After a Fashion
BEYOND BEAUTY You can imagine how grueling it was, getting up in time for a 9am appointment for a massage, facial, highlights, and cut. But such is the life for one who Chronicles the style biz. For well over a year, I had been promising David Schneider, vice-president at Aziz Day Spa & Salon, that I would come over and sample some of their services. Now that I have, I wonder what the hell took me so long -- and I'm sure that was exactly what they were thinking as well. The spa business is big business these days, and everyone's getting in on the action, but these folks are no neophytes cashing in on a current trend. Aziz, located at 710 W. Seventh, 476-4131, has been in business since 1974; they are the oldest day spa and salon in central Texas, and have an impressive reputation, as well as clientele. With 6,700 square feet dedicated to helping you look and feel your best, Aziz's term "day spa" is almost a misnomer. There are 16 chairs for hairstyling, five rooms for skin treatment, three rooms for massage, six nail stations, and a dining room. You could practically check-in there and spend a week being massaged, cleansed, exfoliated, manicured, pedicured, waxed, polished, conditioned, highlighted, permed, styled, tanned, and made up. Upon arrival, I was immediately introduced to my massage therapist, Brydie, and directed to a sparely appointed but completely well-equipped room, where I was laid out on a table. After giving a brief rundown on any trouble areas, I was rubbed, kneaded, and prodded for an hour into complete relaxed submission. After practically falling asleep during the process, Brydie softly whispered, "OK, Stephen, we're done," and exited the room, leaving me to rouse myself and dress at my leisure. Next, it was on to Chris for a facial. She examined my skin closely, and coordinated a treatment plan based on what she saw. I was exfoliated, steamed, and extracted, given a deep-pore cleansing, a refreshing mask, and more massage. What I most appreciated about all the treatments was that they did not promise outer beauty through inner peace or any such rot. The technicians were completely professional and perfunctory, almost clinical, without espousing every treatment-of-the-week that comes down the pike. They do an assessment and then they do their jobs -- beautifully. This, to me, is worth a lot more than a bunch of New-Age mumbo-jumbo. After a brief respite, I was introduced to Jodi, who handled my haircolor and cut. She was personable, attentive, talented ... and gave me great hair. Among the several excellent product lines Aziz carries (Sebastian, Fudge, Bumble + Bumble) is the Leonore Greyl collection. I love Leonore Greyl products; their hair masque is truly fabulous, the bamboo shampoo divine, and the daytime crème for hair is a soft, almost weightless dressing that adds incredible shine. It was a wonderful day of beauty ... and if you haven't figured out what to get your valentine yet, give them a call. They'll have lots of suggestions.
THE GOLDEN BOYS Well, we've been dishing a lot about Hollywood lately; so let's bring the Hollywood connection a little closer to home, shall we? Our friends Anthony Camargo and David Nakard Armstrong, otherwise known as jewelers Anthony-Nak, have certainly been putting Austin on the fashion map. The debuted their Spring 2002 collection in New York in January, and have returned home as conquering heroes. Barney's New York bought their collection last season, and reported a complete sell-out in just two months. The buyers reported major interest in the Anthony-Nak collection, including Danielle Steele and her newly crowned "it girl" daughters, as well as Reese Witherspoon, whose photograph at the Gosford Park movie premiere appears in the most recent issue of US Magazine, bedecked in -- naturally -- Anthony-Nak earrings. A couple of weeks later, Reese was interviewed on Dateline NBC with lots of close-ups of -- you guessed it -- the very same earrings. Needless to say, Barney's reordered big time, and are giving our boys a major presence in their stores. David and Anthony report that the press came to see them in droves. They were sought out by every major publication and loaned a number of pieces for layouts. One story was already shot by the swank magazine Ocean Drive in conjunction with NASCAR Racing and theirs was the only jewelry used on the models. Apparently, it turned out so fabulously that it was sold to four magazines to run in the spring: InStyle, French Marie Claire, Tatler magazine, and the aforementioned Ocean Drive. In addition, they were wined and dined by Harper's Bazaar because of pieces donated to a fundraiser sponsored to raise money for the families of the victims of 9/11. HB also purchased jewelry to give their senior editors as gifts and were grateful for Anthony-Nak's fast work. Then (and this is my favorite part) they received a call from Naomi Campbell's publicist. Naomi had purchased several of their pieces in NY and was anxious to get in touch with them personally to see the new line. She wanted to take several pieces with her to Milan for the shows and, well, of course, they were happy to oblige. They met with her publicist and, to make a long story short, Naomi got her jewelry and the boys got their first publicist. When they arrived back at their hotel, there was a bouquet of flowers with a note that read, "Love, Naomi." "See, Stephen," they told me, "she's not so bad after all." But, guys! I love Naomi! I think she's an absolute riot! That's why I write about her all the time! March 15 brings the debut of Anthony-Nak's Precious Jewelry Collection -- diamonds, platinum, and 18k gold. They were asked by Dottie Chanin, the owner of Fred Segal's Ice in Los Angeles, to launch the collection at the star-studded opening of her newest store Ice at the Grove in L.A. The editors from all the NY magazines are being flown to L.A. for the opening and they will also be hosting a launch party at a yet-to-be-determined venue in conjunction with their new PR firm. Ooohhh ... and they promised to get me tickets!