Monday, November 28, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN - A vintage perspective, from the FIRST ever Austin Vintage Style Festival

Houston has an intense vintage scene for buyers and collectors alike. Always has! It also has a wildly popular second hand market. I have quite a history with both experiences, being I'm from Houston and have lived here all my life. I have pristine second hand and vintage capes, furs, gloves, hats ... you name it and I know how to apply it ALL! I'm always prudently in search of that next special piece for my wardrobe. However, there is simply too much to choose from for me not to have set standards when it comes to vintage specifically. If I see something, no matter if it's one of a kind, I'm not paying retail for something that's almost 40 years old, if can't wear it off the rack. If I am expected to buy something you call "vintage," it has to have endured a multitude of phases in order for me to even consider purchasing a piece at retail cost. For instance, it must maintain its appeal having been undamaged or mended, cleaned, still stylish and ready to wear. Ultimately, it must be timeless, classic. That being said, when I heard about the first ever bi-annual Austin Vintage Style Fest held this past weekend, I jumped, because I've been wanting to explore other vintage markets in other cities for some time now. Hats and sunglasses were an ever-present essential. I wish more in Houston would wear hats, not caps, HATS! I also saw a lot of vintage PLAYBOY in a few of the shops.

I started downtown. That's where I met the good people of 5 Stack Vintage, from HOUSTON!! They're a brand new online start up. They had lots of cool layers for both men and women. Not all mint, but they are still new. The gentleman I photographed really had his quad cuff suit combo spot-on, so I know they're headed in the right direction. From there, I headed south to LOVELY AUSTIN Boutique, and it was nothing short of "fabulush" with the best quality of vintage clothing and accessories in the city by my standards, with little modern touches mixed in to give it beyond you. It's true! They put looks together that offer helpful guidance and I found a coat that I could not stop touching! Everything is mint, fresh and sure there were some second hand fillers that almost went unnoticed. If you're from Houston, recall a place called Step Back, which existed in the 90's, YEAH! It's aaalmost that great. Down the street was FLASHBACK Vintage. Houstonians, think, Wear It Again Sam. They had a lot of over the top vintage pop, with gold beaded, sequenced, and princess dresses. Rare complicated pieces in great shape that are still realistically wearable because of their condition! You must be daring because they have lots of princes dresses and color galore to go around with real FUN to offer. From there, I went to Frock On Vintage, a new shop on Guadalupe. I really liked this shop for one specific reason. Their seamstress, who was hard at work at her sewing machine! Out the gate, Frock On Vintage has a clean, safe-stylistically wearable selection. Nothing too outrageous, so they have room to evolve. I did buy a fantastic hat to go along with my other fantastic hat I bought from Hatbox the night before.
Cream Vintage, in the center of town, is very cool! Half the store is for men, with a rack of vests, a phase for some, and lots of boots, a Texas staple, all of which I like, on the right person of course. They had these big beautiful glazey red bracelets, which I loved. They also have an alterations set up in the back of the store. If you stop in, say hello the lovely Natalie, one of Cream's pro "vintagistas." Next stop... BLUE VELVET, which was more novelty and costume, with lots of fun things to choose from, all mashed together, not quite my favorite thing to sift through, but fun to explore. Next door to Blue Velvet is Breakaway Records. It's like a record library you can buy from, with lots of new vintage arrivals and two listening stations as well as old LP decks to gently spin your classic cuts. Not quite for the heavy handed. Psst! "I want 'The Animals' for Christmas." Waterloo Cycles doesn't have much of a vintage selection to choose from, but it was on my route. I've been hearing more and more about OM Flyers... They had one with wood paneling, another with yellow wheels. I really don't get it, but Mike at Waterloo does layaway with 30% down for 2 months.  

