Bayou City Magazine

Page 1


in Galveston

Happy Town: F I N D B L I S S Oh I N T HMy! E B AYO U



to Spruce?


Experience it!

Taking a Bow From the audience to the stage, find your place in H-Town’s performing arts.

> PAGE 34


Little BLACK Dress Celebrate the LBD and find one to love. > PAGE 46



Rediscovering Houston Through Adaptive Reuse William A. Wilson, a development pioneer in Houston, built this Woodland Heights home for himself in 1910. After his death, the home spent the rest of the last century as a nursing home, a bed & breakfast, and an assisted living facility respectively, without much attention toward preservation. As it neared its 100th birthday, the sensibility of the era would have been to tear it down and build new. Instead, I undertook an ambitious yet immensely rewarding restoration of the property and am proud to call it my home today. Similarly, our location on Kirby Dr. underwent countless transformations since the original structure was built in 1940. When we chose it as our newest office last year, we stripped away years of updates only to reveal a modern, art deco space reflecting 21st century simplicity and design. We invite you to visit. We’re now exclusively listing Bell Heights, an adaptive reuse of the former Southwestern Bell building in The Heights. It is a distinct new opportunity for in-town living with 24 unique loft floor plans and 20 traditional cottages.

These are just some of the ways we’re rediscovering Houston. Broker/Owner B O U L E VA R D R E A LT Y

As experienced local realtors, we want to be at the forefront of taking a renewed look at the buildings and neighborhoods that already make our city great.

6 1 1 7 K i r b y D r. Houston, TX 77005

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contents F E AT U R E S


Acting Out Whether you’re sitting in the audience or yearning for your moment in the limelight, the Bayou City’s performing arts scene offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences.

41 The Accidental Philanthropist

The always-surprising Julia Anderson Frankel illuminates fashion, philanthropy and the arts in Houston.

46 Celebrating the Little Black Dress

Bayou City offers an ode to the little black dress: remember the history, review the trends and pick the next one for your closet. Pictured: Jones Hall is home to the Houston Symphony and Society for the Performing Arts. Photo by Jim Olive (VisitHouston). On the Cover: What’s your little black dress style? Phoenix Hamilton for Neal Hamil Agency wearing Cynthia Vincent long sleeve slit dress from Dryden Kreps, Iosselliani necklace from Joseph. Hair and makeup Jessica Alston for Tre Spa and Salon. Styled by Vico Puentes. Shot on location at Hotel Icon by Cody Bess.



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the bayou city


the bayou lifestyle

indulge in bayou eats



in bayou events 88



Excuse to Spruce


On Stage




Get the Fashion, Houston



Find Gifting Bliss





Bayou City’s hottest happenings

What’s trending in the Bayou City




FIELD NOTES Moving on Up(town)


TOP SPOTS Who’s Your Home Team?



Local Taste


THE POUR Brew Masters



Get Gourd-geous Galveston’s 1900 storm monument is part of your island itinerary.


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014





with Layar to tell us what you think of Bayou City with a short reader survey.

Taking a liTTle Time in your day may add years To your life. so we make scheduling a mammogram easier, online. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. And 85 percent of those women have no family history of the disease. At Houston Methodist, we know the statistics can be scary, so we’re here to help you. We encourage all women to talk with their doctors about scheduling a mammogram at one of our seven convenient locations. Schedule your mammogram online at

contents AUGMENTED

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Bayou City Now is augmented reality powered by Layar. Look for the icon + throughout the magazine so you know where to point, scan and discover enhanced, exclusive content. Look for videos and photo slideshows to watch, recipes and catalogs to download, surveys and quizzes to take, items to buy and more.


1 download the free Layar app from the App Store or Google Play.


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Look for the Bayou City Now icons to see what pages you can scan.

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This application works on mobile devices including iPhones, iPads and Android phones, with a copy of Bayou City Magazine.


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Don’t Miss This Extended Content! Use your mobile device and the Layar app to scan these pages and view videos, slideshows, download recipes, buy stuff and more. These pages offer extended content as described below…and sometimes a little lagniappe, a little extra.

6 SURVEY: Tell us what you think about Bayou City Magazine in our reader survey. 10 SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Bayou City Daily newsletters. 12 VIDEO: See editor Becky Davis select just the right jewelry for her LBD. 17 CONNECT: Use our interactive map to find these hot shops and spots. SOCIAL: See other #bayoucitymagstreetscenes on our Pinterest board. 18 CONNECT: Get our interactive map of these great Galveston experiences. LISTEN: Get spooked by a Galveston ghost story. 21 CONNECT: Find your shop, dine, do and see spots in Uptown/Galleria. 23 BUY NOW: Get the goods for tailgating parties. LINK: Make local alumni connections. 27 PHOTOS: See more ideas for sprucing. 30 VIDEO: See a Fashion Houston preview. BUY NOW: Buy tickets to Fashion Houston. 33 CONNECT: Find these shopping spots. BUY NOW: Get these gracious gifts. 37 CONNECT: Use the interactive map to find Houston’s performing arts. 38 VIDEOS: Get a ballet preview and see more from Houston’s performing arts companies. 47 VIDEO: See behind the scenes at our LBD photo shoot. 56 VIDEO: See more of our LBD looks. 61 PHOTOS: See more of the LBDD dresses and the LBDD process. 71 CONNECT: Use our interactive map to eat local with locavore restaurants and farmers markets. DOWNLOAD RECIPES: H-town chefs share yummy recipes for local eating. 74 VIDEO: Get your Craft Beer 101 from an expert. DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE: Plan your visit to Big Brew Houston. DOWNLOAD RECIPE: Inspired by Big Brew? Brew your own. 77 VIDEO: See Chef John Watt in action. DOWNLOAD RECIPES: Get yummy squash recipes from local chefs. BUY NOW: Shop your cravings. 81 EVENTS: Looking for more to do? Check out the online calendar and weekly Passionista posts. 88 SOCIAL: Show your local knowledge by answering next month’s #bayouIQ questions.



Where the Ultimate Driving Machine and the ultimate buying experience come together. Thank you and Happy Driving Houston!

Don’t miss the enhanced content from our partners.

Inside front cover VIDEO: See Eklektik Interiors’ rooms. 9 VIDEO: Get the ultimate buying experience with Advantage BMW’s Yasmin Guerrero. 29 LINK: Find the best fall fashions at River Oaks Shopping Center. 62 CONNECT: Connect with these designers and boutiques through our interactive map. 73 BUY NOW: Shop Léránt’s latest offerings. 85 LINK: Get the lashes Mother Nature forgot to give you at The Lash Lounge. 86 VIDEO: Experience river cruising luxury with Culturally Creative Travel. Inside back cover VIDEO: View David Peck’s Fall 2014 Collection.

Yasmin Guerrero Scan to learn more about the ultimate buying experience.

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Advantage BMW-Midtown 1305 Gray St. 713-289-1233

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Bayou City Daily

Becky Davis MANAGING EDITOR Libby Ingrassia

Get the rest of the story and stay in touch between issues when you subscribe to Bayou City Daily email newsletters* and website at Here are some highlights: monday












EDITORIAL + ONLINE ASSOCIATE Courtney Laine ART DIRECTION + DESIGN Switch Studio Jim Nissen Carla Delgado


6 6



Shop the first Saturday arts market.

How to drink... like an adult.

Jessica Mebane, Julie Osterman, Cecelia Ottenweller, Shannon Smith

Cody Bess, Micah Bickham,


Randall Murrow, Michael Starghill

Eat your [local] vegetables: here’s where!


24 24 Going to Galveston? Stay here.



GENERAL MANAGER Michelle Feser Rogers

1 6 Shop your way through these lesser-known Galleria stores.


Try these wines for your next tailgate party.


22 22

Where to eat now: Dining out with Julia Anderson Frankel.

Serving Thanksgiving dinner this week? Pair these wines.

27 Happy Thanksgiving! Get ready, set… SHOP!

*Bayou City LIVING shows you how to embody the Bayou lifestyle. • Bayou City DOING exposes you to our curated calendar: the events and happenings worth the time, money and outfit. • Bayou City DINING explores tips, tricks, recipes and behind-thescenes experiences with local chefs and eateries. • Bayou City SHOPPING displays sophisticated styles and trendy ideas, then offers easy access to buy your favorites. • Bayou City EXPLORING unearths local gems for your weekend jaunts.• Bayou City SIPPING lets you sip, swallow and quaff your way through Houston’s cool cocktails, craft beer and wine. • BAYOU WEEK IN REVIEW brings you highlights from the previous week so you never miss a story.


Holly Beretto, Betsy Denson, Bruce Farr,


Decorate big, but find the designer who suits your style.

Foam at home: get going with home brewing.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Robin Barr Sussman, Stacy Barry,


Audition your way into Houston’s performing arts orgs.

2 1

BRAND EDITOR Terry Ribb MARKETING + EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE Becca Green Bayou City Magazine (Volume 1, Issue 6) is published bimonthly by Urban Experience Media, 1519 Oxford Street. Houston, Texas, 77008. 713-868-7023. Single issue $4.95; Annual subscription $15. Discounts available to Harris County residents. To purchase additional copies of any issue, contact How to reach us: Editorial inquiries: stories@ Submissions: Send manuscripts, photographs and ideas to the editors at stories@ or mail to Editors at Bayou City Magazine, 1519 Oxford St., Houston, TX 77008. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Subscriptions & inquiries: Contact, call 713-868-7023 or go to Advertising inquiries: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bayou City, 1519 Oxford St., Houston, TX, 77008. © Copyright 2014 Urban Experience Media

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

06 Gate Openers Ad.indd 1 04 Gate Openers Ad.indd 1

9/16/14Brad's 8:21 Bayou PM City Mag Ad.indd 1 5/23/14 12:42 AM

7/21/14 11 7:54 AM

editor's letter


I’m celebrating fall with a new LBD to love (or maybe two). Scan this page with the Layar app on your phone to learn how to select the right statement jewelry to adorn your LBD pick. Tell me about the LBDs you’re wearing— and all the places you’re wearing them— by sending email to Becky@BayouCMag. com or connect with us on Facebook ( or Twitter (



bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

t’s finally fall. My favorite department store has begun playing holiday music prematurely and Walgreens is ready to roll out the Christmas candy as soon as it cuts the price of Halloween candy. The temperature has dropped 5-10 degrees and I’m cranking up the AC so I can pull out my sweaters and boots. It is my favorite time of the year, and there are so many things to celebrate. It’s football season, Galveston is at its best and ready for fall trips—and who can argue with an extra hour of sleep when we revert to standard time? Do you need something to celebrate? How about the 88th birthday (in October) of the iconic little black dress’s first appearance in Vogue? In this issue, I am very excited to present our first full fashion feature. Last November I met Jeff Shell at a party, and when he learned I had just launched a lifestyle magazine, he wrote the words “LBDD. org” on his business card and whispered in my ear, “Watch the video.” I was intrigued. I did. And the idea for our ode to the little black dress was born. I love wearing a Little Black Dress or ‘LBD.’ (Get used to that acronym because you will see it a lot in this issue.) The right LBD hides a multitude of sins and feels sinful at the same time. If you are a woman, find your LBD style in our feature (page 46). You gentlemen should check the article out, too. While we may sometimes joke that the best accessory for a woman wearing an LBD is the man admiring her, the truth is that we know that men want to know what to wear when the woman is going for the LBD. So look for fashion and tips for men, too! You might also choose to celebrate fall by enjoying Houston’s performing arts season. Performing arts take center stage in this issue, too, as we pay homage to Houston’s place as a creative class city with one of the top arts centers in the nation. Although we could spend a whole magazine boasting about our award-winning, internationally acclaimed opera, ballet, theater and symphony—and all the local and regional


scan this page with Layar see Becky’s LBD pick and learn how to select the right statement jewelry to adorn it.

companies across the city—instead, we take you behind the scenes to see how it all works. And how you can get involved. What do fashion and the arts have in common? Julia Anderson Frankel. She is the subject of our profile and the perfect person to tie together fashion and the arts. She believes both industries are cultural gems within Houston; she advocates and raises funds for both—even while she’s spending energy supporting passionate pursuits in education and healthcare. In each issue, we offer profiles of people, like Julia, who are moving the city forward in ways both big and small. Do you know someone who fits this description? Let us know so we can share their stories. One of the things I love about editing a magazine is that I am constantly running across fun facts. Did you know that pumpkins and squash are actually fruits? Or, that all squash and pumpkins are gourds, but not all gourds are either pumpkins or squash? Some are just, well, gourds, and those are for decoration. Why is this important? Because fall is the perfect time of year to eat dishes prepared with pumpkins and squash and to find beautiful gourds (and pumpkins great and small) for decoration. In “Get Gourd-eous” (page 76) read about fabulous dishes local chefs prepare using this fall bounty. You can even scan the article with Layar, our augmented reality app, to download a yummy recipe, buy some kitchen must-haves and make the dishes yourselves. So, celebrate fall with me by finding a new LBD to love, stepping out to one of Houston’s amazing performing arts experiences and picking out a perfect pumpkin and a few gourds to decorate your front steps.

Becky Davis Editor-in-Chief

Being from Texas, we walk a little taller, speak a little louder. It’s the pride of living here and knowing what we’re all about. At Texas Children’s Hospital, we’re proud of what we do and who we do it for. Since 1954, we’ve provided the finest medical care for children and earned our reputation as leading experts in the field – not by following trails made by others, but by blazing new ones. We’re proud to say we’re advancing pediatric medicine for children today and for generations to come. Whenever you need us, for whatever reason, you’ll find us right here.

Only in Texas.

©2014 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. MPR1063_082714

From the exhibition New Beginnings, Mark Dell’Isola (Guam) and daniel-kayne (United States)

Deborah Colton Gallery is an innovative showcase of strong historical and visionary contemporary artists world-wide who work in the mediums of painting, works on paper, sculpture, video, photography, performance, conceptual future media and public space installations. In addition to the Gallery’s stable of artists, Deborah Colton Gallery provides consultative services both nationally and internationally to individuals, corporations and institutions so they can begin to acquire specific works through a comprehensive program of collecting.

Current exhibition: from Egypt, Istanbul and Iraq, Khaled Hafez, Ferhat Özgür, and Mahmoud Obaidi

Mapping Strife: Perception and Reality November - December 2014, from Houston

A Survey of Works by Angelbert Metoyer January - February 2015, from Mexico

Alfredo Gisholt: Canto y Calavera March - April 2015, from Russia

Olga Tobreluts: New Opportunities March - April 2015, from the United States

A Solo Exhibition of Works by Terence La Noue

explore the bayou city


18 BEYOND THE BELTWAY Experience Galveston at its best in the fall.





Featured artists at Off the Wall Gallery in the Galleria include Joan Miro, Andy Warhol and, soon, John Lennon.






From giant to regular to wee, the Pure Pumpkin Patch at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church has all sizes, shapes and colors. In its 14th year, the patch has consistently ranked in the top 10 of all patches in the Pumpkin Patch USA network. They sell out the pumpkins from three 18-wheelers in a month: more than 5000 pumpkins. The pumpkins are delivered from a farm on Navajo Reservation land in New Mexico, along with a variety of decorative gourds and other surprises like Indian corn. This year, the patch will be offering up pumpkins galore—and adorable photo opps— from Oct. 1–31 (or until they run out). Want the freshest pumpkins? Come right after the trucks deliver: Oct. 1, 12 and 26. Pumpkins are priced by size, and the profits benefit the Pure Sound Youth Choir travel fund and scholarships. 3471 Westheimer.

On Nov. 3 at Jones Hall, the Houston Symphony hosts world-class Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra from its sister city Leipzig, Germany. The concert will feature works by famous German composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn, who was one of Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s most celebrated music directors. Riccardo Chailly, the Gewandhaus Orchestra’s Music Director, will conduct. Honorary chairs for the event are James A. Baker III, the 61st US Secretary of State, and former President George H. W. Bush, both of whom served critical roles during time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany. The city of Leipzig played a key role in instigating the fall by orchestrating peaceful marches of as many as 400,000 people. In 1993 Leipzig was designated


one of Houston’s sister cities (one of 17!), solidify-

Winged wonders land in Discovery Green. “Wings of the

ing Houston’s link with this historic city and its

City” brings nine large-scale bronze sculptures by Mexican


Marin has presented his winged sculptures in more than 200 exhibits worldwide over the past 25 years. As you walk through the free art installation, consider how sculptures invite viewers to an aesthetic experience where the perfection of the human body mixes with the allegorical and fantastical creatures. You can be part of the art: One of the installations features outspread wings behind a podium. Take your portrait with the wings and join the discussion of the exhibit’s themes of desire, will and determination.

