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Londoner Joline Simister has been the seamstress to the Queen of England for four years.  Working with a team of four other dressmakers, Joline cuts and sews the patterns that designer Angela Kelly creates.

Seamstress Joline Simister made the beautiful dress that the Queen wore to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011. The dress was a primrose yellow double crepe wool coat with matching dress.  The details on the coat resembled sun rays with hand-beading on the neck. The brooch she wore was Queen Mary’s True Lover Knot encrusted in diamonds. The queen’s handbag was from Launer London. The Queen’s bag became so popular that there was a 60 percent increase in sales after the world saw the bag during the wedding.  Angela also designed the matching hat.

Whether it’s wearing a couture designer dress or a stunning fascinator hat, the Royal Family has been a strong influence on the fashion world.

This past weeks festivities for the Queen’s 60th anniversary on the throne, the Diamond Jubilee, was a chance to see the Royal Wardrobe at it’s best. Queen Elizabeth II took the throne in 1952 and is only one of two monarchs to celebrate this landmark. With the longevity of the royal family it is likely that the Queen will celebrate a Platinum Jubilee (70 years).

Catherine (Kate), Duchess of Cambridge, wore a stunning red Alexander McQueen dress designed by Sarah Burton with a hat designed by Sylvia Fletcher to the Thames River Pagent. Clearly a fan, she repeated her designer preference for the final Jubilee Service with a nude Alexander McQueen dress and a Jane Taylor hat.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has become known for her striking hats, often designed by Phillip Treacy, a Royal favorite. Her outfit for the final celebration featured a Treacy sinamay hat in blush pink and a gold coat.

Kate’s dress:

 Camilla’s hat:

Meet the Seamstress to HM Queen Elizabeth II in the video below.

photo credit:  Dan Kitwood

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Before I left for a much needed mini vacation with my husband to South Carolina to see my step daughter tie the knot, I attended the very much anticipated party in Austin, The White Party.  I am back, catching up and wanted to post the fun pictures and recap from the evening.

From a fashion point of view going to a party that requires you to wear one color would be considered a no-brainer when trying to figure out what to wear, right?  Well, after shopping for hours thinking it was a snap to put together a white outfit, at the last minute, my frustration ended with purchasing a “that’s good enough” dress.  The good enough dress wasn’t “good enough” and was promptly replaced with a dress I already had in my own closet!!  Should have shopped there first!  UGH!  (my hubs said later that my dress purchase looked like a potato sack…you’d think he would have told me that earlier, but I guess I figured that out on my own)

When I arrived to the Long Center, I topped the stairs and saw the sea of people dressed in all shades of white.  Beautiful actually. The people watching, and photo ops, was as much fun as watching who had the best street style outfits at Fashion Week.   Around the corner of each white cabana I caught myself noticing a great white dress, then the fab jewelry, then handsome men in white guayabera shirts, ahh too much to take in!!  My friend Robin Campbell snapped pictures of her favs and then I’d lose her again in the sea of white.   Some of Austin’s most fit and beautiful wore some of the shortest dresses I’ve seen in a while (note…hemlines are longer for fall ladies) and others were in classic pants, casual shorts paired with a splash of shoe color. It was, however, hard to find your friends when you reference in your mind what they were wearing..uhh everyone was in white.

A majority of outfits were accessorized with local jewelry designed by Kendra Scott.  Kendra has not only made a name for herself in the accessory fashion industry but she also gives back to the Austin community. She serves on the board of directors for Lifeworks and plays a significant role to help raise funds for the organization that assists with generational support to area families.  Her raffle booth gave 100% of proceeds to the night’s event.  Robin purchased a raffle ticket for me and I won a fab pair of white and gold earrings.  Stunning!

More than 700 fashionable folks danced and partied, all “white” long on the patio outside the Long Center overlooking a beautiful and clear Austin skyline.  The party raised more than $125,000 which should assist local families quite nicely.

Mark your calendars for April 26 for next year’s party and I should probably start shopping for a white outfit now.


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It was a busy fashion week in Austin… the annual University of Texas fashion show with famous stylist Brad Goreski making an unexpected appearance then Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn hosted the Lucky Brand Jean fashion show at Barton Creek Square on Saturday. How much more fashion royalty can one city handle?

From the crowded Macy’s court, Tim Gunn was welcomed by a very enthusiastic crowd waiting to be entertained and educated from the man who is known for his “make it work” slogan. The fashion show certainly had something for everyone as all ages were well represented from young teens to 50+. Professional models walked along side some of Austin “real life” folks who won a casting call a few days before the event.

