After a Fashion

New shop Chimera is spotlighted and Therapy's spooky exhibits elicit a few kudos, too.


We've heard more mispronunciations of this shop's name: It's Chimera (ki-mair-ah), and it's at 110 W. Elizabeth (447-5720), in the old Therapy space behind Güero's. The brainchild of Jeanette Bonoan and Angela Ware, Chimera has just moved from their original location on Live Oak, and peddles a charming variety of wares. Combing the Dallas and LA markets for quirky and stylish clothing and accessories, Ware and Bonoan assemble original looks with very moderate pricepoints. With dresses from $35 to $200, the selection includes affordable separates from Betsey Johnson (the most expensive being a fab embossed vinyl coat at $269), Devan, and Jane Doe. Sleek and chic dupionni pants by Portrait are $95, and the ostrich-patterned PVC pants from Follies are $118. The girls look forward to holiday delivery of a new collection by the local Dynamic Duds, specializing in hemp and all-cotton clothing. Our favorite items? The small black satin purses adorned with silk flowers ($78 to $95) by Blair Delmonico. Ware makes most of the shop's jewelry, and Bonoan makes botanical bath salts, lip balms, and eye creams. The service, of course, is attentive and knowledgeable, the merchandise is au courant, the prices are right, and the young proprietors have a great deal to be proud of. It is small-scale retail magic of the variety that makes Austin unique.

Then there's Anthea. At the back of Chimera, but always near the heart of it, is where a different kind of magic is performed. This is where Anthea (aka Breeze from the former Three of Cups) reads the tarot and dispenses handmade incense, ointments, candles, and oils designed to your specifications, with special qualities that help promote physical and emotional well-being. With such exotics as Devil's Shoestring, which is supposed to be good for employment woes (I bought a truckload), Sight of the Witch, for knowing the unknown, and the self-explanatory Talking With the Dead, Anthea says, "I do not sell spells; I sell growth and confidence." Among her more pedestrian blends, we find combinations good for interviews as well as prosperity or simply relaxing in the bath. This may strike some of us as a bit pagan, but let's face it, some of our favorite holidays are pagan in origin, particularly Halloween. With the Celtic celebration of Samhain so close, perhaps a jaunt to the back of Chimera should be on your agenda.


The Little Shop of Horrors event at Therapy (1113 S. Congress, as if you didn't know), was the second of their seasonal theme parties. Ghoulish art was the order of the day, and the featured players were ceramics, handbags, and paintings by renaissance-woman Cindy Crowe, as well as works by graphic artist Tracie Goudie. And, of course, Laura Maclay's handbags. One of Maclay's contributions to the exhibit, which will stay up through the end of the month, is a handbag designed to be the decapitated head of Marie Antoinette -- with strings of red crystals hanging from the "neck" to simulate the glistening of fresh blood. Sound gruesome? It is. And totally divine.

Also on the in-store event circuit -- a great idea that sounded a bit more heavy-handed than it actually was, Pathwalker's Theoretical Universe, an event at Wet Salon, was like a bit like a career fair for artists. Engineered by Elise McMullen, it featured artwork of many varieties, with most artists present. Though we understand that it picked up later, and lasted until long into the night, it could have used more people earlier in the evening. Didn't know about it? Well, neither did we -- at least not in time to publicize it. So, do yourself a favor, and get on the mailing lists of your favorite establishments. Then, at least, you'll find out about these things as fast as we do. These in-store events are great public relations for the businesses -- there's so much schmoozing going on between the hosts, the artists, and the public, that it usually makes for a very profitable evening in a number of ways. What are you waiting for, Chimera?


Chapter 2 of Austin's fall fashion season is tonight. Guilded, the premiere presentation by the Designers' Guild of Austin, is at 8pm at the Flatbed Gallery (2830 E. MLK), tickets are $10 general admission, $20 VIP. Call IDoL Gallery/Boutique (445-5678) for info.

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