“Leipzig, for centuries a world center of music and art, played a magnificent symphony for freedom in October 1989 when its “prayers for peace” demonstrations led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the re-unification of Germany,” said Baker. “On the 25th anniversary of that historic event, I am proud that my hometown is hosting the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on its first-ever performance in Houston.” At the June announcement of the upcoming concert, Mayor Anise Parker said, “We are privileged to have Gewandhausorchester, one of Germany’s oldest and finest orchestras, kick off this extraor-

Guided tours are available the first

dinary musical experience in Houston. As a world-

Saturday of each month at 1 pm,

class city with a robust arts and culture scene, we

starting at the Alkek building.

appreciate this caliber of classical music, which is

Discovery Green. 1500 McKinney.

revered for its intellectual depth, technical command

and artistic beauty.” Jones Hall. 618 Louisiana.


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


artist Jorge Marin to Discovery Green through Feb. 8, 2015.


Share your view of the Bayou City Each Sunday, Bayou City Daily: Snapping offers an Instagram project on our website at, and shares some of the previous week’s photos. One favorite shot appears here in each issue. We couldn’t resist this shot of the Biscuit wall (along the Westheimer curve), taken by our contributing photographer Randall Murrow. Look for other great #bayoucitymagstreetscene pics and responses to our #bayoucitysnapping challenges on our Pinterest Street Scenes board. Subscribe to Bayou City Daily emails or get social with us for upcoming challenges, then tag your photos on Instagram with #bayoucitymagstreetscene or #bayoucitysnapping to be considered (or email to

FAST FOOD Grocery shopping is an experience, but it’s not one we always want to have. Enter Instacart to the Houston market. Instacart lets you shop locally at HEB, Costco or Whole Foods from the web, iPad or iPhone. Originally launched in San Francisco and making use of crowdsourced delivery by “Personal Shoppers,” Instacart launched Houston as its 14th city. The shoppers shop for and deliver groceries using their own transportation, within one to two hours. Initially, Instacart is serving downtown and the western half of the area inside the Loop. Of course, they’re rapidly expanding, so keep an eye on their website for changes. “Houston is a city whose population is exploding with growth faster than any other major city outside of NYC,” says Houston city launcher Matt O’Connor. “We had an overwhelming amount of requests from Houston to bring our service here and are excited to make this a reality.” The interface is visual, so pick a store, then select items by category, by previously purchased lists or by recipes. Decide how fast you want the delivery and sit back with a book or get back to work instead of rushing out to the store for the items you need for tomorrow’s meals. INSTACART | MRS. B BOUTIQUE

Bayou City Social We look for #bayoucitymagstreetscene and #bayoucitymag on social media. bayoucitymag




By tagging us, you give us permission to share your photo on our social media and website, and publish it in our magazine. We’ll give you credit wherever we share the photos.

scan this page with Layar to see more #bayoucitymagstreetscenes and to find the shops, patches and events.

hot list shop what’s new Houston loves to shop—especially in spots that offer a cool shopping experience. ONE-OF-A-KIND When is jewelry an experience? When it is curated to support the busy travel and entertaining schedule of its wearers. When it mixes and matches to create a complete jewelry wardrobe. The Mrs. B Collection, launched by Italian-born Houstonian Cathy Borlenghi, features Scaramazza pearls dipped in rose gold, short and long necklaces with the pearls, semi-precious stones and interchangeable “Love Knots” in a variety carved stones. Mrs. B Boutique at Hotel Granduca, 1080 Uptown Park Blvd. CURIOUS KIDS! Big Blue Whale offers a nostalgic, magical shop for kids of all ages. From classic toys from childhood to the classics of tomorrow, the toys in the store have been carefully curated by owner Vanessa Wodehouse—native Houstonian and mom. Lines you’ll find there include Tegu’s magnetic wooden blocks; Cate & Levi’s stuffed animals and puppets; and Rubbabu’s cars. Big Blue Whale Toys & Curiosities, 237 W. 19th St. SPICY SPOT Explore the world through your palate at the new Savory Spice Shop in Rice Village. The shop offers an eclectic blend of spices, salts, herbs and powders, including store favorite ghost pepper salt. Keep things fresh by ordering as little as ½ ounce from the deli-style shop. From their “Try Me” containers that let you taste before you buy to support for local chefs, artisans and authors, shop owners Michelle and Randall Halbert offer a tasty approach. Savory Spice Shop, 2516 Times Blvd.





scan this page with Layar to

see our interactive map and to hear a Galveston ghost story.

Island Escape Get away to Galveston this fall and experience the island at its best. BY JULIE OSTERMAN


bayou city m ag a z i n e

October/November 2014

If you haven’t set foot on the island lately, be sure to explore Houston’s best-kept secret this fall. LIFE’S A BEACH

Galveston’s waves tend to be clearer and calmer in the autumn due to weather patterns and currents, explains Cast. Plus, there’s less seaweed on the shore, making for bluer water and clean beaches. With 32 miles of beaches, the island beckons to enthusiasts of a variety of outdoor activities, from surfing, fishing and swimming, to hiking and bird watching. Some folks prefer East Beach or Stewart Beach, while others swear by the West End beaches, including Galveston Island State Park and several beach pocket parks. And then, of course, there’s the Seawall in the middle, which overflows with dining options, accommodations and family fun.

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, only 2 years old, but reminiscent of the original midcentury attraction, boasts 16 one-of-akind rides, boardwalk games, food and shops. “Unlike many boardwalk operations, the pier extends out over the water creating an exciting sensation of being suspended over the Gulf of Mexico,” says Mark Kane, vice president of Landry’s Amusement Division. “We encourage families visiting the South to come experience the latest world-class venue on the third coast.” After playing to your heart’s content, enjoy a casual oceanside meal just west of the pier at The Spot Restaurant & Tiki Bar. Other Seawall favorites include Gaido’s and Benno’s on the Beach. For a chic night out, grab a drink at The San Luis Resort’s posh H2o poolside lounge, and dine in style at The Steakhouse.



all just might be the perfect time to visit Galveston Island. The weather is cooler, the crowds thinner and the water bluer, and there’s still an abundance of things to do and see. “The weather is wonderful and allows people to comfortably enjoy the beaches. You can also enjoy the island’s outdoor attractions and festivals without the crowds you find during summer,” says Leah Cast of the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Fall can provide a very charming oasis for Houstonians who have the luxury of being so close that weekend getaways are convenient and easy.” Recently named one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 Destinations on the Rise in the U.S.,” Galveston has changed dramatically since Hurricane Ike—with millions of dollars invested in tourist attractions followed by record-setting visitation the past two years.

From blue waters to the history of Bishop’s Palace, Galveston offers myriad fall options.

if you go choose to cruise If you really have island fever, why not set sail? Embark on a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean or Carnival, both offering new ships sailing from Galveston year-round.


Galveston’s Historic Downtown Strand Seaport district has something for everyone, from charming boutiques, bookstores and coffee shops to galleries, museums and historical attractions. Take a stroll on the Strand and adjacent downtown streets Mechanic, Market and Post Office, where you’ll find many spots worth a look-see, including Nautical Antiques and Tangerine Boutique. Grab a cup of joe at MOD Coffeehouse, or something sweet at LaKing’s Confectionary. Delve into the island’s art scene at ArtWalk (Oct. 11) or ARToberFEST (Oct. 18-19). Kimberly Thom, a Houstonian who recently built a beach house in Galveston, bought her first piece of original local art at the last ArtWalk. “It’s such a great atmosphere—small community, great talent, old architecture, music, art,” she says. “What more do you want on a Saturday night?” Another cultural must-see is the Grand 1894 Opera House, a beautiful historic theater. Highlights of the fall schedule include Broadway musical comedy “Sister Act” (Oct. 25), “The Phantom of the Opera” silent film accompanied live on the organ by Rob Landes (Nov. 1) and Willie Nelson (Nov. 14). Get a sneak peek into 20th-century high society by touring the Broadway Beauties: the 1859 Ashton Villa, 1892 Bishop’s Palace and 1895 Moody Mansion. There’s more history downtown at the Lone Star Flight Museum, Railroad Museum and year-round Haunted Mayfield Manor. Both the historic Hotel Galvez and the Galveston Historical Foundation offer haunted history tours throughout October.

Over on the harbor, history buffs should check out the Texas Seaport Museum and Tall Ship Elissa, Pier 21 Theater and the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum. After a long day of exploring, grab a meal on the patio at Olympia Grill Pier 21, overlooking the harbor, and then relax at The Rooftop Bar inside the Tremont House hotel for a fabulous view of downtown. HOLIDAYS ON THE ISLE

Beginning Nov. 15, Moody Gardens promises to be the coolest destination around… literally. They’re bringing in 900 tons of ice for the breathtaking “ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures,” in which a team of 20 carvers from China will create a winter wonderland inside an insulated tent kept at a chilly 9 degrees. Don’t worry; they’ll lend you a parka while you gaze at the giant ice sculptures featuring holiday themes, as well as characters from “SpongeBob SquarePants.” While you’re there, don’t miss Moody’s 13th annual Festival of Lights, featuring more than a million lights, ice skating and snow tubing on the Arctic Ice Slide. “We are very excited to bring such a unique experience to south Texas,” says John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO. “There is no other venue in the Southwest that offers such a diverse range of activities and amenities for a complete holiday experience.” Other island festivities kick off Nov. 28 with the holiday lighting celebration at Hotel Galvez, and Home for the Holidays Gift Market downtown. For a complete guide on where to stay and what to do, visit

ROYAL CARIBBEAN Aboard Royal Caribbean, you’ll discover the beauty and adventure of the western Caribbean. Ports of call include Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Honduras and Belize. While you cruise, enjoy amenities such as Broadwaystyle shows, casino, fitness center, spa, full-court basketball, waterpark, ice-skating rink, rock climbing wall and, of course, shore excursions. CARNIVAL Sailing the western Caribbean with similar ports of call, Carnival also ventures east to Key West and the Bahamas. Its 11-day southern Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Triumph sails to the Cayman Islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico. Onboard activities are fun for the whole family, including stage shows, karaoke, comedy, casino action, spa and fitness, kids club and water play. PARK & CRUISE Many of the island’s hotels offer free parking and a shuttle to the port with a one-night stay before or after your cruise (see parkandcruise). Since parking can cost $70 or more, depending on your cruise length, this can be a great value. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a taste of Galveston, too.




Moving on Up(town) Visitors come from around the world to shop— and dine—in these swank spots, but plenty of Houstonians call the area home, too.

SHOP You can’t talk shopping in this area without giving homage to the grand dame of them all—the Houston Galleria, which attracts more than 26 million visitors each year. While many Galleria stores have their devotees, one of the best loved is Nordstrom (5192 Hidalgo St.), where the customer service, and the shoe department, are legendary. The service is no slouch at Brucette’s Shoes (1725 Post Oak Blvd.) either, where their stock of hard-to-find sizes can make anyone a Cinderella. Uptown Park is another destination with a bevy of options for shoppers, including University Co-op (1131 Uptown Park


Blvd.), where you can bleed burnt orange in style. At Top Drawer Lingerie (1101 Uptown Park Blvd.), the offerings are a


little more delicate, and luxurious. Ladies, stop in for a fitting.

hen you see the stainless steel rings above each intersection, you know you’re in the right place. A shopper’s nirvana, the Uptown/Galleria area boasts more than 700 retailers, restaurants and hotels in two square miles, roughly bordered by 610 on the east and Chimney Rock to the west, with Uptown Park and Richmond to the north and south. Did we mention the shopping? $3.5 billion was spent there in 2013. But 180,000 residents, in large part under 40, also call the area home. And it’s one of the largest business districts in the country, too, with 2,000 companies who’ve settled in. “Uptown has something for everyone. If you’re headed to a meeting or want to grab a glass of wine, walk your dog or shop for prom dresses, Uptown is the place to celebrate life’s ordinary and extraordinary moments,” said John R. Breeding, president of Uptown Houston District.

High Gloss (1131-06 Uptown Park Blvd.), owned by identical twins Lisa and Kim Glosserman, is your stop for handmade jewelry, sure to be one of a kind. Luxury stores abound in the area, but for a top-notch experience—even if you don’t have the bank account to match—try Hermes of Paris (1800 Post Oak Blvd, Ste. 156), where the sales associates won’t have you pulling a Julia Roberts a la “Pretty Woman.” Tenenbaum & Co (1801 Post Oak Blvd.) offers both new and estate jewelry from the most prestigious lines, including Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston. Luxury shopping, but the pieces are also truly museum-worthy. Two of the many furniture showrooms worth a look are Meredith O’Donnell Fine Furniture (1751 Post Oak Blvd.) and Mody & Mody (5801 Westheimer). The first does traditional and contemporary, while the second is decidedly modern.


bayou city m ag a z i n e

October/November 2014


scan this page with Layar to see these spots on our interactive map.




You’d better come hungry to Chama Gaúcha

Staycation anyone? The Italian-inspired Hotel

The perfect spot to have a picnic or take your

Brazilian Steakhouse (5865 Westheimer), where

Granduca (1080 Uptown Park Blvd.) is right across

wedding or quinceañera photos, the Gerald D.

even the salad bar is a carnivore’s delight. The

the street from all the shopping, but if you’re just

Hines Waterwall Park (2800 Post Oak Blvd.)

protein keeps coming until you cry uncle.

looking to cocoon or sneak in a staycation, that’s

features more than 2 acres of green space

OK, too. If you crave even more pampering, the

and almost 200 oak trees. The showstopper of

make a stop at Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught’s

nearby Serente Spa (1180 Uptown Park Blvd.,

this public park, though is the 64-foot fountain

Caracol (2200 Post Oak Blvd., Ste 160) for the

Ste 4) does all the things you would expect, and

that cycles through 11,000 gallons of water per

Ostiones en su Concha, which are Gulf oysters

maybe a few things you don’t, like an oxygen

minute. The nearby Williams Tower was named

on the half shell, with salsa bruja and lime.

inhalation treatment in a zero-gravity chair.

Skyscraper of the Century a while back by Texas

If you have a hankering for seafood instead,

At RDG Bar Annie (1800 Post Oak Blvd, Ste.

Once rejuvenated, head over to the Galleria

Monthly. The 901-foot tall tower also sends out

6170), James Beard Award winner Robert Del

for a little retail therapy or maybe to indulge

Grande has taken Café Annie to its next, equally

your inner Dorothy Hamill at the indoor ice skat-

mouthwatering, iteration. And the terrace

ing rink, Ice at The Galleria (5015 Westheimer),

Episcopal Church (717 Sage), which offers free

in good weather can’t be beat. Voulez-vous

where talent is not a pre-requisite for participa-

tours to the public. The church’s exterior was

escargot? Head over to Etoile Cuisine et Bar

tion. If you’re there Nov. 15, stay for the 26th

modeled on St. Elisabeth’s Church in Marburg,

(1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.), where the cozy, yet

Annual Ice Spectacular at The Galleria, which

Germany—the country’s oldest Gothic church. St.

glam, farmhouse feel adds to the French dining

also marks the lighting of its 55-foot Christmas

Martin’s bells have a story, too. They were cast by


tree. The big red guy will also be at the Uptown

the same company that produced the Liberty Bell.

For a nightcap, consider the Tasting Room

Houston Holiday Lighting Thanksgiving evening.

a 7,000 watt beacon across the night sky. Another building worth a visit is St. Martin’s

Although landscape photographer Peter


(1101-18 Uptown ParkBlvd.) and its 150-bottle wine

Revel in the music and fireworks at this free

Lik’s work is in the Smithsonian, you can enjoy

list. Spend $15 a bottle up to $1,000 and kick back

event and take in the Christmas bling of more

it inside The Galleria, too, at Peter Lik Fine Art

with some live music while you’re at it. When

than a half million lights on 80 trees. To work off

Gallery (50825 Westheimer, Ste B2896). Some of

you go to the French Riviera Bakery & Café

that turkey, or just to do something active with

Lik’s one-of-a-kind pieces go for as much as $5

(3100 Chimney Rock Road, Ste B), don’t leave

your family, TXU’s Turkey Trot, featuring a 5K, 10K

million, but there are also plenty at price points

without sampling their croissants, which get a

and kids run, is Nov. 27, starting at Dillard’s by

well below that. At Off the Wall Gallery (5015

lot of online love. If your sweet tooth isn’t sated

The Galleria. Gobble, gobble.

Westheimer), you can look and buy from a gal-

yet, grab a stool at Crave Cupcakes (1151 Uptown

Ready to be a karaoke king or queen? At

lery whose featured artists include big names

Park Blvd. #06), where they bake throughout the

Spotlight Karaoke (5901 Westheimer), the drinks

like Andy Warhol and Joan Miro. Look for a John

day to ensure maximum yumminess.

just make everyone extra talented.

Lennon exhibit there in mid-November.