Tim talked during each model set and explained to the crowd how each look and trend was styled. One mother and daughter duo wore the same floral top…two looks, and age-appropriate for both. A single plaid shirt was also styled a couple of different ways with Nancy, a 50+ model wearing it with jeans accessorized with a saddle colored belt while she stood next to a handsome 20′s male model who wore it with with a tailored blazer. Fantastic!

Tim also talked about some popular trends for women. He shared that women should be careful about wearing Capri pants and wearing trends that may appear a bit too young if you are over 35. His advice was to be patient selecting your look and take the time to try things on. Your instinct should tell you if it’s a buy or not.

After a lengthy picture session with his fans including Austin’s own Ross Bennett of the current NBC’s Fashion Star show, Mr. Gunn said he would like to return to Austin. Hopefully, he will make those plans work.

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To get up to speed on the Austin fashion scene, Cheryl assigned for me to cover one of Austin’s biggest fashion events, the annual University of Texas Fashion Show
This year’s show, entitled “Contour,” showcased the senior design students from UT’s school of fashion design. The event was held at the Frank Erwin Center. Security was tighter than when I was here for the Davis Cup!

Guests and judges were members of the Austin glitterati including Ross Bennett currently killing it on NBC’s Fashion Star, Lauren Polt owner of Chicka-d who just scored a national deal with Kohls, Kate Risinger PR Director at By George, Sergio Guadarrama of Celestino, Christina Guy of Tikini Hut and guest of honor Carla McDonald, host of YNN’s Arts Minute and CEO and founder of PR firm Dynabird.

Despite the Austin celebrities in the house, I think for many people one of the most thrilling moments of the evening was when they announced that Brad Goreski, stylist, author of Born to be Brad, star of It’s a Brad Brad World and notoriously former assistant of Rachel Zoe, was in the house! For me this is a HUGE celebrity siting as I love Brad, his styling AND his personal style. I will be hitting up Barnes and Noble for my copy of Born to be Brad today!
On to the important stuff….The show was beautifully produced, entertaining and fantastic. Each designer showed three pieces and additional pieces were shown in bridal, evening and knitted fabric categories.

The collections were influenced from everything from carnival, color blocking, Casablanca, with a bit of kitsch and fantasy mixed in. My personal favorite was a collection from Chandler Hamilton which I would describe as influenced by the Great Gatsby circa now. Janie Kang, who won the overall collection category, had prints that made me want to immediately jet off to the Hamptons. By far I thought the most stunning piece of the evening was a black, cropped, feather jacket from Andrea Salazar. But enough about me, on to the winners:

Knitted Fabric:
Albert Zhou
Rebecca Hoffer
Harrison Koiwai
Katrina Raz

Evening Gown:
Honorable Mention: Stefant Phonthephasone
Winner: Harrison Koiwai

Honorable Mention: Janie Kang
Winner: Katrina Raz

Technical Design:
Honorable Mention: Janie Kang
Winner: Jonathan Shakarisaz

Most Marketable:
Honorable Mention: Chandler Hamilton
Winner: Samantha Kidd

Tie: Katrina Raz and Albert Zhou
Best Collection:
Honorable Mention: Chandler Hamilton
Winner: Janie Kang

In addition to the fabulous show, the University Fashion Group announced a new scholarship program, the Johnathon Shakarisaz Scholarship Fund for the Pursuit of Excellence in Fashion. Jonathan was the winner of the “Most Well Constructed” award at the 2012 Senior show and he promptly handed over award his money to assist next year’s classes in getting the fabrics they need. TexStyles, a local “Designer Fabric Showroom run by a Designer, for Designers and Future Designers,” also donated $3,000 to the scholarship fund in furtherance of more fabric choices for Austin’s next top designers!
Congrats to all the winners and participants and good luck after graduation! The Austin fashion community is rooting for you and we can’t wait to see where the road takes you!

Watch the UT Fashion show again from our LIVE! Webcast. Enjoy!

Live stream by Ustream

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Tim Gunn, fashion industry expert, renowned co-host and mentor of Project Runway and Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., will debut the Spring 2012 Lucky Brand Jeans Collection this weekend at Barton Creek Square.

The LIVE runway show will be this Saturday, April 21 at 1 pm at the Macy’s court.  Seating is limited.  Professional models will walk along side ‘real’ models who will be selected through the Lucky You Runway Contest.  This is the second year for the national retailer and it is turning out some impressive crowds at selected shopping destinations.


If you think you can “Make it Work”, this Thursday, April 19, from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Lucky Brand Jeans Shop, you can walk the runway and possibly be selected to walk the runway for Saturday’s show hosted by Mr. Gunn.  Participants selected to be on the runway will have a full backstage experience, complete with runway lessons.


