Shopping News in April

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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RACE TO THE TABLE

April is a race month at Texas Motor Speedway, and just in time for pre-NRA 500 gatherings April 13, Hermès has launched its racetrack-inspired Rallye 24 collection of porcelain tableware. In keeping with the company's 2013 "Sporting Life" theme, the collection includes 49 pieces that incorporate a graphic racetrack grid motif (and take inspiration from Hermès' vintage Chaine d'Ancre link style), in six bold colors that you'd see on the cars whizzing by. Look for mugs, bowls, dinner plates, platters and more. A set of six round plates sells for $1,140; a large Rotonde vase retails for $710. Available at Hermès, 21 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214-528-0197, and by special order through P.S. the Letter, 5136 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-731-6372. View the collection and purchase at www.hermes.com.

J'ADORE DIOR & MORE

Fashionistas, rejoice -- the Christian Dior boutique at Highland Park Village in Dallas is finally open! The tres sophisticated space contains four salons, each devoted to its own aspect of chic Dior design: handbags, shoes, jewelry and timepieces, and ready-to-wear. Even those not shopping for a new Lady Dior quilted bag will appreciate an exclusive exhibition of photography celebrating Dior Couture taken by famed French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier, on display through April 19 at a pop-up gallery space nearby (50 Highland Park Village). Find Dior Dallas at 12 Highland Park Village, Suite 12, Dallas, 214-520-6494. The luxury-laden shopping mecca also welcomed Saint Laurent Paris (28 Highland Park Village, 214-780-0184), filled with Tributes, Muses and everything in between. And this month, all eyes will be trained on 44 1/2 Highland Park Village (with 214-559-6140 on speed dial) for the opening of Alexander McQueen -- we've already started to swoon.

NEW SPOT FOR SASSY GIRLS

The girl-centric clothing line E Couture Designs is well known to watchers of TLC shows like Quints by Surpris e and Toddlers and Tiar as for sweet and sassy styles -- think damask prints, plenty of pinks and a touch of rhinestone sparkle. Now the North Texas mom behind the brand, designer Elizabeth Copeland, is bringing her collection to The Plaid Peacock in downtown Roanoke. The newly opened showroom will carry an ever-changing inventory of custom hair accessories, pettiskirts, chiffon dresses, jewelry and more. That "more" includes some of Copeland's latest creations, she says, as part of her goal of using the new space as a launching pad for new designs. 206 N. Oak Street, Roanoke; 817-490-5000.

FROM AFRICA WITH LOVE

Lovers of argan and grape seed oils, take note. Now there's a new natural moisturizer on the block: marula oil. This light, fast-absorbing moisturizer comes from cold-pressed marula nuts indigenous to East Africa. The nuts are wild-harvested and hand-selected by Masai women employed by a fair-trade, eco-conscious enterprise called The Leakey Collection, which was co-founded by Katy and Philip Leakey. (Yes, it is connected to the famed paleoanthropologists -- Mary and Louis are Philip's parents.) Marula is a luxury anti-aging daily facial oil that's brimming with anti-oxidants and higher levels of omega-9 acid than argan and grape seed oil. Use it alone for a silky matte finish (it's especially effective after irritating facial treatments like chemical peels), or add a drop to cleaners, masks or foundations for an extra boost of moisturizer. $58-$78, available at all Sephora stores.

A NEW PLACE TO SHOW OFF

We'd like to move in and live here for a while. After several years of planning and building, a new Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom and inspiration center, showcasing fine luxury appliances and cooking equipment, will open early this month near the Dallas Design District. The 20,000-square-foot space (formerly home to Tower Records) includes multilevel product displays, vignette galleries and a full demonstration kitchen where cooking classes and wine tastings will take place. 3707 Lemmon Ave., Dallas; 972-699-5202; www.subzero-wolf.com.

BUNDLES OF JOY AT VERA BRADLEY

Vera Bradley is proud to announce a new arrival to its well-known line of festively printed handbags, gifts and accessories -- baby gear! The company's boutiques and retail outlets will soon be stocked with baby bags, apparel and gift items, including two -- a blanket and a lovely bunny -- that can be personalized with initials or a name. Find Vera Bradley boutiques at 1443 Main St., Southlake, 817-488-9762, and 1604 S. University Dr., Fort Worth, 817-878-2862.

