing. We’re seeing designers’ reactions to the state of our country and world, and what we’re noticing is now military gear and work wear are influencing menswear.

      Clothing says plenty about a time period, and as we presented in Life & Style and on Statesman.com, menswear is shifting on all levels - from luxury items to everyday pieces.

      Any creative person can find various fashion pieces at a variety of local stores and online vendors and come up with a fresh look. In the case of the rugged menswear story, many people already have these pieces in their closets. How many plaid shirts do you already own? Who doesn’t have work boots?

      It would be fabulous if you found selections at one of our many thrift and vintage shops. It would be equally wonderful if you made the pieces yourself, and it would be just as delightful if you shop for looks of the moment at a local boutique.

      Fashion always will be an outlet to express your personality. What I’m going to continue to offer you are ideas to be the best-looking you you can be.

      Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN

      Hoodie by Hause of Howe, $88; T-shirt by Scott Free Collection, $50; jeans by !iT Jeans, $94; coat by Cohesive & Co., $220, all at Downstairs Apparel.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      January 27, 2010

      A behind-the-scenes look at Stag men's shop

      Late last year, I told you about new men’s store Stag (512-373-7824), which opened on South Congress Avenue. The store’s offerings capture what’s going on in menswear collections of the moment.

      In 2010, it’s OK to be a manly man when it comes to your wardrobe.

      Stag, which neighbors Home Slice Pizza, was started by Mercury Design Studio owners Steve Shuck and Bobby Johns, interior decorator Joel Mozersky, Mercury Design’s Ted Allen and Open Road Antiques’ Don Weir.

      The men’s lifestyle store carries an assortment of casual wear and work wear from lines such as RRL by Ralph Lauren, Burkman Bros., Oliver Spencer, Penfield, Franklin + Gower and Oxen.

      We used some Stag selections for our latest photo shoot, which will appear in print in Thursday’s Life & Style section. Now here’s a behind-the-scenes look at one of SoCo’s newcomers.

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      January 25, 2010

      Fresh Goods: Where 'Stella' got her style groove back

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      We all know this: Looking good sometimes requires us to multitask, especially when the goal is to be among Austin’s party people at a reasonable hour on a Saturday night.

      I mean there’s hair, skin and an entire outfit to ready. So why not get your mani and a new dress at the same time?

      That’s how Stella Blue Boutique & Salon (1204 S. Congress Ave. 512-443-2583), which is owned by Monica Partier, might be useful to A-Town fashionistas.

      I checked out the boutique and salon the other day. It is in a revamped space that was once home to former SoCo favorite Pink Hair Salon & Gallery.

      Stella Blue offers services such as haircuts, coloring, waxing, chemical peels, massages, facials, nail services, hair treatments, makeup and up-‘dos.

      There are salon products such as Goldwell Color line, Shu Uemura, GloMinerals makeup and Rhonda Allison skin care line.

      In the boutique section, options include handbags, belts, shoes, jewelry, undergarments, casual wear and party dresses from lines such as Ark & Co., Chinese Laundry, Costa Blanca, Honey Dew, Hot & Delicious, Idylle, Itsus, Kiss the Girl, Liquid Metal, LIRA Clothing, Mavi, Rafia, Real Pretty Flowers, Second Base and Urban Behavior.

      Stella Blue is the sister venture of Urban Groove Salon (4301 W. William Canyon Drive).

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      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      January 7, 2010

      Readying the runway for Austin Fashion Week

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      Fashionista, mark your calendar.

      Austin Fashion Week is back.

      For the second Fashion Week, the city’s style scene will celebrate from Aug. 14 to 21. (If you recall, last year’s inaugural trip down Austin’s collective runway was during the sweltering days of July.)

      The week of events will conclude with the Austin Fashion Awards likely to be at Long Center for the Performing Arts.

      “We wanted to push it closer to school starting so more students could attend events throughout the week,” Matt Swinney, creator of Austin Fashion Week, said in an e-mail. (He also is the founder of Launch787.) “We also felt based on some feedback from last year that fewer people would still be vacationing in August than are in July.

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      “Finally, August is a little better month for designers and retailers to start showing fall collections,” he said. “July is right between, and we wanted to give it a little more focus.”

      Austin Fashion Week will be similar to last year’s inaugural event. The week was a dizzying series of daytime, evening and late-night events and parties at participating boutiques, retailers and salons. Often there were numerous parties happening in various parts of Austin at the same time.

      This year, planners are encouraging nearby boutiques and salons to have their events on a specific day of the week. That will cut down on travel time for party hoppers and potentially increase traffic flow.

      Starting now, retailers, salons, models, photographers, designers, hairstylists, makeup artists can sign up to participate on Fashion Week’s Web site. Here are more details about Austin Fashion Week:

      There’s a chance for potential drama and ego clashes. Here’s why: The opening event on Aug. 14 will feature collective presentations from teams of local talent. That means each team will include a least one local designer, a photographer, a hairstylist, a makeup artist and a model. (We can only hope planners film each group in the creative process.)

      Team members will work on a fashion photo shoot prior to the opening event, and one image from the shoot will be auctioned off at the opening party. The auction will benefit the new, non-profit Austin Involved developed by Launch787. Also, there will be a runway show featuring one look from each team.

      As for the Austin Fashion Awards show, members of the critics panel will be announced during the summer months prior to the red carpet show. The panel will consist of 30 to 40 people who are tuned in to Austin’s growing fashion scene.

      Also, there will be the addition of the Peer Choice Awards, which will handed out with the Critics’ Choice and People’s Choice awards. For the new award, participants in each category will be allowed to vote for one other person in their own category as a “Best Of.”

      Sorry, model. You can’t vote for yourself.

      Photo courtesy of Jake Holt Photography

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      January 6, 2010

      Check out UT senior's jewelry design on the 'People's Choice Awards' tonight

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      We told you months ago that Kaki Gaines, a University of Texas senior, won a People’s Choice Awards’ national design contest.

      Well, you’ll get to see her statement necklace design at the awards show from Los Angeles. The show airs here at 8 tonight on CBS, and you also can stream parts of the show online and follow a live blog.

      Here’s part of the 2009 style item we printed in the Life & Style section about Gaines and jewelry designer Kendra Scott:

      Austin jewelry designer Kendra Scott helped create the contest, in which contestants had to use metal, chains and stones based on Scott’s current line to design an original piece. Scott’s favorite three designs were submitted online for voting, and Gaines’ piece garnered more than 3,000 votes.

      “I thought it would be a fun kind of thing to do,” Gaines, 21, said. “I make my own jewelry and sell it on the side. The most fun part was designing the necklace.” Gaines entered the contest in September. When she heard she was a finalist, Gaines used Facebook and Twitter to get people to vote for her.

      “We got incredible submissions,” Scott said. “I didn’t have any knowledge of who was who. I picked my favorites and found out one was an Austinite. It’s very exciting. And I love, love, love that she’s an Austin girl. I can’t wait to bring her in here.” Gaines will accompany Scott to the big awards show next year.

      She also will spend time in Scott’s design studio and attend a dinner and party. Her design will be the inspiration for a mini collection that is in production. Parts of the collection will be worn at the People’s Choice Awards as well as be available in stores.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 23, 2009

      A look at 'Sex and the City 2'

      Break out your Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks.

      Carrie Bradshaw and the “Sex and the City” ladies are back in May. Here’s a look at what they’ve been up to since the first “Sex and the City” movie. I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty high fashion from stylist Patricia Field and of course, drama from the likes of Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.

      Are you looking forward to seeing the fashion?

      Permalink | Comments (5) | Categories: Style

      December 21, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Handmade scarves from Aldea

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      Scarves by Aldea, $25 to $40, available at various Austin locations

      With winter here, it’s time to get some fresh cold-weather accessories.

      Check out selections from Austin-based Aldea, which works with Guatemalan master weavers and U.S.-based fashion designers to make handmade goods. The line is based on four styles (prices range from $25 to $40) and ranges from a light style accessory to a heavy scarf, which vary in size and thickness.

      Also there’s the eco-friendly chenille scarf, which is made from recycled chenille sweaters. You can find Aldea’s selections at Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar Blvd. and 9607 Research Blvd.; Downstairs Apparel, 2110 S. Lamar Blvd.; University Co-Op, 2246 Guadalupe St.; and University Co-Op East, 2902 Medical Arts St.; and Spartan, 215 S. Lamar Blvd.

      Photo courtesy of Tasha Petty

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Susan Dell's Phi luxury fashion line to close

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      The shaky economy continues to turn up fashion casualties. This time it’s Phi (pronounced “fee”), the luxury, New York-based label founded by Austinite Susan Dell, wife of Dell founder Michael Dell.

      “Although our team is fiercely proud of Phi’s progress over the last six years, the current market realities have made it increasingly challenging for a small luxury brand with a niche audience to achieve sustainable financial success,” Phi’s chief executive officer Julia Hansen said in a statement released today.

      The Phi store in New York will close at the end of January, and the pre-spring delivery, which arrived this month, will be the label’s finale.

      During its run, Phi garnered critical acclaim, and developed a strong following in New York. Norwegian designer Andreas Melbostad served as the creative director, and celebrity clients included the likes of Bijou Phillips, Emmy Rossum and Padma Lakshmi.

      According to business Web site Hoover’s, Phi, which was founded in 2003, had $8 million in sales and 25 employees as of 2008.

      Dell, who studied fashion merchandising and design at Arizona State University, was featured in the December issue of Tribeza magazine. The designer, who started an eponymous collection in the late 1990s, shuttered her luxury clothing shop in the Davenport Village shopping center several years ago.

      Permalink | Comments (14) | Categories: Style

      December 18, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Stocking stuffers from Sugarluxe

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      Looking for last-minute stock stuffers for your favorite sweetheart?

      Give a thought to goods from Austin-based Sugarluxe such as business card cases ($32), stainless valet key rings ($21) and mirror crystal compacts ($34) - all available at Soigne Boutique (4800 Burnet Road 512-300-2929).

      Additional selections, including art work, glass art belt buckles and cuff links from the SMART collection, are available at here. The line was started by Chandra Michaels.

      Photo courtesy of Amy Schalk

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 17, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Ski goggles by Gucci

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      Ski goggles by Gucci, $195, at Gucci

      Before you ditch Austin to hit the ski slopes this winter, shouldn’t you get some new designer accessories? Check out the offerings from Italian luxe brand Gucci. (This one is perfect for all of those fashionable ski bunnies in your life.)

      The unisex masks, part of the Gucci Eyeweb collection, come in black or white and feature the brand’s signature green-red-green striping in a stretch head band.

      The goggles are produced by Safilo, and have anti-fog lenses that use a new technology to maintain the symmetry of the goggle’s double lenses and to help prevent distortions (you know, trees, glare, etc.) on the slopes.

      The goggles, which are available starting this month, offer protection from UV radiation and have a soft inner lining. Packaging, which includes a soft pouch and sleek black box, has the Gucci’s web striping.

      The goggles are available at Gucci stores, select optical retailers and at Gucci.com.

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      Looking for last-minute gifts? Visit the Eastside Holiday Trunk Show

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      If you’re doing some last-minute holiday shopping, check out the Eastside Holiday Trunk Show at Pump Project Art Gallery (702 Shady Lane) from 7 to 10 tonight.

      You’ll find works from scarf designer My-Cherie Haley of Shimmer & Bliss and jewelry designer Edson Enriquez of Limbo Jewelry Designs.

