Tag - Austin

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Recap of TxSC13 “Summer School” Blogger Conference – Austin
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Austin Fashion Awards 2013
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Austin Fashion Week 2013 at La Zona Rosa
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SxSW Presents: The Neighborhood 2013
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Vintage and Stella & Dot Trunk Show – Austin
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Blue Glue Bikinis “Passport to Bali” Event @ The Domain
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Boudoir Queen Line Viewing Party at Wanderlust Boutique

Recap of TxSC13 “Summer School” Blogger Conference – Austin

The Texas Style Council- founded by legendary Austin blogger, Indiana Adams of Adored Austin – recently held their fourth blogger conference the first weekend in August at the Hyatt in Downtown Austin. It was a three day affair which consisted of a clothing swap, classes on growing/building your brand/blog, a “prom” and panels. I also FINALLY got the chance to meet Rebekka- who owns a mah-velous online vintage shop called Bloomers and Frocks. The first day was light and mainly consisted of registration, a mixer and a Lulu’s sponsored clothing and book swap, all held in Austin’s Second Street District.

The Lulu’s sponsored Clothing Swap was held in a somewhat tiny location and by the time Rebekka and I got there after a delightful meal at Austin Java…was PACKED! It was hard being able to browse the racks as people were basically on top of each other, grabbing coveted items that Lulu’s seeded in the swap, as well as other trendy items attendees brought. I was able to grab my two items- a lovely vintage floral skirt donated by the gals from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno and a vintage Victor Costa dress from Rebekka. I met up with other bloggers that I knew and we were able to get photos at the Lulu’s photo booth. Later, a group of us headed back to Austin Java for general chit-chat and food.

The next two days of the event were filled with networking and learning. During day one, I had classes that dealt with “Social Media 101 for Brands/Blogs”- taught by Terri of Finding Drishti, “Blog Monetization 101″-taught by Bethany of The Glamorous Housewife, “eCommerce 101″-taught by Tasha of Imperfect Concepts, “DIY Earrings”-taught by Austin jewelry designer Sierra of Manic Trout, “Rebranding”-taught by Hilary of Our Style Stories and “DIY Clothes Tailoring” by Austin designer Emily of Emily Hallman. The highlight of day one was when Rebekka and I had lunch with Bethany, who’s personality I admire and who shares a love of vintage.

Now what “school” couldn’t be without a prom of some sort? This was the much anticipated event during the whole conference. It offered multiple booths where brands had set up shop, a dance floor, photo booths and cash bar. Everyone dressed in their own interpretation of promy attire, brought their dates/friends and made the best out of a really fun prom. I joined Rebekka and after having a delicious light meal from Firehouse Subs (OMG…best subs EVERRRR) we both dressed in vintage, had photos taken by her fab hubby and took off to the prom (after picking up her BFF- Charles). Lulu’s booth was beyond amazing and totally feminine in every way. I snapped a photo in their photo booth and then spun the wheel and won an item of my choice. I ended up getting a statement bauble necklace. I made a macrame bracelet at the Kollabora booth. Other brands that participated included: Macy’s, Minnetonka, RetailMeNot.com, Shop Ruche, BonLook, Langford Market, Luxe No. 7, SIC Couture, Smile Brilliant, Accessory Fanatic, Altar’d State, Clyde’s Rebirth, Crowned Bird, Emily Hallman, Manic Trout, Noonday Collection, Purse & Clutch, Son of a Sailor, Whitney Fields for Stella & Dot and PayPal. I loved how there was a mixture of nationally-known brands, as well as smaller indie brands. Jewelry brand- Clyde’s Rebirth was one that stood out for me. It’s ‘made in Chicago’ eco-conscious line that was created by Merl Kinzie back in 2009. All items are made from vintage and recycled materials and no two items are exactly alike. So being that it’s a USA-made brand, but the jewelry is pretty awesome and definitely fits my sense of style. I would love for you guys to kindly check out Clyde’s Rebirth. I also invite you guys to check out the other brands I mentioned above. They each provide their own unique character, like Emily Hallman, that brand is made in Austin and caters to women sizes 0-16. Her garments are feminine, timeless and just plain gorgeous! I’m a huge fan! Another Austin brand- Manic Trout was born in 2006 and conceived by Sierra Bailey. I had the pleasure of taking her DIY: Earrings and enjoyed it. She even went out of her way to provide me with elegant clip-ons because this blogger’s ears are no longer pierced. Thank you Sierra! She takes her inspiration of vintage treasures that she had collected over the years and produces modern, vintage {with a touch of romance} and color {with hints of whimsy} for the fashionable everyday gal. Noonday Collcection is a brand launched by Jessica Honegger and features jewelry, home and accessories made by artisans worldwide. Two of my personal faves include the Nahuala Rectangle Trays and the Shalom Necklace. Definitely check them out, proceeds go to a good cause and also find out how you can become an ambassador and host trunk shows. So along with checking out the amazing booths and photo booths, I was also nominated for “Best Accessories.” The whole night was spectacular and the time flew by.