Who’s Your Home Team? Support your college team— locally or on the road. BY STACY BARRY


hether itʼs the cheerleaders and the mascots, the memorable traditions, rituals and superstitions, or simply the thrill of a rivalry, there is something about college football that keeps alums waving the foam finger, and contributing big dollars, long after theyʼve graduated. In fact, the “big game” whips football fans into such a frenzy that watching it at home, alone, often will not do. Fortunately, Houston is pretty well situated for hitting a number of collegiate stadiums this football season. The Houston Cougars, Rice Owls and Texas Southern Tigers 22

bayou city m ag a z i n e

play in the shadow of our own downtown skyline, but footballloving alums of other universities can reach their home stadiums with a relative hop, skip and a jump. A&M, UT and Baylor are just around the proverbial corner, and superfans of LSU, SMU and TCU usually donʼt even blink before yelling “ROAD TRIP!” Texas Tech, OSU, OU—and beyond—are a little harder to reach. Thank goodness we have airports. In fact, private jet company Jet Linx reports they have a number of clients who do the college football roadtrip up right by taking to the air to follow their team. They see clients,

October/November 2014

often in small groups of seven or eight, fly to as many as five games per season. Many of the “local” universities such as Texas A&M, Texas Tech and TCU are big fliers—Texas A&M took the frequent flier honors last year as fans followed Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel on the field. Because Houston also has a big fan base for furtherflung colleges from Penn State to Florida, from Ohio State to UCLA, the high-flying road trip is almost a necessity. What if you just canʼt make the game, but still really want to watch it surrounded by others wearing the same colors and cheering the same cheers? An

official game watch function hosted by the Houston chapter of your university alumni association just might be the next best thing. Of course, active local alumni associations also sponsor events outside of football season, so you can find the right events for you, whether you’re there for the game, for the networking or just to stay in touch with fellow alumni. Most schools with major football programs host game watch events at hot local hangouts that make your team the home team for the night. The big game is on the big screen, the fight song is blaring and anywhere from 50 to several


The Houston Cougars have a gorgeous new stadium, and local Coog supporters are on campus in force. No matter which team you support, you’ll find local watch parties and events to keep you involved.


hundred fans (depending on the game) are hollering and highfiving just like in the stadium. A portion of proceeds from food and drink specials go back to your alumni group to fund scholarships for Houston grads heading off to your alma mater, so youʼre supporting your school in more ways than one. Many of this season’s biggest match-ups are yet to come, so check out a few local college game party spots. As always, game times and venues are subject to change, so check with your alumni group for details. UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

University of Houston alums are so excited about the new John O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium theyʼll be pawing for passes to games this year, but those without a ticket can still join other alums and fans at several downtown locations including Luckyʼs Pub, The Deck House Bar & Grill and BlackFinn American Grille. U of H superfans and alumni Brooks and Maricela Bassler hold big watch parties at their BB’s Cafe restaurants, including red beer for Cougar games. Cougar fans can find suburban watch locations as well.


The Houston chapter of the Texas Exes make up one of the largest alumni groups in the nation, and these local Longhorns hook ’em to Wakefield CrowBar to cheer on their team. The group will also hit the road en masse via bus

scan this page to get the goods for your watch party and make local alumni connections.

charter for the Oct. 11 Red River Showdown against OU in Dallas.

the goods

game-day gadgets


Texas A&M has so many local alums that there are two groups aimed at different Aggie demographics. The Houston A&M Club, Houstonʼs official alumni organization recognized by A&Mʼs Association of Former Students, hosts official game watch events at several locations around town, including Grub Burger Bar in The Woodlands, The Backyard Grill in Jersey Village and several downtown spots. The Howdy Club, aimed at recent graduates, gathers to gig ’em at Pub Fiction.

Today’s tailgaters have elevated the practice to an art form. These game-day gadgets make the most of tailgating and watch parties.

1. HEAT IT UP For great tailgating party a trusty grill is a must. The Weber Q 200 Portable Propane Gas Grill offers ample cooking space, push button ignition and folding work tables for prep work. $199. Tru-Lite Gas Products, 1903 Lawrence St (Houston Heights),


2. NOW THAT’S COLD Yeti coolers are known for keeping your stuff very cold for a very long time even on the the hottest days. And they’re fairly indestructible if bad play calling means you need something to kick. Available in a variety of sizes, colors and collegiate designs. $299. Berings, 3900 Bissonnet & 6102 Westheimer,,



Texas Tech Red Raider alums get their guns up at Hefleyʼs Sports Bar & Grill. This yearʼs annual pregame barbecue cookoff is set for Nov. 1 in the Hefleyʼs parking lot just prior to the game versus UT. Check the website for details and entry forms.

3. UNDER COVER Because comfort is key, make sure you have a good folding chair and the proper accoutrements for everchanging Texas weather. This collegiate tailgating tent shows pride and keeps you out of the elements. $129. Academy, various locations,



LSUʼs Houston Alumni Association is the largest LSU alumni chapter outside of Louisiana. After kicking off this season right here in Houston with a massive tailgating event and game against the Wisconsin Badgers at NRG Stadium, Tiger fans geaux to Christianʼs Tailgate to watch their games.


4. SEATING FOR ONE The Coleman Portable Deck Chair offers an oversized seat and convenient side table for snacks. And it folds easily. $49.99.

5. FOLLOW THE ACTION And because the whole point is to follow the football action, the fully automatic Tailgater® Portable HD TV System is a game changer. And you only have to pay during the months you use it. $499 including receiver.



embody t h e bayo u l if est y l e

32 IN FIVE Giving is blissful with our guide to buying extraordinary gifts. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL | OMAR MEJIA FOR FASHION HOUSTON




Take your turn on the red carpet at Fashion Houston.




Excuse to Spruce Usher in the season with simple touches that set the tone for family, festivities and fun.


he changing seasons and upcoming holiday festivities offer the perfect excuse to spruce up your home—and it doesn’t require a total redesign to pull it off. Simple, decorative touches—splashes of color change here and there, festive accessories, seasonal florals—make a big impact in freshening up your home and setting a cozy scene to prepare for the arrival of family and friends in the months ahead. Small touches like swapping out pillows in lightweight linens for lush throws in intense autumnal hues are super-simple changes to make. Inspired table settings punctuated by dramatic floral centerpieces also add personality and flair. Big impact visuals in such common areas as front porches, foyers, staircases and mantles can give your home a totally new feel, and rearranging furniture (or switching things out from room to room) can create a new feel that welcomes guests and sets the stage for entertaining. Three Houston-based design experts offer some simple, but striking tips for helping your home fall into the season.


Colorful accessories like these orange pillows can update a whole room.


bayou city m ag a z i n e

October/November 2014


A Splash of Color

As the weather cools off outside, well-chosen colors warm up your home inside. Rich shades of red, brown and orange conjure up images of pumpkins, harvests and changing leaves—things that inspire our fall design scheme. Vibrant shades of orange have been everywhere all year and remain on trend for the coming season. That’s because it’s a feel-good color, says Beverly Vosko, owner of Beverly Vosko Interiors and Remodeling in Houston. “Orange is a combination of the cheerfulness of yellow and the physical energy and stimulation of red,” she says. “It’s extroverted, uninhibited and it radiates warmth, happiness and energy.” Vosko, who also teaches a continuing education class on color theory, believes colors


scan this page with Layar to see more sprucing.

can very much set and affect moods. Some colors are soothing and calming, some not so much. “Because orange is optimistic and uplifting, it’s a color that can rejuvenate the spirit and spice things up,” she says. Adding orange accessories in with your fall décor is a definite sprucer-upper, and goes way beyond pumpkins and florals. Vases, pillows, throws and other decorative accents can help sprinkle the color—and the spirit—throughout your home.

Above: Metallics combine with silk orchids from Creative Branch to add an unexpected sparkle for the change of seasons. Left: High-quality decorations and coordinating details, such as these from Eklektik Interiors, are arranged to make a big impact.


A Grand Statement

If there’s ever a time to go all out with seasonal decorations, it’s December—a statement designer Kathy Anderson of Eklektik Interiors fully believes. “It’s such a festive time of year. You should take advantage of this and decorate up big,” says Anderson, adding that the holidays are no time to be subtle.

The most important element, according to Anderson, is using quality holiday decorations. “There is a huge difference in quality with various manufacturers, so make sure what you’re buying is high quality,” she says. “It may be a bit more expensive, but it makes a huge difference in the overall look of your holiday décor. And the decorations will almost certainly last longer.” Anderson suggests coordinating your décor, including such things as ribbons, colors and garlands from room to room to create a pleasing visual flow. And, again, don’t be afraid to go big. Anderson adds that accessories, such as holiday pillows, collectible Santas or religious figurines, and other fun items make your rooms more interesting.

Elements of Surprise As the creative force behind artVIA, Ariana Smetana is known for skillfully infusing modern elements with traditional styles to create timeless, yet fresh designs. This season, along with commonly used fall colors and décor, she suggests throwing in the unexpected to create a fun, eclectic feel. “We should not be afraid to mix metallics like gold, silver, brass and copper with fabrics, candles and other accessories,” she says. “Another direction may be to add tablecloths and napkins in dusty pale colors of blue or pinks instead of reds and greens. Or add pops of fuchsia or peacock blue mixed with gray décor elements and furniture.” While these colors are not traditionally associated with the holiday season, they are shiny and festive, and “so popular right now,” says Smetana. Floral arrangements also offer additional ways to surprise. “I love to use fresh flowers—asters, bittersweet, cosmos, dahlias—but I also like to mix in bare, dry branches to signify fall, and then add a favorite color by spray painting them in metallics or another bright new pop of color.”




Get the Fashion, Houston While most fashion shows are designed for buyers and media, Fashion Houston is designed for you. BY JESSICA MEBANE

The Houston crowd takes photos and video as Neal Hamil models walk the runway at Fashion Houston 2013.


New York Fashion Week (that was September); think closer, friendlier and full of Bayou City panache. Fashion Houston’s fifth annual week of fashion shows and events is upon us this Nov. 18-21, sponsored by Audi, and appropriately accessorized with the longest red carpet anywhere in Houston. For four nights, one can sip a refreshing glass of wine or champagne while enjoying a look at the styles local designers, legendary The model is wearing Rolando Santana, one of the designers planned for Fashion Houston 2014.

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

fashion houses and up-andcoming new talent are unveiling. Enjoy the people-watching bonanza, too, as the glamorous, eclectic H-town crowd, decked out in their best, warmly receives the new collections parading down the gleaming white runway installed at Wortham Center. We’ve got a few insider tips, tricks and trunk shows to help you make the most of this fabulously fashionable and uniquely Houstonian take on haute couture.


We asked Jared Lang, founder of Fashion Houston, just how this unabashedly hometownproud, yet decidedly designercentered showcase has evolved over the years. “We’ve been very fortunate from the start to have support from great partners like Tootsies, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and it’s grown in recent years to include local retailers such as Elizabeth Anthony and Sloan Hall,” says Lang. Don’t expect just a rehash of New York’s fashion week, however, Lang says. “Basically, the difference between this show and fashion shows of L.A., New York or Milan is that while those



re you into fashion? Did you pore over every glossy image inside the 856 pages of Vogue’s legendary (and hefty) September issue? Does the thought of seeing someone at the airport in “college chic” pajama wear crush your soul just a wee bit? Do you list the head sales associate at Tootsies as your emergency contact or rearrange your shoe closet quarterly? If so, you might be a fashion warrior, and we salute you. More than that, we want to celebrate your quest for au courant clothing in all its incarnations, and strongly advise you to get a ticket to the big show in November—no, not

r e t l A . o g e Your

+ Scan with Layar to find the best Fall fashions at River Oaks Shopping Center

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“Everyone has really embraced [Fashion Houston] as something unique to Houston.” shows are mainly for buyers and media, our show is really for the consumer; we’re bringing a level and quality of production to the public, which is usually reserved for fashion reality TV shows, and everyone has really embraced it as something unique to Houston.” Lang says he’s excited to support the blossoming of fashion in Houston. Part of that support includes reaching out to fashion education in the city. Fashion students from across town will attend the show and participate as interns, supporting everything from the development stages to website, creative, backstage and front of house activities. Fashion Houston also supports the Little Black Dress Designer competition (page 58), and will showcase their designers and designs on the runway. Each night of the show, Fashion Houston producers plan to highlight from four to

Shoe designer and Houston fashionista Joyce Echols walks the red carpet at Fashion Houston 2013. You, too, can walk the red carpet at Fashion Houston 2014.


five designers. Designers committed for 2014 include Bibhu Mohapatra, Fabrice Tardieu, Grungy Gentleman, Little Black Dress Designer, MCL, Naeem Khan, Poshak, Rebecca Minkoff, Rene Ruiz, Rolando Santana, Rubin Singer, TIBI and Valentina Kova. Hometown designers Chloe Dao, David Peck and Jonathan Blake round out the list of fashion icons. YOUR FASHION STATEMENT

So you’ve bought a ticket to the show; now comes choosing the perfect outfit to debut on the red carpet. Local image adviser Sarah Shah encourages attendees to “go for it, because you can’t go wrong except by wearing something that’s too conservative or humdrum.” Feel free to wear your favorite designer the night he or she presents their collection. However, don’t feel expensive designer clothes are the only way to go. Says Shah, “Better that you should start with something you love, and make that look work for you.” In addition to enticing top design talent, Fashion Houston sets up a celebrity red carpet for you to walk. Come prepared to channel your inner fashionista and wear your best smile for the cameras. Shah confirms, “This is a high visibility event which means photography, so make sure whatever you choose photographs beautifully with good coverage.” In the end, she says, “Be authentic to who you are.”

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


scan this page with Layar to see a Fashion Houston preview and to buy your tickets to the show.


After the runway show, designers present the best of their collections during daytime trunk shows held by local retailers. “You’ll have a chance to check out the designers’ trunk shows around town, and get a closer look at favorite pieces from the collection,” Lang says. These trunk shows will be your opportunity to try and buy or order your favorite looks. This year Tootsies presents Naeem Khan’s spring/summer 2015 collection at a trunk show that promises to dazzle the eye with brilliant blue hues, sexy short sets and intricate embellishments figured upon some of the most sumptuous, handmade dress fabrics available. If millennial chic is more your style, then Neiman’s trunk show with Rebecca Minkoff is a must. Do plan to stop by Elizabeth Anthony to enjoy Rubin Singer’s many pieces of modern elegance, which celebrate empowered, sexy women (like Houston’s own Beyonce, who prowled her way into Superbowl halftime history last year, wearing his meticulously designed, moto-inspired, leather and lace bodysuit). You probably don’t need a new leather bodysuit, but trunk shows are about finding livable pieces for your world, so look for one of your favorite designers showing their best looks somewhere in town during this special moment in Houston fashion.

designers the list If you’re planning to attend Fashion Houston, here is the list of designers so you can pick your night. (Subject to change; see fashionhouston. net for updates.) Tuesday, Nov. 18 Grungy Gentleman Jonathan Blake TIBI Little Black Dress Designer Sameera Faridi Wednesday, Nov. 19 Naeem Khan Rubin Singer Rene Ruiz Matthew Campbell Laurenza Thursday, Nov. 20 Rebecca Minkoff Rolando Santana Chloe Dao Bibhu Mohapatra Friday, Nov. 21 Fabrice Tardieu David Peck, Valentina Kova Rami Salamoun



photo courtesy of Sachajuan

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Find Gifting Bliss

must-have wine accessories. Veteran shopper and fashionista Lisa Buss clicks on KB Kasuals (2015 W. Gray St., for “great designer duds at reasonable prices.” Another don’t miss is The Little Bird (1735 Post Oak Blvd.,, where high-end consignment is the name of the game.

Galleria, with its 400 stores. Check their Black Friday web page to get the skinny on the earliest you can head over. There will also be complimentary package check and valet parking at five Galleria locations. For more local fun, Heights on 19th Street will host a “Not So Black Friday” event. Stroll, browse and buy along this happening street. M Penner (1180-06 Uptown Park Blvd.) in Uptown Park incorporates a philanthropic approach to Black Friday with its fourth annual “Show Your Hearts Friday,” where 10 percent of the day’s purchases benefit the Houston Food Bank. If you are a closet comic book fan, or know one, let the Pop Culture Company (11313 Katy Freeway) be your hookup. Other mom and pop shops really roll out the red carpet on Small Business Saturday. Check out Hello, Lucky (1025 Studewood St.).



Shop with our simple guide to extraordinary gift giving. BY BETSY DENSON


othing is more satisfying the finding the perfect gift. As we enter this holiday season, elevate your gift-giving image with enticing gifts for family, friends and colleagues. We’ve curated five perfect gift types that will do just that.