      Look for Shimmer & Bliss’ newest unisex scarves. While you’re there, check out Edson’s holiday jewelry collection. Also in the mix will be 17 local artists who will display their work.

      There will be door prizes, food and drink, and gift wrapping will be available.

      Just remember to bring a donation of non-perishable food items. The event will support the Austin Food Bank.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 16, 2009

      Anthony Nak offers new jewelry collection at By George event

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      The signs were there. The jewelry line Anthony Nak closed its downtown showroom, sold heavily discounted goods from its 18-karat gold line through its Web site earlier this year, and remained faithful to its entry level line sold through QVC. Even co-creator Nak Armstrong announced plans for his own signature line.

      Sounded as if Anthony Nak, a former finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, would become a luxury relic of this decade. That’s no longer the case. The Austin-based jewelry line has returned with new selections for the holiday season and new year.

      The fall/winter collection includes necklaces, earrings and bracelets in Anthony Nak’s signature style, featuring rutilated quartz, citrines, sapphires, 18-karat white and yellow gold, pink tourmaline, peridot, and other gemstones.

      Anthony Camargo and Armstrong started the line more than 10 years ago, and selections have been worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Beyonce and Rosario Dawson.

      Armstrong will be present for a soiree at By George (524 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5951) from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 17, and there will be a trunk show from Dec. 18-20.

      And certainly, we now can say: The Nak is back.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 15, 2009

      Why designer Tom Ford is Austin's fantastic Mr. Ford

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      I want to make a nomination for the Texas Medal of the Arts, the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards or any other top honor fit for a native Texan.

      My nominee is someone who had cultural significance for two decades: fashion designer and director Tom Ford, whose debut film, “A Single Man,” out this month in select markets, is a period piece that borders on style perfection.

      I followed his work in fashion during the 1990s, back when Ford was serving as creative director for the Italian brand Gucci. He and his team turned around the brand, which had become fashion roadkill in the 1970s and ’80s, and helped it become a global powerhouse that now has Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga in its fold.

      During his tenure designing Gucci and YSL, Ford’s aesthetic was derived from a hyper-eroticism in which women, through wearing pieces such as low-slung pants, fur coats and leather goods, were given the OK to be dominant in the boardroom and the bedroom. (Gucci also offered menswear and home decor selections during Ford’s run.)

      Along the journey, Ford, who was born in Austin in 1961, became a fashion star due, in part, to his provocative marketing.

      Of course, there was the 2002 ad for YSL M7, a men’s fragrance, with French model and former martial arts star Samuel de Cubber in complete full-frontal nudity. And, most recently, there was a series of nude ads - fragrance bottles were placed on models’ bodies - for his signature Tom Ford line. So nope, Ford isn’t a timid Texan.

      Controversy and sexuality aside, I’m suggesting we honor Ford’s efforts in fashion, pop culture and now film during this decade.

      His previous film credits include appearing in one of my favorite fashion documentaries, “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” and in the fashion comedy “Zoolander.”

      Other contributions to the film and TV industry have included providing wardrobe for Daniel Craig in 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” serving as guest editor for Vanity Fair’s 2006 Hollywood issue, in which he appeared on the cover with a naked Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, and interviewing artist Jeff Koons for an episode of the Sundance Channel’s “Iconoclast” series in 2005.

      “A Single Man,” Ford’s film, is about losing something that can’t be replaced. In this case, it’s the story of love and death, and how a British professor named George, deftly played by Colin Firth, finds solitude in the tiniest details and human connections. All of it takes place one day in George’s life in 1962 after the death of his partner, Jim.

      The film, which was shot in less than a month and financed by Ford, evokes a sense of loneliness through Ford’s meticulous nature, which we see in his fashion pursuits. The movie is based on Christopher Isherwood’s landmark 1964 novel, which Ford first read in his 20s, and Ford co-wrote the screenplay with David Scearce. The film opens in Austin in January.

      The film’s styling alone rivals anything that we’ve come to love about fashion on 1960s-era “Mad Men.” (“Mad Men” production designer Dan Bishop worked on Ford’s movie.) The fashion, in part, is thanks to Arianne Phillips, the Oscar-nominated costume designer for 2005’s “Walk the Line” and one of Madonna’s stylists.

      Easily, Firth, co-star Julianne Moore, Phillips, (and, perhaps, Ford) could earn Oscar nominations for the film, which is dedicated to Ford’s longtime partner, writer and editor Richard Buckley. (Today Firth was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a motion picture (drama), Moore for best supporting actress in a film and composer Abel Korzeniowski for best original score in a film.)

      Despite his desire to become a director, Ford’s role in fashion has grown in the second half of this decade. After resigning from Gucci in 2004, Ford returned to fashion with his luxury-oriented Tom Ford brand, which includes boutiques worldwide and custom-made suits starting at $5,000. The line is made up of eyewear, menswear and fragrances for men and women, and there’s talk of a women’s line in the future. Among his national honors, Ford was awarded the Menswear Designer of the Year Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2008. Meanwhile, he is already considering his next film venture. Google him if you’re not sure why he should garner more attention from Austin.

      In Austin, we tend to largely celebrate our sports stars, musicians and Hollywood part-time residents.

      So why not Ford? On a recent episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Ford mentioned being from Austin. His family moved from Texas to Santa Fe, N.M., when Ford was 11, and, at 17, he left New Mexico for New York. He eventually starred in commercials and had a run in acting. (Like a true director, he quit because he wasn’t in control.) His early years were spent in the suburbs of Houston and in San Marcos.

      We know a Texan is a Texan forever. So let’s do our part and not forget about this stylish native son who has helped shape fashion.

      So why not have Tom Ford Day in Austin? Why not have the Austin Fashion Awards, part of Austin Fashion Week, rename its rising star award in Ford’s honor?

      If I had it my way, the University of Texas’ clinical-sounding School of Human Ecology, which produces dozens of fashion designers a year, would be renamed the Tom Ford School of Human Ecology. That has a much sexier ring.

      One day, I hope Austinites will come through to properly honor this fashion maestro.

      A version of this column will appear in Thursday’s Life & Style section.

      Photo by Chris Pizzello/AP

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Fresh Goods: Victorian-influenced accessories from Utzi

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      Accessories from Utzi, $130 to $532, at Blackmail Boutique

      If the vampire craze has made you hungry for Victorian-influenced style, then check out accessories from Austin-based Utzi, which are available at Blackmail Boutique (1202 S. Congress Ave. 512-326-7670). The handmade line, which ranges from $130 to $552, includes slipcase wallets, key chains, wallet chains and key clips. The chains are made from sterling silver, and the slipcase wallets have one-of-a-kind Victorian tintypes that date back to the 19th century. Hand-carved wood and bone also are used in selections for a realistic style.

      Available at Blackmail Boutique, 1202 S. Congress Ave. 512-326-7670.

      Photo courtesy of Brittnie Dilley

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 9, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Go International collection by Rodarte at Target

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      Go International collection by Rodarte at Target

      Recessionista, it wasn’t long ago that I met sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy at a fashion show of their wares in Dallas. The California duo designs the much-praised line Rodarte, which is carried at national stores such as Nordstrom and Barneys New York. (Earlier this year, first lady Michelle Obama wore Rodarte to her April meeting with Queen Rania of Jordan.)

      From Dec. 20 through Jan. 31, you can find selections from the sisters Mulleavy’s edgy 55-piece, limited-edition Go International collection at Target stores and on Target.com. The collection, which ranges from $9.99 to $79.99, includes lace and tulle dresses and skirts, leopard print sequin pieces, netted legwear, silk camisoles, bow belts and an assortment of statement makers.

      Available at Target stores and Target.com.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 8, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Pants by Franklin + Gower at Stag

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      Pants by Franklin + Gower, $185, at Stag

      Who doesn’t like the subtle stripe on a pair of tuxedo pants or colorful piping to add an extra detail to a jacket?

      I know I do. And if you do as well, then consider the designs from newcomer Franklin + Gower.

      The line, which is made in Los Angeles, was founded by friends, Paco McCauley and Eduardo A. Braniff. It includes selections for men, women and boys. (FYI: Franklin Avenue and Gower Street meet on the way to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.)

      Striping comes in a thin piping and a thicker stripe in an assortment of colorful classics to outgoing prints. The pant fabrics are brushed cotton twills, micro- and wide-wale corduroy, and seersucker. Pants come in relaxed and slim fits with waist sizes ranging from 26 to 42.

      Selections available at Stag, the new men’s lifestyle shop on South Congress Avenue, were custom designs for the store. You can design your custom pants and shorts on Franklin + Gower’s Web site, and there are dozens of combinations available through the site.

      Ah, a cummerbund is not included.

      Available at Stag (1423 S. Congress Ave. 512-373-7824).

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      UPDATE: 'Shear Genius' cast to include Austin hairstylist Giacomo Forbes

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      Austin celebrity hairstylist Giacomo Forbes will let us judge if he’s truly a cut above the rest as a contestant on the upcoming third season of Bravo’s reality hair hit, “Shear Genius,” which returns Feb. 3. The cable channel officially announced the show’s return this week.

      According to TV and celebrity news Web sites, there was a casting call earlier this year at the Academy at Austin, a Paul Mitchell Partner School in the Pflugerville area.

      The 12 contestants will compete for $100,000 in seed money from Nexxus, an apprenticeship with the salon care company, and an opportunity to style hair for a feature in Allure magazine.

      Weekly guest judges for season 3 will include singer Estelle, first-season “Shear Genius” contestant and “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” star Tabatha Coffey, hair virtuoso Ken Paves and celebrity stylist Oribe.

      With the taping of the show behind him, Forbes, 43, told us this past summer that he plans to extend his brand by developing his own Internet-based style show. His show, which he plans to initially shoot in Austin, would incorporate tips, charity, fashion, art, celebrities and hairstyling.

      Forbes, a native Italian, has styled Marisa Tomei, Sarah Jessica Parker, Austin part-timer Sandra Bullock, Linda Evangelista, Ali Larter and others.

      UPDATED 2:03 p.m.: In 2001, Forbes opened a West 12th Street studio, which he closed this fall. These days he styles hair at Bella Salon & Day Spa (1221 W. Sixth St. 512-474-5999). His cut-and-colors go for $250.

      Earlier this year, he began selling his signature Organica Damaged Hair Oil Treatment ($35 for 4 ounces). In a phone chat today, Forbes told me that he is developing a line of hair and skin products.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      December 7, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Happy Socks at Service Menswear

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      Socks by Happy Socks, $10 a pair, at Service Menswear

      Give your guy an easy way to express himself with the cool Happy Socks line with designs such as stripes, argyle and spots. (This month, purchase three pairs for $28 at the men’s store, which neighbors By George.)

      I’ve stopped by Service a few times in recent weeks, and these colorful cotton socks really do add a touch of festive cheer without looking like traditional Christmas socks.

      Available at Services Menswear (1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-447-7600).

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 4, 2009

      Updated: A dose of testosterone comes to SoCo with Birds' Manfest and opening of Stag men's shop

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      So South Congress is hours away from getting a fresh dose of testosterone.

      That’s because Austin’s menswear story is moving forward.

      Here comes Stag on SoCo (1423 S. Congress Ave. 512-373-7824) from Mercury Design Studio owners Steve Shuck and Bobby Johns, interior decorator Joel Mozersky, Mercury Design’s Ted Allen and Open Road Antiques’ Don Weir.

      The store will open about noon on Dec. 5, Shuck said.