Day two started off with the keynote speakers- Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. They spoke about their beginnings as bloggers and then gave a power point presentation on what they’ve learned from blogging. We were able to jot down notes in a little booklet they provided us.

After that, we had to sign up for classes, which was an interesting process to say the least. I hope for next year, they give an option to sign up for classes ahead of time while registering for the conference. Classes that day consisted of “Advanced Successfully Navigating Monetization”- taught by Amber of VENZedits and RewardStyle, “Business School: From Etsy and Beyond”- taught by Amy of Little Hip Squeaks, “Small Steps: Secrets to a Start-Up”-taught by Kendi of Kendi Everyday and owner of Bloom. After the last class, everyone gathered for closing remarks by the speakers and there was an opportunity for any last questions to be answered. I left the conference with some information that I already knew but a wealth of information that I now know. If you are a brand, small business or blogger, I highly recommend attending future conferences. Check out Texas Style Council for more information and future updates.

HUGE thanks to Indiana and the crew of Texas Style Council, Rebekka, the speakers for an enjoyable weekend!

heathermarie_033's TxSC13 album on Photobucket

**Photo courtesy of Bloomers and Frocks**

Austin Fashion Awards 2013

It wasn’t until my recent attendance at the 2013 Austin Fashion Awards that it dawned on me… I’m really digging the golden boots…Not just because they are handed out to lucky individuals in the Austin fashion crowd, but they look ahem…fashionable…like ‘I wouldn’t mind pairing them with a pair of skinnies or a skirt or dress’ fashionable.

Ok..so all analogies aside, the ceremony took place at Austin Music Hall and was hosted by Sandy McIlree from the JB & Sandy Morning Show on Mix 94.7. The event featured The Golden Boot awards, with fashion shows mixed in between. There was also an intermission where guests could shop the pop-up shops by such vendors as Raven & Lilly and Goorin Bros. hats, check out Facecake- who’s concept ‘Swival’ allows users to be able to virtually try on clothing and accessories in real-time; and get have some fun in the photo booth. The host was witty and kept the audience entertained throughout the show, while also excusing himself during intermission to quickly have a tie made by Ross Bennett. Huge congratulations should be in order for the following winners:

2013 TRAILBLAZERS:

~ Stephen Macmillan Moser
~ Kendra Scott
~ Cheryl Conley Bemis (Fashionably Austin)
~ Lance Avery Morgan (The Society Diaries)
~ Rochelle Rae

2013 RISING STARS:

~ Isabella Rose Taylor
~ Daniel Esquivel
~ Jennifer Martinson
~ Sandra Antoun
~ Priscilla Barroso

2013 Mash-Up Team Winners:

~ Best Mash Up Team (Critic’s Choice): EON
~ Best Hair & Makeup Team (People’s Choice): The Innovators
~ Best Mash Up Team (People’s Choice): Vintage Deity

There were five runway shows that evening. The first show offered looks from forty mash-up teams (meaning a team of at least a Photographer, Hair Stylist, Makeup Artist, Apparel Designer and Model- who then had to put together a concept for one amazing image). Then the last four involved four of Austin’s most distinguished designers: Kendra Scott, Boudoir Queen, Gail Chovan and Stephen Moser.

I would like to begin with Boudoir Queen by Dawn Younger-Smith. Her collections are always ethereal and hauntingly beautiful, each with vintage influences. This collection was no different. Younger-Smith used antique fabrics (mainly from the 1800s-1930s) and based her inspiration on a juxtaposition of numerous ideals: ‘Rock n’ Roll Belle Époque’, ‘Paul Poiret’, ‘Ballet Russes’, ‘the Rolling Stones in Morocco in the 60s’ and ‘Diana Vreeland.’ The collection that flowed down the runway was apptly named “The Vreeland Collection” in which visually stunning gowns that could have come straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel danced down the runway. Being such a huge fan of vintage, I felt a fond appreciation of the collection, where everything is not only “green” but also one-of-a-kind works of art. Go to TheBoudoirQueen.com for further information and to shop the collection.