Let’s face it, no gift selection is more comprehensive that of the world wide web. And, there’s no arguing you can cover a lot of ground on your computer with the added benefit of staying in bed. Biscuit (1435 Westheimer Road, is just the ticket for comfy, fashionable bedding as well as stationery, kids’ items and more. Although they have a lot of tools, Berings (6102 Westheimer, 3900 Bissonnet, also has plenty else that you might not expect, including unique collectibles and 32


When can you buy the best of luxury and lifestyle brands from Disney to diamonds, all on sale? Black Friday, of course. And, no one does Black Friday like The

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


If you are a foodie with foodie friends, the perfect gift is anything that tastes amazing. While you are picking up a few dozen homemade pork or chicken tamales for friends

from Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen (12637 Westheimer Road #140), go ahead and grab some for yourself. They’re only $15 per dozen but need to be preordered. Sylvia Casares will also be passing on her tamale talents at several classes in November and December. In November and December at Adair Kitchen (5161 San Felipe, Ste. 390), they’re serving up their homemade Pecan Pumpkin Pie, $29.95 plus tax, boxed and ready to give (or ready to eat yourself). If dairy is your weakness, Houston Dairymaids (2201 Airline Dr.) has a cheese of the month club featuring two handmade Dairymaid cheeses plus one selected accompaniment every month, available in 3- or 6-month subscriptions. Along the same vein, Spec’s (2410 Smith St.) offers several options including a monthly or bimonthly wine of the month club as well as a one-time wine appreciation kit.



If you are a doer, no doubt you have a lot of ideas about experience-based gifts. If you need a little help, browse the



+ 4

scan this page with Layar to find these spots and get these great gifts.

get the gear gracious gifts Need even more inspiration to shop ’till you drop? Get this gear to give…or keep.



offerings at Cloud 9 Living ( and Excitations ( which both offer a variety of options in and around the Houston area, including flight time in an actual fighter plane and breakfast on the bayou for 12. At the Four Seasons Hotel (1300 Lamar St.), they make it easy to combine a staycation with some local adventures. They’re partnering with the Houston Museum of Fine Arts for a Monet package and have an ongoing Little Astronaut family package with Space Center Houston. Your honey may never join the PGA or LPGA, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t work on their game. At Swanson Golf Center (6224 Theall Road), you can sign someone up for a single lesson, or ongoing instruction at “the best practice facility” for golf, according to the Houston Chronicle. Gourmands would salivate over a Houston Culinary Tour (, which even offers a Walking Food Tour so you don’t have to count as many calories. For the thrill seeker, a skydiving excursion at Skydive Spaceland (16111 FM 521, Rosharon) could be just the ticket.



If the thought of giving a duplicate gift saps your holiday cheer, make a beeline for the First Saturday Arts Market (548 W 19th St.), which is held, yes, the first Saturday of each month and features scores of local artists with original work. It’s a fun scene, too. Score more one-of-a-kind art, jewelry and clothing at the Winter Holiday Art Market, hosted by Fresh Arts at Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter St.). If you can’t find the perfect gift at Kuhl-Linscomb (2424 W Alabama St.), then you’re not looking hard enough. With five buildings and 70,000 square feet of merchandise, believe me, you’re set. For baby goods, jewelry and really fun gift wrapping, visit Impromptu (2358 Bissonnet). At Sparrow and the Nest (1020 Studewood), Stephanie Lienhard and husband Andrew represent local artists working in a variety of mediums. Lienhard’s homemade soaps, monster dish towels and mini creature gardens are as charming as they are unique.

DRESS YOUR BED If Laura Ingalls Wilder had this on her bed, she’d have been one happy prairie dweller. Biscuit’s hand-quilted Tabitha Quilts, which come in blue and green, are reversible and timeless. Put them on a bed or sofa, or display one on the wall. They’re that pretty. $225-$250. 1435 Westheimer. CHEESE ME, PLEASE Houston Dairymaids offers the Domestic Bliss package—“the perfect cheese course with delicious accompaniments”—with Brie, Gouda, Cheddar, sour cherry preserves and more. Everything is packaged in a wooden cheese box, made in Texas of course. $110 without extras. 2201 Airline Dr. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT Reserve a tandem skydive for an adventurous friend (tandem means an instructor will dive with them) at Skydive Spaceland. Father Clint Ressler, the Houston Texans chaplain, recently took the plunge and said that there was plenty of attention to safety and adrenaline to spare. $315 with a base video. 16111 FM 521, Rosharon. OPERATION GLAM Want to give a gorgeous gal-pal (or yourself) something glam for holiday parties? Try this canary yellow Christian Dior Halter Dress? Tweet tweet. $895. 1735 Post Oak Blvd. TEXAS PROUD Artist and Hello, Lucky owner Teresa O’Connor is proud to be from Texas and to support local artists. Give a pal with H-town pride this “You Are Here, Houston, Texas” unisex tank top. When buying for ladies, go down a size to get the best fit. $32. 1025 Studewood.



Houston’s performing arts scene is one of the hottest in the U.S. Here’s an insider look at why it works and how to be part of it.


by holly beretto


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

s you’re reading this, all over Houston, a small army of actors, designers, directors, singers and dancers are building sets, checking light and sound cues, maybe even on stage at this very minute, in any one of dozens of stage performances happening this month. They—and in many cases, you—are part of what makes Houston’s performing arts scene so vibrant. More than 50 theater groups, dance troupes, puppeteers, performance artists and other companies, large and small, exist in Houston. They account for $626 million dollars in economic development for the Bayou City every year, and afford those who love the arts priceless opportunities for participation: as audience members, performers, patrons and volunteers, all adding to the dynamic diversity of our city.

CURTAIN UP “I think a lot of what helps arts groups thrive in Houston is the city’s corporate culture,” says John Breckenridge, executive director of Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). “We have so many Fortune 500 headquarters here, and they employ people from all over the country, and those people want culture. They want the arts.” And it’s true that the Energy Capital of the World has a long association of supporting the arts. Consider this: Houston is one of the only major cities outside New York City that has resident companies in ballet, classical orchestra, opera and the theater. Public and private efforts built the Wortham Theater Center, home to Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet, in the middle of Houston’s oil bust. Miller Outdoor Theatre, with its nearly 100 free performances every year in its inviting outdoor space in Hermann Park, has been part of the city’s fabric for more than 90 years. Beyond the downtown Theater District, dozens of smaller stages thrive. “Theater in Houston is alive outside downtown,” says Rebecca Greene Udden, executive artistic director of Main Street Theater, which started performances nearly 40 years ago and is about to undergo a massive renovation of its Rice Village location. “And there is a kind of critical mass happening right in Houston. We have so many talented artists, both coming out of the University of Houston or Sam Houston State University programs, and with actors and designers who have been working for decades in the city, and talent attracts talent.” In addition to talent being its own magnet, another key component for Houston’s thriving performing arts scene is something embedded in Houston’s image of itself: diversity. In Houston, the idea of diversity is much more than a marketing point. No major ethnicity is a majority here, meaning there are multiple demographic groups who add their voices and experience to the never-ending saga of our city. “The city is so richly diverse, wherever you go,” says Kenn McLaughlin, artistic director for Stages Repertory Theatre. “That creates energy, curiosity and interest. Couple that energy with Houston’s sense of its own promise and it becomes a flash pot. Exciting things happen here.”


Here’s just some of what’s taking place in October and November.

PEACE IN OUR TIME Through Oct. 19


DRACULA Oct. 8–Nov. 2


MARIE ANTOINETTE Stages Repertory Theatre Oct. 8–Nov. 2


RED DEATH Oct. 9–Oct. 25


“We bring in programming that augments what’s already on offer in the city,” says June Christensen, artistic director for Society for the Performing Arts, an umbrella organization that offers chamber orchestras, dance groups, lectures and other performance artists’ work at both Jones Hall and the Wortham Theater Center. With performers from around the world, SPA’s work reflects Houston itself. “We feel our creative programming directly mirrors the cultural fabric of the city.” “Houston is the wonderful gumbo,” agrees Eileen J. Morris, artistic director for the Ensemble Theatre. “There are different hues of people, different stories.” Preserving a certain segment of those stories is part of Morris’ theater’s mission. The Ensemble was founded nearly 40 years ago to promote and preserve the African-American experience. While that is something that is always at the core of its programming, Morris says that as the city has changed, so has the theater’s programming. Where every show of every season might once have featured only African-American artists, now actors of different hues are seen on its stage in various productions. “We tell stories from the African-American perspective,” she emphasizes, “but the themes our shows discuss—social justice, family—those affect everyone.” Compelling stories are what bring audiences into the halls. Whether it’s the ringing crescendo of a Mozart masterpiece or a gut-wrenching dramatic scene or breathtaking pas de deux, performing arts groups seek to make audiences feel. “With ballet, it’s up to you to make up the story,” says Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch, offering the advice his mother gave him before he saw one of his first performances. “It’s like looking at a painting. You’re not wrong in what you think or what you feel. You’re there with your emotions, your joy, your sorrow, which can affect you profoundly.”

SUPPORTING ROLE Funding has a profound impact on the city’s performing arts. Unlike other countries, American arts groups don’t receive federal funding as part of their budgets, meaning they rely on grants and donations to keep their doors open and their lights on—and to extend their reach. Across Houston over the next year, A.D. Players is breaking ground on a new building; Main Street Theater is renovating its space; Stages will own its Allen Parkway locale and launch a capital campaign in early 2015; and the Alley Theatre is performing its 2014-2015 season at the University


of Houston because of the major renovations taking place in its building downtown. “The Alley is a great building, but it has not had a major renovation since it opened in 1968,” says Gregory Boyd, artistic director of the Alley. “During that time there has been a great transformation in the technology of theater, and in the way we produce plays.” The theater’s $46.5 million renovation is part of a $73 million capital campaign and will include updating all theatrical systems with state-of-the-art equipment, substantially improving the patron’s experience. Funding will also pay to renovate the existing Alley Theatre building, including the Hubbard Stage and lobbies, clean the concrete building exterior and create a more energy-efficient building. Boyd continues to explain how the renovation will revolutionize the Alley’s productions. “It’s exciting to bring the theater into the absolute leading edge of technology, of making the actor-audience relationship, already an intimate one at the Alley, into something even more focused and thrilling, and to increase the number and breadth of performances we can offer—especially to increase the number of productions of new plays we can produce. The old building was not easy to produce in, to change over from production to production, and that limited the sort of work we could put on the Hubbard Stage (the larger of our two stages). Now we can work within the calendar in a much more creative way, and that means new plays can be done on either of our stages much more effectively. It’s a huge evolutionary step for a great institution, and the audiences will be absolutely astonished, I think, by what we can do.” The Theater District itself is getting ready to launch a new master plan, and there’s an important new space that’s taking shape just outside its boundaries: The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH) is a $25 million project that will provide performance space to a number of the city’s arts groups. “So many artists work in substandard spaces,” explains Emily Todd, president of the MATCH board. “They are out of the way, cramped, very DIY. MATCH will provide those groups with stage space, and because of the $500,000 we’re receiving annually from funding though the City of Houston and Houston First, we can offer reasonable rental fees.” Both Kim Tobin, the artistic director of Stark Naked Theatre Company and Jennifer Decker, artistic director of Mildred’s Umbrella understand the need for space. They had been somewhat nomadic with their performing arts companies, until they pooled their resources to rent a space in Spring Street Studios. 36

bayou city m ag a z i ne October/November 2014

OTELLO Houston Grand Opera Oct. 24–Nov. 7




COSI FAN TUTTE Oct. 31–Nov. 15




“We leased the space together,” says Tobin. Even though their companies are separate, they share the 100-seat theater. “And it’s helped to put both of us on the map.” Something else that’s helped them both is being part of the Houston Arts Alliance Incubator program, which provides them with an office in the HAA building, as well as grants and guidance on how to operate their companies. Both have been heading up performance troupes for more than a decade, but having HAA as a supporter and adviser is a huge help. In addition to the funding the Houston Arts Alliance provides, Perryn Leech, managing director of Houston Grand Opera, points out that Houston’s financial support for the arts is long and deep. “Houston is a city that was blessed with truly outstanding civic leadership by the families whose names are now so familiar to us: Brown, Wortham and Cullen. The Foundations that they founded have supported the arts organizations through thick and thin and allowed them to flourish,” he notes. There is also an array of funding from individuals, which helps companies augment the big-dollar donations by foundations and corporations. “I give because I believe in the mission of the organization and because nonprofits need our support,” says Terrilyn Neale, president of the University of Houston Foundation and a Houston Grand Opera donor since 1966. “Opera fills a hole in my life; it’s stimulating and challenging and I love how it is the combination of visual and performing arts. We can’t underestimate the cost associated for these companies to create their art.” And not every company receives funding from large corporations. Both Tobin and Decker point out that their companies are small, meaning they fly under the radar of Fortune 500 company donors, which give to Houston’s larger performing arts companies. It’s a scenario familiar to Joe Kirkendall. Known to Houston theater patrons as an actor, Kirkendall is now heading up Main Street Theater’s capital campaign, which looks to raise $3 million. “Main Street has always been a very bootstraps organization,” he says. “I’m not sure any of our individual donors have given more than $10,000 at a time. But our building hasn’t changed physically in 15 years, so we’ve had to look differently at how we raise money.” He says thus far the campaign has been a success. “So many people have stepped up,” he says. “Our project is small compared to some others, but it means big things for what we can do.”

BREAK A LEG “Houston is deceptively lucrative,” says David Wald, a full-time actor who makes his home in Houston. Reared in Houston, he moved away in high school, then “bounced around” through college and his professional life, returning to the Bayou City in 2004. He’s acted in productions with Stages, Main Street, Classical Theatre Company, TUTS and Back Porch Players. In addition to doing theater work, he also acts in


scan this page with Layar to see an interactive map of a few of Houston’s performing arts options.

Theatre Under the Stars brings musical theater to Houston, through both national tours and new Broadway productions, including “Kinky Boots” (coming Feb. 10-22, 2015).




Houston’s performing arts companies offer compelling stories that make audiences feel and react. “The arts nourish the soul,” says Stages artistic director Kenn McLaughlin.


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

scan this page with Layar to see more of Houston’s performing arts companies.

industrial videos and does voice-over work in anime. “I’ve been very fortunate working in theater and anime. I’ve remained steadily employed.” Melody Mennite, a principle dancer with Houston Ballet, is also working full time at her craft. She’s achieved the highest rank a dancer can attain with the Ballet, and notes that Houston Ballet is unique among its fellow arts institutions. “We’re contracted for 44 weeks,” she says. “And in those weeks, we’re dancing five, six days a week, between rehearsals and performances and warm-ups.” She’s been with the company for 14 years and, while she’s done some guest artist work with companies around the country, she calls the Ballet “a very, very full-time job.” Mennite says that the Ballet’s stability as an organization and the city’s cost of living make it a terrific place to practice her craft. Even actors who supplement their income doing something else agree that Houston is a great place to live and work. But many point out that life as a working performer is a challenge. “Virtually everyone I know does something else in addition to acting or working to get their company off the ground,” says Decker. One of those doing “something else” is Anthony BoggessGlover, who works by day as an employment counselor and has acted for The Ensemble, HGO, TUTS and Main Street. “As an artist, I enjoy doing this,” he says. “It’s something special to make people feel good and I have been blessed to be able to do two or three shows a year.” Others perform because it’s what they love. Take Tamara Siler, who is a senior associate director of admissions at Rice University, and last season received rave reviews in Stages’ production of “Xanadu.” “I love the creativity and teamwork of the admissions process,” she says of her day job. “We’re coming together to create something special and larger than ourselves, the incoming class. With theater, it’s the same thing. There’s such a joy of performing with all these talented, creative people.” That sentiment is shared by Dr. Joe Anzaldua, a family practitioner who sings baritone with the Houston Symphony’s chorus. He’s played piano since he was 7, and took singing lessons to enhance his understanding of music. He was disbelieving when his vocal coach suggested he audition for the chorus. The volunteer group sings in several concerts each year. The creative outlet it provides is worth the time juggling it takes. “After singing with them for 13 years, I have my schedule pretty well down. Every Tuesday night is dedicated to rehearsal,” he says, conceding that performance weeks include additional practices with piano and orchestra. “I try to sign up for every performance that requires the chorus,” he says, citing the Verdi “Requiem” and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” as favorites. Paul Joseph Serna sings in a chorus as well. His work, however, is not volunteer; he’s a chorister with the HGO chorus, a paid contract position with the company. When he’s not singing, he runs his own computer consulting business.









“This feeds me artistically,” says the tenor who has voice performance degrees from both Boston University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. “We have singers in the chorus who do this because they love it, and some who do it for supplemental income. And even though there’s a lot expected of us as a non-volunteer chorus, it’s a lot of fun.” If you’re looking for the same kind of fun, auditions for these companies—and many community theater and community choruses—are one way to get your foot in the door. At an audition, you’ll be expected to sing, likely demonstrate that you can sight read and offer up evidence of your acting chops. But, says Siler, being a performer isn’t the only way to have the arts in your life. “So many performing arts boards, especially smaller companies, can use your volunteer skills. When I served on arts boards, I always appreciated those who had a business or legal perspective. And serving on one is a great way to give of your talent.” Stages’ McLaughlin says he’ll happily accept your volunteer skills as an usher, or “I have a pile of scripts that need to be catalogued—there are piles of them all over my office.” He laughs. “Seriously, if you have a skill and you want to give to an arts organization, call and talk to someone. There’s likely a place for you and your talent.”