      The men’s lifestyle store, which neighbors Home Slice Pizza, carries an assortment of casual wear and work wear from lines such as RRL by Ralph Lauren, Burkman Bros., Oliver Spencer, Penfield, Franklin + Gower, Helm boots, and Oxen.

      “We’re not doing three-piece suits,” Shuck said. “We’re doing business wear the way Austin does business wear. It’s everything a man needs for his casual wardrobe.”

      That means the mix will include shirts, sports jackets, denim and pants. Also, the store carries limited-edition graphic tees from Laserwolf Design, books, gadgets, vintage vinyl records, vintage bar ware, an assortment of accessories, poster art from the likes of Noel Waggener and others, and skincare products.

      All fixtures, lighting, tables and chairs in the store are for sale.

      “We appeal to that caveman sense of style of ‘I want that now,’” Shuck said.

      UPDATED: Just got a quick preview of Stag. The store will open Dec. 6.


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      And don’t forget about the special man day at Birds Barbershop on SoCo.

      Calling all beastmasters, barbarians, centaurs and modern tough guys. It’s time for the Third Annual Manfest sponsored by Birds Barbershop and PartyEnds.com.

      The testosterone-infused event will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Birds Barbershop on SoCo (1902 S. Congress Ave. 512-445-0500). Renaissance men will get smoked turkey legs, live-action role players (also known as LARPers), a jousting competition, sword-fight demonstration and a photo booth with a centaur.

      Birds will offer free “Barbarian Blowouts,” and you’ll get Lone Star beer and Cazadores Tequila beverages in Manfest signature steins. Attendees who wear chain mail, a loincloth or Renaissance garb will get a special pass for direct access to a bartender.

      All My Friends, an LCD Soundsystem cover band, and a DJ will offer tunes. Also, all through December, every Birds location will offer half-priced hair products for men.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Photos: Austinites turn up the heat with their cold-weather fashion

      So we didn’t get the highly anticipated 2 inches of snow. Bummer. Who couldn’t use a snow day?

      That didn’t stop Austinites from braving the cold and getting on with another Friday in A-Town. Bundled up in a fashionable scarf and a red Abercrombie & Fitch coat, I ventured in the Second Street District and on South Congress Avenue looking for the styles of times.

      On Second Street near Estilo, I ran into Mark Halsall, who was wearing a puffy ski coat and Louis Vuitton sunglasses.

      “I moved to Texas to get away from this,” he said about the cold weather.

      While the winter mix was a bust, Friday’s cold temperatures weren’t a problem for newcomer Chantelle Konitzer, who recently moved to Austin from London. We met on South Congress Avenue near the Hotel San Jose.

      “London’s the same,” Konitzer said, noting that Londoners worry when there’s the slightest chance of a wintry mix. “This is just normal winter weather, really.”

      No matter what, it gave us the chance to break out our winter wear and dream about snow.

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      Aaron Barrera

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      Anni Munoz, Blossom and Kirk Haines

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      Chantelle Konitzer

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      Phillip Solomon

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      Mike Gomez and Heather Hill

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      Kathryn Worsham

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      Gail Chovan (She’s featured in a story in the Dec . 7 issue of People magazine. It’s the one with Oprah Winfrey on the cover.)

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      Claudette Murphree

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      Mark Halsall

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      Bethany Solonika

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      A look at Austinite Inez Cline Hodson's haute couture collection

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      Last night I jetted off to Neiman Marcus for a private gathering for the School of Human Ecology at the University of Texas and Neiman Marcus’ tribute to the late Austinite Inez Cline Hodson’s haute couture collection. Austinite Gwen Hodson Bruner, Hodson’s daughter, was in the mix.

      As we told you earlier this week, you can see selections from the collection at Neiman Marcus (3400 Palm Way Drive 719-1200) through Dec. 12. Hodson, who moved to Austin in the 1980s from Montana, was a vigorous reader who enjoyed champagne and dancing.

      Perhaps best of all, Hodson, who died in 2006, loved fashion and built a vast collection of American and European designs. UT, which acquired the collection, loaned the luxury store dresses, jackets, suits and other pieces designed by Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Lacroix, Marc Jacobs, Halston, Bill Blass and others for window and in-store displays to honor Hodson and her daughter.

      The exhibit of Hodson’s wares is a marvel for any true fashionista.

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      Permalink | Comments (4) | Categories: Style

      December 3, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Tom Ford for Men fragrance

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      Tom Ford for Men Eau de Toilette Spray by Tom Ford, $60 and $85, at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and other retailers

      A sample of this light, classic wood scent from the Austin native came my way a couple of seasons ago. The packaging caught my eye, but the fragrance didn’t move me until I regularly started wearing it this fall. Now I can say this is my favorite men’s fragrance.

      Available at Neiman Marcus (3400 Palm Way Drive 512-719-1200), Nordstrom ((2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) 512-691-3500) and Saks Fifth Avenue (9722 Great Hills Trail 512-231-3700).

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      December 2, 2009

      Fresh Goods: Fuji Instax Instant Camera at Urban Outfitters

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      NOTE: This is the first of several holiday gift ideas I’ll tell you about from now until Dec. 24. (I offer more than a dozen ideas in Dec. 3’s Life & Style section in the American-Statesman.) For luxury gifts, check out the December issue of the Statesman’s Glossy magazine available online and at select retailers starting Friday.

      Fuji Instax Instant Camera by Fuji, $130, at Urban Outfitters

      One of my fashionista friends is obsessed with photography, and this camera is an instant classic reminding me of the old Polaroid model my family had when I was a kid many Christmases ago. For nostalgia’s sake, strike a pose this season.

      Available at Urban Outfitters (2406 Guadalupe St. 512-472-1621).

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      UT, Neiman Marcus pay tribute to late Austinite's haute couture collection

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      There are a few personal details you should know about the late Austinite Inez Cline Hodson: She was a vigorous reader. She enjoyed spending time in her rose garden. She loved champagne and to dance.

      And for the fashionistas, she loved haute couture.

      Lucky for us, Hodson built a vast collection of American and European designs that was acquired by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Texas. Hodson died on June 17, 2006. (For some time, I’ve been wanting to slip away to look at the entire collection and hope to do so soon.)

      Until Dec. 12, we can see selections from the Inez Cline Hodson Collection at Neiman Marcus (3400 Palm Way Drive 719-1200). The School of Human Ecology has loaned the luxury department store several pieces for in-store displays that honor Hodson and her daughter, Gwen Hodson Bruner.

      The overall collection is an offering of American and European haute couture designs gathered over the years.

      According to an obituary, which ran in the American-Statesman in 2006, Inez Hodson, who was born in Alton, Missouri. Her family moved to Montana when she was a baby and later, at a young age, she began her career as a rancher. She took on duties such as weighing cattle, paying the workers, and handling the books.

      Later, she and her husband, Charlie Hodson, ran a cattle ranch outside Cascade, Montana, and during the 1940s and ’50s, the couple’s business ventures included the Hodson Ranch Co., Hodson Feed, Elk Ridge Corp. and the Montana Livestock Auction Co. in Butte, Montana.

      Inez Hodson moved to Austin in the 1980s to be close to her daughter.

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      Lake Austin Spa Resort offers spa prize giveaway for Austin volunteers

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      Know Austinites who regularly give back to the community through volunteering and helping others?

      The award-winning Lake Austin Spa Resort wants to hear about them.

      The spa, which is on the shore of Lake Austin, has announced a new Austin Angels program, which is meant to raise awareness about charities and organizations as well as reward Austinites who donate countless hours to community service and outreach.

      Mike McAdams, co-owner of Lake Austin Spa Resort, said in a media release, “Not only do we like to support local charities such as the Austin Humane Society, Animal Trustees of Austin and the Breast Cancer Resource Center throughout the year, but we also wanted to recognize individuals whose efforts may otherwise go unnoticed. Without volunteer efforts, many of our community projects may not otherwise exist.”

      Here’s how the giveaway works: Now through Dec. 24, you can nominate an individual who demonstrates a strong commitment to volunteering.

      Twelve winners will be selected at random and featured on Lake Austin Spa Resort’s Web site. Winners will be announced on Dec. 28. They will be rewarded with a LakeHouse Full Day Away gift certificate to the spa, which can be used during 2010.

      The spa prize is a one 80-minute spa treatment, two 50-minute spa treatments, gourmet lunch in the LakeHouse Spa’s Aster Cafe, and access to the spa facilities, including the sauna, steam rooms and whirlpool. Gratuities for services will be included.

      Nominations can be submitted through the spa resort’s Web site. Also, you can find contest information on Facebook and Twitter.

      During the nomination period, a list of charities and service organizations based on the nominee’s volunteer service will be compiled and posted on the spa’s Web site.

      Photo by Victoria Pearson Photography

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      November 20, 2009

      Beauty Notes: More holiday treatments at Austin spas

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      After your long Thanksgiving weekend, why not give yourself a real holiday break? You might need it after all of the shopping and the visiting with friends and family. If you’re pooped, then get thyself to the spa …

      Consider the Lakeway Resort & Spa (101 Lakeway Drive 512-261-6600). The Dolce-run resort and its San Saba Spa offer spa services such as the Autumn Spa Pedicure, $90, through the end of November. The service, which includes a fall-themed beverage, is a classic pedicure with a leg and foot scrub using a blend of oatmeal, pumpkin and walnut. A warm pumpkin foot masque and pumpkin body butter are applied.

      At the Spa at the Four Seasons (98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-478-4500), there’s the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Body Treatment ($195, 80 minutes), in which the skin gets exfoliated before being immersed in a sparkling golden gel. A gold-flecked body oil massage and a light dusting of luminous, iridescent gold powder are applied along with frankincense and myrrh oils.

      Also, the Sugar Cookie Scrub ($135, 50 minutes) uses a brown sugar and vanilla scrub to exfoliate the skin before a rinse and a full-body massage with Epicuren’s vanilla after-bath lotion. The treatment ends with a plate of warm sugar cookies.

      Then there’s the Peppermint Pedicure ($80, 60 minutes), in which the lower legs and feet get an exfoliating peppermint foot scrub, followed by a peppermint lotion foot massage and a polish application.

      Also, the Holi-Daycation ($160, available Monday through Friday) offers a 50-minute spa treatment; lunch at TRIO; use of the eucalyptus steam rooms, locker rooms and fitness facilities; and access to the outdoor pool, which is heated to 82 degrees year-round.

      And as we told you yesterday, there’s Spa Reveil (11410 Century Oaks Terrace 512-339-7000), the North Austin spa at the Domain.

      New offerings are: 24-Karat Gold Facial, $150, a 60-minute treatment using mist technology and 24-karat gold followed by tea service; Chocolate Fondue Indulgence, $180, a 70-minute treatment of a chocolate scrub, wrap and 30-minute massage followed by tea service and a gift of chocolate.

      Also there’s Gold Chocolate Indulgence, $300, including a 60-minute 24-karat gold facial, a 70-minute scrub with a wrap, 30-minute massage, tea service and a gift of chocolate; and Seasonal Pumpkin Facial, $95, a 60-minute exfoliating facial using pumpkin fruit enzyme to polish the skin and remove dead cells.

      The spa has specials through Dec. 31 such as a 60-minute espresso body therapy for $95 and a 65-minute peppermint pedicure for $75.

      For information about spas, click here.

      Photo courtesy of the Four Seasons

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      November 19, 2009

      Beauty Notes: New holiday spa treatments at Spa Reveil

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      Gold, chocolate and pumpkin … Sounds like the recipe for a holiday season. But they are part of a growing number of new spa treatments available at Austin spas.