After several awards were handed out, it was Gail Chovan’s turn to take the stage. Gail Chovan was been an Austin staple for over twenty-five years, designing for her boutique and atelier- Blackmail, which is located on S. Congress Avenue. Chovan is known for creating artisanal couture in limited quantities and one-of-a-kind pieces. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection that glided down the runway was titled “Abiquiu” and was influenced by the painter Georgia O’Keefe and her life and work in the southwest town of Abiquiu, New Mexico. It is said that O’Keefe wore black in the fall & winter and white in the spring & summer. “The ephemeral nature of dust and the timelessness of stone…the idea of movement as opposed to the sedentary. A silhouette in black, a silhouette in white against the light of the desert and the mountains..The fabric chosen to represent this feeling was leather and hand-washed linen, at times dipped or sprayed in rubber to give it a stiffer form,” Gail explained about her inspiration and design technique. I loved the deconstruction and the simplicity of the designs. After looking up images of the late great painter, I envisioned that if O’Keefe were alive today, she’d be dancing around the beautiful New Mexico landscape in Chovan’s designs. Gail further explained her design aesthetic, “My work is unique because I eschew mass consumption and over industrialization. My designs shouldn’t be disposable. They should be timeless, each one made by hand with careful attention paid in my south Austin atelier…What I do within my designs is a study of weight, balance and texture. There is a playfulness and organic nature in the designs that let them take on a different dimension each time an individual tries on a creation.” If you are in the Austin area, take a trip over to Gail’s boutique…or if you aren’t local, go to BlackmailBoutique.com.

After a few more awards were given out, we were feted to a rather lavish presentation provided by famed Austin jewelry designer- Kendra Scott. Kendra launched her brand in 2002 with just $500 and now has a global multi-million dollar label. The extravagant statement pieces, although designed for editorial use only, just screamed ‘wear me!’ Kendra’s inspiration for the collection is not only by current and upcoming pieces, but is also associated with the seasons, as she explains, “infusing rich colors and textures to create mega statement pieces reminiscent of spring, summer, fall and winter. A parade of bold baubles merging layering chains, tassels, ornate caging, feathers and organic etched metals with a kaleidoscope of colors, from turquoise and cobalt to abalone shell and tigers’ eye, created a season sensation on the runway.” It indeed created an audience sensation that night. This blogger was literally wide-eyed and oooooing-and-ahhhing the entire show. It was visually intense, but in the best way possible! If you’d like more information, shop the collection or create your own piece of jewelry at the Color Bar, go to KendraScott.com.

The grand finale show combined a mixture of theater and over-the-top fashion by none other than the iconic Stephen Moser. Moser launched his brand, Made in Heaven by Stephen MacMillan Moser in 1987 and has been a household name in the Austin fashion industry ever since. This was literally the show to end all shows in a sense that Moser once again portrayed illustrious showmanship and skillfully crafted twenty-six looks for men and women. This collection was called “Fashion As Theater: A Pagan Royal Wedding” in collaboration with headpiece designer- Jennifer Ayers. The story opens with a shaman (portrayed by Grant Hicks in black cut velvet trimmed with iridescent peacock fringe) chanting an invocation for the awards audience to join in a matrimonial celebration. Then we watch as a procession of royal guests from various unknown cultures parade across the stage, leaving us making up stories with our imagination about their origin. The ceremony then commences when the three high-priestesses arrive, with Pagan prince’s attendant and then the Pagan prince himself (portrayed by Fets Benevides in silver-on-silver silk lamè and velvet brocade trimmed with Blue Arctic Fox) in tow. Then we see two bare-breasted mistresses of the Pagan princess appear, followed by the Pagan princess herself (portrayed by Elle LaMont, star of the new Machete movie, in a silver stretch foil column topped with crystal-beaded mesh and trimmed with Blue Arctic Fox). After the union is consecrated, the shaman makes a blessing. The end. Oh and did I mention there was a flame swallower in the middle of the action?! It was pretty intense. I must say, this is the second time I’ve witnessed a Stephen Moser runway show and I must say that he’s outdone himself in this being one of the most unique shows I’ve seen. As Moser states, “Seeing is believing…”

It was a great show and turn-out. Again, huge congratulations to all the winners!

 

 

Austin Fashion Week 2013 at La Zona Rosa

Austin’s fifth annual fashion week (AFW) this year consisted of three days of runway shows and a pop-up marketplace. The shows were held at La Zona Rosa- a music venue located in the Warehouse District of downtown Austin. Unfortunately, this year I was only able to attend one night of events…but that night culminated all the Austin designers that participated in NBC’s Fashion Star and Project Runway, plus some past AFW faves. Upon entering the venue, guests were able to browse a pop-up shop set up by Gilt City and shop the marketplace inside. Vendors this year included: my favorite Austin jewelry designer- Jeannie Vianney, Cynthia Bloom Jewelry, Crystal4U, Andrea Montgomery Designs, Cindy Schulze Jewelry and Hari Mari.

