On Wednesday, evening a well-heeled crowd gathered at the Westlake home of Carla McDonald to tour her impressive vintage couture collection, curated over the years with the help of guest of honor, Cameron Silver, co-owner of Decades, the famed vintage and haute consignment retailer in Los Angeles.
Silver, also known for his Bravo show, the Dukes of Melrose, was on a book tour to promote his coffee table fashion bible aptly named Decades. And since McDonald is part of the “Decades family”of clients and a collector of vintage herself, her elegant home was the perfect backdrop.
"What's interesting about Austin is it has this strong, hippy youth vibe but it is still Texas with it's degree of elegance.” - Cameron Silver
“My sense in doing the event is that I didn't want to do head to toe vintage for the party, which is something Cameron always says not to do.” McDonald says she wanted the event to feel modern and fresh in the context of the vintage discussion. She chose music from current runway collections, as well as white peonies, orchids and French tulips, designed by David Kurio, for simple elegance.
Guests sipped on tall pink grapefruit Bichon Frisé cocktails, a French-ified version of the greyhound, while admiring McDonald's dresses displayed on mannequins and flipping through Silver's impressive fashion tome, which he happily autographed. Dresses in McDonald's collection included a 1950's Gino Bogani, 1970's pieces by Bob Mackie, Loris Azzaro and Ungaro and two 1980's dresses by Chanel, and Versace.
For the occasion McDonald wore a '90s black floor length Versace. McDonald praised Silver's taste in choosing pieces for her over the years, “He has suggested pieces to me, usually emailing photos, that I would never have chosen for myself that I ultimately fell in love with. You get to know someone quite well when they dress you.”
Silver described McDonald's style as “clean and sharp and timeless American chic.” He says he wanted his book to be timeless as well, full of depth and inspirational.
Was he pleased with the event and the Austin crowd? “The event was a perfect way to celebrate the book, and I made sixty new friends. Of all of the Texas cities, this is the city that most represents my aesthetic. What's interesting about Austin is it has this strong, hippy youth vibe but it is still Texas with it's degree of elegance.”