      And speaking of spas, make sure you get your relax on despite your nagging family or your holiday shopping crunch. Make some time to celebrate you this season.

      That’s why we’ll tell you about new spa treatments at various spas for a quick Austin yuletide staycation, especially if you can’t squeeze in a trip to New York or Los Angeles or a beach resort somewhere in the coming weeks.

      Don’t forget about Spa Reveil (11410 Century Oaks Terrace (512) 339-7000). (Get information about spas here.) The North Austin spa, which is based at the Domain near Macy’s, offers a variety of holiday-induced spa treatments. Consider indulging in one of the spa’s newest offerings:

      • Twenty-Four-Karat Gold Facial, $150, is a 60-minute treatment with tea service. (Total time, including tea service, is 80 minutes.) The treatment uses a new mist technology combined with 24-karat gold for glowing skin. (Sounds like something Madonna might try.)

      • Chocolate Fondue Indulgence, $180, is a 70-minute treatment, including a scrub, wrap, 30-minute massage with tea service, and a gift of chocolate. (Total time, including tea service, is 100 minutes.) This treatment is used to detox and balance excess body fluids.

      • Gold Chocolate Indulgence, $300, includes 60-minute 24-karat gold facial, a 70-minute chocolate scrub, a chocolate wrap and 30-minute massage. Also you’ll get tea service and a gift of chocolate. (Total time, including tea service, is 150 minutes.)

      • Seasonal Pumpkin Facial, $95, is a gentle exfoliating facial that uses pumpkin fruit enzyme to smooth and polish your skin. The pumpkin relaxes and treats congested skin by removing dead skin cells and slows down environmental damage. (Total time is 60 minutes.)

      The spa has specials through Dec. 31: A 60-minute pumpkin facial for $95, a 60-minute espresso body therapy for $95, and a 65-minute peppermint pedicure for $75.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      November 18, 2009

      Will new Domain offerings fly with fashionistas? American Eagle, Forever 21, Payless shoes think so.

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      Here we are floundering in a rocky economy, but if you recall, there was a time when life was good, the money was rolling in, and we had fleeting thoughts about Escalades, Hermes scarves, Gucci bags and second and third homes.

      Back in 2007, when I first came to town, Austin appeared to be hooked on items such as Prada handbags, Stuart Weizman and Jimmy Choo shoes, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, and luxury apartments. That’s when the original Domain opened. The lifestyle center in North Austin was developed by Simon Property Group, the largest public U.S. real estate company.

      As any fashionista knows, the Domain gave A-Town a Neiman Marcus store, a Tiffany & Co., a Louis Vuitton store, a Barneys New York Co-Op, and a gathering of new concept retail such as Martin + Osa and Madewell. (And really, who wouldn’t want to have a tricked-out corner apartment above Tiffany?)

      Well, since then as we know, the luxury market has gone south because of the recession, the housing market has tanked, and credit and financing have dried up. In this downturn, here comes Domain II, with the bulk of the shopping center opening in 2010.

      What is to come to the Domain is a telling sign of the economy we’re in: Domain II retailers include Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is now open; Dillard’s; Gold Class Cinemas; American Eagle Outfitters; Avalon LifeStyle Nail Salon (March 2010); Aeropostale; Bath & Body Works; the Buckle; Agaci (March 2010); Bui-yah-kah; Charming Charlie; Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf; East Fifth Hub Clothing; Express; Finish Line; Gamestop; the Limited; Maggiano’s; Master Wok (March 2010); Payless ShoeSource; Perfume Palace (March 2010); Shasa Collections; Stride Rite; Sushi Zushi; Vans; Yogurt Planet; and Zumiez. (Unless noted, new retailers at Domain II will open in February 2010. In addition, a Westin hotel at the Domain will open next year as well.)

      Many of these retailers are modern mall staples (yes, I checked other mall directories), and there are few luxury gems. The new Domain, whose notable highlights are Dillard’s and the movie theater, doesn’t carry the same mystique as the original Domain, which will get a Forever 21 store on Nov. 27 and an Anthropologie store in the summer 2010.

      What Domain II desperately needs is H&M. The Swedish retailer has snubbed Texas, causing shoppers, including me, to pick up goods in other cities. Perhaps someone can convince H&M’s CEO Stefan Persson to take a chance on us. (Yes, I realize the delay probably has something to do with distribution in Texas.)

      Austin might not be ready for a stand-alone Chanel or Gucci store, but here’s a short list of stores I’d love to see at the Domain: Club Monaco, Urban Outfitters, Armani Exchange, French Connection, Kiehl’s, J. Crew’s men’s store, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Guess, Gap’s new 1969 concept, and any local stores that aren’t in Domain II’s current mix. (The Steeping Room and Luxe Apothetique are two locals in the Domain.)

      The only unusual retailer at Domain II is the Gold Class Cinemas (as seen in the photo above). It’s a luxury cinema with plush reclining chairs, a silent server call button, pillows and blankets on request, valet parking, reserved seats, cocktails and international wines, and gourmet food such as crisp lobster rolls, pumpkin mousse and mini crab cakes. This theater really should be near Neiman Marcus, which is in the original Domain. I mean, why not pick up some new Christian Louboutins before catching the third “Twilight” movie next summer?

      Well, for now, we’re living in a troubling reality. You can bet your Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress on it. It seems our luxury hopes and dreams now are on standby or worse. Domain retailer Bailey Banks and Biddle will close its doors soon. The jewelry store, which is more than 175 years old, is discounting goods by 40 percent to 60 percent off original prices. It is part of a small group of retailers to close at the Domain since its opening. Next to go will be Abercrombie & Fitch’s Ruehl, a high-end store concept that didn’t find its footing, creating another hole in the Domain mix.

      Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      November 17, 2009

      UPDATE: Vote for your favorite 2010 SXSW T-shirt design

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      With our generally mild temperatures, we love wearing our T-shirts in Austin almost as much as we love music. Now speaking of music, it will be South by Southwest time before we know it.

      And speaking of T-shirts, vote for your favorite tee design in the SXSW 2010 T-Shirt Design Project from San Francisco-based 99designs.

      According to a media release, the project garnered more 650 unique T-shirt designs in about week. Then a SXSW committee selected the top 5 designs.

      Voting is open now to select a winning design. Voting will end 5 p.m. PST on Nov. 20.

      The winning design will be printed and sold at South by Southwest. (In case, you were wondering that’s March 12-21 2010.)

      UPDATE 4:57 p.m.: I just checked with the folks at 99design.com in San Francisco about confusion with votes for the T-shirt design contest.

      For the record, your vote for the Top 5 SXSW design entries is still being counted even though once you vote, you are linked to a Web page that says voting is over. That page is the Web page for first part of the contest seeking design entries, and what you are seeing on that page are the original 600-plus design submissions.

      As we already reported, the contest to vote for the top 5 SXSW designs ends at 5 p.m. PST on Nov. 20. May the best design win.

      Permalink | Comments (12) | Categories: Style

      November 6, 2009

      UPDATE: Win tickets to the Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show and Shop787 event

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      This weekend will include plenty of fashion moments in Austin such as the Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show and Shop787, a new shopping event at the Mueller Development.

      So we have a quick and simple contest for you to win tickets. Send me an e-mail, including your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Include the words “Fashion contest” in the subject line. (If you’re having trouble clicking the link above, my e-mail address is mharper@statesman.com.)

      We’ll give away two pairs of general admission tickets to the Runway to Heaven at the Austonian on Saturday and a pair of tickets to Shop787 on Sunday.

      We’ll pick winners from a hat (or a hat box) at 4 today. Here’s info below on the events:

      Fashionistas, this weekend all eyes will be on style. Check out Saturday’s Runway to Heaven show at the Austonian (200 Congress Ave.). Doors for the event open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

      The runway will be shared by Poleci, Austin designer Linda Asaf, emerging designer Alexandra King and heavy-hitter Versace. Hair and makeup for the show will be done by a team from Australian-based Kevin Murphy. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Austin Children’s Shelter and Dell Children’s Medical Center.

      If you see a look you like, you’ll be able to text a three-digit code to buy the item, and 15 percent of all purchases for the night will be donated to the charities. Also, there will be food and drink from various vendors, including Piranha Killer Sushi, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Savvy Handcrafted Vodka.

      Tickets will be available at the door and range from $90 to $325 for general admission, VIP reserved and VIP reserved lounge seating. Student tickets are available for $40.

      The event is co-sponsored by the American-Statesman and its luxury magazine, Glossy. The magazine’s Glossy 8 Style Maker Award winners will be introduced to the audience. The honorees are Christine Perrault Moline, Trent Thurman, Andrea McWilliams, Coi Burruss, Elizabeth and Benjamin Serrato, Sylvia Orozco, Maria Groten and Nancy Scanlan.

      And on Sunday, get an early start on your holiday shopping. Check out Shop787, which supports Dell Children’s Medical Center, at the Mosaic at Mueller (4600 Mueller Blvd.) from noon to 6 p.m. The event was created by Austin Fashion Week founder Matt Swinney’s events business, Launch787.

      More than 50 vendors will participate, including 302 Designs, Adelante Boutique, Beyond Tradition, Deborah Main Designs, Hem Jeans, Dress Shop, Paige King Jewelry, Rene Geneva Design, Eliza Page, Finch, Underwear, Wee, Sikara & Co., Two Winey Women, Verbena Floral Design and Soigne Boutique.

      Advance tickets are $5, available at here. Tickets, which include complimentary beverages, are $10 at the door or $5 with the donation of a book to Dell Children’s Medical Center. There will be food vendors on site as well.

      UPDATE 4:12 p.m.:

      We put the entries into a box and asked Gary Dinges, Austin360.com editor, to draw the winning tickets.

      Winner of 1 pair of Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show tickets: Ryann Malone of Austin

      Winner of 1 pair of Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show tickets: Cristina L. Martinez of Austin

      Winner of 1 pair of tickets to Shop787: Gina Winters of Austin

      Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the winners. We’ll be back next week with another fashionable contest.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      November 5, 2009

      Fashion meet-and-greet with designer John Renaud and Fashion Leak

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      Keep your fashion weekend going strong. From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Midland native and fashion designer John Renaud will be at Buy Definition (3100 S. Congress Ave. 670-7448) for a meet-and-greet with customers.

      The event is by Fashion Leak, a new Austin-based Web site highlighting innovative talent in fashion. The Web site’s committee will show a video of Renaud’s collection in the store as well as display works by other featured designers, Boudoir Queen by Dawn Younger-Smith, and I Love Factory, whose New York-based designers, Christopher Garbushian and University of Texas graduate Laurel St. Romain, will be at the store.

      (I Love Factory headpieces have been featured in “Gossip Girl” and Teen Vogue magazine.) There will an in-store performance from Monster Girl’s Jenny Gacy, who is the lead singer of Austin-band The White White Lights. There will beverages and goodie bags available.

      Photo courtesy of Neil Wilder

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      October 30, 2009

      Video: "Project Runway" winner Chloe Dao talks new fashion bags and luggage

      Before our modeling gig on Thursday night, we spent some time at Parts & Labour boutique on South Congress Avenue with one of our fashion friends, “Project Runway” Season 2 winner Chloe Dao.