There were eight shows on the final and most-anticipated night of AFW runways and marketplace and it’s my pleasure to introduce them to you:

The first show consisted of whimsical, retro-inspired and fun looks that have been a huge hit in the city of Austin- Crowned Bird. Crowned Bird is the brainchild of Priscilla Barroso and was just recently launched in Fall of 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Priscilla likes of think of her brand as a cross between if Zooey Deschanel and Audrey Hepburn had a style child- it would be Crowned Bird. The brand is made entirely in Dallas using sustainable or deadstock materials that she finds throughout the world. Priscilla makes everything in limited quantities and takes pride knowing that the wearer will have comfort knowing that not everyone will be wearing the same thing. Priscilla further explains, “Crowned Bird is a trans-seasonal brand that can transcend beyond trends and continue to make a statement in any era, any country, and season. I wanted to make clothes that you can wear forever. It’s a brand that you will never find on the racks of Buffalo Exchange. And I’m proud of that.” Austin Fashion Week was her first runway show since being on NBC’s Fashion Star and was a very symbolic evening for her. She showcased looks like the ‘trout skirt'(which was a fan favorite), then transitioned to Spring and finally presented highlights from the Fall 2013 “Dream Pop” collection. I enjoyed seeing the whimsical novelty prints and bold colors. Even though I would love to have one of everything in my closet, I especially LOVED the plaid suit and the orange slice two piece ensemble (I mean who WOULDN’T want to wear orange slice printed pants or top?!)! The collection screamed Spring, hints of vintage influence and strong versatility and wearability that can be transitioned from season to season. If you want to own a piece of Crowned Bird history, I promise it won’t break the bank at prices ranging from $60 to $250.

The next show was Three07, a flirty and feminine brand that is based in Birmingham, Alabama. The brand officially launched in 2010 and was founded by April Moore, Melissa Grimes & Courtni Tyre-who all shared similar passions for fashion and southern values. According to April on becoming a team, “We each have our individual styles, but three07 is our outlet to create pieces that we otherwise would not have created on our own. Together we create an easy ‘look’ that many women can wear. Three heads are better than one!” Their Summer 2013 collection that they showcased during AFW was titled “Bohemian Romance,” in which flowy silhouettes, cute prints and crochet textures played a significant role to create an effortless and fresh vibe. They also threw in some white and orange looks from their “Fall Gameday” collection in honor of local UT fans. I loved the blue off-shoulder maxi dress and printed shorts and pants-which I think are a MUST in upcoming hot Summer months. This brand is also light on the wallet with prices ranging from $40 for tops and up to no more than $80 for dresses. For more information and to see what stores Three07 is sold, go to Three07.com or check out their online boutique at Obaz.com.

There was another southern-based brand in the house that evening- Pearl Southern Couture. The ‘proudly made in the USA’ brand was launched in 2008 by Amber Perley- who was inspired by the charm and culture of the deep south and wanted to create a line to convey that lifestyle. Amber explained that every collection tells a story and is inspired by a different southern city or person. Her inspiration for her Spring 2013 collection was candy, along with Bow Wow Wow’s 1982 hit “I Want Candy,”which was also featured in the Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. After combining all those properties, she concluded that it would make for a great runway show…and it was. The song was catchy and upbeat, mixing with perky models in darling dresses, tops and shorts; flaunting sunglasses and giant lollipops. The brand is perfect for the gal wanting to look chic but doesn’t want to break the bank, with prices ranging from $50-230 retail. Also, catch Amber on Fashion Star!

I first saw Lisa Vian Hunter’s collection during AFW last year and have been a fan ever since. Lisa owns a boutique in Seattle and has her line manufactured here in the USA. She also appeared on Fashion Star during season one. Lisa’s Spring 2013 collection consisted of 50s and 60s inspired dresses, tops and skirts. Lisa scours the world (notably Belgium and Italy) for modern and fun fabrics to create beautiful and effortless clothing that women will want to wear season after season. My faves from the collection were the techno and green print ‘Ava’ dresses (inspired by 1958) and the plaid ‘Suzy’ dresses because they are chic and have a vintage and timeless silhouette. I applaud the Vian Hunter brand for its wearability and versatility for everyday living. Be sure to look out for her bridal collection that will be debuting later this year. Average price points for the collection range from $195-395. Check out VianHunter.com for additional information.