CURTAIN CALL “One of the things that sets Houston’s performing arts scene apart from other cities is the generosity of its citizens,” says Mark Hanson, CEO of the Houston Symphony. “Donors big and small, and audiences, support the preservation of a variety of arts forms in ways that really don’t exist in other places.” All of those who contribute to creating the arts in Houston see it as a gift given and received. The time and talents of performers and designers manifest in productions that dazzle, invite contemplation and bring joy. Those who are part of these organizations cite their own roots to the city. “This is how I give back to my roots,” says Karen Stokes, native Houstonian and artistic director for Karen Stokes Dance, a contemporary company that’s been in the Bayou City since 1998. “This is an active, diverse city, and contemporary dance is able to represent that and provide a realistic look at slices of life.” Stages’ McLaughlin sums it up: “The arts nourish the soul. They help create empathy in people, and expand our humanity. People ask all the time, why we should give to the arts, why we should care? And we should ask those questions. But the arts are about humanity. And shouldn’t we invest in humanity? That’s a hell of a great investment.”





Julia Anderson Frankel breaks rules and pursues her passions to move the city forward. by bruce farr | photography by micah bickham Shot on location at Jones Hall, Cullen Sculpture Garden and Tony’s.


ight about now, if someone’s planning to ring up Julia Anderson Frankel for her usually tireless help with a Houston charity or philanthropic project, they might be disappointed. Frankel, a city luminary and a stalwart of its philanthropic scene for many decades, is, as she herself describes it, “taking a hiatus.” She and her husband, Russell, happen to be building a new house. And like nearly everything else Frankel has turned her enormous talent and energy to over the past 40 years, she’s giving it her all. This time, though, it’s something she’s doing strictly for herself. And who would begrudge her? A glance at Frankel’s curriculum vitae reveals a nearly lifelong devotion to Houston’s welfare: its music, its art and fashion, its education and health care—there’s almost no facet of what can make a great city greater left untouched by Julia Anderson Frankel’s deft hand. But far from acting the lofty role of cultural doyenne to the city—a role she most certainly has earned—Frankel, in conversation as in life, is unexpectedly candid and refreshingly down-toearth. Frank and funny, and even a bit edgy sometimes, she’s not your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety philanthropic icon. What she is, at the moment, is a surprisingly honest assessor of what more than 40 years of helping to lift up Houston has been like. And one thing is for certain—she’s not afraid to tell it like it was. COMING UP COTTON

A third-generation Houstonian and the youngest among her three siblings, Frankel says she learned to hone her very public, socialminded persona through the years at Anderson family gatherings, at which there typically might be 100 or more family and friends. The Andersons, as most Houstonians should be aware, were not content to linger on the sidelines of nearly anything to do with the city and its betterment. Julia’s great uncle, Monroe Dunaway Anderson, was founder of the Anderson family business, the historic cotton exchange called Anderson, Clayton and Company. Uncle M.D. then went on (through his charitable foundation) to fund nothing less than the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Frankel’s father, W. Leland Anderson, was for 30 years the president of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, and her mother, Essemena, served as a lifetime member of the St. Joseph Medical Center, now the Christus Foundation. Following college in New York, Frankel says she was cajoled back to Houston by her mother. Once home, she recalls that she inched more or less sideways into what was to become her lifelong passion, philanthropy and charity work, and that, if anything, it was mostly “accidental.” “When I got back to Houston in 1969, there was a lunch counter in a pharmacy out in Tanglewood,” she recollects. “I would go in there and sit on one of the stools and fantasize that I was still in New York. 42

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So I looked for any public organization I could find that maybe wasn’t associated with my family, just to give myself that refreshing change. I looked for where the energy was in the city, and I went to it.” The source of that early 1970s energy in Houston, as Frankel describes it, was in two places: the Museum of Fine Arts and the Houston Symphony. Those twin pillars of city culture—along with health care and education—would become lifelong recipients of Frankel’s inexhaustible work and support. WORKING THE “20-DOLLAR CARDS”

Philanthropy in Houston, or perhaps in any big city, might—to the uninitiated—seem like one glamorous, glittering ball after another. But the reality, in Frankel’s experience, was far different. “At the time, [the type of] philanthropy available to someone like me in my early 20s was to work the ‘20-dollar cards,’” she says, referring to the standard charitable donation form of the day. “I learned to cold call and it never bothered me. I had a job to do and I was going to do it, and I became very good at it.” A part of her fundraising savvy came from having worked for a time in the retail business, for the Sakowitz Brothers department store. “When the oil embargo occurred in 1974, I went to work…and

promoting the city’s arts “When I’ve supported some of the exhibitions that I supported, and I had the money to do it, it was kind of a ‘rush.’ When you say to yourself, ‘I believe in something,’ and you’ve got the money to make it a reality from a charitable or philanthropic standpoint— it ’s really a rush. Believe me, it beats going out and buying a several-thousand-dollar handbag.” I learned how to merchandise,” she recalls. “Because [my husband and I] had no children, that was another piece of the puzzle of me. You put a young woman in the early ’70s, without children and no prospect for places you into a different category—not Gloria Steinem, perhaps—but drop her into the South without children? Well then, that young woman is really looking for something to do.” Frankel’s élan got her involved in the Houston Symphony Ball in 1980, heading up the silent auction. “I just did a bang-up job,” she says, without a hint of bragging. “Word gets around, and before I knew it, I began to be asked to do things. They [the city’s leaders] knew that I was presentable-looking, they knew that I had good taste and they knew that I could give a party. But what they didn’t know at the time was that I could give a party and return to the charity extraordinary money.”


WHAT ADVICE WOULD SHE OFFER ASPIRING YOUNG HOUSTONIANS INTERESTED IN PHILANTHROPY? “Come up with a different formula that doesn’t require people to go out and drink bad whiskey and bad wine and eat variations of chicken ad infintum. Use some creativity. The hospitals are already doing this—events of shorter duration, maybe a cocktail reception, and then they send a letter asking for donations. It’s entirely different from what you think of the glittering opera balls of Houston. Yes, the more glittery events still do happen where the women— myself included—get their jewels out from the bank vaults that one time of year. But I only do it now if I’ve got a real reason to be there. I’m of the age now where I don’t have to be dressing up and going out simply to be dressing up and going out.”


HOW DOES SHE DESCRIBE HER OWN FASHION SENSE? “If I were to tell you the style that I would want to would be beautifully fitting, tailored clothes that are monochromatic and without a lot of fuss. Clothes that show a woman’s figure and are, in a phrase, simply elegant...Oh, and ladylike—I don’t want to dress like a boy.” “I had a mentor at Sakowitz [department store] who said that once the idea of comfort came into fashion, it was all lost. A young person wouldn’t understand that, but from a fashion history point of view, that would be a real true statement.”


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

Before long, the people that came asking began to multiply exponentially, and so did the causes. But, as Frankel discovered, moving in the philanthropic circles she moved in by virtue of her family name and reputation could be as confining as it was door-opening. “Houston, then, was stuck in rules, and you were judged by whether or not you followed the rules,” she admits. “If you didn’t, there was something wrong with you. And who set those rules? Probably someone’s southern grandmother. The discrimination I felt when I returned from New York came from nasty, social-ladder-climbing women. If you broke one of the rules, well, honey, you just couldn’t sit at the lunch table with them.” Apparently working within, through, around and over the rules has worked for Frankel. FASHION SENSE

As if music, the arts, education and health care haven’t been enough, Frankel has also cut a very distinctive swath through Houston’s budding fashion scene. When she returned from her years at school in New York, she says she had a sense of Houston being “stuck” in some weary fashion traditions that she says had no real basis for being respected any longer. “This whole business of

her hopes for houston’s future “I’d like to see its art institutions become more wellknown. Right now I’m enormously excited about the museums. I’d like the city’s reputation—instead of being a place of swamps and bayous—I’d like it to be known that there are sophisticated, intelligent, knowledgeable people who inhabit this city, people who actually like Houston. I’m a native of this city, and I like Houston.”

not wearing white after Labor Day—I mean that still lingers, and you just want to pull your hair out,” she says, adding, “What I see now is that an individual who has extraordinary style is able to be celebrated in Houston without being discriminated against. I think it’s a huge step forward.” The idea of fashion has never been far outside her mind’s eye, she says, and she’s worked hard to promote it in Houston. As the city began to flourish in so many other areas, Frankel says she began to wonder why fashion seemed to be missing from the mix. “I always felt that Houston had enormous potential for growth, and why couldn’t it be in fashion manufacturing as much as anything else?” she questioned. “I would always ask myself, why do we in Houston have to look to New York? There’s a subset of thinking here that to get the really good stuff, we have to go to New York. That it’s the ultimate market.”

In seasons past, Frankel has been noted for her own fashion sense and example. This year, she was honored by the city’s Little Black Dress Designer (LBDD) organization (page 58) for both her own fashion and for her tireless work to build scholarships and generate exposure for talented fashion design students. She’s grateful that city fashion seems to have taken on a life of its own. “You now see in Houston a variety of styles like you would see in any major city,” she affirms. STEPPING UP AND SHOWING UP

Helping to steer the city’s growth was, is and always will be a priority for Frankel. She’s hyper-aware that Houston is now ranked number four in the country in population, and she sees that as both an opportunity and a civic responsibility. “The growth is staggeringly rapid at the moment,” she notes. “The housing market is on fire. The Alley is a world-class theater and it’s raising money to give itself a facelift. [We have] a new symphony director from Columbia, Andrés Orozco-Estrada. And then we’ve got Gary Tinterow at the Museum of Fine Arts. I would like to see Houston live up to that growth.” As one with her unquestionably refined philanthropic pedigree, Frankel’s advice carries some weight. She encourages young, Houston civic-minded “movers and shakers” to simply roll up their sleeves and jump in. “For someone who wants to get involved as a volunteer in charities, I would go back to the Woody Allen quote that says, ‘Part of success is showing up,’” she says. “You just have to go out and do it. You have to get involved. If they say there’s going to be ‘X’ number of meetings—well then, show up at them, wear your name tag, put a smile on your face and introduce yourself.” But she’s quick to point out the distinction between volunteering for charitable events and being a bona fide “philanthropist.” “A philanthropist is in a whole different ‘bucket.’ I didn’t start out to be a philanthropist. I’m lucky in that I’m married to someone who was supportive of my involvement. If I’m a philanthropist, I’m half of one. The other half would be my husband.” She’s been around long enough to see some of her fondest wishes for Houston arts take root and blossom. The museum and the symphony in Houston are, in her words, “going gangbusters,” and garnering national reputations. But, on a certain level—her level— being a supporter of the city isn’t getting any easier. “I actually believe that at the time I was coming along it was simpler to do it with less money. The people who now decide they are going to move a city the size of Houston are going to have to have a combination of enormous creativity, people skills and money. The price of entry was less when I was doing it.” “If I were mentoring a young person today, I would tell them ‘Choose something that you’re passionate about and go in-depth—get deeply involved—if you want to help that organization,’” she advises. And, once she finishes work on her new home and can re-dedicate herself to her beloved Houston philanthropic causes and charities, what might she tackle next? “I’m not sure about that,” Frankel muses. “I don’t want to be put in a box of other people’s expectations. I would rather surprise people, playing jack-in-the-box. Surprise!”



bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


LITTLE BLACK D R ES S BAYOU CITY PRESENTS our ode to the little black dress—from its history to advice for choosing the perfect dress to the trends that will determine what you’re wearing tomorrow. by

libby ingrassia & becky davis photography by

cody bess

+ scan this page scan this page with Layar to see a behind-the-scenes video from the photo shoot.


“The little black dress must be luxurious, rich, sensual, diaphanous, exotic, severe, lush, demure, demanding, frivolous, amusing, and it must linger in memory, but above all, it must be simple and little and black.” —C A R O L I N A H E R R E R A 48

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

HEADED TO WORK? TOSS ON A BLAZER. HEADED TO A COCKTAIL PARTY? GRAB THOSE LOUBOUTIN HEELS AND THAT PERFUME. HEADED TO THE MUSEUM AND LUNCH WITH THE GIRLS? PULL ON SOME BOOTS AND A CARDI. WHAT’S BENEATH THOSE GLAM ACCESSORIES? WHY, THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS, OF COURSE. Why does it always work? Is it the color? The fabric? The silhouette? The simplicity? Perhaps, at its most successful, it is all of these. The little black dress, or LBD, is the woman’s quintessential piece of fashion—the piece that has become the go-to item for any occasion. Named one of the 50 dresses that changed the world by the Design Museum, the LBD has “become a genre in its own right.” As fans of this simple, elegant, must-have piece that is, in October, celebrating the 88th anniversary of its first appearance in Vogue, we had to share our admiration with a look back at the dress’s history, a look at the trends of today’s LBD and a glance at who’s designing the LBD of tomorrow.

The LBD may be de rigueur today, but it hasn’t been that many years ago that black was inappropriate for wear other than when in mourning or if you were clergy or in service in a great house, “below stairs.” In most of the 19th century, black clothing was worn symbolically for mourning—for years (or even decades). In 1926, however, no less a fashion icon than Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel offered a sketch of a short, simple black dress in the pages of Vogue magazine. Called by Vogue “Chanel’s Ford,” the dress was—like Ford’s Model T car—set to become the standard; it was appealing, accessible and available across social classes. Vogue also called the dress “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.” The dress was simple, allowed for movement and yet looked…complete. Put together. One of Chanel’s hallmarks was pauvre chic—bringing her style and fashion to the masses of women who had discovered their independence during the First World War. Vogue even suggested that for anyone with little money, “it’s marvelous to have the possibility of having one dress for the whole season, for the whole year, and be well dressed.” Of course, Chanel’s dress was not the first black dress, long or short, even in the pages of Vogue. John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X” painting was launched in 1884, to shock and some outrage at the display of décolletage and contradiction between mourning black and diamond straps. According to Amy Hofman Edelman in “The Little Black Dress,” the painting almost ruined Sargent’s career. A perusal of historic Vogue covers and the “In Vogue” illustrated history shows plenty of black before Chanel…but there was something about that moment of post-war, pre-war, post-flapper fashion that was inspired by Chanel’s simple and practical dress, shown with a string of plain pearls. In the decades since, the LBD has seen its hemlines go up and down; seen its shoulders go wide and soft; seen its neckline plunge and rise. With the Great Depression, the little black dress continued to be

Unraveling the history

the practical uniform, the staple of the closet for its color (not susceptible to dirt) and for its simple style (both women who had money and those who did not could dress it up or down and look their best). For many, it retained just enough connection to its mourning roots to symbolize both “sexiness and adulthood,” according to Ellen Melinkoff in “What We Wore.” In the 1930s, both day and evening dresses came in black. According to Edelman, Marlene Dietrich’s movie wardrobe influenced a masculine tailoring, and broad-shouldered little black dresses with white collar and cuffs that became popular for day. That was just one example, however; through the years, actresses on the big and little screens, artists and musicians of all stripes, added to the style and allure of the LBD, from Édith Piaf’s simple unadorned black dress to the short sheath dresses worn by the backup singers in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video. In the 1940s, the war forced fashion to the back seat, and the little black dress took center stage even for evening wear, thanks to fabric rationing and other austerity. When Christian Dior launched his “New Look” in 1947, the styles changed—tiny waist, padded hips, soft shoulders, full skirts. They looked wonderful in black and just begged for high heels and yards of fabric. In the prosperity of the 1950s, women were expected to be coiffed, manicured and perfected with accessories completing the look that started with the black dress with a wasp waist and wide skirt. In the 1954 “Sabrina” and the 1961 “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Audrey Hepburn wore some of the most iconic versions of the little black dress in Hubert de Givenchy’s designs. Edelman suggests that the dichotomy of the 1960s was borne out in its LBDs, from the extreme mini to the simple black sheath. Similar things happened during the “grunge” period of the 1990s, when a simple dress might be paired with strappy sandals or Doc Marten boots. The 1980s brought both glamor and casual knits. Regardless of what its hemline or neckline did over the decades, the little black dress remained ubiquitous, necessary and beautiful. “You can wear black at any hour of day or night, at any age and for any occasion. A little black dress is the most essential thing in any woman’s wardrobe,” wrote Christian Dior in 1954.



bayou city m ag a z i ne October/November 2014

“When a little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear.” —É D I T H P I A F


Cutouts. Lace. Retro. Every designer interprets it; every trend makes its way in. As Didier Ludot points out in his book “The Little Black Dress Vintage Treasure” (which is an accompaniment to the collection of LBDs he has curated in his Paris store), “From Calvin Klein to Donna Karan, from Anne Demeulemeester to Josephus Thimister and Martin Margiela, from the Austrian Helmut Lange to the German Jil Sander, all the new big names in fashion tried to make the little black dress their own, in umpteen variations on their grunge and minimalist styles. Realizing that the dress had become a kind of obligatory initiation in the eyes of the press and fashion professionals, every one of them went ahead with their own exercise in style, with a sense of taking a crucial test in their careers.” With so many designers interpreting the dress in so many ways, with so many options, how can the dress also be timeless and classic? As Chanel said, “Fashion changes but style remains.” So, selecting our own little black dress should be about finding the right style for us. Beyond trends and current fashions, the beauty of the vast variety of little black dresses is that we are assured that we will find one—or two or three—that suit our styles and climate, our events and figures. Houston stylist Shelly Bishop offers the advice that because the LBD is so universal and attractive on most people that it should be viewed as an opportunity to wear what makes you feel beautiful. “Showcase your best features,” says Bishop. If your back is your best feature, Bishop advises, you can try something that has a more open back. Bishop also suggests keeping your events in mind. If you’re attending a lot of cocktail parties, that calls for a little more formality in your LBD. If you’ll wear your LBD during the day, or you’re more active, you might look for cotton or jersey fabric. Regardless, Bishop says, “Accessories play a big part. You can change it up with your shoes, your accessories, your bag.” It has been said that buying the LBD falls into two categories: buying the timeless classic version or buying the trend. And yet, as Didier Ludot writes, “The little black dress obeys no standards, resists every fad, is fashion incarnate.” So even when a trend influences the LBD, the critical feature is that it transcends the trendy, that it is simple, that it makes dressing for every event simple. So advice about buying the little black dress becomes the advice your grandmother might have given you about buying clothes in general: Find what flatters you and buy the best you can afford in a dress that fits you perfectly.