      The Houston resident was at the boutique to meet fans and to talk about her latest collaboration with Austin-based Nuo during an official launch party. Nuo and Dao have created various fashion bags, travel cases and luggage in intriguing retro prints. You can find the pieces this holiday season at Nuo’s Web site as well as at an online retailer such as Dell.com.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Video: Jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth's trunk show at By George

      We caught up with jewelry designer and 2008 Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Irene Neuwirth during her Austin visit.

      Neuwirth, who sells her goods at Barneys New York and specialty stores, is having a trunk show of her latest bejeweled selections at By George (524 N. Lamar Blvd. 472-5951). The trunk show will remain in the store for purchases through Oct. 31.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      October 27, 2009

      Update: Ann Kelso hair salon remains closed

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      The doors to high-profile South Congress Avenue hair salon Ann Kelso Salon and CitySpa were locked and the lights were off during business hours on Tuesday morning.

      A sign on the door read: “Tenant’s lease has been terminated due to tenant’s failure to pay rent. As a result, tenant’s possession of the premises is terminated.”

      There also were signs on the door from hairstylists noting their whereabouts.

      Salon owner Barbara Ann Kelso didn’t respond to a phone call or e-mails in the past two days. A recorded message at the salon didn’t indicate that the location was shuttered temporarily or otherwise, and still maintained that the salon is open seven days a week.

      The salon, which is in a modern space at 1400 S. Congress Ave., neighbors Perla’s, By George and Service Menswear.

      A call Monday to Jaylinn Davidson of 78704 Partners Limited, who is named in the letter posted on Ann Kelso’s doors, wasn’t returned.

      In recent months, the salon has been involved in several high-profile city events such as Austin Fashion Week, the Austin Fashion Awards - it picked up the critics’ choice Best Salon Award - and the upcoming Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show.

      UPDATE: 5:42 p.m. Oct. 27

      Through her public relations firm, salon owner Barbara Kelso issued a statement today about an ongoing legal issue involving the hair salon and the developer of the shopping/restaurant venue, in which Ann Kelso is located.

      For clients who have upcoming appointments, the media release advises that they use social media sites such as Facebook to locate their service providers.

      “I’m encouraging our clients to visit Facebook to locate the service providers they were scheduled to see in our salon,” Kelso said in the media release. “Until we can to retrieve our business data from 78704 Partners, that is the best way to proceed.

      “Stay tuned,” Kelso said. “You can’t just turn off a business that’s been around as long as ours. Ann Kelso Salon may evolve, but this story is by no means over.”

      Permalink | Comments (42) | Categories: Style

      October 21, 2009

      Goods of the Week: Helm boots for men and women

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      This is the season of the boot. And guys in Austin and beyond have more footwear options from boot designer Joshua Bingaman, who owns Progress Coffee and co-owns Owl Tree Roasting, and his brother-in-law, Mauricio Cremer, who owns Austin market company Duel Purpose. Their line is called Helm, which is also the middle name of Bingaman’s 1-year-old son, Samuel.

      “This is something I’ve intentionally not done until it was the right time,” Bingaman, 30, said. “The planets aligned; it has fallen together and it has been a lot of fun.” (Bingaman also co-owned a shoe store in San Francisco with his brother 10 years ago.) Bingaman and Cremer have worked on the project for the past eight months and have created seven styles, whose names come from the nicknames that Samuel calls family members and close friends (Dunkel, Poppy, Ray Ray, etc.).

      The collection, which is influenced by old Red Wing boots and military boots with a European touch, is made from Spanish and Dutch leathers, Australian sheepskin and French and Italian soles. The boots, which are unisex, are handmade in Istanbul, Turkey, and range from $400 to $600.

      The boots will be available at a pop-up shop and at new men’s store Stag, which will open on South Congress Avenue. Next year, a full women’s collection will be added to the mix.

      UPDATE: Helm boots will be available at a pop-up shop inside Mercury Design Studio (209 W. Second St.).

      Photo courtesy of Mauricio Cremer

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      October 20, 2009

      Strike a pose: Clinique, Teen Vogue to hold beauty event at UT

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      Get ready to strike a pose. Students who are at least 13 will get their chance during Clinique’s Fresh Faces Tour, a style effort with Conde Nast’s Teen Vogue magazine.

      There will be a mobile beauty studio at 2209 Rio Grande St. in the West Campus area of the University of Texas from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and 23.

      The magazine’s beauty and health director, Eva Chen, will take questions from the crowd and offer news on fall makeup trends. (Here’s a look at Teen Vogue’s November cover.)

      Students will get a complimentary makeover, professional photo and a chance to win a prize, including a trip to New York to visit Teen Vogue’s office as well as Clinique’s headquarters, a professional photo shoot that will be featured in the magazine, a year’s supply of Clinique products and a Teen Vogue makeover.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      October 12, 2009

      Having sweater envy at the annual Octopus Club's Octo Tea Dance

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      So it was Sunday at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Among the crowd, including boldface media names such as the Austin Chronicle’s Stephen Moser, Tribeza’s Lauren Smith Ford and KVUE’s Tyler Sieswerda, attending the annual Octopus Club’s Octo Tea Dance, I had an unthinkable fashion moment.

      It wasn’t that I had spent hours before the big shindig, which benefits the Paul Kirby Emergency Fund of AIDS Services of Austin, trying to figure out a layered cold-weather outfit that could easily transform into a rainy-day-inside-party look. (With the bad weather, the event, which was held on National Coming Out Day, was moved inside the Long Center, skipping the use of the city terrace for mingling and dancing as was the case for last year’s event.)

      My fashion moment certainly didn’t involve the gentleman who wandered around with a fur on his shoulder. Or the Lilly Pulitzer selections on models in the jazz lounge. Or the muscled guys (friends of friends) only dressed in tanktops and jeans who obviously weren’t frightened by the cool temperatures.

      Everything had to do with me discovering my favorite guy sweater of the season in the hundreds of people who attended the event, which included a silent auction and an experience auction with personal adventures with artist Graydon Parrish, chef Coi Burruss, Moser and others.

      Here’s the bad side: Through some quick Internet research today, I discovered the Rag & Bone 100-percent cashmere V-neck waffle sweater in pearl white with navy trim and patches at the elbows (originally priced at $468) actually is from last fall. I found a photo of it (above) on the blog for Washington, D.C.-based Farinelli’s store for men and women. (Think of it in the same terms as Austin’s Bows & Arrows boutique on South Lamar Boulevard.)

      Oh well, with it being from last year, that means there’s really no chance of getting the sweater my size. I did find a size small online discounted to $141. (I’m certainly not a size small.)

      At the very least, I thought I could ask the guy wearing it to let me have the sweater. Or I could have wrestled him to the ground, taken the sweater off him, and made my way through the crowd to my car.

      Maybe all of my thinking was a little too Hollywood and a little too much for a casual Austin charity event on a dreary Sunday afternoon.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      October 9, 2009

      UT senior wins People's Choice Awards/Kendra Scott Jewelry competition

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      Kaki Gaines, a University of Texas senior, won the People’s Choice Awards’ national design contest with Austin jewelry designer Kendra Scott. Gaines’ winning statement necklace design will be seen at the awards show in Los Angeles on Jan. 6.

      Scott, the celebrity judge, helped create the contest, in which contestants had to use metal, chains and stones based on Scott’s current line to design an original piece. Then Scott’s favorite three designs were submitted online for voting, and Gaines’ piece garnered more than 3,000 votes.

      “I thought it would be a fun kind of thing to do,” Gaines, 21, said. “I make my own jewelry and sell it on the side. The most fun part was designing the necklace.” Gaines entered the contest in September. When she heard she was a finalist, Gaines used Facebook and Twitter to get people to vote for her.

      “We got incredible submissions,” Scott said. “I didn’t have any knowledge of who was who. I picked my favorites and found out one was an Austinite. It’s very exciting. And I love, love, love that she’s an Austin girl. I can’t wait to bring her in here.”

      Gaines will accompany Scott to the big awards show next year. She also will spend time in Scott’s design studio and attend a dinner and party. Her design will be the inspiration for a mini collection that is in production. Parts of the collection will be worn at People’s Choice Awards as well as available in stores.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      October 6, 2009

      Wish big this holiday season. Neiman Marcus' Christmas Book has arrived.

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      Ah, once a year we can have our aspirational moment. It comes in the form of Neiman Marcus’ annual Christmas Book, which is filled with luxury gifts, experiences and wishes. (This year we didn’t get an actual print copy of the book, which was released today. We did find a virtual copy online.)

      Even as we’re in a challenging economy, the book, which is filled with everything, including designer iPhone holders to airplanes, can tickle every fancy. This year, yes, we wish for our Prada hobo bag for $895, Burberry toddler pajamas for $90, the F. Hammann iPhone case for $175, the Dior 60th anniversary book for $250, a Michelle Brand Sustainable Chandelier for $12,000, the 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus Edition car for $105,000 (it comes with a 5-piece set of luggage in navy blue leather), a Makers Mark Master Distiller Experience for $7,500, and His & Hers Icon Sports Aircraft for $250,000.

      But this year something truly caught our eye. It’s the Customized Cupcake Car. Check out the notes below for more details. This sweet ride will cost you though. It’s the prices of a Toyota Prius at $25,000.

      Don’t worry if you’re on a budget. Dallas-based Neiman Marcus also is publishing a separate holiday book of gift items, many of which will be less than $100.

      Happy holiday shopping.

      Put on your matching hat, slip under the muffin top of your Cupcake Car, and let the world figure itself out for awhile. Get (or give) the sheer, joyful chaos of a gift that is mind-blowing, triple-dog-dare, double-infinity forever cool. Make the kids or grandkids literally squeal with joy. Bring it to work and buzz the breakroom. Crash parades! Putter about the ‘hood. Ever had a crowd of kids chasing after you just for the crazy gleeful heck of it? (No worries, the top speed is a comfy-safe 7 mph.) What’s it made of? A 24-volt electric motor, a heavy-duty battery, sheet metal, wire, fabric, wood … and mad genius. Launched at Burning Man as a cooperative art car project, the Cupcake Car sprang from the fevered mind of Bay Area artist Lisa Pongrace and her less-rules-more-laughs posse of artists and techno geeks. Yours will be tricked out with your favorite topping, so start thinking flavors.

      Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      September 30, 2009

      Our annual Fashion Festie Awards return for ACL Fest

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      We know this much to be true: Fashion rocks.

      It always has.

      Starting Friday, I’ll be part of the brigade of music lovers and fashionistas descending on Zilker Park for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which ends Sunday night.

      Once again, I will scout out the most stylish looks of the day for our annual Fashion Festies, our awards for the style mavens and trendsetters who wear standout frocks, boots and T-shirts.

      Check out 2009’s winners at austin360.com/acl.

      This time, make sure you pay homage to the stylish Dave Matthews Band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or John Legend. Or dress to your own beat.

      At ACL, you never know what you’ll get to see: dust masks, flowing frocks, floppy hats, umbrellas of every fantasy or even a sombrero or two.

      Get those stellar looks together and don’t forget to strike a pose. I’ll be looking for you in the crowd.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      Nordstrom Rack to open Oct. 22 in North Austin

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      Facebook has been buzzing with the news all day. Ah, fashionista, the sign says everything: Nordstrom Rack, the sibling store of luxury department store Nordstrom, will officially open Oct. 22.

      The new store will offer discounted designer wares for men and women as well as shoes, accessories and home goods similar to Neiman Marcus’ Last Call, which is in South Austin at the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Off 5th stores.

      Nordstrom Rack will be located in the Gateway Center near the Arboretum in North Austin.

