After a Fashion

While the Style Avatar is away, the Avatarette shall play

After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar, Stephen MacMillan Moser, is taking a break. This week, enjoy recent posts from our style blog, Chronique, with guest editor (Avatarette?) Anne Harris.

PUFFY CHAIRS These days, shopping on West Second is quickly becoming more about home design and less about pricey chemises in miniature sizes. Elbowing in among neighbors Mercury Design Studio, IF+D, and Design Within Reach is worldwide purveyor of modern home furnishings Ligne Roset, which recently celebrated its opening in Austin. Founded in 1860 by Antoine Roset, it remains a family-run business that boasts 1,000 retail distributors and 200 exclusive stores. Billed as Ligne Roset's only "concept store," the Austin location is distinguished from its established showrooms in Dallas and Houston by a more hands-on, cash-and-carry opportunity for those new to the brand. With start-up costs higher than ever, it's a savvy gamble and a measured one, as the Rosets are betting that after one of their lovely Trojan horses makes its place in your Downtown aerie (or Central Austin metro spread), you'll be back for more. I find myself obsessing over Les Oiseaux, a vase in white molded enameled ceramic with a blackbird "beaker," and the iconic Togo chair, designed in 1973, which reminds one of a 1930s satin comforter. Always a risk-taker, Ligne Roset has championed friendly design, which was rare for conceptual furniture in 1973, when "modern" meant hard plastic, shiny occasional chairs, and aorta-shaped light fixtures. Certainly one reason for Roset's consistency has been smart choices in collaborations with designers such as the Bouroullec brothers, who produce the practical fancy of Clouds for spring 2009. Teamed with Kvadrat fabrics, these modular fabric tiles can be put together to create everything from wall sculptures to room dividers. Reimagine the comfort of Grandma's sofa in the shape of an amoeba, and you'll see why Ligne Roset finds a great fit in Austin. It's hard to walk away from beautiful, organically shaped furniture in soothing, guest-room blue chenille. Napping may not be allowed in the store, but you'll be fighting the urge even as you splurge on a makeover for your own napatorium.

LOVE, WRIT LARGE Friends and I have stumbled upon this brand a few times and finally looked it up after I bought one of its black hoodies at Hot Topic. I liked the upbeat but stark graphics, and then I read the company's story. Started as a way to raise money for a friend's recovery by selling T-shirts, To Write Love on Her Arms (www.twloha.com) states its mission is "to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery" for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. In this context, the name of the brand becomes self-explanatory. Ever stood before the black hole of a loved one's (or your own) despair, frustrated that there is nothing you can do? Now there is. Plus the clothes are cool.


Write to our Style Avatar with your related events, news, and hautey bits: style@austinchronicle.com or PO Box 49066, Austin, 78765 or 458-6910 (fax). Our Chronique blog covers elements of style, including but not limited to fashion, shelter, graphic design, etc. Send tips, info, suggestions, comments, and air kisses to: chronique@austinchronicle.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin style, To Write Love on Her Arms, Hot Topic, hoodies, Modern, Second Street District, Ligne Roset, Antoine Roset, Anne Harris, M.I.A., Kayne, UES Femme, Adidas, Louis Vuitton Don, Claire's

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