The Fashion Girl’s guide to Houston

In Houston, at any given moment, you can feel like you’re in a different part of the globe. World-class art? Check. Covetable style? Check. Enviable international cuisine scene? Double check. Diverse, cultured and, of course, laden with signature southern charm, Houston’s unique qualities make it a seriously special place, not to mention a haven for creatives and entrepreneurs. We’re packing our bags already, but before we hop on that plane, we asked some of our local fashion friends to give us some tips on where to go and what to do in the Bayou City.

WHERE TO EAT

Oxheart @jonguz
Photo via @jonguz

In a place like Houston where there’s an amazing restaurant on literally every street corner, it’s hard to know where to go to tuck in. Luckily for us, we had the experts narrow it down.

“For Vietnamese, go to Huynh,” says Cecilia Marquez, creative director of inspired boutique Saint Cloud. “For Szechuan, go to Cooking Girl or Mala.” She also notes Cuchara for Mexican and Hugs & Donuts (below) for something sweet. “I could keep going….we really like to eat and drink here!”

Hugs & Donuts
Photo via @hugsanddonutshtx

Both Kate de Para, the designer behind minimalist label Evens, and Trang Nguyen, co-founder of Rice Village boutique Myth & Symbol, dig Oxheart (above). The menu is always fresh and the service is on point, Kate insists — probably why it’s such a popular spot. “Make sure to get a reservations at least a month in advance,” Trang advises.

Huynh Restaurant, 912 Saint Emanuel

Cooking Girl, 315 Fairview St

Mala Sichuan Bistro, 9348 Bellaire Blvd

Cuchara, 214 Fairview St

Hugs & Donuts, 1901 N Shepherd Dr #4

WHERE TO DRINK 

Public Services cc @alicialynette
Photo via @alicialynette

“I always love to visit 13 celcius for wine and Public Services for sherry or a whiskey drink,” Kate says. Public Services (above), with its art deco furnishings in Houston’s historic 1884 Cotton Exchange building, is also Cecilia’s go-to, while Trang recommends Anvil, which boasts a 100-strong list of classic cocktails alongside eight house originals.

13 celcius, 3000 Caroline St

Public Services, 202 Travis St Suite 100

Anvil Bar & Refuge, 424 Westheimer Rd. Ste. B

WHAT TO SEE

James Turell cc @calpaca
Photo via @calpaca

It’s a general consensus — if you go to Houston, you gotta visit the James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace (above). The two-level pyramid installation, sitting on top of a hill next door to the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, has an LED light sequence that projects up towards an opening in the ceiling at sunrise and sunset. The way that natural light and the projection play off each other is nothing short of spectacular. 

James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University, 6100 Main St

Trang and Cecilia both also list the Menil Collection, an art museum comprised of four buildings (who of which are dedicated to individual artists) and Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern (below), one of Houston’s earliest underground water reservoirs, built in 1926 and filled with tall concrete columns that are reminiscent of the cisterns of ancient Rome. The cistern is set within the lush, 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park.  

Buffalo cistern
Photo via @krisgillentine

The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, 05 Sabine St

A trip to Houston wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Canino Farmer’s Market (below), though. Kate recommends visiting this local treasure, which has been supplying the city with fresh fruits and vegetables since 1958.

Farmer's market
Photo via @teresathuy

Canino Farmer’s Market, 2520 Airline Dr

WHERE TO WATCH LIVE MUSIC 

White Oak Music Hall
Photo via @keppford

Texas has a longstanding musical history and Houston has been home to more than a few of the greats (Kenny Rogers, Lyle Lovett, and somebody called Beyoncé, to name a few). Checking out a show in the Bayou City is a must and there are plenty of places to do it. Trang says to hit the newly opened White Oak Music Hall (above), a massive venue that is made up of three, multi-level performance spaces and spans more than five acres.

White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St

For Kate, Walter’s or the Raven Tower (originally built in the ’70s as a metal fabrication shop) are two of the best places to take in live music. 

Walter’s, 1120 Naylor St

Raven Tower, 310 North St

WHAT TO WEAR

evens
Photo via Evens

 

“Look, it’s hot as hell here and we’re all sweating together so we want as little fabric touching our bodies as possible,” Cecilia says. “That being said, Houston is a city where people want to look put together so we have perfected the art of being comfortable AND looking amazing at the same time. The keys are stunning accessories, great shoes, and breathable fabrics.”  

