The List

The i List for April

Blinged Out Boots

You may have seen the incredible Swarovski-encrusted boots created by crystal artist Jacqi Bling on TV — they’ve been worn on American Idol, The Voice and on the new TNT reality series The Private Lives of Nashville Wives. Based in Sweetwater, this model-turned-artisan has be-sparkled just about everything, from a hat for Justin Bieber to a basketball for Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs, and she regularly works her magic on anything leather (think guitar straps, bootstraps, belts and even saddles) and jewelry. Every design is custom and one-of-a-kind, and she gives each pair of her signature boots a title.

The process begins with a client consultation; from there, Bling starts sketching. Once her design is approved by the client, the crystallization begins. It’s painstaking detail work, Bling says, that can involve upward of 100,000 Swarovski crystals, some smaller than the head of a pin. For this reason, boot prices start around $600 and go up to $25,000; belts begin at $600, and bracelets run from $250 to $5,000. There’s no typical customer for her work, Bling says. “Even women you wouldn’t think would buy something like this, they are literally saving their pennies for their boots.”

Living in a Bubble

Some of us will never be comfortable as campers. But we’re pretty sure the things we don’t like about “roughing it” — sleeping on the hard ground, shivering at night, swatting mosquitoes — would be solved if we could camp in a CasaBubble. These futuristic-looking inflatable plastic spheres, the idea of two French designers, are upscale tents with wood floors, a flow of fresh air and “airlock vestibules” that allow you to enter and exit without popping the bubble. They range in size from 11 feet to 26 feet in diameter and come in a number of configurations, from the simple, transparent CristalBubble to the multiroom GrandLodge. There’s even a TreeBubble, the ultimate fantasy for the childhood tree-climbers among us. Some CasaBubbles unzip from the base, allowing you to bring in furniture, gaming equipment or a Jacuzzi — and if you really want to trick it out, you can equip it with a dry toilet, an outdoor sink, a shower or an electrical system that uses solar cells or batteries.

The durable, portable rooms are made of PVC and, when deflated, fit into a car’s trunk. The creators tout the bubbles’ environmental friendliness and their acoustic and tranquilizing effects, saying on their website, “Noises outside are muffled and sounds inside bounce back to the center of the sphere so that people instinctively speak more softly. The sphere has a calming effect and generates a feeling of well-being.” With promises like that, even we non-camping types could be converted. CasaBubbles start at $7,000 for the 11-foot size; order from or by calling 805-426-5278.

Designs on the Outdoors

If the idea of actually reading on a lazy spring weekend seems a bit too ambitious and what you really crave is some creative inspiration, unwind your way through Gardens Are for Living: Design Inspiration for Outdoor Spaces (Rizzoli, $50), a gorgeous book showcasing outdoor living spaces, with a foreword by design guru Jonathan Adler. Landscape designer Judy Kameon inspires with ideas for creating outdoor rooms for a variety of purposes: growing food, cooking food, playing, enjoying art, entertaining friends or simply, well, relaxing with a good book. It includes lots of color photos, and tips and advice on integrating elements of design — such as texture, sound, form and movement — to create one-of-a-kind spaces. Dream it, and then do it.

Music and Meditation

Each of the local performing arts groups, it seems, is taking its turn debuting in the Kimbell Art Museum’s Piano Pavilion. In our minds, the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth’s first concert in the new space is a can’t-miss. The celebrated Vermeer String Quartet, whose members performed together from 1969 to 2007, is reuniting for a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ. “This is a group that doesn’t play together anymore,” Chamber Music Society artistic director Gary Levinson told Indulge. “But they are getting back together just for us.”

The performance will take place Easter Eve, April 19 — a day that’s spiritually appropriate for the work. It consists of movements based on the seven phrases that the Bible says Jesus uttered from the cross and concludes with an “earthquake” movement. Between each section will be a short meditation, presented by leaders of various faiths as well as secular leaders in the community. Haydn wrote the work in 1786 as a commission from the Cathedral of Cadiz, Spain; he considered it one of his supreme works. The quartet received a Grammy nomination for its recording of the piece in 1988. The concert takes place at 2 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture beginning at 1:30. Tickets, $28 (adults), $25 (seniors) and $5 (students), can be purchased at or by calling 817-877-3003.

Gala-vanting through Spring

Two of spring’s most highly anticipated galas are coming up. Are your gowns and tuxes ready?