      The Nordstrom department store is in Southwest Austin at Barton Creek Square. Plans for a second Nordstrom store - this one will be at the Domain lifestyle center - are in the works.

      Permalink | Comments (10) | Categories: Style

      September 24, 2009

      'Project Runway' Week 6: Costume caper challenge

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      Hey, it’s me again. And we’re here to wrap up this week’s “Project Runway” episode in a jiffy. (Is anyone watching it this season? Hope it’s not just me and a bunch of other TV or fashion writers.)

      Hands down this week turned out to be one of the best episodes of the season. Why?

      Because the challenge focused on what Los Angeles does best: Making movies.

      The episode, in which the designers had to pick a movie genre and make a costume for $150 in one day, had its share of unfortunates.

      Unfortunate 1. The promising Ra’mon is gone. Got the boot from Heidi and this week’s guest judges, including Zoe Glassner (she’s no Nina Garcia, but at least this week she was harsh), Madonna’s stylist, Academy Award nominee (for “Walk the Line”) Arianne Phillips, and one of my favorite designers, Jonn Varvatos.

      Both versions of sci-fi creation were hideous. With two hours left to finish his look, he started over. That’s the big mistake designers have been making this season. Ra’mon’s final look was soooooo B movie it was almost funny. It’s hard to make a Martian-like creature look sexy, and he should have known better.

      Unfortunate 2. Annoying Nicolas won for his ice queen look despite its cheap-looking fabric. I’m getting sick of this guy. He’s full of himself. And I hope he creates a disaster next week and gets the boot.

      Unfortunate 3. Louise, who was in the bottom two, really has to come up with something good next. Or I’ll be over her, too. Make Texas look good, girl. Week after week I haven’t been intrigued by her work. And what the heck is a 1940s film noir look combined with 1920s? It was a hot mess. Varvatos was right. It wasn’t a memorable outfit for a movie.

      I was most impressed with Christopher’s fresh take on Victorian; Epperson’s “Annie Get Your Gun” western look, which stood out with its ruffled denim; and I hate to say it, Nicolas’ piece.

      This season I really haven’t felt a strong connection to any of the designers. Call me jaded if you want. I’ll take it. (So far, who’s your favorite? And why?) I’m curious. Maybe one of you will sway me with your words.

      Thankfully, we get some Michael Kors action next week. Yes, yes, yes. I’m excited to see him on screen again. Trust me, that’s a first for me after watching the show season after season.

      OK. Hope we get to Bryant Park soon. Ciao for now. See you on the runway. …

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      September 22, 2009

      Rae Cosmetics, Birds Barbershop and others donating to HAAM's Benefit Day

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      Fresh from a stint at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Rochelle Rae and her Rae Cosmetics team will donate 5 percent of all sales today to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians’s Benefit Day. (There are special music events and donating opportunities in Austin today.)

      Rae Cosmetics (1206 W. 38th St. 512-320-8732) will have live performances from Eleisha Eagle at 4 p.m. and TRES at 5 p.m.

      Other style and gift shops and boutiques in Austin getting in on the donation action today include Sweet Charity, Tesoros Trading Company, Whole Earth Provision Co., Allandale Paint & Design Center and Birds Barbershop.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      September 20, 2009

      Emmy fashion: Who was the best dressed at the big awards show?

      You caught the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards. You saw the winners. The losers. And everything in between.

      Now have your say on what the stars and nominees wore on the red carpet and during the annual Emmy telecast.

      Did you like “Damages” star Marcia Gay Harden’s look?

      Or what about “Ugly Betty’s” Vanessa Williams?

      Or one of our favorites, the very pregnant “Project Runway” host Heidi Klum?

      Visit our hot or not gallery now.

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      September 18, 2009

      Saturday brunch plans? Mix fashion and food at Sagra Trattoria

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      Looking for Saturday brunch plans? Mix fashion and food. That’s right, fashion and food. (My favorite pairings.)

      Start your Saturday at Sagra Trattoria (1610 San Antonio St. 512-535-5988) then. The Italian restaurant is partnering with fab’rik, a clothing boutique for men and women at the Hill Country Galleria, for Sagra’s fashion brunch series.

      This one starts at noon Saturday at Sagra. Also, you’ll get to see original artwork from local artist Jessica Baum.

      Guests will be able to sample an assortment of breads, scones, muffins and fruit salad as well as dishes from a special menu of entries and desserts.

      Admission to the brunch is $24 per guest, and guests get fab’rik goodies and have a chance to win a $100 Sagra gift certificate or a Rock Star Party package from fab’rik worth $350.

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      September 17, 2009

      'Project Runway' Week 5: Newspaper clothes?

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      Three marvelous things happened tonight on “Project Runway”: We got to see one of my favorite fashion critics, the Los Angeles Times’ Booth Moore, who introduced the design changed at the newspaper’s L.A. office; and two, the lying designer Johnny finally got the boot from Heidi Klum.

      And three, perhaps the saving grace for newspapers has arrived: Make clothing out of them.

      The designers had to make clothing out of newspapers, not an easy task if you can recall from the last time you held a newspaper in your hands. As Tim Gunn noted, the first paper dress was created in 1968. (I’m too tired right now to research this topic. So if you have time, comment with an official Web site link.)

      The claws were out during the 24-hour challenge. Johnny and Nicolas were butting heads. And I didn’t like either one’s outfit. Nicolas said he was striving to recreate his punk days in New York. I didn’t see it. And Johnny scrapped his design after Tim Gunn said it looked as if it were an arts-and-crafts project created by children.

      I really can’t believe he lied and said his original dress got wet so he tossed it. Thankfully the judges didn’t buy his story. Once again, no Nina Garcia or Michael Kors. This week’s guest judges were designer Tommy Hilfiger, Zoe Glassner, senior editor of Marie Claire magazine and celebrity judge Eva Longoria Parker of “Desperate Housewives.”

      And make sure to check out this episode. The designs I particularly like were created by Logan, Ra’mon, Gordana, Louise, Althea (lovely print), Christopher (beautiful bodice), Irina (extremely creative coat dress with a collar. As Hilfiger put it, “New alternative to fur — newspaper.”)

      Now for this week’s totally random, based on the past five episodes, top three designers:

      Althea

      Ra’mon

      Irina

      And our totally random, based on three episodes, bottom three designers:

      Gordana

      Nicolas

      Epperson

      This week’s random question: Is anyone sticking around and watching “Models of the Runway”?

      Permalink | Comments (3) | Categories: Style

      September 11, 2009

      'Project Runway' Week 4: Running empty on new ideas?

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      Sorry. Running late on my thoughts on the latest episode of Lifetime’s reality show, “Project Runway.” You can forgive me.

      The big question of Thursday night for me was: “Project Runway” or Fashion’s Night Out?

      And that was easy: I dashed off to Neiman Marcus at the Domain, the only spot in Austin taking part in the international Fashion’s Night Out, which was spearheaded by Vogue magazine and Anna Wintour.

      Why did I skip the show I’ve watched season after season?

      Well, it made sense once I started watching the new episode awaiting on the DVR. The challenge was another one from a past season I don’t recall. Models, and yes, how convenient, the models from “Models of the Runway,” worked with the remaining 13 designers on dresses for the models.

      The bottom line: Qristyl got the boot. Her dress was poorly designed and wasn’t flattering. I’m getting a bit tired of seeing asymmetrical dresses. However, I keep forgetting the show was shot some time ago when the one-shoulder was popular.

      The winner was Althea Harper (Nope, no relation that I’m aware of.)

      This time no Nina Garcia or Michael Kors. (When do you think Kors will return to the judging chairs? Take a guess.) This time we got designer Mark Bouwer (who must be a descendant of an ABBA member; Marie Claire editor Zoe Glassner; and costume designer/celebrity stylist Jennifer Rade (who is as quick witted as Kathy Griffin).

      Too tired to get off the sofa, I stumbled “Models of the Runway,” the ‘Project Runway” spin-off I’ve been avoiding. Turns out the reality show within a reality show has redeeming qualities and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a combination of the original show with a dose of “America’s Next Top Model” thrown it.

      I now wonder why it took five seasons to finally get this spin-off going.

      Now for this week’s totally random, based on three episodes, top three designers:

      Althea

      Louise

      Shirin

      And our totally random, based on three episodes, bottom three designers:

      Johnny

      Nicolas

      Logan

      This week’s random question: Who has been your favorite judge so far this season?

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      September 8, 2009

      Annual Ebony Fashion Fair show canceled for 2009 season

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      The annual Ebony Fashion Fair show, which has visited Austin for years, has been canceled for 2009, according to national news reports.

      In Austin, members of the Beta Psi Omega Chapter of the Austin Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. are hosts for the style event, which supports funding for student scholarships.

      The traveling show of international designer goods featured black models, and was founded in the 1950s by the Johnson family, who owns Ebony and Jet magazines and Fashion Fair cosmetics. A packed Austin crowd watched the runway show, which was last here in March of this year at the Riverbend Centre.

      At the time, I asked host Jada Collins about rumors that this would be the final year for the show. She denied those rumors, saying plans were already in the works for the upcoming season.

      The show’s Web site includes a message from Johnson Publishing Co. chairman and CEO Linda Johnson Rice explaining the decision.

      The Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince reported the news based on a story jointly produced for the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

      In another indication of the economic troubles buffeting the Johnson Publishing Co., the publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines are canceling the traveling Ebony Fashion Fair this fall, “after more than 50 years of showcasing the highest caliber of fashion in the industry to mostly African American audiences,” in the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “For more than 50 years, Ebony Fashion Fair has been committed to the important efforts of community organizations and have worked together to raise an estimated $55 million in support of local charities,” Linda Johnson Rice, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “In light of the overall economic challenges that are affecting many, including our potential corporate sponsors, we have arrived at a most difficult decision to cancel Ebony Fashion Fair’s fall 2009 season. “In the coming months, we will develop a new business model to ensure that the show is a mutually beneficial endeavor. Our primary goal is to build Ebony Fashion Fair and our other brands in ways that will continue delivering meaningful insight and inspiration to the African-American community.”

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      September 3, 2009

      'Project Runway' Week 3: Coasting leads to a big auf wiedersehen

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      For starters, let’s give some mad props to Austin360.com Editor Gary Dinges for being a guest blogger for the first two weeks of our favorite(?) fashion show, “Project Runway.”

      And if you love him, well, perhaps he’ll come back and do some more guest blogging. I can only say so much about the show after having watched it since its start long ago on Bravo.

      In the words of host Heidi Klum, now onto the Lifetime show …

      Team challenges have never brought designers much luck. And tonight was no exception. They are amazing to watch especially if there’s plenty of tension. I almost forgot how good this show can be at times when designers are butting heads.

      The designers were chauffeured to the Santa Monica Pier where Tim Gunn met them. And yes, those were flip flops on Tim’s feet. Shocking, right?

      The challenge was to make beach wear, and the pairs were:

      Mitchell and Ra’mon

      Shirin and Carol Hannah

      Logan and Christopher

      Nicolas and Gordana

      Qristyl and Rodney

      Johnny and Irina

      Althea and Louise

      But who would think making beach attire would be so dramatic even if you toss in a last-minute twist (make a second avant garde outfit)?

      Didn’t we all see that team captain Qristyl and Rodney would not get along? Didn’t bossy Qristyl see that her stubborn counterpart would try to show her who’s boss? Stubborn and bossy are like oil and water.

      While the Qristyl/Rodney drama was TPR (Typical “Project Runway”), it was another team I closely watched.

