A Long Overdue Post: the Austin Bleet-Up.

I was at the Austin Bleet-Up 27 days ago. I know, why I haven't I posted the photos yet?

Because my computer got a virus (it's fixed now!), burst pipe in my bedroom, Christmas, and work.

So exactly what is the Austin Bleet-Up? It is this amazing bi-annual party that Tolly Moseley and Richard Gonzalez put together to unite the bloggers of Austin. December 3rd's Austin Bleet-Up was held on the terrace of the Whole Foods Headquarters (located at 6th and Lamar), and featured Republic of Austin's Austin Blogger Awards, live music, ice-skating, free food, and adult beverages. While the fourth Austin Bleet-Up, this was my first! I was in good comapny, as you can see in the photos.

With Indiana Adams of Adored Austin.

With the original Hipstercrite, Lauren.

Tolly and Chris (Republic of Austin), as they announced the winners of the Austin Blog Awards.

Organic pancakes...from a can! Blueberries sold separately.

About to eat pancakes with Austinite in the Making, Brittney.

With The Austin Eavesdropper herself, Tolly.

At the Bleet-Up, I wore a vintage dress from Blue Velvet, while my bag and booties are both from Maurices. Bracelet came to me via an Urban Outfitters online purchase four years ago, and the necklace is from Cream Vintage.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year! I will be posting my 2011 Fasholutions soon.


Meet-and-greet with fashion designers Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer.

Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer, fashion designers and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design graduates, spoke at the Art Institute of Austin on December 1st. Alumni of Central Saint Martins include the late Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, John Galliano, Phoebe Philo, and Stella McCartney.

Harding, whose designs are currently available at Top Shop, is a London-based designer. He graduated from Central Saint Martins earlier this year. His postgrad collection, which was shown during London Fashion Week this past February, followed the school's Alexander McQueen tribute. Harding said that his "campy reference" was none other than Lynda Carter, aka Wonder Woman. Harding also mentioned that he wanted to create "something beautiful and chic after something cheap and nasty".

Palmer, who grew up in Belton, TX, knew from a young age that he wanted to do fashion. He moved to Austin at the age of sixteen with knowledge of sewing basic patterns. Palmer then became part of the Designers Guild of Austin, which was co-founded by Gail Chovan to promote local talent and and showcase the city as a creative hub.

In 2001, Palmer began his formal education at El Centro in Dallas. His graduate collection won a scholarship for him to study abroad in London and Paris. Palmer subsequently attended Central Saint Martins from 2005 to 2009, and stressed two things that have shaped him as a designer: first, he "worked anywhere" and, secondly, noted one should "always remember those who brought you". He said his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins reflected his homesickness and Texas heritage, while creating a "hyper-masculine image infused with feminine properties".

Vogue UK name-checked Palmer following the Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Show and Palmer was later recruited by H&M, where he currently designs. The following is his Central Saint Martins graduate collection from 2009.

In all, both Harding and Palmer were generous with words of advice that were very useful to the students at the Art Institute of Austin, myself included. They showed students how to write a business letter in this day and age and how to use the professional networking site LinkedIn to one's advantage. One tip I learned from listening to their talk: instead of sending letters to a company's HR, send it to the person you want to work for (in their case, designers).

"Find someone within the company rather than 'To Whom It May Concern'" Harding said, adding "if they're kind, they might meet you if they have the time...because it's all about connections".


I need a little dazzle in my December, thanks.

Blouse: Daytrip from Buckle, circa 2007.
Skirt: Wet Seal, 2009 Holiday. Tights: Delia's.
Over-the-Knee Boots: Maurices.
Handbag: Betseyville, via Nordstrom Rack.
Coffee Cup: Painted by moi; fired at The Art Garage.
Close-up detailing on blouse.Close-up detailing on tights.Coffee Cup on my coffee table...I'm terrified I'll break it if I place it any place else.


Adventures in NoLo.

Welcome to North Loop!

I've been spending a lot of time recently on North Loop Boulevard, particularly the Highland Plaza area. Technically 53rd Street, North Loop (affectionately shortened to "NoLo") is one of the few neighborhoods in Austin that looks like it hasn't gone through a massive building renovation in recent years. This only adds to its local appeal and vintage charm.

Not too far off the beaten path (one block east of Guadalupe), the NoLo area is home to a hodgepodge of locally-owned businesses, including the darling vintage store Blue Velvet (217 W. North Loop), and new addition Blackbird Clothes & Curios (112 E. North Loop), which is a boutique that serves its customers with the latest trends in women's apparel, menswear, and accessories.

While Blue Velvet is every vintage connoisseur's delight and run by a mother-daughter team, Blackbird is owned by two friends who came up with the tagline "good clothes for bad people" to describe the store's edgy vibe. While each business has a different perspective on fashion, they each make North Loop home and, as the saying goes, keep Austin weird.

This series of photos is comprised of recent visits to both Blue Velvet and Blackbird.

Blue Velvet
Fellow blogger and friend, Lindsey.

Blackbird Clothes & Curios

Juliana Azar and Stacey Breakall, owners of Blackbird Clothes & Curios.


Austin Street Style: Friday on South Congress.

This might as well be a companion post to "13" Years of Blackmail, as these photos were taken before and after the Blackmail "13" Fashion Show that took place on October 29th. These fashionable Austinites captivated me almost as much as the fashion show itself!

Onlookers before the show: I love the hats.

What a wonderful coat!

Decorative tights and shoes.

I am obsessed with corset-styled tops.

My favorite dress of the evening!


"13 Years" of Blackmail.

Gail Chovan, owner of Blackmail and designer of "13 Years".

On Friday, I had the honor of attending the debut of Austin designer Gail Chovan's newest collection.

Titled "13 Years", the exact number of years her boutique Blackmail has been open, Chovan dedicated the collection to the memory of her late father. Chovan further explained how the designs were a culmination of the past thirteen years. In her own life, the past thirteen years have included the birth of her children, breast cancer, a strengthening of her marriage, and the loss of her father.

The theme of "13 Years" was prevalent throughout the entire gathering: local musician Alejandro Escovdeo, a dear friend of Chovan's, even played a song before the show that was a favorite of Chovan's titled "13 Years".

Makeup was done my W3ll People.

A collection of original designs, I did not know what to expect from the owner of the nearly-monochromatic store. While black was predominantly featured, ivory was mixed in and sometimes even took over the look completely. The show was split into five different themes: Leather & Linen, Asiatique, Japan Meets Vivian, Toile Poeme (translates to "canvas poem"), and Dentelle Clarksville, and incorporated layers, sheers, feathers, and lace, among other visual textures.

I can't be certain of the segments through the following photos, but I hope you enjoy the photos as much I did the show. Here's to many more years of Gail Chovan and Blackmail!


Autumn in Austin.

Where is the fall weather? Apparently not in Austin, as it has been in the mid-80s all week! On Tuesday, I had a field trip to downtown Austin. I opted for a simple black dress and booties, both from Wet Seal.
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