Next stop "NOLO," a.k.a. the North Loop corridor where they stack'em deep! Room Service Vintage. There's not much left for serious wardrobe finds but you could date your home back to the 1950's and stack up the decades. Room Service just had everything, with so many wonderful living room sets, desks, dishes, and lamps, that it was fun just getting lost in it all. Ermine vintage across the way, had a few cool things - that's it. Blackbird Clothes and Curios wasn't part of the vintage festival, but fell onto the my radar. They have a dark sort of look, with edgy cuts of style in black and greys, cut into modern layering shapes, complete with jewels that would stack quite easily. Sure it sounds like something you could find everywhere, but it's not. I think it was here where I found perhaps the only real unisex steampunk accessories you can actually buy brand new, that could work in real life, adding color to your character. Ask for the beautiful Eunice ;). Splendor A Retrofit Boutique, coming in at a close second favorite on my list, was pretty amazing. They didn't have quite the extensive inventory the others had, but it's quite obvious they are about quality, not quantity. Everything was beautiful and in great condition but you almost miss it thereon the edge of the "NOLOrridor," so look out! 
Within the womb of the Spider House, is The Fresh Up. It's small and sweet with not a lot of room for things to choose from, but it's a nice shop with a few things for your wardrobe and some small  accessories. They also offer alterations. Now the Spider House itself, is quite a spectacle. Quiet during the day, for wi-fi and coffee, but I tend to think that at night, the statuettes, live or of stone, come to life.  Seriously worth a visit...
Second Time Around is more like Blue Bird in Houston with a gentler, refined and "label" approach. Their primary focus isn't vintage, more gently worn business casual to casual items. Second Time Around reserves a small separate room for vintage, where I found a lot of little black handbags and ladies dresses. Retro Rubbish is set on the north point of the vintage shop compass but had inventory from the 1930's, including publications on women's business, next to 80's retro statuettes on pristine furniture sets, paintings, strange things that light up and it all works! I was impressed. Though last on my list, I'm glad I didn't forego the effort. I was determined and they're were grateful to make my arrival. Retro Rubbish is tough to spot from the street, but it's huge inside and they've recently added a second floor. They had a tall antique telephone that I just loved! Gloves! I love gloves and they had many to choose from as well as a bridal salon.
Austin, Texas has a thriving vintage market and scene, but from what I'm told, not many estate sales, being it's a youthful city. Never a downfall. Overall, it was a great trip. Insightful. Most vintage shops had great second hand finds thrown in but that's part of the flair, if it works, so, it's not disappointing in the least. Besides, many of the shops  offer alterations and pricing is reasonable. Just remember that vintage is never corporate, so if you find something you like, it will be special, because it already was special once, to someone. So, what did I get? Two lovely hats. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents Christian Siriano for Payless & F/W 2011 & SS 2012

Fashion designer, Christian Siriano loves Houston and he's back a year after participating in Fashion Houston's 2010 inaugural shows. This time he was here to push his two new lines of shoes for Payless, where I caught up with him at the Galleria November 3, 2011. The day after was a sneak peek of his SS2012 at a trunk show in the Houston Galleria's Neiman Marcus, where he was also marketing his FW2011 collection. Also in tow, a unique creation Heidi Klum wore at the Emmy Awards. Mr. Siriano was sweet enough to take the time to share all about it work, and then some! My colleagues, Jay Maroquin and Luis Soto of Metrovelvet and local fashion designer Gin Martini were in on the coverage.

See his latest collection in motion here!!

If you missed it, here is Christian's SS/2011 collection at Fashion Houston 2010, presented to you online by HEIGHTSTONIAN.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN ends "MaxXandauX may" series TONIGHT!

***12-5-11 UPDATE: See Parts 5 & 6 of the debut documentary by Rachel Estrada, entitled "MaxXandauX may." I've been screening it during the monthly movie night at Avant Garden, hosted by Mike James since Monday, October 24, 2011. In this final stretch of the series, see MaxXandauX engage his "Engorged Glitterii" in back to back performances as they came together one Sunday in May 2009, including MaxXandauX's performance at Mango's, in front of a group of senior citizens. That, and an impromptu gig I personally booked at LaStrada's Sunday Funday for MaxXandauX that same afternoon. This exclusive footage of rehearsals, make-up and all the friends and fun in between, gives you, the viewer, the fan, and the friend, an inside look at MaxXandauX's love of what he does & his beauty within the performance. To see it all come together in this final stretch of "MaxXandaux may," be at Avant Garden tonight at 9:30pm. Run time: 20m. This series ENDS TONIGHT & it's not anywhere online, so who knows when you'll ever get a chance to see it again?

Original release for "MaxXandaux may"  We have screened it in its entirety once before but it's never been put online.

Friday, October 21, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents Celebrating the Career of Kay King

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents The Career of Kay King. This spectacular evening featured a reception and unique fashion retrospective celebrating the Fashionably Fabulous Career of Kay King. Many people from the Houston fashion community came together to celebrate King's stylish journey, complete with models outfitted in King's own creations. Here is a recent writeup of King by Houston Woman Magazine. Proceeds of the event benefit fashion, interior design, and beauty industry scholarships through The Fashion Group International, Inc. of Houston and the Kay King Scholarship at Houston Community College.

