Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gardens of Fashions

When it comes to clothes shopping, the last word in Houston is The Galleria, an enormous mall that houses the most elegant of stores in Houston.

And don't forget an ice skating rink too!

I always feel like I don't quite belong amidst the society set that routinely shop there, but from time to time I venture to undertake the hour long drive in order to visit Nordstroms and to keep abreast of the latest in designer fashions.

This week the Mall has hosted an event where landscape designers have created small gardens and flower displays throughout the mall. The fashion designers have come to town to show their latest collections amidst these gardens.

For $150 I could have bought a ticket for a luncheon and seen at least a few shows on a runway setting over lunch.

Being a bit of a frugal soul, I instead took advantage of the opportunity to see "informal" modeling in the small gardens on display for free.

The above dress was either by Pucci or Gucci, I couldn't quite make out what the model said.

The silk organdy (chiffon?) was crystal pleated, and the sleeves were unlined. When the model raised her arms slightly you could of sworn she about to float into the air. It was worth the hour drive just to see that dress!

But...this is the dress I would love to own. I could actually imagine wearing it in real life. Ah, the fashion as art/fashion as clothing dilemma.

When I discovered that the Galleria was going to have two hours of informal modeling, I wished I could find a friend come along and share the enjoyment. I decided to take the flier to work, doubting that anyone would be able to go with me.

Lo and behold: Friday my wine tasting buddy librarian Hope was scheduled for a half day at work, a short day to make up for the time she would spend at a rare Saturday campus event


We snagged a quick sandwich at Starbucks and headed down to see what we could see.

(I asked the model above if her bracelet was really a belt or a bracelet that just looked like a belt. She assured me it was a real belt, and that she had put it on her wrist all by herself. Cute trick, that.)

Now the mall nearest to both our houses is called the Deerbrook Mall. It has a Macy's, but boy, our Macy's doesn't hold a candle to the Galleria's Macy.

The two of walked through the Galleria's Macy gawking and touching all the beautiful spring dresses like we were hicks newly come up in the world.

The hemline details! The sleeve details (think origami...), the bright feminine colors! We both agreed that from now on all Macy shopping would be done down here; it would be worth the drive.

I wanted to check out Nordstrom's scarves, and was pleased to see that Nordstoms is also carrying a lot of dresses now. Just last year at this time I had shopped Nordstroms and could find only a few DVF wrap dresses that were too uptight and hot/heavy for Houston weather.

I told them they needed to get with the dresses already!

I'm so glad they listened to me...(smirk)

The modeling even included a few guys.

Bernie saw this shot and commented "Oh, double breasted jackets are coming back?"

Who knew my guy was so fashion savy.

This tiny fountain was adorable...wouldn't it be perfect on a balcony or small private patio?

This model was so sweet. I just couldn't get over how tiny her backside was. She could easily sit on a sheet of notebook paper folded in half!

I asked this model who designed her shoes.

"Guess," she answered. I was proud that I knew she wasn't being coy/snarky...and understood that Guess? is a brand name. (Duh...)

In all the store windows we saw gladiator style sandals. Whew. Not a good look for me! The name of the game was trend spotting; I found a cheat sheet for anyone wanting to keep up with trends:

Top trends for spring:

• Floral (BIG TIME!)
• Safari
• Graphic prints
• Bold colors
• Transparent (BIG TIME! it is lovely to see floral print on floaty fabrics)
• Tailored (I haven't seen attention to dressmaking details like this since the 1950s)

What's hot now? •

In: Exotic jewelry and chunky accessories are adventurous.• Out: Bangle bracelets go back in the box.
• In: Be bold in bright colors.• Out: Leave fall shades and muted tones in the closet.
• In: Floral prints and graphics perk up a handbag.• Out: Store that plain, old purse.

The gallery has three levels, and an ice skating rink that today was covered and used for the formal fashion show and luncheon. We were able to look down on it and see some of those with more generous bank accounts chatting away.

The flower tower pictured above was amazing.

All the flowers were real.
A few random shots. When was the last time you saw gloves on a mannequin?
Or peter pan collars for that matter?

The half circle shapes are the balconies of the Westin Hotel rooms. Imagine shopping all day, then going to your hotel, then going out for dinner, shopping a little more, then the next morning you start shopping again....

I consider great shoes to be great art. Wearing them is out of the question, but I can sure look.
(And I thought about Nurse Running Wildly when I saw them.)
Designed by Louis Vuitton.

(I'm not sure how I feel about the green bow....)

Great neckline! Prairie points used as collar!

The little ruffles on the jacket against the fringe on the dress: Interesting.
I did pop into Neimans and checked out the Philip Treacy hats. They were pretty cool, black and white, and priced just a few dollars under 1,000.
Well my friends, I wish we could head back down there for a bloggie photo shoot.
I hope this gives you at least a taste of the day, and inspiration.
PS to Lin: Give me a call or email me, OK? Maybe we could get together soon?


Anonymous said...

Sounds great! I'll be emailing you tomorrow or Monday--watch your work email box. I am delighted to see your little PS at the end of today's blog. I really do read every single post.

My favorite dress is the first one--she really looks like a butterfly. I am going to have to make sure Bianca sees this one. She loves butterflies so much.

See you,

Cristina de Prada - milliner said...

Wow, looks like you had a great time! I visited the Galleria when I was in Houston some 7 years ago, huge and impressive.
Nice to see a glimpse of what's on the shops. Next time you need company to go to an event think of me (pity we're so far away from each other, but I'll be with you in spirit!).

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Thanks for the tour of Houston's exclusive mall and all that lovely fashion. I'm so glad, too, that pretty things are coming back.

Anonymous said...

Wow...what dresses! I really liked the first one, but being short and a tad bit on the roundish side, I'd probably look as if I got tangled up in some bed linens.

Miss Janey said...

What fun.

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