Austin Fashion Week certainly caused plenty of buzz among local bloggers. Some of us have taken a similar position: that there simply isn't enough "Austin" in Austin Fashion Week. Personally, I chose to ease up this year on criticizing AFW and its founder, Matt Swinney. First off, AFW is what Swinney wants it to be. And it should be. It's his creation, and it can be anything he wants it to be. Secondly, despite whether I like AFW or not, it seems to be here to stay. Having covered Austin fashion for 12 years now, I can't ignore this major event and still claim to be covering Austin fashion. Thirdly, AFW does have some of the right ideas, even if I don't agree with the details. Frankly, I was impressed by this year's growth and evolution. While watching a Betsey Johnson or La Perla show doesn't make me swell with Austin pride, I do agree that shows like that can spark interest and national attention. But they shouldn't be the main focus, either. In reality, if the main shows at the Driskill were dedicated only to Austin designers, the shows would be very hit or miss; Austin has very few top-rate designers. The Austin Fashion Awards that close the week's events seem far removed from the rest of AFW because they do concentrate on local achievement. Unfortunately, one must be a registered, paid participant to be eligible for an award, leaving many of Austin's style veterans to wonder who some of these participants are. Instead of defining the future of Austin fashion, the awards seem to underscore the disparity of Austin fashion. Are the award winners really the best in Austin? Or are they just the best ones who paid? That, to me, is the real question ... and one with a real answer.
Jacki Oh went to Ize Calina Drouin for one of Ize's (pronounced "easy") fabled Elluminize procedures – the process of applying mink or synthetic eyelash extensions that gives the eyes a thick and sumptuous bed of lashes that never needs mascara. Unbelievably luxurious, the results last for eight to 12 weeks. Time consuming? Yes. Inexpensive? No. Fabulous? Absolutely.
PRIDE AND GROOM
During the upcoming Pecan Street Festival, Wahl, the maker of men's grooming equipment, will send its team of stylists and a giant 30-foot mobile barbershop to provide the gentlemen in the crowd with free facial-hair grooming and advice. For every trim, Wahl will donate $1 to Movember, a nonprofit that provides funding for prostate cancer research.
Jacki Oh and I went to Kendra Scott's Girls' Night Out affair at her ultrastylish SoCo store. Of course we loved the jewelry (Jacki and I both wore a ton of it to the Austin Fashion Awards), but the truly inspiring aspect of the store is Kendra's color bar. Like a chic cocktail lounge, customers can go over a menu of stones and settings and design their own pieces. The prices are astonishingly low, and the sales help is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, so customers were scooping up Kendra's designs by the handful. With her new Rodeo Drive store in L.A. and her soon-to-open Dallas store, Kendra is poised to land among the stars... We also dropped by the East Austin Cycle Soiree presented by Method Hair. With a number of ex-Pink stylists on board, the salon put together an extremely well-attended block party. The salon's styling and makeup were creative and edgy, and the entire event reminded me of the early, really fun days of SoCo's First Thursday... Deborah Main's gorgeous VIP and luxe VIP pillows with their own removable vintage brooches were the focus of the Pajama Party at the Pillow Glass Lounge at 1020 Art Glass Fine Gifts & Decor. The brilliantly colored blown glass reflected Main's brilliantly colored and dazzling pillows (the sales of which benefited Project Transitions), and the party was sparkling, though Jacki and I did not wear pajamas.
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