After a Fashion

Follow Style Avatar Stephen as he follows Amy & Christina from Vylette on their fabulous NYC fashion buying trip!

Amy Weaver (l) and Christina Klisanin (r) of Vylette catching up with famed designer Anna Sui in Sui's New York showroom
Amy Weaver (l) and Christina Klisanin (r) of Vylette catching up with famed designer Anna Sui in Sui's New York showroom

AMY & CHRISTINA'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE Our good friends Christina Klisanin and Amy Weaver of Vylette give us a report on their recent buying trip to New York a couple weeks ago. I nearly fell out of my chair at Güero's laughing at the stories (waitress Erin is fabulous in her Film Noir lipstick from MAC). Christina and Amy stayed at Ian Schraeger's swank hotel, the Hudson. Though their room was $400 a night -- about as economical as swank can be -- their overall experience with the hotel was extremely unpleasant. The entire staff, who appeared and acted as if they were hired from a modeling agency, couldn't be bothered to assist them in any way. They drank $20 Bloody Marys at the allegedly chic hotel bar, which seemed to be filled with bridge-and-tunnel people -- the drinks were so bad they would have returned them, but they never saw their waitress again. The all-female bar staff wore "uniforms" that looked like they could have been purchased at Forever 21, and the female patrons were sporting the Sex and the City denim-jacket-and-fake-flower look that was so three seasons ago. They choked down their breakfast at the Hudson ... errr, Cafeteria ... since they weren't even offered water, and there appeared to be no waiters in sight. "Well, maybe it's because of the drought," ventured the cashier. Then the concierge referred them to an unnamed day spa that might as well have been known as the "Skanky Spa"; they had a fabulous experience at Mecca the day before, so this was quite a letdown. They loved the club Serena in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel, owned by Vogue editor Anna Wintour's stepson. At three years old, the club is practically ancient by NY nightlife standards, but this destination for the publishing and fashion elite has mellowed into a watering hole with tremendous staying power. The girls report that of course the food in New York was amazing (with the notable exception of the Hudson) -- from your basic bagel to a slice of pizza on the street, to profiteroles (little ice cream-stuffed pastries), and SoHo's chic tapas bar Cafe Noir was a delight (I made that common mistake, thinking that she has said topless bar; she laughed, saying, "Yeah, Stephen, we had the $1.99 sirloin special followed by a lap dance for dessert"). They had a field day at Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue. Back when I was selling my designs to Bendel, it was a chic, but reasonably stodgy institution. Now they've reinvented themselves into a haven of hipness, featuring the Patricia Field collection and a wig salon. Clip-on hair is the rage everywhere right now, and Christina and Amy bought pricey pieces from the incredible Raquel Welch wig line for themselves. "Eventually," said Christina, "we stopped going out to the clubs at night; we just stayed in our room and styled our wigs." Bendel has also caught on to the retro craze in a big way; in addition to divine vintage clothing, they now have a department called Lair that features vintage home goods and furnishings. They also shopped at the stylish boutique Noir, where they posed for photos on a Ninja motorcycle with every inch covered by Swarovski crystals. Christina and Amy saw Peter Gallagher from Noises Off sitting near Larry King and his bosomy trophy wife; they said he looked much better in person. Fashion-wise, they saw nothing interesting that wasn't already being done to some degree in Austin at places like Blackmail, Gomi, and their own store. Most everything was a combination of vintage and high style -- something we've fostered here in Austin forever. In fact, most of the stylish New Yorkers they met all raved about Austin and how they were either planning on moving or opening a store here. Saints preserve us. Among other things, they ordered from the Anna Sui collection for fall. Says Christina, "It's one of the easiest to buy because it's always so consistent -- she sets her own pace, follows no one, and the fit is impeccable." Even better, the Sui-ster herself came down to see Christina and Amy when they were at the showroom, and the three of them had a wonderful afternoon together. They also bought Eugenia Kim hats. Kim is certainly the designer du jour for hat-wearing stars such as Jennifer Lopez. The styles range from a tiny little beret that clips onto the head, to gorgeously styled wide-brims. "We're ready to see hats in Austin," Christina says -- and wait till you see these. So, aside from the overpriced and underwhelming accommodations, it was a pretty fab trip, all in all -- and pretty fun to hear about, no?

ROASTING ON HANGERS Tonight, Thursday, June 27, is the shout-along Mommie Dearest Roast (7-9:30pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, 409 Colorado) benefit for KOOP Radio. It should be a riot. Tickets are $10 or $8 for students with ID. Plan on attending the Queens of the Silver Screen benefit at the Forum afterward.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Christina Klisanin, Amy Weaver, Vylette, MAC, Ian Schraeger, Hudson, Mecca, Serena, Chelsea Hotel, Vogue, Anna Wintour, Café Noir, Henri Bendel, Patricia Field, Raquel Welch, Lair, Noir, Peter Gallagher, Larry King, Anna Sui

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