“I’d describe Houston style as super eclectic — at least in the art scene,” Kate continues. “There will always be something a little bit punk about the way people blend upcycling with high end design around here which I love.”

Houston’s style can be hard to define because it’s such a big and diverse city, Trang says, but one thing is certain: “We are the anti-New York: lots of colors and patterns,” she states. “Houston can be hot and humid so we all have a year-round summer wardrobe.”

HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT DAY IN HOUSTON 

Menil park
Photo via @sailert

With so many things to do and sights to see, how does one have a perfectly Houston day? Simple, Kate says: “It would go like coffee at Catalina, take a stroll around Sixth Ward, head to Menil Park and laze around with friends on a blanket, lunch at Brasil, walk to Tomo Magazines to browse some print media, maybe pop into Reeve’s Antiques to drool over some gorgeous MCM design or La Corazon for some cool Central American imported inspo, and hopefully have friends over for cocktails, a simple dinner and good conversation.”

Catalina Coffee Shop, 2201 Washington Ave

Old Sixth Ward

Menil Park (above), Branard St

Brasil Cafe, 2604 Dunlavy St

Tomo Mags, 1206 Hawthorne St

Reeve’s Antiques, 2415 Taft St

For Cecilia, her day revolves around her dogs and good grub. “Get up, grab a matcha latte from Morningstar Coffee & Donuts, take my dogs to Jonny Steele Dog Park (we call this place Disneyland for dogs — it’s amazing), take the dogs to meet friends for breakfast tacos at Guadalupana, hit up Tomo Mags for some hard-to-find publications, go to an afternoon yoga class and then head over to Boheme for a frozen mojito on their sprawling patio.  For dinner, meet friends at Weights + Measures and then an after dinner drink (or two) at Public Services.” 

Dog park
Photo via @erwin_htx

Morningstar Coffee & Donuts, 4721 N Main St

Jonny Steele Dog Park (above), 2929 Allen Pkwy

La Guadalupana Bakery & Cafe, 2109 Dunlavy St

Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline St

Trang’s perfect day packs in a lot of culture — something Houston is filled to the brim with.

Houston museum
Photo via @hotfarts

“Checking out the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (they have a great [Yayoi] Kusama exhibit going on), then walking over to Hotel Zaza for a drink (and Volcano fries) and finally to the Miller Outdoor Theatre across the street for a show.” 

Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St

Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St

Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr

 

12 things we loved from our Spring #BOUTIQUELOVE Tour

We’ve been on the road for our #BOUTIQUELOVE tour the past couple of weeks crossing North America to celebrate the launch of Spring 2015 collections. Tonight is the final stop so we wanted to share a few of our favorite things from each of the boutiques we’ve partied with. They each have their own amazing curation of brands and unique style, so obviously we had to shop along the way. Our first stop was In Support Of in New York City, a boutique that focuses on local designers doing it right in the city’s garment district. Like Nikki Chasin, an emerging designer we’re super excited about. She had her first pop-up at the party. Next we ate our way through Houston and celebrated Cinco de Mayo with Saint Cloud. They’re stocked with amazing accessories, home goods and loungewear made for the heat. Then we hopped on a plane to Portland where we partied with West End Select, a boutique renowned for the owner’s cool style, rad selection and Japanese imports. Tonight we’re in Vancouver with One of a Few. With their selection of Rachel Comey, Jesse Kamm, Creatures of Comfort and more, it’s easy to spend a looong time there. The best part about all of these boutiques? The people behind them are cool, kind, hilarious and seriously amazing in every way. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the tour!

If you didn’t get to party with us, make sure to check us out on Soundcloud where you can stream the soundtrack from each city!

Shop our picks below.

Meet the Boutique: Saint Cloud

Talk about Cloud 9. Houston’s Saint Cloud boutique is full of lust-worthy jewelry and accessories from designers like Lizzie Fortunato and Pamela Love.

It’s hard to imagine shopping anywhere else in Texas once you discover the artful curation of Creative Director Cecilia Marquez and her parter, Jessica Rodriguez. Everywhere you look there’s something amazing to take in, from the black and white tile and fluorescent light sculpture to the amazing selection of cult labels and jewelry designers. Their MO? To offer small luxuries produced with thought and care from all over the world. Top that off with dance hits from Robyn and we’re sold. We caught up with Cecilia to quiz her on her favorite things and to learn more about her store.

Shop Saint Cloud >