Rock the Casbah: a North Loop Fashion Show.

Last night's Rock the Casbah Fashion Show represented upcoming fall trends, as well as the funkiest shopping district Austin has to offer: North Loop!

Not to be outdone by the recent shows from Austin Fashion Week, locally-owned shops Splendor, Green House, Forbidden Fruit, Ermine Vintage, Blue Velvet, and (my favorite Austin boutique) Blackbird Clothes & Curios all came out to parade their latest looks at Phara's outdoor patio.

Overall, the show was a real treat for a Monday night, and I enjoyed everything from the atmosphere to the free casbah cosmos, which were concocted with Cinco Vodka and made by Blackbird Clothes & Curios' Stacey and Eunice.

Because I took so many photos, I am splitting the entirety of the event into two posts. I hope y'all enjoy the photos I took; the looks are in (an almost complete) order, by boutique.

Splendor:I would sport a cape.
Greenhouse:Staria, with her younger sister.
Her hair reminds me of Stormy, the frenemy of 1980s cartoon Rainbow Brite.
Forbidden Fruit:
Corsets always have such a sexy attitude.
Ermine Vintage:
Somewhere between singer Adele and a 1940s pin-up girl.
Blue Velvet:
At first, I thought this monochromatic jumpsuit was a dress!
This gold, sheer dress was easily my favorite look of the evening!
Blackbird Clothes & Curios:Her bob reminds me of Irene Castle, the early 20th-century ballroom dancer.
This look had Roaring 20s glam all over it!
Sporting the one-suspender look like a true hipster would.
Later this week, I will post individual style photos from the show!


Rock the Casbah on North Loop!

Hey ladies and gents, my friends over at Blackbird Clothes & Curios sent me an e-mail about an event that's going on in Austin's North Loop IBIZ District. It's purr-fect for all the Austinites that still need to feed their fashion addiction after Austin Fashion Week and Le Garage Sale! Sponsored by the Austin Independent Business Alliance in conjuction with the Small Business Development Center, Rock the Casbah is going down Monday, August 29th. It'll feature fashion from all of my favorite North Loop ("NoLo") boutiques: Blue Velvet, Ermine Vintage, Forbidden Fruit, Green House, Splendor, and--obviously!--Blackbird Clothes & Curios. With music provided by Breakaway Records, appetizers served up by Phara's Mediterranean Cuisine & Christopher's Casbah, lighting by ILIOS, and samples of casbah comsos from Cinco Vodka, Rock the Casbah is guaranteed to be a rockin' weird fashion show. They even have KUT's very own Laurie Gallardo as the hostess, folks! Not to mention, Katie Cowden will be behind the camera lens in the hookah lounge-themed photo booth!

Naturally, I'm going (as well as keeping my fingers crossed that my ride doesn't flake). The only other question is, WTF am I going to wear? What?
Rock the Casbah: an exotic sampling of North Loop fashion, food, and music.

Phara's; 111 E. North Loop Boulevard, Austin, TX, 78751.

8/29/2011; 8-10 pm.

Other Info?
Phara's is B.Y.O.B.

Many thanks to Blackbird Clothes & Curios for the images & info!


Pebbles & Boat Shoes.

Looking at these pictures I took of myself this morning, I can't help but laugh at the expression on my face. It's the "Okay, I'm going to give this my best effort!" look, which at 7 AM isn't quite up to par with my effort at, say, 3 PM.
But here I am anyway, in my first outfit post since I admitted I'm not the biggest fan of posting pictures of myself. So far, it's the only existential crisis I've had related to blogging.
It's still hot as hell outside, so I've been wearing a lot of shorts, skirts, and dresses. I bought the skirt I'm wearing last December, during a shopping excursion at the Round Rock Premium Outlets. I fell in love with it because of its army-green color and exposed zipper, but the side pockets are what sealed the deal. Fashionable and functional, these pockets are my best friend: they can hold my phone AND my iPod!I purchased this Pebbles Flintstone graphic tee while at a National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. During the conference, I walked into a Delia's for the first time. Overwhelmed with the selection of shirts, I grabbed the only T-shirt my grandparents wouldn't be offended by. Pebbles' hair used to be completely velvety-soft. After years of washing, there's just a patch of fuzz left. Sad Pebbles!
As for the boat shoes? They were my first employee purchase at Dots this past weekend. They were tax-free due to back-to-school shopping, so I snatched them up for only ten bucks. So far, they've been very comfortable to walk to school in.