Monday, October 17, 2011


This year, I brought Tony Rio to take photos of FASHION HOUSTON 2011. He captured some fun arrivals and pieces from Spring/Summer 2012, which will be here before you know it, so take note! If you were there, you don't need me to identify "Who's Who." If you didn't go, there's always next year, so see you then. Enjoiah!! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fashion Houston 2010 hosts Christian Siriano S/S 2011

Fashion Houston 2011 is in less than two weeks and I'm SOOO excited. Christian Siriano was in the inaugural lineup a year ago. We'll miss him this year. Anyway, he's in my thoughts today so here is my take on his show. Enjoiah!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Local Interior Designers Fashion HOUSTON HOUSE

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents HOUSTON HOUSE Interior Designers: Kristen Johnson, Richard Sanchez, Saba Jawda, and Chris Nguyen. All were asked to design the interior of specific apartment homes for Houston House, which is undergoing $10 million in renovation. See the redesigned units on display through October 2, 2011. Sept. 23, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. // Sept. 24 - 25, 1 - 5 p.m. // Sept. 30, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.Oct. 1 - 2, 1 - 5 p.m.

Monday, September 26, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents Danny Nguyen Fall/Winter 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN presents Houston's own Danny Nguyen Fall/Winter 2011. Consider my version a rough edge on the elegance that Nguyen creates. 
Photo of invite provided by Danny Nguyen

Music (in my video) by Houston DJ Gracie Chavez. Catch her at BomBon in Houston, TX. and on facebook for more details. Enjoiah!


This was a HUGE thrill for me as a Houston fashion "Tracker!!!" I attended the Houston Vintage market in the Houston Heights (aka my playpen) Saturday afternoon, where Lindsay Halpin, the woman behind VIOLET PEACOCK was marketing her pieces, many of which she made specifically for the event. I've been following Violet Peacock for quite a while now and was so grateful she took the time to chat with me about this special day of "firsts" for her. A fashion show at the vintage market was the first actual runway presentation of her beautiful hat and 'fascinator' collection. A couture collection entitled "Velocity" was modeled by Neil Hamil models that evening. She also tells me, I'm the "first to do a story on her." She shared a bit about about how she works, what inspired the collection, & why she takes the time to do things by hand. In the freeze frame below, Halpin holds one of her favorite pieces. Enjoiah!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


HEIGHTSTONIAN plays paparazzi!! I caught the "AL PACINO One Night Only" featuring the legendary actor at Jones Hall Monday night, where he spoke for almost 3 hours about acting, & shared many details about the incredible journey of his legendary career. He even performed prose and took questions from the audience. At one point, he exclaimed "isn't anyone going to ask me about my love life?!?!" Finally, to find myself standing in front of Al Pacino, was so ultimate! In fact, he and I are already on a first name basis, as you will see here. I like to think his last sweet wave was for me when I yelled "we love you Al. We love you." NewsFix Houston is airing it tonight on their news broadcasts at 5 & 9 p.m., but it won't likely air in its entirety, so to see it all, press play. Enjoiah!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


A prestigious panel of judges from Houston's prestigious film and art community collectively awarded me, Rachel Estrada, the top video honor of Best Music Video at the Senorita Cinema Film Festival, led by Stephanie Saint Sanchez. The now award winning music video, features "Possessed By the Beat" a song by music artist MaxXandaux, produced by Houston producer extraordinaire BL ACK CAT.

The distinguished panel of judges included native Houstonian Alfred Cervantes, Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commission. Another judge was producer and director, Mary Lampe, Executive Director of Southwest Alternate Media Project. Lampe also serves on various grant panels around Texas. Another judge was Dr. Tish Stringer, anthropologist and media maker, film lecturer and Film Program Manager at Rice University Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts is also the Film and Video Tech. Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center, Christine Jelson West was also on the judging panel. West, also a native Houstonian has a long history of working with the Orange Show Center of Visionary Art; Texas Visual Art Online and like Lampe, West serves on various art boards around the state.  Academic and independent media consultant, Margarita de la Vega-Hurtado, was also on the panel. Vega-Hurtado spent several years as the Executive Director of Flaherty International Film Seminars. Judges said "it moved well." One said "during the screening, the judges couldn't take their eyes off of it."

It was nice to have MaxXandaux (right above) on site to share the joy of my winning moment.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HEIGHTSTONIAN Gets Selected By All Latina Film Festival

A HEIGHTSTONIAN production was selected by the prestigious panel of Senorita Cinema for this year's film festival. "Possessed By the Beat" was a music video I made for MaxXandaux this year and just a pure joy to create. This year's festival will be held Saturday August 27th at Talento Billingue de Houston 333 S. Jensen 77003 from 7-9pm. You are all invited to come and support me that night!! If you haven't seen my entry, here it is once again for your entertainment. Enjoiah!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's all in a name!!! BAD new Heights restaurant