Selecting your LBD style


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“The little black dress is the true friend. You remember when you met her... what happened the first time you wore her... she travels with patient and go to her when you don’'t know where else to go and she is ALWAYS reliable and timeless.” —D I A N E V O N F U R S T E N B E R G



bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

What are you likely to find when you shop for a little black dress this season? Victor Delgado, the area manager for Gucci, says they curate little black dresses not only by exclusivity of designer and style, but also by silhouette—what shapes are popular in a particular market. The current shape and trend they’re carrying? Gucci creative director Frida Giannini’s current inspiration is a contemporary interpretation of ’60s-mod. Joseph Bostic, Gucci’s Galleria store manager, suggests that Gucci’s LBD styles are sophisticated and while they don’t push the envelope too much, the Gucci look is typically edgier and more durable. Delgado says that the LBD is always a staple at Gucci—and in every woman’s closet—because the dress acts like a blank slate on which to create the outfit. You can add accessories, take a virtual style vacation, as you design your look. Of course, Ann Mashburn, of Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn, suggests, “The fabric is really what sets an LBD apart.” The silhouette matters to Mashburn, too. “My personal favorite is a sleeveless shift à la ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (the true LBD if there ever was one).” “I have one [in my collection] in a great grosgrain with a square cutout at the armhole (a bit mod and super groovy) and then another one in a perfectly cut double-faced wool…a little heavier for colder weather and just about as luxe as it gets.” You can style it with color or simply, she says. “If you’re missing the color, you can make up for it with your lips or your shoes or your earrings (or sometimes a colorful personality is enough).” Women wear the LBD, according to Mashburn, to feel pretty. Regardless of a trend or styles in a particular area, women do, and should, feel pretty in the LBD. “You know it when you put it on and look like a slightly more gorgeous version of yourself,” Mashburn says. That’s when you’ve found the right one. “And simpler is always better when you’re picking a lifetime piece.” Paraphrasing Karl Lagerfeld, Mashburn promises, “You will never be under- or over-dressed if you show up in a little black dress— that’s the great thing about it. So it’s great for those times you don’t know quite what to wear.”

local styles & advice

FOR THE MEN Do men have an LBD equivalent? Something that can be dressed up or down, worn for any occasion? From a slim suit jacket to a perfect sweater, from the perfect white shirt to the tuxedo, stylists and designers have suggested many options. Perhaps the fact that there were so many answers is an answer in itself. But what does the gentleman wear when the woman goes for her LBD? Suit up. Perhaps not always a fully matched suit, but a well-cut, fitted shirt with dress trousers and a suit jacket. This ensemble offers all the style and all the flexibility of the blank slate that is the LBD. Need to dress it down? Switch out the jacket with a vest. Or select select a patterned shirt or an edgier jacket style. Dress it up? Go for the full black or charcoal suit; add a tie or a pocket square—or not. When she pushes the LBD to its limits, he can, too; pull the classic black tuxedo out and it’s a match. As with the LBD, the key is leaning toward the timeless with good quality in fabric, fitted perfectly.

“The little black dress takes us to parties, job interviews, weddings and funerals. We experience all of life's big events in the little black dress.” —NORMA KAMALI


GET THE LBD LOOK The little black dress can be interpreted widely, by adding prints, lace and even length. See how our stylist curated our looks from these local shops, clothiers and boutiques.




JOHN VARVATOS V neck sweater $298 at

CYNTHIA VINCENT Long sleeve slit dress

RYE 51


RYE 51 linen dress shirt $175 at RYE 51

IOSSELLIANI necklace $932 at JOSEPH

JOHN VARVATOS slim jean $398 at RYE 51

CHANEL jacket (sold as set) $650 at

SHWOOD black sunglasses $145 at DRYDEN





Q CLOTHIERS made to order tuxedo; price


upon request at Q CLOTHIERS

MILLY fringe top $245 at DRYDEN KREPS CHANEL vintage skirt (part of suit set) $650



PHOENIX: KENZO dress, price upon request at SLOAN



JOHN VARVATOS vest $398 at RYE 51

MARIE LAURE CHAMOREL necklace, price

JOHN VARVATOS tie $95 at RYE 51

upon request at SAM AND LILLI ON PAGE 48




NIGHTCAP pencil dress $396 at MIO

BLACK HALO Anabelle dress $390 at



ALEXIS BITTAR bracelets $395 at JOSEPH

HALLEH ring, Price Upon Request at SLOAN HALL

JOSH: CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN vested blazer $1050



Q Clothiers custom blazer, Price Upon

SAND dress shirt $225 at DRYDEN KREPS

Request at Q CLOTHIERS

AG JEANS denim pants $265 at DRYDEN

JOHN VARVATOS grey tuxedo shirt $298 at


RYE 51

MAGNANNI wing tip suede shoe $325 at DRYDEN KREPS ON PAGE 53 PHOENIX: TRACY REESE mesh dress $348 at DRYDEN KREPS MARIE LAURE CHAMOREL drop earrings,

MODELS: Phoenix Hamilton and Josh King for

Price Upon Request at SAM AND LILLI

Neal Hamil agency. STYLIST: Vico Puentes.

SHANAZ convertible clutch $385 at SAM

HAIR & MAKEUP: Jessica Alston for Tre Spa


and Salon. SHOT ON LOCATION at Hotel Icon,

STUART WEITZMAN cutaway suede booties

The Honeymoon and Market Square.



bayou city m ag a z i ne October/November 2014


scan this page with Layar to see more of our LBD looks.


Interior designer and LBDD muse Lucinda Loya wears the updated version of Gabby Ong’s winning dress. (opposite) Jeff Shell launched the LBDD organization to help fashion students in Texas learn the business of design.


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


The styles of the past and the dresses you can buy today are all well and good, but many true fashionistas are looking for the dress that perfectly marries timeless style and yet manages to set tomorrow’s trend. One man helping to find and inspire the design of tomorrow’s LBD is Jeff Shell. The organization he founded in 2008, the Little Black Dress Designer (LBDD), introduces Texas to the LBDs—and designers— of the future. In this state-wide competition, fashion students and emerging designers submit little black dresses with the hope of winning not only scholarships but also the opportunity to be mentored by experienced designers and to design for a muse. When he selected the little black dress as the object of the competition, Shell wanted to honor Coco Chanel and her “passion for fashion.” Over time, he’s been amazed at the dresses that have been created. “I’m always surprised at how many ways an LBD can be created,” Shell says. “I’m more and more impressed each year that we don’t see repeats.” Perhaps part of the reason for the variety is the current fashion trends. Shell explains, “LBDD definitely reflects current fashion trends. For example, this year we see the peplum and laser-cut leather.” Shell is very enthusiastic about the students involved in the LBDD competition. “Nothing is more passionate for me than these kids,” he says. He started with the recognition that the arts as a whole are underfunded in education and that those studying fashion have few scholarship opportunities. The organization has given over $110,000 in scholarships thus far, Shell says. But even beyond the scholarship funding, the students who get involved in the competition have the opportunity to learn about the real business of fashion. Shell knew that through his work as director of the Neal Hamil modeling agency, he had contacts and experiences that he could put to use to help these students get started. “Breaking into the fashion


industry takes being well-connected,” Shell says. “It’s all about networking and who you know. LBDD provides opportunities to meet industry leaders and get recognized.” From recognition in widely publicized contests to meeting—and for the winners, working directly with—successful designers, the contest opens doors for the participants. LBDD “cultivates the relationship between the emerging designer or student with people that can mentor them, hire them, manufacture for them,” Shell says. “Understanding how an idea translates into a sellable product is crucial for students to succeed in a competitive world.” Some successes from previous years show how well the model Shell has created works to help students become emerging designers. Viet Nguyen, LBDD winner in 2011, showed his first collection at Fashion Houston 2013 and is also a coveted patternmaker for Houston designers David Peck, Jonathan Blake and Amir Taghi. Jo’se Reyes, a 2013 Dallas LBDD finalist, also showed at Fashion Houston 2013. Shell works with what he describes as a “very involved committee of fashion media, luxury retailers and designers” to select the judges, mentors and muses for the competition. The judges select the winners of the dresses based on their originality, their construction and their retail appeal—the eventual goal for a dress, after all, is to license winning designs for manufacturing and retail distribution. After the winning dresses are selected, the top 10 designers are paired with both mentors and muses. The designers work with the mentors to improve the designs. The muses are women of standing in the community who will wear the dresses eventually. These muses share their style and needs with the designers and the team works together to customize the dress for the muse, creating a dress she loves that could also be manufactured and sold. This year’s winning dress was designed by Gabby Ong. Ong, who is from Singapore, started school at Houston Community College in 2010 and heard about the LBDD competition from the start. Returning after a break from designing, Ong decided it was time to try the competition. “Last year was my first opportunity after 2 years of break after having a baby, so I thought just go for it,” she says. “I thought about entering for a long time.”



bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

+ While her first passion is shoe design, Ong was inspired for this dress by a Chanel ad. “I was looking for inspiration and I saw a Chanel ad and it had a banister with a pattern. Actually the banister was my inspiration,” she says. “It was kind of like just the way I cut this. I chose leather and sheer organza. I wanted a loose silhouette.” From the sheer panels to the hand-cut leather, the dress seems to follow many of the trends showing in both LBDs and other dresses. However, Ong says, “I look for trends but I’m not really a trend follower.” In general, Ong continues, “I like a simple dress. I like things that are simple, but with a twist, and have some unique features.” Other elements she includes in her designs include texture and opposition. She says, “I like things that are masculine and feminine; I like hard and soft.” Ong’s mentor, previous LBDD winner Viet Nguyen, picked Ong’s dress a standout when he first saw the designs. “I knew it would be at least in the top 3 for sure,” he says. In general, Nguyen thinks an LBD should lean toward the timeless. He says, “Little black dresses should be simple. Less is more.” Of course, that doesn’t mean trends can’t influence the designs. Of Ong’s winning dress, Nguyen says, “It’s really trendy with the hand-cut leather.” But what he likes best about the dress? He says, “It’s flowy, easy to wear and has a great silhouette.” From working with Nguyen, Ong says she learned about being a professional designer and dressmaker—from altering patterns and making smooth French seams to what it takes to make and manufacture the finished product. In addition to working with Nguyen, Ong has also worked with muse Lucinda Loya. Loya, a passionate interior designer, fundraiser and trendsetter, was invited to participate and says it sounded like a fun opportunity so she jumped at the chance. “I love the energy that comes with a young, eager designer,” Loya says. “I remember that. It takes a lot of hard work to pull it off, to go for dreams. I want to support anyone’s creative side.” Ong’s design suited both Loya’s personality and what she needs from an LBD. “It needs a lot of style because it’s a little black dress,” she says. “I look for dresses that are unique and make a statement— understated but edgy.” That’s what she got in Ong’s leather and lace dress. “I like that it’s layered and has the lace inside,” Loya says. As someone who’s not always a big fan of lace, the touch of having it on the inside of the hand-cut leather was just right, she continues. Another element of the dress that Loya appreciates is that it’s slightly see-through, but subtly. Again, simple enough, and “nothing too frou-frou or over the top,” but still edgy. Loya didn’t change much about the dress from the original winning design. “It has clean lines but with a creative approach,” she says. “It has a lot of style.” Look for the final reveal of the muse-inspired and mentorimproved LBDD dresses to take their turn on the runway at this year’s Fashion Houston event. With a little luck—and a lot of style—you’ll find your perfect LBD of tomorrow.


One is never underor overdressed with a little black dress. —KARL LAGERFELD

Designer Gabby Ong and her mentor, Viet Nguyen, work with muse Lucinda Loya to make changes to the original dress and fit it to her needs and lifestyle. The handcut leather semi-sheer dress was inspired by an architectural feature in a Chanel ad.

scan this page with Layar to see more of the LBDD dresses and process.

LBD EDITOR’S CHOICE The best way to pick an LBD is to find one that suits your style, so Bayou City editor Becky Davis couldn’t help but name an editor’s choice from the LBDD competition. I have enjoyed the Little Black Dress Designer competition for the last few years. I am always amazed to see fresh ideas and generally there is one dress that really stands out for me. This year, the dress designed by Diana Perkins was the dress. I wasn’t surprised that many of my friends also tagged this dress as their “fan favorite.” My favorite elements of the dress are the the mock turtleneck and the unconstructed sleeves. Muse Donae Chramosta requested a modification of the fabric to a lighter jersey and of the neckline to a boatneck, which certainly extends the seasonality. I love it both ways. I can imagine this dress in a variety of colors and styled for day or evening wear, with leggings and boots or bare legs and ridiculously high heels. All in all, my perfect LBD. —Becky Davis Muse Donae Chramosta models the dress after designer Diana Perkins updated it to fit her style.


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“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” –Coco Chanel

+ scan this page with Layar to connect with these designers and boutiques using our interactive map.


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

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Out In

Style T

he Little Black Dress. It’s an essential, a rule of fashion. Simple and elegant, it will take you anywhere. You’ve read the history and reviewed the trends. Now, it’s time to find your perfect Little Black Dress. Ralph Lauren once said, “Style is very important. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style lasts forever.” Houston’s own fashion voices agree: Each woman should use fashion to celebrate, accentuate, her personal style. Local designers and advisors offer tips for selecting and accessorizing your Little Black Dress.

“Your Little Black Dress should be the best fitting dress in your wardrobe— and it should never be boring.” –Chloe Dao

Chloe Dao Boutique Chloe Dao’s boutique is a showroom for her signature designs and for her curated collection to dress women for all occasions, from casual to formal, including ready-to-wear wedding fashions. Her team’s personal service makes each customer feel like she is shopping with a trusted girlfriend. 6127 Kirby Dr Houston, TX 77005 713-807-1565


100% raw silk cocktail dress

AZUZ Jacki Cosgrove and Penny Packer, founders of Azuz, have curated a collection by designers not typically seen in Texas. They believe all women deserve to be fashionably fabulous, so they act as your personal fashion consultants to help you style your perfect outfit along with jewelry, handbags and shoes. 2402 Rice Blvd Houston, TX 77005 713-526-2989

“Archway” Backless neoprene and powermesh dress

“ A Little Black Dress should have a unique look, as if it were made for the individual wearing it.”

–Penny Packer


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“ The perfect Little Black Dress should travel well, and move from day to evening by simply changing accessories.”

Handbag Collection

by Jonathan Blake


kelly green shagreen bag

–Theresa Roemer “Amanda”

navy suede Nile crocodile envelope clutch

“Carolyn” navy lizard top-handle clutch

True and Real by Theresa Roemer Theresa Roemer’s True and Real collection features interchangeable basic pieces that act as building blocks to create a wardrobe that moves from day to evening. To see the new line, visit her showroom or the website for dates and times of upcoming trunk shows.


bronzed alligator traveler bag

25815 Oakridge Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77380 281-292-2781 by appt only

“Theresa” black ponte knit dress 64

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

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“ I believe all women are beautiful, and a Little Black Dress with a showstopping design and classic lines can highlight that beauty.” –Jonathan Blake

Jonathan Blake Jonathan Blake’s designs are timelessly “wearable,” classic and elegant for women of all ages and sizes. Visit his atelier to see the fall/ winter collection of clothing and handbags. Your personal shopper will help you select pieces that are memorable and always stylish.

