Austin Street Style: Christine.

Below the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

For the first time in years, I watched the Mexican Free-tailed Bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.  I went with my biology class, and it was our final sesh of the quarter.

Fun fact?

Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony.

Another fun fact?

I have two more finals to go, and then I can have my sanity back for a week!

I wish Autumn Break was longer than a week because, afterward, I have to put all of my attention on the new quarter and graduation.

Dum, dum, dum...
The Congress Avenue Bridge, with the bats leaving for the night.


I ♥ Austin: ACL Aftershows! Gagarazzi! Pop-Up Shops! TRIBEZA Style Week!

I never thought September would be this busy. Around the time rumors started floating around about this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival line-up, I vowed that I wouldn't buy a 3-day pass because (1. I didn't have the money, (2. I needed to focus on saving money, and (3. I thought maybe I would be stressed out about graduation.

I am definitely stressed out about graduation. I am in the second-to-last quarter of my college career, folks. In a week-and-a-half, I'll be in the last quarter. In three months and one day, I'll have a Bachelor's of Science diploma in my hands! After six years and three colleges (you read that right: three!), I'll be able to add "College Graduate" to the list of words I use to describe myself. I'm simultaneously ecstatic and terrified.

So, I'm going to do what I do best: take a deep breath, put on some music, and keep this blog post simple, with a sprinkle of upcoming events in Austin (I sound as if I'm decorating cupcakes; I wish I had time to bake cupcakes!).
Tortoise & Blonde will be hosting a showcase at Estilo (234 W. 2nd Street; Austin) this Saturday, from 1-5 pm. If you're in Austin and cannot make it to Zilker Park for the 10th Austin City Limits Music Festival, you can enter to win ACL Aftershow tix to Bright Eyes or Empire Of The Sun while at Estilo. The bands are playing their ACL Aftershows that same night; Bright Eyes at Stubb's and Empire Of The Sun at Austin Music Hall, respectively.

If I didn't already have internship commitments to tend to, I would so be there--even if an ACL Aftershow ticket giveaway wasn't involved. Tortoise & Blonde's vintage eyewear frames are right up my alley. And their mission statement is inspiring:
Listen to some tunes while shopping for new glasses, and maybe win some ACL Aftershow tix? Sounds like a great non-ACL Fest Saturday to me!

Moving on.
My favorite locally-owned magazine, TRIBEZA is hosting yet another Style Week! Presented by Dachis Group and beginning September 22nd, this year's TRIBEZA Style Week will include: boutique crawls, designer showcases, runway shows, and SKETCH--an educational panel for students interested in the fashion industry.

If anyone remembers, back when Bella Vogue was in its infancy, I went to SKETCH at Bows +Arrows. I highly recommend attending, as I gained an insight to many industry-related careers.

TRIBEZA Style Week really deserves its own post. Until then, check out the official TRIBEZA Style Week website for more details, along with all the answers to your ticket & pricing inquiries.
Painted by Haylan Teel: prints will be available for purchase at Gagarazzi.
Last but DEFINITELY not least: Gagarazzi is on the 30th, at The Highball, and benefits Equality Texas. Sponsored by Yelp and Homespun Horror, it's going to be a Gaga-mania evening, filled with burlesque, comedy acts, live music, the most Gaga-riffic raffle EVER (includes a print of the above flyer), and much more! I have my costume figured out. Do you? RSVP on Facebook, little monsters!

Thank you to IntegratePR, Tortoise & Blonde, and TRIBEZA for the images! Homespun Horror gets a BIG thanks for the image AND video.


Austin Street Style: Fashion's Night Out hosted by TRIBEZA + by george.

TRIBEZA's September offering: The Style Issue.

I attended TRIBEZA's Style Issue launch party at By George this past Thursday, which coincided with the store celebrating Fashion's Night Out. If you don't know what Fashion's Night Out (FNO) is, here's the skinny:

Created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue, FNO is an annual event that launched in New York City two years ago. Its purpose is to support the fashion industry in this dismal economic climate by making shopping fun again. In its third year, FNO was celebrated worldwide--from within the United States and across the oceans, Fashion's Night Out is now a globalized event. Eighteen countries participated this year, and it's all to further support the fashion industry as it continues to find a way to make its everyday end products sustainable and affordable.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been invited to the By George Flagship (524 North Lamar) by TRIBEZA, and to have met the staff of By George. Before Thursday night, I had never actually been to the By George Flagship, though I have been to their South Congress location. I felt like a kid in a candy store, as it was was a delight to see labels I mostly read about: Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, and Marni, to name a few. And of course, I finally met TRIBEZA's editorial assistant and event coordinator Carolyn Harrold. I love being able to put faces to names of the people that contact me because of Bella Vogue, more so if they're an actual Austinite!

I hope you enjoy the photos I took during the Style Issue launch party. I didn't know a single soul there, so a lot of my photographs were more than just a style shots. For those particular pictures, I may do another "I Spy"-type post, as the first (and only) one was an easy way to summarize my fashion adventures while gallivanting around Austin.
I finally found a reason to wear my dress from LuLu's! (I won a gift-card during the Texas Style Council Conference in March, and only recently placed an order.)
With Carolyn Harrold, TRIBEZA's Editorial Assistant & Event Coordinator.
Peach has been a favorite color of mine this past season.
I like the subtle details of each dress; the gathers, the flounce, and the belts...

A few dapper gentlemen: I especially like the fringe scarf.