Graphic Tee: Junk Food Tees, by way of Delia's; circa 2005.
Skirt: Element, via Billabong Factory Outlet.
Boat Shoes: Dots.


Boom! Fashion Flashback.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who left positive feedback about my opposition to personal style posts! Y'all are the best, and I may have conquered my fear through your encouragement. Now, moving on...

I have a fancy for old newspaper clippings. The older the paper, the better.

This infatuation started when I was child: during elementary school, for several years I lived in a house that was built in the 1920s. After checking for hornet nests, my dad would let me explore the attic. Whoever lived there before, quite possibly the original homeowners, left a slew of old veterinarian encyclopedias and newspapers. Having interest in a period of time I could never experience myself, I spent hours poring over the newspapers. Most of the clippings were probably meant to preserve someone's engagement/wedding/birth announcement. On the other side of such preservations was (mostly) early World War II coverage.

It gave me goosebumps.

I would think of the people, strangers to me, who had cut out the clipping. I also wondered the reason behind why they would keep such information.

I still don't have a reason for why people keep objects for pure sentimental value. I'll blame my grandmother for my own sentimentality, as she is who gave me this clipping:
My grandmother gave me this Daily Democrat clipping two years ago while I was on spring break in Davis, CA. My grandmother's house, which had been her home for over 40 years, was in escrow. I spent a good chunk of my visit helping her pack. My grandmother assigned me the task of sorting through photos and other keepsakes, throwing away what no longer was of interest. I put the newspaper clipping in a book, and only rediscovered it after a thorough cleaning of my apartment.

And this time, instead of just reading the clip and shutting the book closed, I decided to do a little research.

Through my research, I learned about fashion designer Tiziani. Originally from Jacksboro, TX, and named Evan Richards, Tiziani found himself in Italy as an opera singer. With a genuine interest in costume design, in 1963, Tiziani opened a shop in Rome. That same year, Karl Lagerfeld began working with Tiziani. After sketching 90 outfits with Lagerfeld, according to a 1969 article in the Shenectady Gazette, Tiziani borrowed Catherine the Great's jewels from Harry Winston and threw a three-night shindig to open his couture salon.

Elizabeth Taylor became a client of Tiziani in 1966, and "Tiziani of Rome" costumes were featured in Taylor's films Boom! and The Comedians. According to Vicky Tiel in her book It's All About the Dress, upon being asked, Ms. Taylor did not offer backing for Tiziani's company.
Liz Taylor, in Tiziani, and Noel Coward in Boom! (That headdress!)

Lagerfeld left the company in 1969, and was replaced by Guy Douvier. Shortly after, Tiziani began offering ready-to-wear garments.

Tiziani's flared evening dress on the cover of Vogue in 1968.

I can't find anything on the Internet about what happened to Tiziani in the 1970s and beyond, but I did learn through a Google search that Evan (Buddy) Richards died in November of 1994. He was 70.

Have you ever found a newspaper clipping that made you curious enough to Google?

You can view the Schenectady Gazette article here; it is in PDF format.
If you love vintage Vogue magazines, you can peruse and purchase them here.
Boom! image credit: Universal Pictures, via IMDB.


I might be committing a fashion blogger cardinal sin here, but...

I have a confession to make:

I don't like posting photos of myself on my blog.

Which is why I don't have too many style posts featuring, well, me.

And it's not because I have low self-esteem/hate how I look/used to have an eating disorder. Nor am I fishing for compliments. I don't base people on their looks, and I naively believe people don't judge me by mine.

In fact, I like to think I look pretty A-OK most days. I also walk about three miles round-trip each day to school or work (I don't have a car; it's a beautiful thing to not have a car, until I want to go somewhere outside my neighborhood). I'm exhausted when I get home and, truth be told, the last thing I have on my mind is taking a photo of myself.

(If you live somewhere other than Texas, you might not know that the Lone Star State has been going through a heatwave, whilst in a drought. A tank top paired with shorts and walking shoes has become my uniform.)

When I don't have to dress for the trek in hot weather, I wear pieces that make me feel confident and comfortable. I have friends take photos of me when I can. A few of my friends refuse to take my photo, for they think I'll be picky and need them to take dozens of pictures. You would think, from the responses I get, that I don't go to an art school where everyone is required to take one photography class. All I really ask is that I don't look like I have a double-chin.