The casting team is looking for real women and men from all walks of life.  Not everyone will be chosen, but ALL shapes, sizes and ages will be considered.

“To those considering attending the casting, I would say, don’t be shy! If you’ve ever worn a pair of jeans, you can walk our runway.” says Leah Caruso-Salak, Director of Marketing and Special Events for Liz Claiborne Inc., and co-host of the event. “We hope that everyone will feel as comfortable attending the casting as they do attending the fashion show.”

“This event is the ultimate reality experience—seeing real fashion, on real bodies,” says Tim Gunn, “I commend Lucky Brand Jeans for recognizing how stunning all shapes, sizes and ages can be with the right fit.”

Guests who purchase $100 or more at the Lucky Brand Jeans store at Barton Creek Square between April 15th and April 21st will be professionally photographed with Tim Gunn on the runway, and will walk away with a limited edition Tim Gunn signature tote (shown left).*

* Limited time only, while supplies last. 

About Lucky Brand Jeans

Lucky Brand designs and produces jeans, sportswear, knits, wovens, outerwear, T-shirts and active wear. Additional Lucky Brand licensed products include swimwear and accessories for men and women. The Lucky Brand collections are carried at better department and specialty stores, and at more than 183 company-owned stores nationwide and three internationally. The complete collection can be viewed at

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Nothing is better than a night on the town decked out in your favorite accessories. But what if you had a chance to meet the designer of those accessories at a unique charity soirée? Combine phenomenal jewelry and a chance to help out underprivileged youth and you have one great event!

This was my first opportunity to write for Fashionably Austin.  I am a lawyer by day and a casual blogger of all things “Austin” fun by night. Taking on a “reporter” role was a bit intimidating but Cheryl assured me that I could do it.

My first assignment was to attend a charity event organized by Rachel Elsberry of Pickie Pie Productions. The festivity was hosted by Fleming’s for Austin jewelry designer Kendra Scott. “Kendra and Cocktails” collected proceeds from the entry fee and sales to benefit LifeWorks.

LifeWorks supports youth and families through counseling, housing, education/workforce and youth development.  This is a charity that Kendra has been involved with for more than seven years.  As a board member of LifeWorks she is also instrumental in planning their big event, The White Party, which is an all white fashion gala coming up in May.

As I arrived, of course wearing my Kendra Scott earrings, I noticed that there were some pretty chic looking outfits styled with everything Kendra.  The food set up was fantastic. Fleming’s provided three drinks from their updated drink menu as well as an array of amazing appetizers.  The drinks were fresh and innovative including The Brazilian, Mad Milagro Margarita and a White Cosmo.

Several ladies were lucky enough to win raffle prizes from Kendra Scott including earrings, a cuff bracelet and a turquoise statement necklace.  Also available to guests were mini-blow outs from NY Vixen Hairstyles, make up by Just Jill Cosmetics which was also available for purchase as well as Beijo Bags.     Nearly $2000 was raised from the very fashionable event.

I made it through my first reporting gig and had a ball.  The company was great, the food was amazing and it was an evening devoted to supporting a good cause.  If Cheryl is trying to impress me with all the fun fashionable events to cover around town, I think she spoiled me with a really good one right off the bat.

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The Austin community has been very generous in supporting all the local non-profits.  It was easy to see the altruism in action when I attended the Austin Children’s Shelter event at the Saks Fifth Avenue, Passion for Compassion fashion show and auction.The fashion event originally started in 2000 with nationally known designers showing their collections at a gala. The affair was complete with dinner, dancing and an auction.

One year Badgley Mischka designs were shown and another  Zac Posen’s collection was featured.  The models were some of Austin’s most prominent VIPs. They strutted down the runway in Spring’s newest looks from all the top-name designers. Of course there were more than a few audience members who could have easily hopped onstage in their designer duds.The auction gave attendees the opportunity to win exciting prizes while donating to a worthwhile cause. One package that was of particular interest was the New York Fashion Week experience.  It sold for more than $15,000!!

“We are so pleased with our fifth annual Fashion for Compassion results and the incredible support we had this year,” said Carmine Salvucci, chief development officer for the Austin Children’s Shelter. “We celebrated with a record-breaking 400 people including 62 prominent local family models!  And thanks to the generous support of Mercedes-Benz of Austin, Saks Fifth Avenue, the Cain Foundation and so many others, we more than doubled our sponsorships and ticket sales this year!  This will provide critical support for the physical, mental health and other needs of the abused and neglected children in our care.”

Raising money for underprivileged children and looking fabulous doing it, that is what Fashion for Compassion is all about.



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When you live in Austin you know that during spring break hundreds of thousands of people make Austin a temporary home to attend SXSW.

