After a Fashion

Only Your Style Avatar could figure out a way to meld his new fall collection with a mention of Water Wings

After hearing about Blake and Steve's serial nautical mishaps, Your Style Avatar has devised this year's must-have cruisewear accessories ...
After hearing about Blake and Steve's serial nautical mishaps, Your Style Avatar has devised this year's must-have cruisewear accessories ... (Photo by Seabrook Jones/


Apropos the question proposed a few weeks ago under the photo of Blake Miller, director of business travel at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, and Steve Garcia, a schoolteacher at Deerpark Middle School in Round Rock, which asked, "What would you do with your settlement from the Costa Concordia disaster?": Frightened, and with their lives at stake, the Austin couple managed to survive the famous disaster off the coast of Italy. Naturally, the cruise operators made quick reparations to the passengers, but have nonetheless perhaps caused irreparable damage to the cruise industry. That aside: Mr. Miller (brother of my dear friend, photographer Gary Miller) and Mr. Garcia returned home and, despite the horrific tragedy of the Costa Concordia, have retained their affinity for water – and watercraft. In fact, with the shiny new settlement money they received, they purchased their very own. Putting out for its maiden voyage on Lake Travis, the new boat quickly began to take on water due to an unfastened drain plug. Fearing that their déjà vu might become a reality, the gentlemen summoned help and arrived back on shore safely. By now, it's likely that the duo have found some humor in the situation, but, perhaps in going forward, both of them should accessorize every outfit they own with Water Wings?


Austinites Jeff and Laura Daly have been doing very well with their website for about a year now, and Mockingbird Domestics will soon be opening a brick-and-mortar store at 2151 S. Lamar in August. Focusing on crafted products, Texas-made in a modern classic style, Mockingbird offers objets d'art, furniture, lighting, rugs, textiles, wall art and coverings, and ceramics and glass, as well as handpicked vintage items. The Dalys are offering Austinites free delivery within 30 miles through the month of August. You can find out about special perks and local news through their Austin-centric website,


I'm feeling somewhat better physically than I have in a very long time. This disease still exhausts me, and I can only do things for a short period without resting. The worst thing about my diagnosis is that it seems to have killed my soul and spirit. I knew I was living in a void, waiting to die (and sometimes actively pursuing that). About a year ago, my friend Jaclyn "Jacki Oh" Havlak asked me to help her sew some things. Ugh ... I hated her sewing machine, but was intrigued by once again sewing – something I had retired from a number of years ago. (Hoping to help me through my darkness, my mom bought me a sewing machine, iron, fabrics, and supplies.) In this past year, I have made a few fun shirts for myself and have remembered the vast satisfaction I'd had in my life through almost 40 years of sewing. Through a strange twist of fate, I wound up meeting a couple of guys who were interested in financing a collection of my work. I was definitely not going to try and go into business myself ever again, even if I had the stamina for it. But to be offered a wholesale budget and vast fabric resources ... I find that I am indeed (very slowly, but surely) designing a collection, with the intention of showing it in the fall at a large-scale charity event and giving 100% of the proceeds to the charity I have in mind. It's weird, or maybe it's not, that finding inspiration and gratification in designing again has affected me in more ways than I could imagine. Mercifully.

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Austin style, Costa Concordia disaster, Gary Miller, Blake Miller and Steve Garcia, leaky boat, Water Wings, Jeff and Laura Daly, Mockingbird Domestics, Jaclyn (Jacki Oh) Havlak, sewing, designing

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