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s April 3 Gala concert welcomes legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, playing with the symphony at Bass Hall. (By the way, if you’ve ever wondered about the English meaning of Ma’s Chinese name, he congenially told Indulge in a recent phone interview, “ ‘Yo’ means ‘friend,’ ‘Ma’ means ‘horse.’ Therefore, I am a friendly neigh-sayer.”) At press time, the concert was nearly sold out; to inquire about remaining tickets, call 817-665-6000. Following the 7 p.m. concert, the black-tie Gala reception and dinner will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. For information about tickets, $250, visit

The Cliburn Foundation’s “Classically Cliburn” Gala takes place 7 p.m. May 2 at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. Chaired by sisters and longtime arts supporters Anna Melissa Philpott, Tina Gorski and Marsha Kleinheinz, the art deco-themed event — which is black-tie this year — will include a pre-dinner cocktail reception with jazz trio 3 if by Sea. Later, revelers will dance to the high-energy music of Big Blast and the Party Masters, an Atlanta-based band. For more information and tickets, $500, visit or call 817-738-6536.

Sssssensational for Spring

As thoughts turn to the flora, fauna and gardens of spring, the “Serpenti” leather bracelet from Bulgari makes a particularly clever — and we think, chic — style statement. The serpent is the hallmark of this luxury Italian jewelry brand, which traces its heritage back to Greece, where founder Sotirio Bulgari began his career as a silversmith. In 1905, Bulgari opened his first boutique in Rome, and his bold designs quickly became must-buy baubles among the European jet set, and later among movie stars such as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, Bulgari still crafts exquisite gemstone jewelry, but the brand also boasts accessories like handbags, sunglasses and colorful fashion jewelry like these double-wrap wristlets ($390), with new colors each season. Try them alone or stacked for maximum impact. NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway, Suite 612, Dallas, 214-414 9666.

A Light Touch

As temperatures rise, beauty routines change, calling for delicate colors and subtle touches. Fashion and beauty editor Jenny B. Davis has fallen in love with these three products, and she’s sure you’ll want them to become your springtime staples, too:

Clarins Three-Dot Liner: This ingenious pen is tipped with tiny prongs that allow you to apply color between your lashes for the ultimate no-makeup look. It takes a couple tries to get the hang of dotting instead of sweeping or drawing, but once you get it, you’ll never go back to the brush. $26, available at all Clarins cosmetics counters.

Inglot AMC lip gloss: Professional hair and makeup artist L.B. Rosser, a frequent contributor to Indulge fashion features, touted this amazing Polish makeup line, and its new gloss was among the most coveted gifts at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. Iridescence is a major trend this spring, and these funky formulations look dramatic but actually go on clear. As a topcoat, they brighten any lipstick shade and add a slight shine when worn alone. They smell great, too. $16.

Orly Nail Lacquers: The “Blush” collection of new spring colors from Orly gives your nails a pretty, feminine touch that’s the perfect accent to the season’s florals and pastels. We love that the lilac shade has a slight gold shimmer. And, like all Orly lacquers, they’re made without harsh chemicals like toluene and formaldehyde. $8.50, available at all Ulta Beauty locations.

Party with the Art

On the street. If it’s April it must be time for the art fests. The biggy, the largest in Texas, Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival, will take place April 10-13. It covers the length of Main Street from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center to display the work of 213 artists and showcase 120 performances. It’s free, but packed, so check out the schedule of events and the location of your favorite artists on the website, before you go.

In the Square. Two weekends later, April 25-27, Art in the Square takes hold of Southlake Town Square, bringing with it a lively collection of about 150 artists showcasing traditional artworks along with sculpture, photography and jewelry. Continuous performances are held on two stages, and proceeds go to local charitable organizations that serve women and families in Northeast Tarrant County. An up-to-date lineup of events can be found at

Let There Be Light

“Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World” is the big event at the Dallas Museum of Art for 2014. The exhibition spans more than 10 centuries with more than 150 objects that examine the use and meaning of light in Islamic art and science. “Nur” is the Arabic word for light in both the physical and metaphysical sense, and the exhibit will examine the artistic techniques and scientific contributions that expanded enlightenment. Through June 29, $8, at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas, 214-922-1200.

