Austin Insider’s Guide
Austin Style Gems
by Nicole Beckley
OLIVE’S NEW DIGS
When Laura Uhlir launched her clothing and accessories shop, Olive, inside Domy Books in 2012, she thought it might be a part-time project. “I was doing it because I was passionate about it and believed in it, but I never really thought it would go this far,” Uhlir says. In February, after spending the last two years in a cozy space on Rosewood Avenue, Olive has expanded into a brighter, roomier space on East 11th Street. While Olive’s new boutique carries some vintage items and an expanded shoe selection, the focus is on emerging and independent designers, including jeans from Objects Without Meaning. Before starting Olive, the native Texan thought she’d go into education. “I come from a long line of teachers,” Uhlir explains, “but I just wound up with a store instead.” For more information, visit oliveaustin.com.
ALL DOLLED UP
Bikers. Rockabilly revelers. Pin-up girls. These are all folks you might encounter at the Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up classic car show. Intrigued by the colorful characters drawn to the hot rod lifestyle, Texas photographer George Brainard spent five years capturing their styles and stories in striking black and white portraits. “Taking that color element out of it, I think it’s easier to notice details about people,” Brainard says. “I think these pictures are really simple in a lot of ways, so what’s complex about them is the people and their style.” Compiling the photos into a book, Brainard released All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits last month, cataloguing guys in rolled up jeans and vintage shirts, women in flirty retro dresses, and tattooed men in tank tops. You can check out the crowd yourself at this year’s Round Up on April 17 and 18 at the Travis County Expo Center. “The show is about the cars, but it’s much bigger than that,” Brainard says, “It’s a whole culture.” For more information, visit alltoreupbook.com.
Looking for a bit of jewelry inspiration? Showcasing work from independent designers and artisans, the online launch of ARO puts creatively crafted bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings front and center. In addition to exclusive pieces like acrylic and brass pendants from Austin-based Hey Murphy, the shop also features small home and fashion accessories, including ceramic bowls and ring stands from Austin’s own Gopi Shah Ceramics. Plus, from now through the end of April, visit the brick and mortar store on Rosewood Avenue to see the designs in person. For more information, visit shop-aro.com.
Two new nail salons want to make sure your fingers and toes always look great. For those on the go, Lacquer (which opened in March) offers classic and deluxe mani-pedis in its downtown location. “My vision is to create a place where you can get pampered in less than an hour and walk out and feel great about yourself,” says owner Carla Hatler. Part of this pampering includes the Essie gel system, featuring colors from Rebecca Minkoff. A little further north, sisters Molly Donovan and Elisabeth Tynberg are bringing high-end nail care to Central Austin. At Polish (which opened in January), you can indulge in a Polish Pedicure, which includes a foot soak, nail trimming and shaping, an exfoliating scrub and a hydrating foot massage. While pinks are always in for spring, Donovan says the popular colors now are “neutrals, nudes and the coffee colors; really the classic natural looking nails.” For more information, visit ilovelacquer.com and polishatx.com.
OFF TO THE RACES
Before a motorcycle racer hits the track, they’ve got to be properly suited up. World Champion MotoGP racer Kevin Schwantz shares a few surprising facts about what the racers put on before they take off.
- “Almost all the riders wear some type of protection for their spine underneath their leather racing suit. It’s a soft padding with some hard plastic. A good description for what most of them look like is kind of like an armadillo’s back. It can bend over and then come back, but doesn’t overlap when it goes.”
- “Most of the riders wear a thin nylon suit that helps make getting the leathers on and off easier. It’s just kind of a big, tight set of pajamas, more or less.”
- “Whatever helmet company riders use most have things that you’ll see them tearing off during the race. They’re called tear-offs, and they’re thin pieces of plastic that cover the shield, in case you get a bug or something on the shield, you have the ability to clean it while the race is going on.”
Get an up close look at the racers during the MotoGP event April 10 – 12 at the Circuit of The Americas. For more information, visit circuitoftheamericas.com/motogp.
Olive photo by Laura Ulhir
All Tore Up photo by George Brainard
ARO photo by Jackie Lee Young; Art Direction & Styling by Leslie Hernandez