I really tried to keep this one in the bag, but it's been upsetting me ever since my mom and I were there this past Thursday afternoon.
A certain new Heights restaurant need to get its act together. It's a thumbs down for DOWN HOUSE. I took my lovely mom to DOWN HOUSE, a "nice, $$" new restaurant on Yale, only to have our dinner swarmed by 10+ FLIES!!! In fact, DOWN HOUSE should change its name to ROUND HOUSE because that's what you have to do several times over just to get a bite down. My mother nearly broke her neck turning at every approach! The clincher?!!? When I told the waitress about it, she said "there's nothing we can do." I'm thinking "you mean there's nothing you can do about flies swarming my mother as she eats her $22 port chop?!?! UH-UH!" My mother didn't want to switch tables because we were by the window. My mother and I are the kind of people who wouldn't tell a patron "there's nothing I can do." So I guess it's safe to say that unless the flyswatter becomes the latest fashion accessory, this HEIGHTSTONIAN will NOT be dining at DOWN HOUSE anytime soon.

Fashion, Art and a Popping Newsroom

I published a beauty from Fashion Houston 2010. Music by Houston's own Josh Dupont, owner of Nightshade Music. I've always thought his style was more for fashion shows, BIG ones. Anyway, what he did in May 2010 works very well for Irina Shabayeva's.

And recently, I published one of my many art days. I went to the Lawndale and that's where GONZO 247 of Aerosol Warfare, was making a presentation. I love the crazy arm shadows that appear on the wall, just as he's speaking on the topic of painting shadows. You've gotta love divine coincidence. 

And KTRH gets poppin'!! We have a new popcorn machine in the newsroom at work! It's classic! Of course i was there to taste test the first batch! So were John Labus and Joe Gomez from Clear Channel Radio Houston 740 KTRH Newstalk. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Advocating Houston's Budding Designers

HEIGHTSTONIAN here... Simply supporting Houston's local fashion designers.

Show me what you have so I can share it with the world... if you're ready.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New music video!!

I know you've been waiting for MaxXandaux's new music video. I'm steadfast in post production, but it will be worth the wait, so hang in there. Meanwhile, here are a couple of trailers for the upcoming video screening this Sunday, which is also Mother's Day. Kiss your mom and drop in on your way home.
The first...

The second...

Please come Sunday. I know it's Mother's Day but you have aaaalll day to hug and kiss mom before heading home. Stop by for a eyeful and then head home to prepare for your work week. I personally GO to events. I don't conduct them, so this is a BIG deal for me. I've invited many people I sincerely hope to see there. I hope you too can make it.

A little background:

This is a track in a string of songs MaxXandauX has created. The video these trailers are for is a second collaboration between HEIGHTSTONIAN and MaxXandauX, and I'm honored he chose me to direct, shoot and edit the video for "Possessed By the Beat." This track is produced and arranged by Black Cat. The collaboration between MaxXandauX and Black Cat is a first for the pair. I'm not sure if Black Cat wants to be identified by name so I won't reveal his identity. You have to attend the screening to find you ;)!! Black Cat is a pretty extraordinary talent based in Houston.

MaxXandaux works range from self portraits, video and music. MaxXandauX has also appeared in film and is training to be a dancer.

New fashion show!! I just LOVE'em!

This is Lila Rose! Happy springtime. Enjoiah!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Houston Fashion Week, 2010 for SS2011, Day 2

Spring is just around the corner. I thought I'd share more shows from Fashion Houston Day 2, which was full of wonderful surprises, & great people. Here's a look! Enjoiah.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Diana Ross LIVE

I’ve had this book called “What Becomes A Legend Most? The Blackglama Story” by Peter Rogers, by my bedside for a while now. Inside, is an interview with Diana Ross, circa 1973 about preps for the ad shoot. Tonight I saw Diana Ross live in concert. She makes being amazing look so easy. In true Supreme form, she had 5 changes of decadent beaded, jeweled and sparkly gowns. First red, then gold, blue, and finally, ultra gold sparkle, She started with “I’m coming out,” then segued into Supreme classics including “Stop, In the Name of Love.” She covered a couple of Billy Holiday classics and then said “this one is for my friend Mahogany,” as she led into “Do You Know?” She was just lovely, with the open armed Diva pose on the last notes; classic and every bit the embodiment of a legend. She had a great time and was even a little flirty with a guy she brought up to dance with onstage for a short while. His name was Demarion. Later, I asked him what she said in his ear onstage. “She said ‘I love you,’ just have fun,” he replied. “Had I known I was going to be dancing with Diana Ross, I would have worn a suit,” he added. The whole night was fun and inevitabley nostalgic, which is why we love her.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My BIG debut for Michael Berry

My voice was used for a very funny parody for the Michael Berry show!! Enjioah.

Need Reels? I do Reels... Just did a couple today about the "Barbie" movie for my station

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