After the intermission, we had the pleasure of being introduced to RVN- a brand that is currently being sold locally at Young and Fabulous in the Hill Country Galleria. RVN was launched in 2011 by designer Ted Kim and is inspired by the creativity and pulsating art, music and fashion vibes of New York City. It is explained that RVN’s collections “are the street art to the backdrop of an urban landscape sizzling with creativity: where dreams are made, stars are born, and where rules are made to be broken.” I loved the flare dresses, especially the black/white striped one. I thought that the bodycon dresses were tasteful and the patterns were thoroughly executed to flatter the body. Prices range from $175-475 and you can find out more information on the RVN Facebook page.

The next Fashion Star designer I’m going to introduce is another Austin favorite- Ross Bennett. Bennett is very well-known in the Austin fashion scene and is also seen wearing a signature tailoring suit, gloves and bow tie. Upon observing the fashion scene during Austin Fashion Week, I just want to point out that AFW founder- Matt Swinney’s wife Kara looked stunning in a custom dress by Ross. The Ross Bennett Collection was launched in 2008 by Ross and his wife-Erin. Their main endeavor is to create classic, custom tailored garments that fit into the modern lifestyle, while also maintaining a Southern influence. As Bennett states, “As the business grows, my team and I are adamant about providing a personalized experience for each and every client. We believe clothing should be recognized as a piece of art, with each piece having its own story to tell. Providing our clients with classic, versatile sense of style that can be worn for decades we are building the next great American fashion empire, ‘getting things done, one stitch at a time.’” Ross’s AFW collection was titled, “The Classical Chaos” and was inspired by he and his wife’s fast-paced lifestyle. Ross breaks it down for LAFashionsnob, “The creative drive that as an artist I need to be able to hone into came from the juxtapositions of wanting a calm environment but having a “hustle and bustle” of a life. I drew comfort knowing that great designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent created some of their best work when their lives were utterly turned up-side-down. I wanted to move away from the traditional Ross Bennett Collection look of pretty and everyday to a more sensuous and daring look.” The collection maintained a general cohesiveness, staying in tune with neutrals while adding bold highlights, such as red and gold. The story that was being conveyed was that of an individual going from the office to a lunch out with friends to a red carpet event in the evening. I am a fan the black/gold hi/low dress and the gold (very Studio 54-inspired in my opinion) strapless dress. Bennett strives to maintain a classic, yet youthful feel for his brand so that women a variety of ages {“forward enough for a college woman but conservative enough for a mom”} are able to wear it. Prices for the collection range from $300 for skirts for $3,000 for an evening gown. They also offer custom bridal gowns and one-of-a-kind pieces. Bennett is also working with Blue Avocado, designing their mens 2013 American Designer Series. That line will be available on Amazon.com soon. He is also a part of the annual Texas Bow Tie Day. For additional information and to shop the collection, go to RossBennettCollection.com.

After viewing her collection during SxSW, I was really excited to learn that Lilly Lorraine was showing during Austin Fashion Week. As I had viewed the same collection during SxSW, seeing it on the runway that evening just made it love it even more. Austin-based Lilly Lorraine was launched in March 2012 by Christi Craven during Style X (SxSW), where she received rave reviews for two garments that she designed and created a textile for, called BAMBLI. Craven explains that “this unique textile utilizes both the soft texture and breath-ability of bamboo, and the warmth of wool to make wonderfully comfortable and stylish winter ensembles.” The technique she used still has a patent pending and the name BAMBLI is in the process of being trademarked. The Fall 2013 collection is called “Rendezvous in the Moonlight” and is inspired by “the neutral tones and textures revealed by the moonlight upon the beauty of the earth’s natural architecture. Surprises revealed by the cast of a moonbeam or gust of wind reveals color, texture and flowing movement that awakening the sense of romance beyond the night’s shadows.” All I really have to say is that this blogger is a fan of everythinnggggg in the collection! Lilly Lorraine has since been worn on Grammy Winner Esperanza Spalding, The Bachelor’s Kacie Boguskie, singer Teresa Williams and Susan Walker. They have also been featured in numerous local and national publications. For more information and to pre-order garments (prices range from $150-1,200), please go to LillyLorraineinc.com.

The finale show for the evening was awarded to Daniel Esquivel-whom you may know from watching season 11 of Project Runway. Daniel’s passion for fashion started at an early age and has since blossomed into a burgeoning career, as he’s been designing Austin’s elite for several years now. His inspiration for the AFW collection came from when he was dancing to “Double Dutchess”- a fabulous group that is based in San Francisco. The collection was comprised of womenswear and a few menswear looks that were all about being happy and free. Esquivel has such a bubbly and sweet personality, which showed in some looks, but lacked in others. My favorite looks from the show were the voluminous black/white polka-dot gown, the yellow/black romper, the short red flare dress and the light pink/silver tiered flowy dress. I’m excited to see what Daniel has in store for the future, though I just hope it doesn’t involve a tee paired with a bikini. You can ‘fan’ Daniel on his Facebook Fan Page and stay up to date with any news and happenings.