A NEW KNITWEAR BOUTIQUE

Montgomery Street in Fort Worth is transforming into destination for unique boutiques, and the late-April opening of Georgina Estefania Knits will reinforce this new reputation. Knitwear designer Georgina Estefania launched her eponymous label in 2005, gradually building the brand from a home-based business creating hand-loomed sweaters for a handful of shops into a major fashion force manufacturing original designs for more than 500 boutiques around the country and internationally. She'd been looking for years for a new, expanded location to house her studio, which now includes 10 employees and five state-of-the-art German knitting machines. When an industrial building on Montgomery became available, she knew it was the right fit. The new facility allowed her to add a retail component to her business, and she's got big plans for her chic, modernist storefront boutique. In addition to her current line of sweaters, which sell for $100-$200, Estefania says she'll also offer Italian and American cotton yarns along with exclusive products like blankets, pillows and one-off designs that showcase her love of color and the versatility of knits. 2058 Montgomery St., Fort Worth; 817-945-2228.

CRAZY FOR KUKIS

When our staff was sent samples of Kuki Squared cookies, we couldn't stop eating them. "Kukis" (Swahili for cookies) are soft, square-shaped cookies made by a California bakery using fresh, all-natural ingredients, in flavors such as cranberry white chocolate, pistachio cherry, almond apricot and chocolate coconut almond; they come in gluten-free varieties, too. Not only do they taste great, but they do good for others. The company, founded last fall by 19-year-old University of Southern California fraternity brothers Alexander Evans-Pfeiffer and Barak Federman, uses a "buy one/give one" business model, similar to that of TOMS shoes. For every cookie purchased, one is donated to an underprivileged child around the world. The company works with 18 charities from San Diego to Shanghai -- including two in Africa supported by Britain's Prince Harry. We think they'd make great corporate or teacher gifts; after all, they were good enough to be served in the Academy Awards VIP Gifting Suite in February. Six-packs retail for $13.99; a 12-pack, $29.99; and a party pack of 60 is $110. The young company is still looking for retailers nationwide, but order online at www.kukisquared.com.

CLARINS DOUBLES DOWN ON SKINCARE

This spring, French beauty company Clarins launches a new moisturizer called the Double Serum Compete Age Control Concentrate, a combination serum of some 20 plant extracts that the company says was nearly 30 years in the making. The scarlet-tinted cylinder contains two chambers -- a water-soluble formula in one, an oil-soluble formula in the other. The two formulas mix only when dispensed, creating an ideally balanced moisturizer right in the palm of the hand that, on application, restores suppleness and oxygenates the skin while delaying and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and protecting against future damage. $85, available at all Clarins cosmetics counters.

RAISING THE BARRE

Exercise enthusiasts in Tarrant County are never short on options, and now there are even more for those who have fallen in love with ballet-inspired barre classes. Pure Barre, which has more than 120 locations in 30 states, is opening two new area locations. Pure Barre, a technique invented by dancer Carrie Rezabek Dorr, involves a focus on small isometric movements completed at a ballet barre. An Arlington studio will open April 6 at 2500 NE Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 128; 817-652-2919. The Fort Worth location is scheduled to open later this month or in early May, taking the space at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Suite 220; email: fortworth@purebarre.com; www.pure

barre.com. Both studios have Facebook pages, which you can follow for more updates on opening events and classes.

NOTEBOOK

Lisa McConnell Design Studio has moved to 3913 Camp Bowie Blvd. (The number remains 817-732-4440). Now McConnell has more space to showcase her signature State of Texas seal collection of jewelry and gifts, plus a new 3-D jewelry design program that allows clients to create their own unique pieces on-screen, which McConnell then translates into reality. Nancy Gonzalez, the Colombian accessories designer known for her much-coveted, brilliantly hued exotic skin carry-alls, will stop by Neiman Marcus Ridgmar from 1:30 to 3 p.m. April 11 to personally introduce her spring collection, including her newest style, a crocodile-skin tote called the Cristina Bag (above). 2100 Green Oaks Road, Fort Worth, 817-738-3581. Gene Allen's Gifts in Arlington has closed its Park Row location. Fans will be happy to know, though, that the Randol Mill and Little Road locations will remain open. For more information, call 817-277-7501 (Randol Mill location) or 817-478-4788 (Little Road location), or visit www.geneallensgifts.com. The new Painting with a Twist in historic downtown Burleson is adding a celebrity-charity twist to its grand opening celebration. As the BYOB "paint-and-sip" studio has opened in singer Kelly Clarkson's hometown, all sales from the class on April 21 will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the charity that the owners say Clarkson selected for them herself. The class is open to the public, and reservations are required. 104 E. Ellison St., Suite B, Burleson; 817-487-5071; www.paintingwitha

twist.com. Daireds Salon & Spa Pangéa is hosting a "Bring Your Own Blowdryer" event 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 11 to teach the fine art of the blowout. Stylists will work one-on-one with guests, giving them start-to-finish instructions on how to achieve salon-sleek hair at home. Reservations are required, and the $25 nonrefundable fee can be used toward the purchase of products during the event. 2400 West I-20 at Bowen Road, Arlington; 817-465-9797.

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