I promise this post has a happy ending, as I recently made a discovery with my new camera: it has a timer! I don't need another human to take my photo! I don't need to do the awkward "Pleeeeease, it's for my blog" speech to my friends anymore.

So stay tuned, ladies and gents! I'm making a pledge right this second that I'm going to step out of my comfort zone, and post more looks from my very own wardrobe.

To begin this endeavor, here's a snapshot of me at a recent wedding in Kyle, TX. I was a bridesmaid, and I was very lucky to be able to have a say in my dress. Both the dress and shoes are from David's Bridal. The necklace is a handmade creation by the bride's aunt.


Gagarazzi: calling ALL little monsters!

Homespun Horror's "Gagarazzi: Lady Gaga Is Stalking You".

If you live in Austin (or its surroundings), this is your official invitation to Gagarazzi!

I know, you're probably wondering, "What is Gagarazzi?"

Sponsored by Yelp and Homespun Horror, it's a Lady Gaga-themed burlesque and variety show that will be taking place at hometown favorite The Highball on Friday, September 30th.

The best part? It's also a benefit for Equality Texas.

Equality Texas is the only (nonpartisan) statewide political advocacy organization lobbying the Texas Legislature for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Their vision is simple but the mission is a fighting battle: they envision a state where ALL Texans are treated equally, with dignity and respect.
Gagarazzi will feature prominent performers from Austin and San Antonio, including: The Jigglewatts, Dolls From The Crypt, Black Widow Burlesque, Austin City Showgirls, Oh Baby Burlesque, and Stars & Garters.

Other happenings at Gagarazzi? A very unique raffle, costume contests, pre- and post-show fun, and a photo booth, to name a few.

The pre-show will include excellent videos produced by local sponsor, Homespun Horror, to get the early arrivals in the spirit of Gaga; Gaga Karaoke; bowling and dinner at The Highball.

All proceeds from the raffle will go to Equality Texas. The raffle will be made up of Lady Gaga-inspired creations of all kinds that have been donated by local artists and businesses: paintings, jewelry, a handcrafted Gaga Barbie, couture tea cups, and even a Gaga-themed handmade soap basket from a local soap company, among other Gaga goodies.
(Do I even need to say that I'm already hoping to win?)

The photo booth will be there to capture the night in all its glory, and to serve as a reminder of all the Gaga-mania for years to come. The professional photos (with a backdrop!) will be snapped before, during, and after the show.

The show will be chock-full of talented performers of varying degrees: burlesque troupes, musicians, dancers and comedy routines.

Be sure to stick around for the post-show dance party, as well! If you're still wondering what Gagarazzi is all about, here's what Haylan from Homespun Horror had to say:
"We feel at this time, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered equality being a prominent issue, as well as the rash of recent suicides by youths all over the country, it's highly important to raise awareness and funds for this cause and local organization. Our inspiration is Lady Gaga, who was named the most charitable celebrity of 2010 for her LGBT support and Haiti Relief, and has fought diligently for the disenfranchised through political rallies, charities, and monetary support. She donates $20,000 per tour date (over 200 stops on her recent tour alone) to help LGBT youths that have been thrown out by their parents, becoming homeless. These acts, as well as her to activism to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, have inspired us to do what can for this important fight as well. With a show like never before, Austin, TX, can participate and bring awareness and funds to this non-profit, while enjoying the theatrics of Gaga enough to be part of this show dedicated to such a powerful artist and cause."
Well said!

Austin has never gone Gaga like this before! So all the Summer Boys, Monsters, Future Loves, and Government Hookers--be sure to grab last year's blond Halloween wig and your tallest dancing shoes, put on your poker face, channel your inner Gaga and come on down to The Highball on September 30th, where Gagarazzi will be the next best thing to The Monster Ball!
Gagarazzi: a Lady Gaga-themed burlesque and variety show, benefiting Equality Texas.

The Highball; 1124 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704


Other Info?
21+, $7 at the door/$5 with costume.
Show starts at 9 pm. Pre-show at 8 pm. Post-show dance party until 2 am.

Questions/Need More Info?
Contact Homespun Horror at homespunhorror@yahoo.com!
Visit Gagarazzi on Facebook.
Visit Homespun Horror on Facebook.
Gagarazzi on Yelp.

Special thanks to Homespun Horror for the images & video.
All content, unless written otherwise, is property of Chelsea Hands.
Use of author's personal photos is strictly forbidden.