After a Fashion
You never know what you're going to find on the way to the doctor …
Each week, on the way home from one of my regular medical appointments, driving south on Manchaca just before Stassney, I would see these hand-lettered cardboard signs that said "Fabric Sale" with an arrow pointing west. I was intrigued; treasure can be found in the oddest places. As a veteran fabric-chopper, I love nothing more than discovering new sources, but my health and doctor visits have dominated my calendar. So on a recent morning, my sister Margaret and I swung by there to take a look at what we thought might be some sort of garage or yard sale but instead turned out to be the pot at the end of the rainbow. TexStyles (2605 Jones Rd., 212-4733, www.facebook.com/austin.texstyles) apparently enjoyed many a glowing review online, but I'm usually not very interested in a stranger's opinion when the subject is so dear to my heart. I have to agree with the online reviews: This place is fabric nirvana, especially considering the traditional chain store fabric landscape. Seriously, if I find one really cool thing at Jo-Ann or Hancock I feel like I've conquered Mt. Everest. TexStyles is the Mt. Everest of fabric stores in Austin. It is the fix for the fabric junkie. From the moment we pulled up, I knew. Perhaps it was the yardage of faux fur (you know I'm a fur fanatic) with a coyote coloration. Once inside, I ran into Cheryl Bemis of Fashionably Austin (www.fashionablyaustin.com). Cheryl and I share the same birthday, and she introduced me to her new papillon puppy who also shares our birthday. Margaret introduced herself to one of the owners of the store, Mark Swientek – turns out Mark and I already knew each other. Same thing when introduced to co-owner Benson Roberts III. We already knew each other. So we got down to the business at hand. The store seems small but holds a bounty since the fabric is on hangers rather than on the bolt. TexStyles can show 16 pieces of fabric in the same amount of space a chain store can show six, so dispel any notion that the selection is limited. And what's on the racks is only a portion of its holdings. Silk jerseys that drape magnificently; velvets that beckon you to them; lamés and glitter that beg to be on the body ... you get the picture. Oh, and did I mention that all of this is available at deeply discounted costs? There's more to this tale: After covering Fabricker's opening, and now this jewel, we can't wait to see the Common Thread. We sense a very welcome trend. Stay tuned.
LONG LIVE VIVA!
It's heeeeere! AIDS Services of Austin presents its annual Viva! extravaganza, this time as Viva: Once Upon a Time. Well, once upon a time, Viva! was on my list of best fundraisers. Guess what? It's still there, because Viva! evolves, is always a spectacle and manages to trump itself every year. The event is Saturday, March 3, 8-11:30pm, at the Austin Music Hall. See www.asaustin.org for more.
Omigod, the Austin Film Society has booked Angie Dickinson to appear at the Texas Film Hall of Fame! I'm verklempt! Angie! I love you! Every damn time I walked into the Belmont with some handsome guy, I always felt like you in a beaded sheath on the arm of, say, Peter Lawford in Palm Springs circa 1962! SX-STYLE X
Style X (pronounced "Style By") has nailed some big-name media panelists to complement their designer showcase, runway shows (featuring South by Southwest musicians as models), and designers selling direct at the Austin Convention Center. Austin celeb jeweler Kendra Scott will be there, and you can look for the adorable Schmillion among the many showcase musicians rocking the runway. The event is free and open to the public, Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, noon-8pm. For more info, see www.sxsw.com/trade_shows/style_x. And check my next few columns, as well as our style blog, Chronique, austinchronicle.com/chronique.