One of Houston’s most prestigious and luxurious retailers- Tootsies, kicked off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by hosting a chic cocktail party that celebrated the launch of the Susan Scarf– designed by Manoosh in collaboration with the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Over a hundred guests mingled and shopped Manoosh’s Fall 2015 collection, as well as tried out the “build your own” agate jewelry station at the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. Houston lifestyle blogger, author and ovarian cancer survivor (and Susan Scarf model)- Megan Silianoff was on hand, signing her memoir 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One. Fashion Illustrator- Rongrong DeVoe was busy live-sketching guests. Light bites were passed around by B&B Butchers and Restaurant.
Manoosh is the brainchild of three generations of women- Marilyn Biles, her daughter Nancy Guthrie and Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Anna Wilson. The brand was officially launched in September 2014 and is known for luxurious scarves in a variety of colors. The women saw the need for a company that improves the accessibility and exposure for local artists by bringing art out of the galleries and into the hands of the consumer. The scarves are available in cashmere and silk blends and are rich in vibrant colors, as well as more subdued, neutral tones. They illustrate a range of artistic styles including abstract and impressionist. When Anna saw Marilyn’s abstract artwork, she knew it would translate well onto fabric. They usually end up spending months hand-selecting and testing out fabrics to perfect each collection (in collaboration with other artists). For the SPB Foundation collaboration, she met with Buck- who is Susan’s son and founder of the Foundation. Together, they ended up choosing Marilyn Biles’ “Outcrop”- a 25 to 30 year old print for the Susan Scarf. Susan Poorman Blackie was known for wearing bright, artistically designed scarves after loosing her hair to chemo. Scarves have since been known as a symbol of beauty and strength during the rigors of cancer treatment. Susan lost her battle with cancer in 2014. This scarf not only tells her story, but was created to help empower women about the knowledge of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Being a fan of West Texas and Marfa myself, I gravitated to the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. The wonderfully handcrafted statement pieces resonated the beauty and landscape of the area. Kathy Bracewell launched the brand in 2010, centering her inspiration around her daughter-in-law and stepdaughters, as well as the ranch they bought in the area several years ago. Kathy enjoys walking around the property and looking from Indian artifacts. One day, after gathering up a pile of unique stones, she went into Marfa to the local rock shop – Moonlight Gemstones. The owner- Paul Graybeal, explained that she had a Marfa Agate, which is from the area, but not everywhere in the area. When Paul visited the ranch one day, Kathy and her husband took him for a drive around the property. Paul helped to train her eye to areas specific where the rocks would be. He now plays an important role within her company by cutting the rocks, while Kathy stays at the rock shop and polishes them. The end result is delicately polished Marfa Agates on leather and hand-beaded chains. For the event, she offered a “build-your-own” agate jewelry station, where people could chose from a selection of West Texas agates, various chain styles, vintage Milagros and more. Knowing that teal was the color of ovarian cancer awareness, she included feather attachments, with proceeds from the sales going to the SPB Foundation.
For more information on ovarian cancer awareness, go HERE.