4544 Post Oak Place Dr, Suite 220 Houston, TX 77027 713-960-1514

“Julia” melton wool dress with nappa leather inserts; gator and cashmere “Rose” bag


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“Midnight is the perfect time and hue for an unforgettable evening. My take on the Little Black Dress is midnight.” –David Peck

David Peck USA

An American Fashion House All David Peck USA garments are produced and manufactured in Houston, Texas. Located in the heart of Montrose, Peck’s flagship store offers fashions that celebrate your lifestyle, personal taste and unique appeal. See David’s collection of ready-to-wear fashion, or schedule an appointment to discuss custom-designed wedding and special event fashions.

2515 Morse St. at Westheimer Houston, TX 77019 713-524-3482

“Maravillas” gown, black with midnight lace and sheer overlay, made-to-order 66

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Tenenbaum & Co. Tenenbaum & Co. is a classic jeweler that carries unique, rare and collectible estate jewelry. Their collection includes pieces from the world’s most renowned jewelry makers including Tiffany, David Webb, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. Their inventory of one-of-a-kind treasures changes daily, so visit often.

“Whether you choose bold or understated, contemporary or classic; the little black dress is a perfect canvas for showing off your favorite jewels.”

Necklace and earring suite by de Vroomen in 18K yellow gold with amethyst and green enamel.

–Tony Bradfield

Rose gold circle diamond pendant and rose gold chain. Onyx, diamond and rose gold earrings. Rose gold ring with black, brown and white diamonds. Chopard Happy Sport watch in 18K rose gold with diamonds.

Riviera necklace in 18K white gold and 44.50 carats of diamonds shown with diamond cluster earrings, a platinum and diamond ring and art deco platinum and diamond bracelet.

1801 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056 713-629-7444


BRILLIANT Educate Inspire Enter tain




VIP & DINNER: 713.974.1335

indulge i n bayo u eats

76 TOP EATS Pumpkins and squash add a sweet, rich flavor to fall dishes.

70 F+B 74 THE POUR



74 THE



Pour on craft beer knowledge at Big Brew Houston.




Local Taste Chefs share their secrets for sourcing and serving local food. BY CECELIA OTTENWELLER


re you perusing this issue while sipping a morning latte or munching on a lunchtime somethingor-other? Take a good look at what you’re eating…do you see Texas tears and Texas sunshine? Does your tongue tingle with the warmth and spiciness of mud from the Brazos Valley alluvial fan or that Plant it Forward urban plot on Dunlap? And that latte—do you taste the rich texture of three generations of dairy farmers and sun-drenched cows happily grazing in a Waco meadow? No? You’re missing so much! Fortunately, my friend, you live in Houston. Passion runs deep here and all around, food artisans of one stripe or another are dishing up the product of their obsessive energies, and dreams of a life connected to community and the land around them. We are enjoying a groundswell of interest and passion for locally sourced foods and Houston’s local chefs are applying their ample talents to capitalize on the goodness that surrounds us.

Serving local food may be trendy, but it’s much more than a fad. And it’s good for more than just your taste buds. From better taste to better support for the local economy and the environment, cooking and eating locally makes these chefs passionate. “It’s about doing the right thing,” says Chris Shepherd, Underbelly’s chef and recent James Beard award winner. Years ago, at the tender age of 17, Memorial High School student Monica Pope proclaimed to her swim buddies that her mission was to change the way Houston eats—to get people to eat where they live. That was way before the term “farm-totable” became part of the collective vocabulary, but after training as a chef, Pope set up the city’s first farmers market in 2003 in the parking lot of her restaurant t’afia. Why? It was the only way to get access to 70

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014




scan these pages with Layar to find restaurants and farmers markets offering local foods and to download recipes from the chefs.

dine bayou bites Get the dish on the Bayou City's culinary happenings.

Staci Davis of Radical Eats (opposite and above) supports local eating with local meats, vegetables and rice as well as fish and lettuce from Sustainable Harvesters, a Houston-area supplier who uses a closed aquaponic system.


local sources. “It was all backward,” she says. “I’ve spent 21 years trying to right the cart and the horse. Food simply tastes better when you eat where your food lives.” Staci Davis of Radical Eats, who got her start as a tamale vendor at the Urban Harvest Eastside farmers market on Saturdays, is focused on saving the environment and feeding both sides of her community, the producers and her clientele. “The local producers are my people—I spent six years with them!” she exclaims. Davis buys locally through farms, markets and even through suppliers like Sysco. “We take local as far as we’re able,” she says. The Korean short rib tacos always include local meat from suppliers such as Black Hills Ranch. When we photographed them, the plate also included local kimchi, peppers, tomatoes and rice. Davis’ ambition has always been to save the planet, so she loves serving both lettuce and tilapia from local supplier Sustainable Harvesters, a company raising both products in the same closed aquaponic system. She’s fighting agricultural pollution, saving the air, oceans and climate while feeding people good food that comes from the ground around them.


For Anita Jaisinghani (Indika, Pondicheri), there’s no other choice than to use locally produced food. She was shocked by the perfection of vegetables when she moved to Canada and the U.S.: They were so dramatically different from the produce she experienced in India. Then she learned more about industrialized foods and why they looked so perfect and decided that wasn’t for her. “I serve the kind of food I eat at home—we buy the best quality we can,” she says. Jaisinghani believes local products will be the freshest and the least tampered with. She also knows she can have some transparency with local suppliers. “I have been to a lot of these farms and I have seen firsthand how these products are treated or raised.” Jaisinghani anticipates having a plethora of local ingredients in late summer and fall. At Indika, for example, okra from Armstrong Farms might be found in the fried okra salad, or peppers and eggplants from Knobb Branch may grace the vegetable and lentil biryani, stuffed eggplant, eggplant pickle and eggplant paneer chaat. At Pondicheri, okra from Armstrong Farms, lettuce from Sustainable Harvesters and chicken from Bryan Farms might be found in menu items

DOSI DOUGH Meaning “city” in Korean, Dosi is a new Korean-inspired tapas eatery with a fresh, less spicy approach. Owner An Vo has installed a soju bar, one of Houston’s first, for serving infused soju, a Korean alcohol made from rice, wheat or barley. The menu showcases small plates like wagyu beef jerky with cilantro and sorrel; scallion pancakes with white anchovy and watercress with cured lemon; and dirty rice with Korean blood sausage and jalapeño steam bread. For family-style meals, try the restaurant’s signature bossam, roasted pork shank with lettuce leaves and banchan (condiments like kimchi, spicy fermented cabbage). 2802 S. Shepherd Dr. 713521-3674, MIDTOWN NEWBIE Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar has bowed in the former Sushi Raku space by veteran chef Mark Holley. Holley’s menu includes an appealing mix of Pan-Asian flavors with Louisiana and Texas accents. Seafood, fish and oysters are the main players with starters like charred octopus and fluke with sesame and soy gastrique or an entrée of blackened grouper with gold ham hock rice and peas. But carnivores can also get their fill of beef and lamb. 3201 Louisiana. 832-426-4303, PAX AMERICANA The Montrose food scene sizzles with the opening of Pax Americana. Handsome interiors now sport dark woods, leather seats and a welcoming art deco bar. Expect an affordable menu with thoughtful touches like house cured charcuterie, cultured butter, house prepared cheeses, Common Bond artisan bread and original tabletop pottery created by local Three Dot Pots. The menu features small plates of seasonal, locally sourced foods and entrées centered around the restaurant’s dry-aging program, such as a robust porterhouse for two or rib chops. To drink, rum, gin and whiskey cocktails are flowing along with all-Americana wines and beer. 4319 Montrose Blvd., 713-239-0228, – Robin Barr Sussman




Ryan Pera’s Coltivare changes their menu regularly based on what’s local and seasonal. They also get truly local: they use some herbs and produce from their own garden. (below)


If you’re at Underbelly, the beef (and pork, and goat, and fish) are all over the menu and very local. Chef Chris Shepherd buys a cow a week from Texas T Kobe—as well as three pigs, six goats and 300 pounds of fish, all from local suppliers. For Shepherd, supporting his community is vital. The recent regional James Beard Award Winner is totally focused on responsible cooking: He’s responsible to his clientele, creating and serving the best possible to them in every way. He’s responsible to the producer, not only putting money back into the local economy but being a good partner with them, encouraging them to diversify what they’re growing and then actually using what they produce. “I encourage them to experiment—If they grow it, I cook it,” Shepherd says. He’ll buy everything a producer has and then figure out something to do with it, which makes it easier on the farmer, who has a guarantee that what he grows gets bought. 72

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What’s local? It depends on whom you ask. Each restaurant and chef defines “local” a little differently. “150-mile circumference,” says Chris Shepherd. “It’s not about the circumference,” says Justin Yu (Oxheart). “I’ve used rice from Louisiana or sorghum from the east end of Texas that’s so far that probably Mexico is closer. I just try to find the best products from people I could probably have a chance to visit their farms or talk to them on a regular basis.” “Texas,” says Monica Pope. “People in this city need to understand that amazing things are being produced in this state.” Why so different? Stability and predictability are traditionally key to a restaurant’s success, so locally sourcing ingredients can make a restaurateur nutty: Farm to market restaurant Roost, which locally sources about 45 percent of its ingredients, creates a new menu every five weeks based on what’s seasonally available. Similarly, Coltivare, Oxheart, Underbelly, Sparrow and others rapidly generate new menus in response to what’s available. Of course, every chef has to balance what he or she is paying against what the business is making and then decide on the balance. As one restaurateur put it, “profit is the cost of doing business.” Ryan Pera locally sources about 80 percent of his produce and 98 percent of his protein for Coltivare, but there are some menu items that just simply have to be there, so when they’re not available locally, they have to be


So, what do all of these chefs, local producers and artisans need and want from you? How can you participate in this feast of community and flavor? For one thing, you can fill your reusable grocery bags full of local food at weekly farmers markets, the chefs suggest. (Scan this page with Layar to see a partial list of local markets.) Not sure what to do with the goodies you find at the market? Classes with the chefs may give you some ideas. Anita Jaisinghani will be teaching classes at Pondicheri starting in January, and Monica Pope offers regular classes at Sparrow. “You’re going to buy food weekly—why get it at a grocery story when you can get so much better food for not that much more at the farmers market? Put the money back in the local economy,” says Chris Shepherd. “Eat better food!”


such as tamarind okra stew, sauteed okra with fennel, kebab wraps or butter chicken. “Do you know what real broccoli tastes like?” asks Ryan Pera (Colitvare, Revival Market). “Fresher tastes better. The local economy is better. I connect to the grower and put a face on their produce and they make better decisions.” Pera also wants to know what he’s getting. “I know what’s in the feed of commodity animals. I don’t want to eat that and I don’t want others to. I want people who make the same decisions I do to have a place to come.”

sourced from elsewhere: “If we didn’t have the cauliflower [for Coltivare’s popular fried cauliflower dish], there’d be a rebellion.” Elizabeth Brooks, executive chef at Canopy, agrees with many of the chefs that sometimes there’s a reason to buy from further away. “We try to use as much locally sourced products as possible, but our philosophy is to cook seasonally and source the best quality we can find. Which means that sometimes we have to go beyond a local range to offer our customers the most consistent, best-tasting foods we can.”

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Brew Masters


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Celebrate the art of craft beer at Big Brew Houston. BY SHANNON SMITH


hat is both more difficult to make and more diverse in taste than wine? According to Food & Vine Time Productions founder Clifton McDerby, the answer is craft beer. To celebrate 1,000 American craft beers and the beer lovers and brewmasters who love (and create) them, his organization is bringing the nation’s second largest craft beer festival to the George R. Brown Convention Center this October. Craft beer is a growing trend and McDerby thinks that taste diversity is part of the reason. “The market has changed from 1950s to 10 years ago, [when] everyone wanted everything the same. The generation now wants to try new stuff and that is one of the reasons craft beer has become so hot. There are so many variations and flavors.” From Oct. 20-26, Big Brew Houston will educate attendees on the American craft beer industry and highlight brews from over 200 American (and 40 Texas) breweries. Educational, tasting and other events held throughout the week offer something 74

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for everyone. “It is a fabulous place for people who are beer geeks and the regular brand beer drinker to experiment and expand their craft beer palate,“ says McDerby of the event, which aims to educate and spread awareness of the products and highlight the exploding industry while benefiting the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Many local brewers have gotten involved in the festival, participating in tastings and educational events. Blake Robertson, Karbach Brewery cofounder says, “Houston is a great beer city and Big Brew will allow people from around the country to see firsthand the excitement in the Texas beer scene.” On Thursday, The Great Match combines gourmands and grains in a craft beer and culinary showcase. Top local chefs pair a dish of their creation with award-winning brews. Texas Brewed offers a tasting of beers from 40 Texas breweries. At Suds in the City, attendees ride buses on a pub-crawl to Houston’s local craft beer

destinations, where brewers share their process and art. The Grand Tasting sessions offer tasting, seminars and interactive displays as well as an opportunity to meet the brewmasters behind your favorites. For those looking for a more intimate experience with special tastings and white tablecloth dinners held at local restaurants, VIP tickets are available. An educational experience at the festival is best achieved in groups, says Clifton. “Create a plan. Come in a group, split up and meet back in an hour. Share your experiences with your friends and tell them what they should try. And test your knowledge before you go. Take The Big Brew IQ quiz online to test your knowledge. Figure out questions.” To take the pressure off, the Hyatt is offering specialty rates for attendees who do not want to worry about the drive home after a day of beer tasting. For those who found a designated driver, special designated driver tickets are available. Now take it from Clifton, “Get out of the box and try something new.”


Big Brew Houston brings local craft brewers together with their regional and national counterparts to celebrate the flavors, techniques and art of craft beer. Pictured here, brewers (and beer) from from No Label Brewing Co., Karbach Brewing Co., 8th Wonder Brewery, St. Arnold Brewing Co., Brazos Valley Brewery, Southern Star Brewing.


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Get Gourd-geous Fall has arrived, along with a bright new bounty of beautiful gourds and squash. BY ROBIN BARR SUSSMAN


Of all the varieties—acorn, spaghetti, butternut and Mexican chayote—executive chef John Watt of Italian standby Prego has a thing for butternut squash, which stays on the menu all year in many guises. “I threw butternut squash in the mix for variety when everyone was just serving potatoes. But it really caught on and now we can’t take it off,” says Watt. Prego makes homemade pasta including the ravioli di zucca stuffed with butternut squash and served in a brown butter sage sauce with whole toasted walnuts. It’s rich and sweet enough to stand in for dessert. Watt looks for the bigger, taller squash, “which seem sweeter,” he says. He avoids using too many spices directly on the squash to keep the flavors pure. “It’s naturally sweet and has a versatile texture for using in many recipes. I only season with salt and pepper,” says Watt. He balances out the sweet flavor of caramelized butternut squash risotto by using pancetta, jumbo Gulf shrimp, scallions and herbs for a knockout dish. Sometimes, he tops pizza with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms and scallions, and he always offers butternut squash as a side dish, either roasted and cubed, or pureéd (mashed).

The butternut squash is in the ravioli, the risotto, the pizza and more at Prego in Rice Village.


oluptuously shaped, uniquely textured and beautifully colored, gourds are a staple in autumnal centerpieces and on dinner tables, while their tasty cousins, pumpkins and squash, shine on the dinner plate. Houston chefs have the perfect recipe for fabulous fall eating showcasing squash and pumpkins in creative entrées, starters and desserts.


bayou city m ag a z i ne October/November 2014

Luxe butternut squash soup appears on many menus this fall. Don’t miss the honey butternut squash soup with cayennetoasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and allspice crème fraîche at Brennan’s, extraordinary for its velvety texture and warm fall flavors. Executive chef Danny Trace also serves spaghetti squash—a faux pasta trick—seasoned with fresh herbs and butter on his Winter Vegetable Palette. Heartier is the Black Hill pork shank osso buco atop butternut squash gnocchi pasta. Trace says the sweetness of the gnocchi is accented when caramelized in a sauté pan with a touch of garlic, fresh sage, sugarcane vinegar and nutmeg.




scan these pages with Layar to get squash recipes, see Chef John Watt in action and satisfy your shopping cravings.

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Brennan’s offers a hearty Osso Bucco with butternut squash gnocchi.

“These combinations are about as comforting as fall comfort food gets. It’s a perfect pedestal for this great cut of braised Texas pork,” says Trace. Satsuma-glazed mahi mahi is served with creamy butternut squash and sage risotto, resulting in multiple layers of flavors. The Arborio rice is cooked in shellfish stock steeped with lemongrass and the squash pureé incorporated. “For the finale, roasted diced butternut squash tossed in sesame oil and sage is added, and then the risotto is dusted with Parmesan cheese,” says Trace. PRIMED FOR PUMPKIN


Mark’s American Cuisine is rolling out “munchkin pumpkin” appetizers stuffed with seafood, a mix of vegetables or a truffle combination. Chef Mark Cox serves the pumpkins each fall and says he likes to change the theme yearly. TQLA crusts its salmon fillet with toasted pumpkin seeds for flavorful texture. This amped up Southwestern dish is served with fried green tomatoes, green chile mashed potatoes and a tequila lime butter sauce. Chef John Buchanan of Trevisio swirls bright green pumpkin seed oil over butternut squash soup and garnishes it with toasted pumpkin seeds. “I started using pumpkin seed oil when I worked at Café Annie because it adds a toasty nutty flavor,” he says.