Huge thanks to PomPR, the designers, models and the folks at Austin Fashion Week!

SxSW Presents: The Neighborhood 2013

Every year the popular South by Southwest (SxSW) music festival draws thousands of people into the Texas capital of Austin. The fest launched in 1987 with only around seven hundred people in attendance. Since then, it has obviously grown into a mecca of conferences, music concerts, food trucks, technology, etc. Now, the next big thing to happen at the fest since vegan food trucks is fashion. What was originally Style X, The Neighborhood- founded by Joah Spearman and Jon Pattillo- took it’s place after only two years. The Neighborhood is considered an unofficial event of SxSW and took place over a few blocks of the 2nd Street District in downtown Austin. Events within the Neighborhood included panels featuring leading bloggers and experts in the fashion industry, two pop-up shops and a ‘Relax and Recharge’ lounge sponsored by top PR style and communications firm-Bollare.

I teamed up with my friends- Devon and Mark of The Stylist Handbook and we took The Neighborhood by storm. We attended three panels and checked out the pop-up shops and Bollare lounge. There were two official pop-up shops (along with some of the 2nd Street boutiques that had small events happening in-store) that carried brands like: 31 Bits, Wren + Glory, Bedstu, Bucketfeet, Lilly Lorraine, Pura Vida Bracelets, I/O Denim, Copper Peace, ESPEROS, Electric Picks, Feelgoodz, Teysha and Paleo Denim.

New brands that I wanted to spotlight:

Bucketfeet is a sneaker brand that was launched in Chicago in Spring 2011 by Raaja Nemani. Bucketfeet is actually the first and ONLY sneaker brand in the Chicago area. They collaborate with over forty artists from twelve countries and it’s up to each artist to design each shoe that showcases their own unique personality. It’s the mission of Bucketfeet to not only create global awareness for the artist but also to ensure quality, comfort (our pal Mark can vouch for their extreme comfort) and affordability (and at $65, it really sounds great for the wallet). During SxSW, we learned of their collaboration with Sophie Roach- their first Austin, Texas artist. They are releasing three different shoes with her artwork. “We think Sophie’s art is super unique and lends itself very well to footwear. Given her talent, like all of our artists, we believe she deserves more exposure. Art isnt supposed to hang on a wall where very few can see it- it is meant to be seen and appreciated by many!” Nemani explains. I always love learning of (and sharing) a brand who has strong core values, helps the community and is wearable. Please go to bucketfeet.com for additional information and to shop the collection.

Los Angeles-based Copper Peace was founded in 2008 by designer and musician- Johnna Lynn. The brand started out by focusing on guitar straps, which were highly sought-after by the likes of Katy Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Weezer, Michelle Branch, etc. It wasn’t until recently…2011 to be exact…that the brand expanded into doing handbags, starting with the “Concert Clutch.” Johnna’s inspiration of the SoCal music scene and the ‘fashionable yet relaxed’ West Coast style is reflected on the handbag collection. The collection was designed to be simple, yet chic and made from the the highest quality of materials that are meant to withstand the test of time. This brand is THE go-to brand for musicians, hipsters, concert-goers and fashionistas alike! My two favorite bags are the “Lanny Pack” (leather fanny pack) and the “Only One Portfolio Bag.” Find out more information on this SxSW fan favorite at CopperPeace.com!

Lilly Lorraine Inc. was one of the first brands that immediate caught our eye as we walked around the first pop-up shop. My eyes focused on the rich textures, textiles and simple yet elegant silhouettes. The Fall 2013 collection we viewed was titled- “Rendezvous in the Moonlight” and was inspired by neutral tones and textures that are comprised of the Earth’s natural architecture, the surprises revealed by a moonbeam or a gust of wind that reveals colors, texture and flowing movement that can awaken the sense of romance beyond the night’s shadows. Austin-based Lilly Lorraine Inc. is the brainchild of Christi du Mesnil Craven and was named after her Grandmother. Christi was always passionate for fashion and while in college, explored various degrees such as: fashion design, psychology and interior design. Her overall success throughout the years inspired her confidence to launch her line in March 2012 during Style X. Her line earned rave reviews (and upon seeing it in person during The Neighborhood, I can sure see why). The unique bamboo and wool textile that Craven uses in this collection currently has a patent pending. I literally wanted to buy every garment from the rack that day… especially the long red dress and the white turtleneck top…just dreamy…Check out more information on the brand at LilyLorraineInc.com!

