I fell in love the last time I visited Austin. Yep, right there under P’s distracted eye – he was mostly at the Grand Prix racetrack that weekend, anyway. Sure, I brought back some mementos of that love, although they seem to make me that much more aware of the miles between me and my new addiction. I’ve got one more fix, a delivery coming, hopefully, today. I’m counting down the hours. But I’m jonesing for the coolness I found there and not sure when I’ll get to embrace it again.
You might say I’ve been “Blackmailed,” enthralled and intoxicated by the exotic fashion world of Blackmail Atelier, whose owner/designer Gail Chovan I met recently through my dear friend Jeannie (you may remember her as The Unlikely Lavender Queen). Gail is a funny, multi-talented, strikingly beautiful blonde with a style penchant for, naturellement, the noir. Occupying a little spot of heaven on South Congress Street, her Blackmail Atelier boutique is based in an old 1889 mercantile storefront, the oldest building on SoCo. It may actually embody the ultimate crossroads of where Coolness meets Couture.
Here’s the thumbnail bio of the rebellious former tomboy: originally Continue reading