After a Fashion
Travel across Texas with your Style Avatar, and how was Stitch?
WALTZ ACROSS TEXAS It was time to get out of Dodge, careening headlong into the holidays, I knew it would be my last chance to make a break for it. So Alfred, Mark, and his boyfriend, Ceron, kidnapped me and took me to the furthest reaches of San Antonio. So near yet so far. We caroused and dined and caroused some more. Dinner conversation at the Palm with our friends Stuart Rosenberg and Tom Wensinger, VP and general manager of San Antonio's Neiman Marcus (he was able to assure us that, contrary to rumor, South Austin's Last Call is not closing, even though the new Austin Neiman's is under construction at MoPac & Braker), was animated and spirited. We had a great time and I was ready to return. But then we were asked to visit the fabulous new Hotel Contessa on the Riverwalk; how could we refuse? It's not often you get to be the first guest in a new hotel. It was superb all suites, all gorgeous, great views, luxurious beds, and wonderful bath and body products. But it was just a prelude to our visit to Houston to see the divine Carolyn Farb in her stage debut in Die Fledermaus. Mme. Farb looked glorious and we couldn't take our eyes off her as she glided about the stage in her nonsinging role. It was a production of the Opera in the Heights company a refreshing interpretation that was as light as it was lyrical. Dinner was at the stylish Gravitas (the venison chili-and-cheese fries were irresistible, but definitely a heart attack on a plate). I stayed at the Hotel Icon. Loving it so much, I don't understand why anyone would want to stay anywhere else. The next day we visited Ceron at his breathtaking Salon Ceron inside the Urban Retreat in River Oaks, and had lunch with Carolyn at the swank Cafe Annie, where we were doted over by award-winning chef Robert Del Grande (whom we saw actually trading recipes with award-winning chef Dean Fearing of Dallas' Mansion at Turtle Creek) and his vivacious wife Mimi. It was all so lovely and dreamy then, of course, I had to return to my squalid little abode in Austin and sew my fingers to the bone making Christmas stockings, but it's always grand to see how the other half lives, n'est-ce pas?
MERCURY RISING Last week also saw the grand re-opening of Mercury Hall Events & Performance Center (www.mercuryhall.com) officially my new favorite venue. The interior was redesigned to make better use of the space, the lighting was lovely and warm, and a trickling fountain was added outside, as well as additional outdoor gathering space. Daryl Kunik, the man with the golden touch (Ace Custom Tailors, Red Fez, Lucky Lounge, Uchi, Oslo ) co-owns Mercury Hall with Leslie Moore. They certainly have a hit on their hands with this slice of pure Texas charm. You can see it yourself on Thursday, Dec. 1, 12-8pm when the gals from Le Garage Sale present the Runway Roadshow, "the hottest original designer sample shopping event in Texas," where you can get 50% or more off of retail from more than 20 designers offering the latest in men's, women's, and children's fashions. More details can be found at www.legaragesale.net.
WITHOUT A STITCH A week ago Sunday was the third annual Stitch fashion show each year I get closer and closer to actually attending. But once again, I disappointed them by not showing up. However, I did have the foresight to ask Neil to go for me and note some of the details, so I could no longer be accused of "ignoring Austin's largest fashion show " (OK, it's not the largest show that honor belongs to the UT spring show though Stitch may be the largest fashion show/craft bazaar). Neil's picks from the craft bazaar included bath products from Feto Soaps, www.fetosoap.com; clubwear for dogs from 4T5 Dogs, www.4t5dogs.com; and Simple Southern Scents candles, www.simplesouthernscents.com. From the runway, Neil recommended Ramonster, www.ramonsterwear.com; Naughty Secretary Club (www.naughtysecretaryclub.com) with jewelry by Hot Pink Pistol (www.hotpinkpistol.com); Tokyo Valentine, who seem to try and rise above the typical indie infatuation for reconstructed clothes; and the truly charming clothing and accessories from Identity Crisis (www.identitycrisisclothing.com). The phrase "handmade" gets thrown around a lot in this show. Pop quiz: Who out there can tell me what the definition of handmade is? And what exactly is the difference between handmade and machine-made? I keep hearing that everything in Stitch is handmade. Homemade, yes, but handmade? As in: Every stitch is done by hand, as opposed to being done on a sewing machine? Hmmm
SHOE THING Our friends at Vën Shoe Salon have another iron in the fire the Designer Clearance House at 7801 N. Lamar (southeast corner of Lamar & 183) features their first warehouse sale, Fri.-Sat., Nov. 25-26, 8am-5pm, with hundreds of size 6 & 7 shoes by Stuart Weitzman, Cordani, Anne Klein, Morenatom, Casadei, and more, at $35 per pair. Call 535-2913 for further info.