Since 1987 musicians have launched their careers, independent movies have premiered and now fashion events are a popular new component to the week-long list of events at SXSW.

The first fashion-focused event was a three-day fashion blogger extravaganza.  The Texas Style Council, created by Austin’s Indiana Adams who founded Adored,  provided an opportunity for fashion bloggers to connect, network, play and shop at their Social Media Conference.

I actually covered the Texas Style Council event during SXSW from its inception (when it was just a small breakfast two years ago) and it has since turned into a fashion business marketing force that connects fashion bloggers from around the country and has grown from a handful of attendees to more than 250 registrants this year.

The weekend began with a fashion blogger networking party in the stylish space on First Street by Austin City Hall. Meeting fashion bloggers from coast to coast and hearing their perspective on the latest fashion trends was refreshing and reminded me why I have loved reporting on the changes in the fashion business during my career.

Saturday started off with small group discussions led by experts in fashion blogging and an afternoon shopping extravaganza featuring thrift, vintage and one-of-kind pop-up shops.  The evening wrapped up with a glizy party and of course, more networking.

Sunday featured top industry professionals at the Social Media Symposium. Topics included Think Local, Go National and Austin’s Matt Swinney from Austin Fashion Week/Launch 787 spoke.  Other local speakers were Tolly Moseley from Austin Eavesdropper, and former Austin American-Statesman style writer Jean Scheidnes, who is now with Nieman Marcus.  I was asked to be on the Amped up Writing panel with Caroline Waxler, Director of Digital Content for Lucky Magazine,  Jessica Amason, Director of Community for Refinery 29, and Ann Colville Somma of Cult of Pretty.

The Texas Style Council event wrapped up on Monday morning with Bloody Marys and manicures at Beauty Bar X.

Time to return home,  download pictures and have bloggers write their own recap stories from Austin, Texas….The Fashion Capital…even if it is just during Spring Break.

Click here for a complete list of attendees and find new fashion blogs to love.

Fashion Industry Pros Offer Blogging Tips

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Tribeza magazine sponsored the Etcetera, etc. grand opening party on September 1, 2011 with great success. Etcetera, etc. is the latest addition to Austin’s growing 2ndSt. Shopping District. The boutique is locally owned and managed by Emma Kate. This is Kate’s second shop to open in Austin. Her first, Green Dog Designs, is an online eco-conscious dog apparel boutique.

Etcetera, etc. is small in size but large in variety and style. From bathing suits to accessories to home décor and with prices ranging from $40 to $350 there is something for everyone. “I think my personal style really shows in Etcetera, etc. because of its colorfulness, patterns and whimsical feeling.” explains Kate, “I really had a vision and went for it.”

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Austin’s own Jeannie Vianney of ByJeannie Jewelry was chosen as the 2011 winner of Texas’ Next Top Designer competition. One of only three finalists from Austin in the competition, Jeannie is the first jewelry designer to win the title. The winner was announced June 29, 2011, at the Announcement Gala in Dallas.

Jeannie Vianney at her Cypress Vanguard showroom

The evening included a fashion show featuring looks from the top twenty finalists, speeches by previous finalists who have achieved great success, and a speech from previous winner, Austin’s own Megan Summerville. The Career Achievement award was presented to Geoffrey Henning, Vice President of Design at JC Penney. Along with the title of Texas’ Next Top Designer, Jeannie won a grand prize valued at $40,000. The prize includes financial and business development assistance, a trip to either New York or Los Angeles Fashion Week, and a funded showroom or work space.

Megan Summerville & Jeannie Vianney - Photo courtesy of Duy Nguyen

Jeannie Vianney graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science. Craving an artistic outlet, Jeannie turned to jewelry design and launched her first line in 2005. Soon she was selling in many boutiques across the US, and was featured in numerous publications like Lucky Magazine and the Washington Post. Jeannie handcrafts all of her pieces and aims to give each one a unique feeling. She works with sterling silver, 14k gold-filled and other metals, and pairs them with semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and other natural elements. Her lines feature unique pieces that are whimsical, yet elegant and modern. Her newest collection, called Dentelle, uses vintage lace, sterling silver, freshwater pearls and semi-precious stones. The result is highly detailed and textured, with a look that is both classic and contemporary.

Her designs can be found online at, locally in many Austin boutiques like, Eliza Page and Mana Culture. Visit Jeannie’s web site at or see her collection at the ByJeannie Jewelry Showroom at Cypress Vanguard in Austin.

Jeannie will also be the featured guest at the Fashionably Connected Networking Event on Wednesday, July 27 at Piranha Killer Sushi.

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