The Austin Chronicle

Angeliska's "Crowning Glory"

By Lawrence Everett Forbes, January 17, 2014, 10:45am, Qmmunity

This is a town that loves its hair – mostly on the face, but also on the head. So it makes sense that its hipsters, homies, and homosexuals would gather to see a show of chapeaus that bridge the line between hat and sculpture.

Last night's crowd at Maison D'Etoile was a dizzying array of beards, bouffants, and Austin's costuming and queer contingents. All were gathered for the opening night of "Crowning Glory: A Costume Retrospective, Headdresses by Angeliska Polacheck." Polacheck, an Austin-born artist, antiques dealer, costumer, tarot-reader, thrower of wild dress-up parties since she was a teenager.

"I'm a fervent believer in the transformative power of costuming," said Polacheck. "There is deep magic in creating and donning a guise that takes you beyond who you are or how you seem to be on an everyday basis."

The costumes, many of which were created for Halloween Mardi Gras, Day of the Dead, and 12th Night celebrations among others, are captivating. But the real stars are the headdresses. Each is a visual feast of found objects, color, and whimsy. None would not be out of place on the head of a drag queen, trans person, or queer looking to add a little oomph to an outfit. Coincidentally, all of the pieces are for sale.

Crowning Glory begins with work created in 2006. Polacheck's work goes back further, but her earlier pieces were lost to Hurricane Katrina. (She lived in New Orleans from 1999 to 2005.) The retrospective is also her first solo show and was launched with help from friends/frequent collaborators Allyson Garro of Coco Coquette and Sherri Gerstenberger of Charm School Vintage.

You can catch the rest of Angeliska Polacheck's headdresses here, or you can head on over to Maison D'Etoile (2109 Cesar Chavez) and catch the show in 3-D, which runs until March in its gallery space, Salon D'Etoile.

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