      Bottom-two winner Mitchell was selected as a team captain, and he partnered with Ra’mon.

      The end result was foreshadowed early: Mitchell said he was looking for someone to help him coast through the challenge. It’s “Project Runway.” You don’t win by coasting on someone efforts. Certainly that doesn’t work in fashion.

      In fashion, you’re in or you’re out. Certainly, Mitchell deserved to be out. He’s a major slacker to the ninth degree. And what’s sad is that we didn’t even get to see his only contribution to his team-winning efforts: the swimsuit.

      Their secondary outfit initially was inspired by a wet suit, and Tim was correct. The design looked just like something Catwoman would wear. So I didn’t think Ra’mon would be able to complete a new design.

      He pulled off the vibrant dyed green-yellow dress in 30 minutes. It was fresh, and I knew Heidi would dig it. With some refining, the dress could be a knockout.

      Later on the runway, Heidi, who said the judges were confused and disappointed by Mitchell’s lack of effort, was right: Three strikes, Mitchell, and you’re out. Buh-bye.

      He’s the first person to be on a winning team and end up on the chopping block.

      Actually, they should give him an award. That’s right. Laziest designer in “Project Runway” history. Auf wiedersehen.

      Now for this week’s totally random, based on three episodes, top three designers:

      Irina

      Louise

      Shirin

      And our totally random, based on three episodes, bottom three designers:

      Qristyl

      Nicolas

      Rodney

      This week’s random question: Rachel Bilson and Max Azria were the guest judges. So when will Michael Kors return? Guess which episode? We are desperately in need of some of his quips. Who knew L.A. could be such a drag. I miss the snarky, New York, shoot-from-the-hip Kors. Who would have thought?

      This week’s random question Part 2: How many times will we hear “Thank you, Mood” said in next week’s episode?

      See you next week!

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      September 1, 2009

      Blackmail's Little Black Dress Design Contest returns

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      Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel once said it best: “A woman without a little black dress has no future.”

      And now you can put that quote to the test as Blackmail, the South Congress Avenue boutique owned by Gail Chovan, announces its second annual Little Black Dress Design Contest.

      Here are the contest rules:

      Any dress (classic, cocktail, sporty or avant garde) is eligible as long as the designer makes it. Students, crafters, home sewers and professionals can submit their interpretations of the quintessential garment made famous by the French designer.

      You must conceive, design and produce the garment yourself for judging by a panel of Austin professionals.

      Starting today, application packets will be available at Blackmail (1202 S. Congress Ave.). Completed dresses are due by October 1. There will be an awards events for the best looks on October 7.

      For more information, call 512-326-7670. Or send an e-mail to info@blackmailboutique.com.

      Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      July 27, 2009

      Birds Barbershop, Method.Hair on Elle's Top 100 U.S. salons list

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      Two Austin style stops, Birds Barbershop and Method.Hair, were selected for Elle magazine’s Top 100 salons in the United States in its America’s Best Hair feature.

      Of the 100 salons picked, Birds is the only spot with “barbershop” in its name to make the cut. To celebrate, Birds will offer 1/2 price Ladybirds (originally $39, which includes shampoo, cut, blow-dry and style) with any color treatment or highlights (starting at $50) during August. This limited-time offer is available at all four locations.

      This is the first time Method.Hair has been on the list. And in case you want a fresh look, the magazine notes the most requested celebrity hairstyle in Texas is Lady Gaga’s blond ’do.

      Permalink | Comments (9) | Categories: Style

      July 20, 2009

      A complete list of Golden Boot winners from the Austin Fashion Awards

      Congratulations to all! Here’s a complete list of winners from the Austin Fashion Awards as well as an explanation of the voting process as reported on Fashionweekaustin.com:

      All reader’s choice awards were determined through shear votes tabulated through the online voting system at fashionweekaustin.com. Almost 30,00 votes were cast. Users could only vote for each participant one time per IP address. All other awards were handed out using a critic’s choice system. Eighty-one local boutique owners, salon owners, designers, photographers, media-types and others were asked to submit their votes in the other categories listed here. The results are listed based on shear number of votes in each category. The people on this panel were not required to vote solely for businesses or individuals that participated in Austin Fashion Week.

      FASHION BOUTIQUES
      Best Overall Fashion Boutique:
      Reader’s Choice: TOUCH OF SASS
      Critic’s Choice: ESTILO
      Best Overall Women’s Boutique: SOLID GOLD
      Best Overall Men’s Boutique: SERVICE MENSWEAR
      Best Vintage Boutique: FEATHERS BOUTIQUE
      Best Denim: HEM JEANS
      Best Accessories: TOUCH OF SASS
      Best Shoes: CREATURES
      Best Jewelry: ELIZA PAGE
      Best Handbags: TOUCH OF SASS
      Best Customer Service: SOIGNE BOUTIQUE
      Best Kids or Baby Boutique: WEE
      Best Store Atmosphere/Interiors: GIRL NEXT DOOR
      Best Quality While Keeping Budget in Mind: SOLA
      Most “Austin” Boutique: AUSTIN HANDMADE

      DECOR BOUTIQUES
      Best Overall Decor Boutique:
      Reader’s Choice: SANCTUARY
      Critic’s Choice: AVIARY
      Best Atmosphere/Interiors: MERCURY DESIGN
      Best Customer Service: AVIARY
      Best Gifts: SANCTUARY
      Best Antiques/Vintage: UNCOMMON OBJECTS
      Best Modern/Contemporary Decor: KIRK GALLERY
      Best Home Linens: WILDFLOWER ORGANICS
      Best Furniture: NEST MODERN
      Best Quality While Keeping Budget in Mind: ROOM SERVICE
      Most “Austin” Home Decor Boutique: MERCURY DESIGN

      SALONS
      Best Overall Salon:
      Reader’s Choice: AVANT SALON
      Critic’s Choice: ANN KELSO SALON+CITYSPA
      Best Atmosphere/Interiors: SALON BY MILK+HONEY
      Best Customer Service: ROAR SALON
      Best Women’s Cut: JACKSON-RUIZ
      Best Men’s Cut: WET SALON
      Best Color: SIRENS SALON
      Most “Austin” Salon: BIRDS BARBERSHOP

      DESIGNERS
      Best Overall Designer:
      Reader’s Choice: CATHERINE NICOLE
      Critic’s Choice: RENE GENEVA
      Rising Star:BROKEN EAR PRODUCTIONS
      Best Jewelry Designer: DEAN FREDRICK
      Best Handbag Designer: SWEET POTATO ISLAND
      Best Women’s Clothing Designer: RENE GENEVA
      Best Men’s Clothing Designer: MINT OWL
      Best Bridal Designer: LINDA ASAF
      Best Children’s Designer: LATEEDA*KIDS
      Best Home Accessories Designer: DEBORAH MAIN DESIGNS

      FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS
      Best Overall Fashion Photographer:
      Reader’s Choice: JONYROSE
      Critic’s Choice: CHAD HARLAN
      Best Product Photographer: CORY RYAN
      Best Lighting: TANIA QUINTANILLA
      Best Editing (Photoshop): ANDREW CHAN
      Most Creative Photographer: DARLA TEAGARDEN

      HAIRSTYLISTS
      Best Overall Hair Stylist:
      Reader’s Choice: ANGELA CASLER
      Critic’s Choice: LISA BROOKS
      Best Women’s Cut: BRANDI COWLEY
      Best Men’s Cut: RORY MCNEIL
      Best Color: LISA BROOKS

      MAKEUP ARTISTS
      Best Overall Makeup Artist:
      Reader’s Choice: LECIA HARKINS
      Critic’s Choice: MANDY MORRISON
      Best Use of Color: MARIS MALONE CALDERON
      Best Technique: NISA NICOLE
      Most Creative: MARIS MALONE CALDERON

      MODELS
      Best Overall Female Model:
      Reader’s Choice: LAURA ANN
      Critic’s Choice: ZION FRANCIS
      Best Overall Male Model:
      Reader’s Choice: CHRISTIAN RAMIREZ
      Critic’s Choice: RUSH KEMP

      Permalink | | Categories: Style

      A style writer's thoughts on Austin Fashion Week and the Austin Fashion Awards

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      There is a first for everything. And initially, I had major doubts about the first Austin Fashion Week, which wrapped up Sunday night with a lengthy MTV-style Austin Fashion Awards show at the Long Center for the Performing Arts and a busy after party on the skydeck of AMLI on Second.

      Hairstylist Lisa Brooks, winner of the Best Hairstylist Critic’s Choice award, might have dropped an f bomb during her acceptance speech, but that utterance paled in comparison to the much-celebrated and talked-about f word of the night: Fashion.

      As a quick aside, Fashion Week founder Matt Swinney invited me to a fashion show at a downtown bar called Hi-Lo when I first came to Austin in 2007. Back then he was the publisher of Austin lifestyle magazine Rare, and I wrote that the fashion show failed to move me. I believe I said the show was too “High School Musical” for my tastes.

      But Swinney, who left Rare to run event production business Launch787, might have the last laugh especially if Austin Fashion Week and the Austin Fashion Awards are financially successful. There were many doubters, especially among some of the more established boutiques, and the show went on without them. In a tear-filled moment, Swinney took the stage and talked about how he and his wife, Kara, attended the opening of the Long Center and how he vowed to stage an event there.

      The actual awards show he produced carried the vibe of the MTV Video Music Awards. Even the promotional poster looked like it was cooked up at MTV’s ad agency. The show combined fashion and Austin’s ace in hand, music. And boy, did it have plenty of kooky VMA moments good and bad.

      Unfortunately, most guests and nominees were still on the red carpet showing off their designer mini dresses, vests, jewelry, ties and suit jackets when the show’s opening act, band Alpha Rev, hit the stage with a short set of sweet rock sounds.

      For many of the estimated 1,200 ticket holders, the show was too long, clocking in at 3-plus hours. The engaging mistress of ceremonies, Jenny Hart, hit the stage, first making a joke about Austin Chronicle columnist Stephen Moser allegedly setting fire to a car in Austin City Hall wearing a full-length fur coat.

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      While there were dozens of Golden Boot awards to present, only a few of them were announced during the actual awards show, which included fashion shows from fashion students from the University of Texas and designer Johnathan Kayne of “Project Runway” Season 3. (Several of the awards will be announced July 21.)

      A moment straight from the MTV playbook was the strange on-stage chat between presenters Ron King of Bo Salon and KEYE anchor Michelle Valles. Their chat involved dating old men, big hair and Playboy.

      There also were several highlights: Model Zion Francis’ surprised look for winning the best female model award; best fashion photography winner Chad Harlan’s passionate acceptance speech about how hard the Austin fashion community works but gets modest recognition; and Currie Bucher’s husband who stood up and cheered as a stunned Bucher took the stage for her award for Best Fashion Boutique (Reader’s Choice).

      It was smart to have live bands play during the fashion show interludes. And I’ll forgive the members of Ume for being unprofessional. The band members finished their runway tune, put down their instruments and left the stage before guest Johnathan Kayne’s mini runway show concluded.

      The show ended on a low note for me. It didn’t make sense to close with the Octopus Project because there was no strong connection to fashion other then what the band was wearing. By the time the group got to its second song, many of the guests, nominees and winners had exited Michael & Susan Dell Hall for cocktails and photo opportunities.

      Mixing the worlds of music and fashion makes sense, but when the final award of the night is doled out, it’s best to say goodnight and hit the after party.