The last brand I’m going to spotlight is Paleo Denim. Paleo Denim was born in 2011 in East Austin by Richard Cole, whose inspiration came from years of fossil hunting with his dad- an amateur archeologist. Richard is a self-taught sewer who began making his own jeans back in 2008. As Cole goes on to explain, “Fossil hunting leaves lots of time to pond change and evolution, it’s also devastatingly hard on gear and clothing. So everything that comes out of my workshop has to reflect that. It has to be designed to handle rough use but still become different and beautiful as it ages…The jeans are a pretty good example. All of them start off raw and untreated from the fabric roll. Most of the denim comes from small batch productions out of the USA or Japan, most of it is narrow shuttle loom selvedge. The indigo will fall away as the user wears it, creating a story of both the wearer and the textile at the same time. Romance aside, it’s still denim and still really hardy, durable stuff that will last a lifetime. Same goes for the leather.” Cole’s designs are influenced by Americana and the Japanese interpretation of Americana, as well as hints of modern industrial design. Prices for the collection are wallet friendly and range from $50 for billfolds and small wallets, $65-150 for larger wallets, $185 for standard denim and up to $300 for full custom denim. My faves from the brand include the leather bracelets, wallets and the iPad covers (which I thought were oversize clutches at first, BUT would love to use it as a clutch!). Find out more information on Paleo by going to Paleodenim.com.

As well as doing a little shopping, we also attended three (of many) panels that were presented by Joah Spearman and Huff Post Style. Discussions included: Content, Commerce, And Everything in Between (Jennifer Margolin-founder of Social Edge Summit, Jen Yen-founder/CEO of Purlisse, Hilary Peterson- VP of Business Development for Lyst and Caroline Waxler- Festival Director at Internet Week); Bringing Style to the People(who included Style Caster‘s Ari and David Goldberg, Neiman Marcus VP of Corporate Public Relations Gabrielle de Papp and Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller) and a discussion with the John Varvatos. Each discussion was quite informative and it was interesting hearing each person’s personal view on the different subject matters.

Throughout the course of my first SxSW journey, we were able to enjoy the Relax and Recharge Lounge provided by Bollare. They had complimentary juices provided by Blue Print, cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka during Happy Hour, a photo booth from Mondrian, goodie bags and VERY convenient phone case chargers provided by Boostcase. We attended the Style Caster x CUSP by Neiman Marcus party, which included dancing, socializing and shopping/viewing the PJK x Man Repeller line. We also checked out the Facebook party- held at their Austin offices. While there, we left our mark on the wall and took numerous photos to remember our visit by. Even though we didn’t have the badges this time, we were still able to check out the multiple free shows and events and took place around the downtown area. Auditorium Shores had shows going on, as well as a food court, Michaels DIY craft station and a shopping area. While browsing the vendors, I bumped into Julie Wheat of Charleston, SC based brand- The Cavortress who had a vintage booth there. The selection was great and prices were fair. Devon ended up getting a cute vintage polka dot dress and I got a pretty green top.

All in all, our first SxSW (fashion edition) was great! Aside from needing a few more signage and perhaps a program with schedule of events and map of boutiques and such that were offering events in conjunction with The Neighborhood, the first Neighborhood was quite successful. I look forward to seeing how it continues to blossom with SxSW in years to come.

This article has also been published in The Stylist Handbook!!

Vintage and Stella & Dot Trunk Show – Austin

I just recently made a move from Austin and before I left, I had a small trunk show/ going away soiree. It was held at The Sugar Factory on W.Koenig in North Austin. The Sugar Factory is owned by iconic Austin jewelry designer- Gay Isber and is a boutique that’s filled with local brands, vintage goodies and Gay’s handmade creations. It is such a fun, whimsical, creative space that serves as a multi-functional haven for the local community. I was so happy when Gay gave me the ‘thumbs-up’ to host my event there. I was doing a pop-up shop with some of my vintage inventory {future vintage shop} and my friend and Stella & Dot rep- Whitney F. was also co-hosting and selling some the latest Stella & Dot collection. We hosted the event in the back and was a nice, intimate setting with jewelry, vintage, lemonade, wine and mini cupcakes that were graciously provided by Cupprimo. I want to tell you that Cupprimo is such a lovely cupcakery and coffee shop that is located near Spicewood Springs/ 183 area and has THE BEST chai latte EVERRR! The staff is also super-friendly and I just had to get them involved with my last hurrah in Austin. The day turned out to be a success as friends came, got styled, got fed and mingled. The highlight of my day was when I made my first sale and first Square sale… as a start-up vintage entrepreneur…it’s the little things that count. The Stella & Dot pieces were beyond amazing… statement necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings- you name it. My faves are: the “Jolie” necklace, the “Spring Awakening” necklace, the “Olivia” bib necklace, the “Gilded Arrow” bangle, the “Zinnia” bracelet and the “Julep” and “Carrie” bracelets. It was great seeing how the jewelry can be styled (and look really great) with vintage.