SEEDS OF TRUTH Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are easy to roast at home—if you’ve just carved a pumpkin. If not, you can buy seeds from the bulk department of Whole Foods Market either raw, roasted and salted, or roasted with seasoning. $6.99 to $12.99/pound. Six Houston area locations.


STRIKING OIL Pumpkin seed oil and butternut squash seed oil are healthful and delicious for drizzling over soups or creating vinaigrettes. Stoger Organic Austrian Pumpkin seed oil found at Central Market is pricey, but a little bit goes a long way. Another option for nutty flavor is the Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil from Trader Joe’s. $19/100ml. 3815 Westheimer. $9.95/250 ml. Three Houston locations. BAKE IT RIGHT Baked squash casseroles are a comforting Southern favorite. Use the Le Creuset Heritage Stone rectangular baker from Williams-Sonoma (in flame) with two easygrab handles and a coated surface for effortless clean up. It’s attractive enough to go from oven to serving buffet. $35 to $65. Two Houston locations. CHEF TOOLS A heavy chef’s knife will ensure that you properly cut the hard shells of unstable orb-shaped gourds and pumpkins. The Wusthof six- or eight-inch Classic Cook’s knife at Bering’s is one that chef John Watt recommends. $129.99 Two Houston locations.

4 3


PICK YOUR BOUNTY From miniature to massive, the mounds of beautiful multicolored pumpkins and inedible gourds at Cornelius Nursery are fun to bring home for carving, cooking or decorating. Price according to size and variation. Two Houston locations.




Cutting Edge Restaurateurs Grant Cooper and Charles Clark are building a restaurant empire fueled by innovation. BY ROBIN BARR SUSSMAN


hey don’t use a crystal ball, but Grant Cooper and Charles Clark know what makes a restaurant tick. Starting in 2002 with Ibiza, their first restaurant, they introduced Houstonians to a series of culinary firsts: rich modern flavors of Spain and the Mediterranean; rolling cocktail carts; cotton candy birthday desserts with sparklers; and small batch wines more affordable than any wine list in town. The innovations just keep coming. The guys met in the 1990s in Dallas when Clark was a chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Cooper was managing a popular bar and restaurant. They immediately clicked and plotted Tasca in downtown Houston. They based it on their shared entrepreneurial vision for a unique yet untapped dining concept: great food and affordable wine, and a sophisticated vibe—regardless of the occasion (and non-occasion). After Tasca, they opened Ibiza. Fast forward 13 years, and they now own six restaurants, each a different concept, under the company umbrella Clark Cooper Concepts.

In 2011, when the dynamic duo needed to bring a chef into their newly re-imagined Coppa Ristorante Italiano, they hired chef Brandi Key, a native Texan and alumna of Pappas Restaurant Group. Key studied at Tante Marie’s San Francisco cooking school and had stints in big-name California wine country restaurants. Like Ibiza, Coppa was another runaway success and Clark Cooper Concepts moved quickly to open Brasserie 19, its first French bistro. Soon after, CCC promoted Key to Culinary Director of all the concepts. “Brandi adapts our vision and grows our creative menus,” says Grant Cooper. She manages the kitchens of Coppa, Brasserie 19 and the newer Coppa Osteria 78

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Charles Clark and Grant Cooper (opposite page) create a vision for their concepts and culinary director Brandi Key (above) helps them adapt and implement it.

and Punk’s Simple Southern Food in Rice Village. Chef Clark still runs the kitchen at Ibiza, the “steady mother ship,” as Cooper calls it. “No day is the same but all exciting,” says Key. “I spend time in each of the restaurants. I cook. I prep. I teach. I create. I mentor. I work the dining room floor.” When asked her favorite type of food, she replies, “I truly love all cuisines and styles of cooking!” TRENDSETTING CONCEPTS


Although Cooper doesn’t call himself a trendsetter, two of their concepts were recently featured in “Trending Tables” in Nation’s Restaurant News, the venerable trade magazine. It recognized Coppa Osteria and Punk’s Simple Southern Food for food, drinks, service styles and ambiance that resonate with modern consumers in the Houston market. “It is such an honor,” says Cooper. “Not only are they spotlighting our concepts, we are giving the Houston culinary scene the awareness it deserves.” The group adapts to the lifestyle and community around their restaurants by including modern conveniences like an iPad wine list and a walk-up pizza window in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. “At each concept, we want to provide a dining experience involving all five senses (taste, smell, see, hear, touch). Think of it as taking a guest to a great two-hour movie,” says Cooper. UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Each restaurant has its own identity and is designed and decorated in impeccable

style, evoking a genuine theme. “We create concepts based on restaurants that we want to go to and we try to offer options so our guests can eat with us seven days a week,” says Cooper. At casual Punk’s Simple Southern Food, styled like a cool southern roadhouse, you can literally dig in to the homemade breakfast biscuit bar with choices like buttermilk biscuit Benedict with jalapeño hollandaise, or ham and jam. The menu is all about southern favorites: buttermilk fried chicken, killer gumbo, Ma’s meatloaf, sweet corn hushpuppies or pimento cheese dip. Conversely, Coppa Ristorante is dimly lit and chic with a modern Italian menu and fine wines and stemware. And at Ibiza, awash in cool blues and grays with a sizzling open kitchen, it’s about savvy Spanish style fare, terrific value wines and insider secrets. “Best table in the house is Table 18. I call it the Godfather table,” says Charles Clark. The table sits against the wine wall so no one can walk or sit behind you, and you get a view of the whole restaurant. “It’s impossible to get at lunch but sometimes available at dinner.” Another secret is the off-the-menu item burrata. Just ask for it. “Inspiration from movies, music, art and architecture is a huge part of creating the restaurant concepts,” says Cooper. Also travel. “Travel with my family to the West Coast, Charles’ travels to the East Coast and my upbringing in Europe with exposure to European restaurants has greatly influenced our ideas.”


How to staff for six completely different restaurants? “When we develop a concept, we envision the staff from head to toe, including what they will wear, and also how they speak,” says Cooper. Clark and Cooper communicate that concept to upper management, which is then translated to the managers. “It’s like putting a sports team together. We hire people that fit and will understand our company system, our style and our DNA.” One key player the duo recently added is director of operations Marc Cantu. Cantu brings to the group hospitality and leadership experience learned under Iron chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. ON THE DRAWING BOARD

No, the wheels haven’t stopped churning. CCC is planning a Mexican restaurant and its new coffee truck concept, Mobile Mug, should be roving the streets about now. Also coming soon is The Dunlavy, which will be a party space or “glass house among the trees,” according to Cooper, and the group also has plans for a new concept in Austin. Loyal patrons are anxiously awaiting the next marvel to be unveiled. Clark Cooper Concepts Brasserie 19, 1962 West Gray, 713-524-1919 Ibiza, 2450 Louisiana, 713-524-0004 Coppa Ristorante, 5555 Washington Ave, 713-426-4260 Coppa Osteria, 5210 Morningside, 713-522-3535


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Experience it!

9/21/14 7:04 PM

engage in bayou events


82 EXPERIENCE IT From neighborhood festivals to city-wide extravaganzas, discover the breadth of what you can see, do and experience in our Bayou City. For even more events and happenings, check the Bayou City Daily Doing calendar at


scan this page with Layar to see more H-town happenings in our calendar.


engage Where Southern charm meets Texas heritage.

Whether you are a Sunset original or a new fan, Elouise Jones and partner Wafi Dinari greet each season with an imaginative new menu highlighting the best ingredients found in Texas. From summer peaches to the Third Coast’s premier seafood, Ouisie’s Table focuses on using local, fresh foods while serving the best made-from-scratch Southern comfort food Houston has to offer. Most impressive is our extensive wine list of over 300 labels hand crafted to perfectly compliment one of Houston’s premier menus. Reservations: 713-528-2264 or visit





Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program and the Houston Public Library present Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel in the Houston Public Library’s historic Julia B. Ideson Building, through Jan. 31, 2015. The exhibition explores the diverse culture, heritage and lore of workers associated with the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel. 550 McKinney Street,

Collaborative ventures happen all the time. But, wood turning combined with painting is atypical. That is until now. Painter LeeAnn Gorman and wood turning sculptor Paula Haymond launch a collaborative exhibition entitled When Wood Met Design, Oct. 4-30 at Archway Gallery. 2305 Dunlavy,


Rice Village


Elouise Adams Jones Proprietress/Executive Chef

Breakfast • Brunch • Lunch • Dinner Award Winning • 3939 San Felipe • Houston, TX 77027 713-528-2264 • 82

bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

Noel Coward begins his great drama Peace in Our Time with the premise that the Battle of Britain was lost and that the Nazis have conquered and now occupy England. Of the assorted people who frequent one particular pub, we meet some who carry themselves courageously under the occupation, as well as some opportunists who are anxious to collaborate. At Main Street Theater through Oct. 19. 2540 Times Blvd,

Events subject to change.

On Oct. 9, join Brilliant Lecture Series for A Conversation with Rob Lowe at the Wortham Center. From iconic films like “St. Elmo’s Fire” to the current hit NBC series “Parks and Recreation,” Rob Lowe’s roles are indelibly imprinted into mainstream consciousness. A passionate advocate for issues ranging from cancer awareness to the environment, Lowe is also an example of using one’s platform to make a positive impact on the world. 500 Texas Ave.,



Gen’s Antiques

Proud host of 1st Saturday Arts Market

NEA Jazz Master Chick Correa makes his Da Camera debut Oct. 10.

Art Antiques Furniture Collectibles Home Decor



Da Camera kicks off the jazz series with the legendary Chick Corea in a solo piano performance Oct. 10. When Chick Corea recorded “Piano Improvisations” in 1971, he launched a new genre of solo piano. The composer of several jazz standards including “Spain” and “Windows,” he was a member of the Miles Davis quintet and has led many celebrated ensembles, most recently Chick Corea & The Vigil.

713-868-2368 540 W 19th St Houston, TX 77008 04 Gen's Ad.indd Ad2.indd 11 06

5/21/14 AM 9/16/14 11:55 8:22 PM

500 Texas,

Randy Murrow River Oaks



At the Oct. 10 Celebration of Champions luncheon, this year’s community champions and young cancer survivors will walk the runway in chic attire provided by fashion retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s. Proceeds benefit the Long-Term Survivor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and provide support to patients and families. River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd., champions.

Events subject to change.

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engage Downtown

BAYOU CITY FINE ART Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2014, produced by Art Colony Association Oct. 11-12, brings


300 juried fine and visual performing artists working in 19 media to display their fine and pop original works ranging from decorative and functional furniture to digital and traditional photography; pastel drawings to oil and acrylic paintings; clay to wood; jewelry, textiles and leather goods to mixed media and sculpture. Sam

Houston Park, 1000 Bagby St.,

Artisan Chocolates and French Macarons Uptown Park Mall River Oaks Shopping Center 2013 W. Gray St, Houston 1141 Uptown Park Blvd, Ste. 00 (713) 960-0850 (832) 767-5939

The Plaza at Grand Parkway 1575 W. Grand Pkwy South, Katy (281) 364-9276 06 Araya Chocolate Ad.indd 1

9/22/14 4:48 PM

Kirby/River Oaks


Tootsies will host famed blogger and new author, Erin Gates, for an Oct. 15 book signing and wine and cheese event celebrating the launch of her new book. A winning mix of interior design, personal stories and fashion inspiration, “Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life” covers all the do’s and don’ts of designing. Tootsies, 2601

Erin Gates will sign her guide to using design as an exercise in selfdiscovery.



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bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

9/16/14 8:20 PM

Events subject to change.

+ Hermann Park


With a grand opening Oct. 18, the McGovern Centennial Gardens will feature a family garden, 30’ garden mount and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, by architect Peter Bohlin, famed designer of the glass Apple stores worldwide. 6001 Fannin,

in home décor trends. All Decorative Center Houston showrooms will be open, with many launching their newest lines for 2014. Speakers include Cyndy Severson, Bradley Bayou and Laura Hunt. Decorative Center Houston, 5120 Woodway,

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of lashes*


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Museum District



Museum District


The Holocaust Museum Houston joins with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra Oct. 19 to present Regeneration: The Triumph of Music and Art, which includes discussion about failed attempts to repress the creative spirit in Nazi Germany and a performance by the ROCO Wind Trio. Tickets are $50 for the reception, discussion and concert. 5401 Caroline,

In October, the
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Join Decorative Center Houston Oct. 22 for the 2014 Fall Market, a one-day open market to showcase the latest

At the Nov. 1 Read3Zero Fifth Anniversary Luncheon Gala, students featured in the annual short story anthology will receive an award, conduct book readings and have their very own book signing. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar,

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9/21/14 7:19 PM



Randall Murrow Photography Headshots Commercial Editorial Weddings

Beyond the Beltway

DAY OF THE DEAD 832.712.2230

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Visit the National Museum of Funeral History Nov. 1 and 2 to learn more about the Latin customs surrounding the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos and celebrations held for deceased loved ones. Explore authentic altars made by local artists and commemorate your loved one by leaving them a message in the Book of the Dead. National

National Museum of Funeral History lets you be part of the Day of the Dead exhibitions by creating altars.

Museum of Funeral History, 415 Barren Springs Dr.,

Hermann Park

On Nov. 7, at The Texas premiere of one of Korea’s finest dance companies, SEOP will use both traditional and contemporary Korean dance techniques to create a stunning display of sound, color and movement as they explore the theme “when a sinner dies, he must be judged.” Miller Outdoor Theatre,

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6000 Hermann Park Drive, 06 Culturally CT Ad.indd 1


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014

9/16/14 8:22 PM

Events subject to change.



Downtown, Museum District

WALK-IN MOVIES Houston Cinema Arts Festival

is a walk-able event featuring a variety of live music and film performances throughout downtown Houston and the Museum District Nov. 12-16. It highlights films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. Various locations,

perform the music from memory with a backdrop of high-definition images from the Hubble telescope and Canadian astronomers. The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres features poetic narration, choreography and music by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach and Handel. Wortham Center, 500 Texas Ave., Heights




Meet the philanthropic, and very fashionable, H-town stars featured in A Couture Cause’s 2014-15 calendar at the Nov. 13 unveiling. Calendars benefit the Youth Hope Association and Barrio Dogs. David Peck Atelier,

One of the first fairy tales we hear as children is Hansel and Gretel by The Brothers Grimm. We accept it as is, only later realizing it introduces some very dicey subjects: child abandonment, a father who gets drunk, and cannibalism! Opera in the Heights brings the opera version, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, to Lambert Hall Nov. 14-23. 1703 Heights Blvd., 06 Memorial Park Vision Ad.indd 1

9/22/14 5:08 PM




Hotel Galvez invites celebrates the start of the holidays with the official City of Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration Nov. 28. Festivities include a special



Da Camera and Houston Early Music bring Baroque ensemble Tafelmusik’s Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres to town Nov. 13. Tafelmusik musicians

appearance by Santa Claus, live holiday entertainment by local entertainment including the Galveston Ballet and the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree on the front lawn. 2024 Seawall Blvd.,

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9/21/14 9:05 PM

what's your bayou IQ?

On Stage


scan this page with Layar to show your H-town knowledge and answer next month’s Bayou IQ questions.

Houston is an arts-ful city: what’s your favorite arts organization, show or theater?


rom across social media, you told us your favorite arts organizations, shows and theaters. Have more? Never too late to tell us.

HOUSTON BOYCHOIR Katherine Spurnk Martin


LAWNDALE Alan Morlan

Sarah Kathleen Plunkett



Sharron Little Burnett



SSQQ!! Abbie Barbley


MY SOFA… Jacinda Celeste Tucker


Jacinda Celeste Tucker


Susan Farb @farbulous

Tina Reeves Dismukes



@TXMUSICFESTIVAL EXPERIENCE The Bayou City’s got questions and we know you’ve got answers. Join the conversation by sharing your answer to these Bayou IQ questions. Where are you buying (and wearing) your next little black dress? What’s your favorite winter or holiday tradition in our not-so-wintry H-town?

Submit your answers and we’ll publish the ones that inform or engage us (or just tickle our fancy). We follow the hash tags #BayouIQ and #BayouCityMag on social media.

Or email to


bayou city m ag a z i n e October/November 2014


We reserve the right to edit submissions for space and clarity. By submitting or tagging us, you give us permission to publish your answers.

+ Scan Layar for a behindthe-scenes look at the Fall 2014 Collection





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