After a Fashion

Pink and brown are just not cutting it anymore, people. Get with the program. Plus … you know … more shilling for stores and stuff …

A sweet departure in raspberry silk velvet by Laundry, 
from Fetish
A sweet departure in raspberry silk velvet by Laundry, from Fetish (Photo By Victor Soares)

THE BIG EVENT last Saturday was the big, splashy fashion event thrown by Tribeza magazine at Lytle Pressley's gorgeous furniture store Spazio. The distinguished Mr. Pressley himself was in attendance, in a beautiful belted winter-white jacket, along with Austin's most devoted fashionistas and Tribeza's usual crowd of pretty people. It was hard to feel truly fashionable in the sweltering wall-to-wall crowd, but the food was wonderful, provided by 10 of Austin's best restaurants (including this indescribably divine concoction by the charming chef at Monica's 701 in Georgetown and a watermelon gazpacho from Amuse Bouche), and the floral arrangements by Michael Akila at Floral Renaissance were stunning. Front-row center at the end of the runway was the show itself. Tribeza's fashion editor is Eddaicsa (Eddy) Dean, wife of the magazine's publisher, Zarghun Dean. This was her first foray into fashion production, and she did an admirable job of pulling off a semi-large-scale event. The production had minor problems, though they did not overshadow the overall high quality. The models were great – especially the incandescent Elle Miller – but the lighting was too dim. There were some stand-out pieces shown: a cream-colored suit from Fetish was fabulous and there were beautiful entries from Vylette, the Garden Room, Kick Pleat, and Trio. My problems were more with the styling. I got so tired of pink and brown and pinkish brown, worn with high boots, a scarf around the neck and a brooch holding it in place, that I yearned for a flash of color. This is not really a criticism of the show however, but of the preponderance of this neutral hodgepodge look in general. Sometimes the shoes seemed at glaring odds with the clothes, and it gave a sense that each element of each outfit was lovely, but the way they were put together didn't work. That, however, did not seem to be the general consensus among the bulk of the guests, who oohhed and aahhed at the parade of beauties. And frankly, if that was the only real problem (aside from the heat) the event was a big success, and as a (presumably) annual event, it's to be a welcome addition to our fashion calendar.

RESALE FOR THE UPSCALE These days, it seems that if you're not wearing a brooch to tie your outfit together, then you live in fashion Siberia. There are brooches of every description out there to pin on a lapel, waist, or throat, but my favorites have always been the vintage jeweled variety. Brooches have not been an "in-style" or "not-in-style" issue with me; they've always been a part of a signature look I've cultivated for dressing up. My version of black tie does not involve a black tie at all: I'd rather wear a glittering jewel that says, "I understand the need for an accessory but prefer to set my own standards for it." With the plethora of vintage stores in Austin, there are fabulous brooches available, but for my money, the best selection is at Cupidz Clozet (3663 Bee Caves Rd., next to Breed & Co, 328-6446, www.cupidzclozet.com), the chic resale store founded by entrepreneur Robin Campbell, a refugee from the high tech boom. Donating 100% of its proceeds to charity, Cupidz Clozet has donated over $100,000 to the community since it opened in March 2002. Cupidz invites you to be the first to preview its amazing selection of brooches, fall coats, furs, fashions, and accessories at its Fall-Winter Preview Party, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 7-9pm, benefiting the Missy Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Brain Aneurysm Disease... Also on the upscale resale front, the Austin Children's Orchard (2110 W. Slaughter, #132, 800/999-KIDS, www.austinchildorch.com) offers a new twist in children's retailing: gently used and new name-brand children's clothing, toys, furniture, and accessories at a fraction of the cost of new. Parents can also bring in quality used goods for cash or store credit. Founded in 1980, Children's Orchard has nearly 100 franchise locations in 23 states and its the nation's first franchise of its kind.

HIGH HEELS AND HIGH STYLE The boys at Vën Shoe Salon are proud to unveil their fall shoe collection, with glamorous names such as Giuseppe Zanotti, Casadei, and Richard Tyler. We know the torture it can be to wear such high-fashion shoes, so, in addition, Vën offers the Luxury Comfort collection: Taryn Rose, Tsubo, Oh!, Mark and Steven, and Bølo for the ladies who demand comfort and high style – at the same time – imagine! But that's just the shoes – the handbags from Junior Drake, Kale, and Hobo, and the jewelry of Me & Ro make Vën a must-see for accessories. They are in the process of unveiling www.venshoesalon.com – fabulous shopping in the privacy of your home, with a free shipping and return policy. Now that's service.

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