For those wishing to shop the Stella & Dot portion of my trunk show, you can HERE and you have until March 17th.

I want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to: Gay Isber for loaning out a room of the Sugar Factory for the event, to Anastasia for assisting in the shop that day, to my co-host Whitney, to Cupprimo for graciously sponsoring the yummy cupcakes, to Andee, Michelle W., Michelle Z., Miranda, Hannah for the love and support!

Blue Glue Bikinis “Passport to Bali” Event @ The Domain

Despite the dreary weather, people flocked to The Domain- one of Austin’s premiere shopping malls, for a “Bali-themed” party at one of the mall’s newest boutiques- Blue Glue Bikinis. Blue Glue Bikinis is a French brand with socially responsible and holistic ethics that launched in 2002 and is based in Bali. The non-mass produced swimwear brand offers suits that are like a “second skin” on their wearer. The fabrication of the eco-friendly swimwear consists of {88% recycled bottles}, 88% micro-polyester and 12% spandex. The fabric is buttery soft and is a deterrent for sand. The suits are handmade by the locals at the headquarters in Bali. With over 15 franchises globally, Blue Glue Bikinis Austin is the first franchise to open up in the U.S. Boutique owner- Elizabeth Stevenson recently opened the boutique in December 2012, bringing island style to Austin.

The “Passport to Bali” event showcased the tropical-inspired suits that are offered in three collections: ‘Glam,’ ‘Chill,’ and the ‘Mix n’ Match.’ The ‘Glam’ collection focuses on edgy styles with signature hardware, suits with laser-cut detail (my fave) and embossed fabrics. ‘Chill’ focuses on prints and solid colors at a lower price point. ‘Mix n’ Match’ consists of over twenty different cuts for women to create their own look. The boutique also carries beachy accessories, such as: totes, embellished and laser-cut sandals, statement necklaces (LOVED the laser-cut necklaces!) and other fun jewelry, cover-ups and pareos. Price points for the swimwear range from $40-150 for a set. Again, all items are environmentally sustainable in that they don’t use any animal-based products and the leather looks are created using cotton wax. Models showed off a few looks throughout the night and there tropical drinks and sweet treats from Hill Country Cakery. Henna artist- Niki Pham was on hand to provide Indonesian-inspired Henna tattoos to guests. Stylist Thea Wood provided fashion advice and helped guests put together trendy looks for the upcoming beach/pool weather. Brilliant Imports provided Balinese pillows and other themed decorative items to display at the event. 10% of sales from the evening were donated to “You Are Good Tees”, an organization that helps promote and protect children who have been abused or neglected.

Be sure to stop by Blue Glue Bikinis Austin (located in between Burberry and Tommy Bahama- 11506 Century Oaks Terrace Suite 108 Austin, TX 78758 PH: (512) 833-9113 ) to get a total Summer swimsuit and accessory makeover!

Boudoir Queen Line Viewing Party at Wanderlust Boutique

I braved the cold and headed out the Boudoir Queen line viewing at Wanderlust Boutique during the holidays. Now when I mean “braving the cold”, I mean taking off my warm coat before heading into the venue and only wearing my short-sleeved dress because a. the dress was my spur-of-the-moment wardrobe decision and it just fit too well to pass up and b. the coat did NOT match the wardrobe. I tell you, what we gals do in the name of fashion… But anyway, before I get too off-topic… The boutique was pretty crowded, but the area where we viewed the collection was the opposite. It was held in the gallery section of the boutique. I thoroughly enjoyed touching and seeing the collection up close (since I viewed it during Austin Fashion Week). Delicious sweets and macaroons were also served. The line’s designer- Dawn Younger-Smith was the star of the hour, signing autographs, taking pictures and mingling with guests. Lovely models graced us, dressed in ethereal Boudoir Queen and showcasing the brand’s newest headpieces. Dawn even got some of us local bloggers together to try on 20s-inspired dainty caps and gather for group photos (which are on the Boudoir Queen Facebook Page). It was a whimsical evening that left me having closet envy, as I’d just adore having some of the Boudoir Queen dresses hanging in my wardrobe, ready to be worn for the next party.

Huge thanks to: Wanderlust Boutique; Dawn and Mark Younger-Smith; models: Callisto, Sarah and Cali.

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