See Jane Shop

Fort Worth welcomes Plain Jane & Co., a newly opened boutique off the bricks of Camp Bowie Boulevard. It’s actually a fifth location for owner Amber Caverly, who also owns Plain Jane outposts in Waxahachie, Canton and Rockwall. That means she’s perfected the shop’s mix of colorful, accessibly priced separates, casual footwear, jewelry and more — a mix she calls “fashion and frills,” and the selection is constantly changing, with new merchandise arriving every week. The Fort Worth boutique also includes a plus-size section (up to size 3X), and Caverly is planning to devote a section of the store to TCU-themed gear. 4919 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-763-JANE (5263).

Coffee for a Cause

Arlington native Blake Mycoskie, the trendsetting entrepreneur who made canvas slip-on shoes a socially responsible fashion statement with the launch of TOMS, is adding coffee to his repertoire of products that do the world good. For every bag of beans sold, a person in Rwanda, Malawi, Guatemala, Honduras or Peru — the locales where the coffee is being sourced — will get clean water for a week. “Coffee for you. Water for all” is the tagline for Mycoskie’s new venture, which he announced to crowds at Austin’s South by Southwest fest in March. Six varieties are available, including a spicy espresso called Carpe Diem and a Peruvian roast with caramel and apple notes. Find all six, priced at $12.99 for a 12-ounce bag ($13.99 for Peru roast) at Whole Foods, 801 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington, 817-461-9362,

Beauty to Go

Ever wished there was a better way to travel with your cosmetics, shaving kit or styling tools? Austin-based road warrior Polly Shrewsbury did, so she took her experience as a management consultant and an engineer and partnered with her friend, hairstylist Judy Seonkyung, to create an innovative system to store, contain and transport everything from cosmetics to blow dryers and hair straighteners. The Stow + Go Essentials collection, which they sell under the brand Pollyseon, includes four pieces. There’s a hair-dryer case ($49), a well-designed overnight bag ($149), a cosmetics case that unzips into two side-by-side bins in a way that’s so unique, it’s patented ($59), and a case they call the “Iron Maiden” stow — an ingenious zippered case with both a pouch to safely pack a hot curling iron or flat iron (up to 900 degrees) and a roll-out pad to set your hot styling tool on while you’re using it, saving your counter-top from damage ($59). Pollyseon also offers the same designs in eco-friendly fabric. Find them all at


Zar Clothier Women will open in late April in Southlake Town Square. Owner Ray Rizwan plans to fill the chic space with an upscale brand mix that echoes the bespoke sensibility of the Zar Clothier men’s boutique a few doors down, including BCBG Max Azria, Ted Baker and Black Halo. 1264 Main St., Southlake, 817-416-0126.

FarmHouse Fresh and The Spa & Salon at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas are offering two new “Sweet Southern Blooms” spa treatments through May that feature FarmHouse Fresh products. Guests who enjoy either treatment receive a Hello! Yellow shea butter hand cream and a ticket to the Dallas Arboretum. The pedicure includes FarmHouse Fresh’s honey-magnolia sparkling soak and Hello! Yellow shea butter (50 minutes; $85); the scrub and massage begin with a FarmHouse Fresh salt scrub in the Vichy room (50 minutes; $140). To make an appointment, call 972-717-2555 or visit

Neiman Marcus Ridgmar hosts two personal appearances this month. On April 10, designer Jan Barboglio will be in-store all day to showcase her new tabletop designs and other home accents in her signature rustic-chic aesthetic. On April 11, Santiago Gonzalez will present fabulous new spring handbag styles from Nancy Gonzalez. 2100 Green Oaks Road, Fort Worth, 817-738-3581.

Belk celebrates the opening of its first Texas flagship location at Galleria Dallas with a charity fashion show event 7-10 p.m. April 3. Special guests include Nashville star Hayden Panettiere and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Tickets are $50 and benefit Susan G. Komen’s Passionately Pink for the Cure. On April 17, designer Cynthia Rowley will present her latest looks from the CYNTHIA Cynthia Rowley collection at the store. 13550 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, 972-383-3170.

Fort Worth style blogger Samantha Stewart will host Studio Scene at Neiman Marcus Last Call 5-7 p.m. April 3. A self-described “mixmaster of vintage, thrift and couture,” Stewart will speak about spring accessories trends (and how to work a signature look, a talent the writer-slash pharmacist-slash new mom regularly shares on her popular blog,

Reserve a spot by emailing rsvpnmlast 5550 W. Lovers Lane, Suite 147, Dallas, 214-350-2744.