Proof boho-chic will continue into the fall.
The structure of this dress--its picture does not do it justice!

Side note: I am still getting used to Blogger's updated settings and interface, so if there's a little less continuity between posts (with photo captions, sizes, etc.), I apologize in advance. I am trying my best to make each post consistent with the next. Thank you for your understanding.


"At least you don't buy clothes from H-E-B."

If there's one personality trait I don't like in people, it's snobbery. Whether it's about cars, fashion, music, or other etc. whatnot, I have no time for snobbish behavior. Growing up, though my grandparents did take me and my sister birthday shopping, most of my clothes were from the local thrift store or my older brother's girlfriends. Seriously.

I wasn't "into" brand names, like some of the girls in class. You know, the girls who made claims that they only wore Polo Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger. I once overheard that I dressed like a "nerd", along with that I wasn't "that pretty" (as in, "Chelsea's nice, but she's not that pretty, and she dresses like a nerd"; 10-year-old girls can be bitches).

I could understand the "nerd" thing: I was, and am, way into books and learning. But that's not the point. The point is, I didn't (and still don't) understand the name-calling zoning in on my personal appearance. I thought I looked nice in my "nerd" clothes!

That's when I began learning the names, along with the difference in quality and style, of the off-brands. Many of these off-brands were actually private labels, available at the Herberger's and JC Penney in Kalispell, MT, a 30-minute drive north from Bigfork: Amy Byer, Arizona Jean Co., Mudd Jeans, ByerWear Too, just to name a few...Even when I started buying my clothing with self-made money, my prom dress was from the JC Penney and $15, while some girls took the 4-hour drive to Spokane, WA, to find their gowns inside a two-story mall.

Side note: After googling the mall for old time's sake, I found out that Kalispell Center Mall is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Weird!

In high-school, I started to shop at Buckle. I put their layaway-payment plan into good use for several years, in order to afford my favorite brand jean, Lucky. While the brands at Buckle are exceptional, the prices aren't, and this has led to a personal decline of shopping there. Since moving back to Austin in 2008, in order to save money while still transcending my closet from a teenager's to that of an adult's, I have generally shopped: where I am working, mostly due to fringe benefits; at thrift stores; at consignment stores, e.g. Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet; at the outlet malls.

A product of an environment built on saving money while dressing sharp, I have a secret to share: this 100% Rayon dress is from H-E-B, which is a supermarket chain in Texas and Mexico.

I hadn't gone into my local grocery store looking for a dress. But when I saw the brightly-dyed, sheer rayon fabric, I knew I had to have it. The colors remind me of sherbet. Even though H-E-B has reasonable prices, I was shocked to see it was only $9.99. Paired with a belt I wore in a previous post, it's a sundress made for the weather Austin has experienced this summer.
Ballet Flats: Maurices.
Tote Bag: Gifted; Free People (instead of plastic bags, the stores gives out totes).
Shift Dress: Shoreline, by way of H.E.B.
Belt: Gifted; BKE by Buckle.
Sunglasses: Dots.

Speaking of weather in Austin, the beautiful capitol city has been surrounded by devastating wildfires. I am donating whatever I can to the American Red Cross, as nearly 800 homes have been burned in the nearby town of Bastrop, TX. That fire is still only 30% contained, while other parts of Central Texas have their own fires to deal with.

If you reside in the greater Austin area, I encourage you to donate whatever you can--someone out there just lost everything. The Austin Chronicle is keeping an up-to-date list of places to donate. To those who are not in Texas, if and when a natural disaster strikes in your area, I hope you can lend a helping hand to your local relief efforts. You never know when you may be the person in need.


Austin Street Style: Monday on North Loop.

Anyone that has an interest in street fashion should be reading and listening to what Bill Cunningham of The New York Times has to say. He has mastered the art of taking someone's photograph without the subject realizing it. And sometimes, that's the best way to take a style photo.

I've always thought photos of people in their natural state of being are more interesting to look at, before I even knew who Mr. Cunningham was. Snapping a candid shot also takes out the clumsy "Hi, I write a style blog you've never heard of, can I get your photo?" chat. The bottom line? People, as strangers, fascinate me, and capturing the essence of an event can be done without anyone posing for their photo.

So here are the rest of my photos from Monday night's Rock the Casbah Fashion Show at Phara's outdoor patio. Some are candid, others are not. Either way, I hope you enjoy this little piece of Austin.
Laurie Gallardo: her radio personality matches up with her personal style.
I like the floral pattern on the stripes.
Juliana and Amy, from Blackbird Clothes & Curios.
With Juliana, co-owner of Blackbird Clothes & Curios.
I like how she tucked the handkerchief halter into the high-waisted shorts.
Still wearing her skirt from Splendor, this model has the look of a genie.
The lighting was done by ILIOS.
This is designer of the leather pouches that were shown during the Green House segment of the fashion show.
I have to give props to the belly dancer.
Phara's, as we were leaving.

At Epoch with a muffin to-go: Lisa; many thanks to her for getting me to the show!
At Epoch: I was inspired by Sofia Coppola's lavender wedding dress to break out these tights.
My tights and boots are from Wet Seal, while my shirtdress is from Target. I say "shirtdress" because it was meant to be a kid's shirt, with an attached cami underneath. I cut out the cami long ago.
If you would like to see my photos of the fashion show, I posted them on Tuesday
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Use of author's personal photos is strictly forbidden.