      There are big picture items as well as details that must be fixed before the next Austin Fashion Awards. (It would have been nice to have photos of each nominee and ones of his or her work on the video backdrop as each award category was announced.)

      Also, the award show centered on Austin’s newer boutiques, designers and store owners, and that simply can’t be the way. The Gail Chovans, Patty Hoffpauirs, Mosers, Matt and Katy Culmos and others of the city’s scene made it clear long ago that Austin was a viable market for fashion.

      If the show is given a second act, there must be a vanguard award honoring an established designer, boutique owner or hairstylist or contributor to Austin’s fashion industry.

      Swinney must reach out more to the gay community, which historically has had a major role in the fashion world in Milan, Paris and New York. (Certainly the screening of “Bruno” early in the week doesn’t count.) And because we live in such a global fashion environment, reaching out to black and Hispanic community groups would be good as well.

      In general, Austin Fashion Week did what it was designed to do: It got recession-battered people into stores again. It also made boutique owners such as Kappie Bliss of Beyond Tradition and Bucher of Touch of Sass stand out with their creative themed mini parties.

      For a moment, Golden Boot winner Ann Kelso Salon + CitySpa and Yelp.com added a touch of vaudeville, drag and style with their much-talked-about party and fashion show, which included designs from Linda Asaf and looks from Capra & Cavelli, at the Mohawk. I imagine it was reminiscent of the old days in Austin when neighboring Club De Ville staged fashion shows.

      Fashion Week also allowed designers such as Texas’ Next Top Designer Megan Summerville to show her sexy lingerie and launch her new men’s collection of undergarments at a late-night fashion show at Qua. And best of all, we got a chance to meet many new faces on the scene such as Golden Boot winner Catherine Nicole, who designs jewelry, and Hazele Samson, who showed her contemporary silk women’s wear at Adelante Boutique.

      My real complaints about Fashion Week go back to its very beginning when organizers were attempting to figure out their plan. Swinney was too tight-lipped about his thoughts for the event that was designed in about three months, and that caused many owners of boutiques and salons, who were already keeping close watch over where their money went, to skip participating entirely.

      Maybe that was for the best given there were more than 130 events during Fashion Week. That’s simply too many for any one person to attend, and in the future, organizers should establish a better schedule instead of allowing boutiques and salons to stockpile more than 40 events as they did for last Thursday.

      Also, on July 21 - that’s two days after the Austin Fashion Awards show - the winners of about 50 more awards will be announced here. (Looking at the list of remaining awards to be announced, some of them should have been handed out last night so the event felt more inclusive.)

      Next time, 10 awards should be announced each day or at a special bunch to start of the week or an evening event days before the main awards show. Handing out awards after a major awards show simply is a big no-no.

      And last, who made up the mystery panel of critics for the critic’s awards? And how were the categories decided anyway?

      Despite its flaws, Fashion Week and the Austin Fashion Awards did accomplish a major task in a recession: It brought renewed excitement to a generally lagging shopping season. So ultimately Swinney should be proud of that.

      Austin Fashion Week: B-
      Austin Fashion Awards: B

      Permalink | Comments (2) | Categories: Style

      UPDATE: Austin Fashion Awards: The list of Golden Boot winners

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      Here’s a list of winners and nominees from the first Austin Fashion Awards show, which wrapped up Austin Fashion Week. (The winners are in bold type.)

      About 70 Golden Boot awards were decided. However, only 20 of them were presented during a live awards show on Sunday evening at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The remaining awards will be announced July 21. (We’ll have my thoughts and commentary later today.)

      Check out the A-List photo gallery of the awards show here.

      BEST FASHION BOUTIQUE

      READER’S CHOICE
      Adelante
      Estilo
      Sola
      Solid Gold
      Touch of Sass

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      BuyDefinition
      By George
      Estilo
      Feathers Boutique
      Luxe Apothetique

      BEST DECOR BOUTIQUE

      READER’S CHOICE
      Aviary
      Finch
      Sanctuary

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Aviary
      Mercury Design
      Wildflower

      BEST SALON

      READER’S CHOICE
      Avant Salon
      Kisma Hair & Spa
      Orbit Salon
      Urban Betty Salon
      Waterstone Aesthetics

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Ann Kelso Salon+CitySpa
      Avant Salon
      Jackson-Ruiz Salon Spa
      Sirens Salon
      Urban Betty

      BEST DESIGNER

      READER’S CHOICE
      Catherine Nicole
      Chia
      Devushka
      Fayded Creation
      Lateeda*kids

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Ciarla Bride
      Dean Fredrick
      Kendra Scott
      Rene Geneva
      Sugarluxe

      RISING STAR
      Broken Ear Productions
      Mint Owl
      Pink B Couture
      Via Christa

      BEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER

      READER’S CHOICE
      Andrew Chan
      Madison Enloe
      Jonyrose
      Ricardo Reyna
      Cory Ryan

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Chad Harlan
      Tania Quintanilla
      Cory Ryan
      Shannon Soule
      Darla Teagarden

      BEST HAIRSTYLIST

      READER’S CHOICE
      Martha Lynn Barnes
      Angela Casler
      Jen Hoover
      Nina Grossman
      Julia Plaia

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Lisa Brooks
      Brandi Cowley
      Rory McNeil

      BEST MAKEUP ARTIST

      READER’S CHOICE
      Lecia Harkins
      Mandy Hernandez
      Melody Lasseter
      Nisa Nicole
      Wendy Sanders

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Maris Malone Calderon
      Mandy Morrison
      Karen Powanda

      BEST MODEL: FEMALE

      READER’S CHOICE
      Laura Ann
      Haley Penalber
      Jessa Peters
      Jeska Sheppard
      Haley Smith

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      LizBeth Badillo
      Zion Francis
      Danielle Leigh

      BEST MODEL: MALE

      READER’S CHOICE
      Stefan Fincias
      Thomas Hoy
      Rush Kemp
      Jake Lewis
      Christian Ramirez

      CRITIC’S CHOICE
      Chris Croft
      Rush Kemp
      Steven Kosler

      Permalink | Comments (1) | Categories: Style

      July 17, 2009

      Discounted tickets available for the Austin Fashion Awards

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      Just got word that there will be half-price student rush tickets available for Sunday’s Austin Fashion Awards at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

      You’ll have to present your high school or college student ID. The tickets will be available from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for at the Long Center’s box office.\

      Also, until midnight tonight (July 17), you can get tickets online for $30. Use the code: FASHION.

      Make sure to don your coolest apparel. The red carpet opens at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 5:30 p.m. You’ll get designers, boutique and salon owners, stylists, photographers and models hitting the stage.

      Along with an awards presentation, there will be runway shows from Johnathan Kayne Gillaspie (“Project Runway” Season 3) and fashion students from the University of Texas’ School of Human Ecology.

      Also, there will be live music from Octopus Project, Mike Relm, Alpha Rev, Soldier Thread and Ume. The after party will feature music from Mike Relm as well as food and drinks. Tickets are available online here. Tickets for the show are $43 with a four-pack available for $120. Tickets for the after party are $100.

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      July 16, 2009

      UPDATE: Win tickets to the Austin Fashion Awards, VIP after party

      It’s Austin Fashion Week, and we have two pairs of tickets to give away to the Austin Fashion Awards and the VIP after party on Sunday. The red carpet opens at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 5:30 p.m.

      UPDATE: We had 17 people enter the contest, and in a random drawing, two winners were selected by American-Statesman staffers.

      The winners are Celeste Lunceford and Sharlym Aquino. You will each receive two tickets to the awards show and two passes to the after party.

      Thanks everyone for entering. Happy fashion week!

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      July 14, 2009

      A fashionable look at LEAP's White Party at Green Pastures

      I dropped by LEAP’s White Party on Saturday night at Green Pastures to look at all of the sizzling fashion. For photos from the event, check out the A-List gallery here.

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      July 10, 2009

      UPDATE: W3LL People, eco-friendly skin line and studio, turns 1

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      In this recession-battered economy, every surviving retailer should celebrate a milestone. W3LL People (215 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-366-7963), the Earth-friendly skin and makeup studio, is turning 1 year old.

      Starting July 16, there will be three days of events and giveaways at the South Austin location, including free green glamour goodies, yoga, massage, threading, gifts with every purchase and live music and snow cones.

      During the festivities, W3LL also will introduce the eco-chic Narcissist Crème Foundation and an updated Activist Skin Tonic Series (yours free with a $100 purchase). For info about massage and threading treatments, visit the store’s Web site. In addition, there will be a What Inspires You to be W3LL contest.

      Drop off entries in store and via the store’s blog and Facebook page. Three entries will be selected at random to receive a $100 gift certificate.

      Also, there will be a VIP party, which is open to the public, from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 18. You must RSVP for this event.

      Photo courtesy of James Walker

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      July 8, 2009

      Another Austin retailer says goodbye: Sparks Cards & Gifts

      Sparks Cards & Gifts store, which opened in 1989, will be closing soon, Blair Newberry wrote in a newsletter.

      “We are one of many small, independent retailers that has struggled in the current economy,” Newberry said. “Our loss, however, is your gain.”

      All regular merchandise is 30 percent off, while all seasonal merchandise is marked down 50 percent. Fixtures and equipment also are for sale.

      Newberry’s note said consumers should watch their e-mail inboxes as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts for deeper sales at the West Sixth Street store in the coming weeks.

      “I’d like to thank all of our wonderful customers, employees, neighbors, friends, fellow businessowners, and former owners for all you’ve done to support Sparks over the years,” Newberry wrote. “It has been such a blessing to have been part of this store.”

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      A look at Louis Vuitton's fall campaign with Madonna

      Madonna returns for fall 2009’s Louis Vuitton campaign. Here’s a behind-scenes-look featuring Madge and LV designer Marc Jacobs. Selections from the collections will be available at the LV store at the Domain.

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      Pink Hair Salon & Gallery on South Congress Avenue to close July 15

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      Hairstylist and salon owner Deborah Carter will be closing her Pink Hair Salon & Gallery, the award-winning South Congress Avenue hair salon.

      The salon’s final day will be July 15.

      “I’m moving back to Dripping Springs to a tiny commercial building on RR 12 with hardwood floors and high ceilings,” Carter wrote in an e-mail this week. “I can look out the pink front door of my new little salon, across RR 12, and see my father’s old pizza place. I can, through the sheer force of my will, stay small this time.”

      When Carter and her daughters moved to Austin years ago, she was a traveling educator and a platform artist for a major hair products company. She went onto open her first salon, Portfolio, which lasted five years. Then she opened Astarte in what later would become the city’s warehouse district, and then she opened Pink in 1998.

      With each salon, Carter’s plan was to start with a small, private space. Eventually those ventures blossomed into multi-tentacled beasts, she said. In recent months, a few hairstylists left Pink and moved to other Austin salons such as SoCo’s Ann Kelso Salon and CitySpa and Bo Salon.

      “I was always looking back and longing at the days when my life was simpler, my staff smaller,” Carter wrote. “Then the economy crashed. Then my father died. Then I read two books that changed my perspective: ‘Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter’ by Elaine St. James and ‘Broken Open’ by Elizabeth Lesser.”

      And now Carter is about to move on as well. According to her Facebook page, the new salon will be called Pink West, and it will combine hairdressing, astrology and art.

      “I moved to Austin because of my father,” Carter said. “He built and maintained the best pizza place in Dripping Springs and called it One-Eyed Jacks, a nod to a boyhood eye injury that, to his regret, kept him out of the armed forces. He thought I would like it.”

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