Tag - Austin

A Moment at Hope Outdoor Gallery
Recap of TxSC13 "Summer School" Blogger Conference – Austin
Austin Fashion Awards 2013

A Moment at Hope Outdoor Gallery

During a recent overnight trip to Austin, I was able to meet up with one of my blogger/photographer friends and we met up at this ridiculously awesome space. What were once old apartment building foundations, Hope Outdoor Gallery is now a space where graffiti artists and tag and create freely. Thank you Sarah for showing me this amazing place and agreeing to an impromptu mini photo shoot. There is no doubt that I shall return…especially in warmer and sunnier weather.

Thank you Sarah for the photos of me!

I’m wearing the Sheer Willow Pullover Sweater from Willow & Clay, Jeans from Big Star Denim, Heels from Bakers.

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:


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


~ 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!



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