• ICB by Prabal Gurung chartreuse brushed wool cape coat with smocked back yoke,midnight wool knit snood.
  • See by Chloé red jacquard jumper, red jacquard cardigan, pink corduroy slimpants, off-white calfskin and suede pointy boots.
  • ICB by Prabal Gurung persimmon stretch wool twill blazer with midnight lambleather lapel, indigo silk double georgette collared blouse, midnight woolsaxony double pleat trouser with tuxedo side trim detail.
  • ICB by Prabal Gurung azalea silk crepe de chine kaleidoscope print sleevelessdress with drop waist double layer skirt and hibiscus silk crepe de chinekaleidoscope print collared blouse.

NEW YORK — The future is now.

For the past few years, designers have mulled over the idea of staging a digital fashion show, where the only way to view the collection is online. This fashion season, for the first time, two have taken the plunge.

During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Prabal Gurung debuted a line he developed for International Concept Brands, which is owned by Japanese retail giant Onward Kashiyama. The ICB collection will appear in U.S. stores in the fall.

It's easier to see the clothes on video than in a crowded room where it's oftentimes hard to get a good head-to-toe look. But without an audience, the show has a sterile feeling.

The show, accessible to select retailers, buyers and fashion editors who signed in to a website with a special code, featured 32 looks, as models walked around in a stark white room while music played in the background — just like at a runway show.

In addition to head-to-toe views, there were close-up shots, so you could see the intricate smock detailing on a chartreuse cape, the flowing angel wing ribbons on the shoulders of a white blouse or the lace insets on a dress, thanks to the wonders of HD technology.

The collection is clean and modern, with stark shades — persimmon, aubergine, chartreuse, indigo — and colorful hibiscus and azalea prints. Clothes are cut in a way that a young hip twentysomething girl would love, with colorful cropped jackets, a shift with slashes that reveal a contrasting shade underneath and tiered ombre dresses with ethereal floating hemlines.

Gurung praised the digital runway format as a modern way to make lives easier for buyers and the fashion press. "It's a tool that I think will change the fashion world and make us see fashion shows in a different way," he said.

He has a point. It's easier to see the clothes on video than in a crowded room where it's oftentimes hard to get a good head-to-toe look. But without an audience, the show has a sterile feeling — and since clothes often look different when seen in person rather than on video, there are some nagging doubts that what you see is what you'll get in stores.

And I miss the final runway walk where all the models come out one last time to rapturous applause and the designer shyly waves to the adoring audience while Anna Wintour, trailed by her bodyguard/driver,scurries out to beat the crowd to the next show.

On the first day of Paris Fashion Week Wednesday, the fall collection of See by Chloé also debuted in the same way. (Both shows were shown in a format devised by KCD, the New York agency that handles many top shows like Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.)

Against a white marble wall flecked with veins of black, models strolled out in loose diaphanous dresses, belted jackets, wrapped silk blouses and skinny trousers in muted colors. A flannel coat with leather sleeves and a red jacquard cardigan were among the eye-catching items in the collection, which featured 32 looks. And the accessories — pointy ankle booties and a doctor's bag carried upside down — have a cool, urban vibe.

As the secondary, lower priced Chloé line, though, it probably wouldn't have attracted near this much attention if it weren't shown on the virtual runway.

See by Chloé fall 2012 collection:

  • Mathie Mirano in front of his Fall 2012 Collection in the Box at Lincoln Center
    Photo by Steve Hellerstein
  • Sequined-embellished cropped jacket reminiscent of Balmain at Mathieu Mirano.
    Photo by Steve Hellerstein
  • Dragon-inspired jewelry at Mathieu Mirano
    Photo by Andrew Werner
  • At Karen Walker Fall 2012, paisley prints and vibrant orange
    Karen Walker.com
  • Karen Walker's fuzzy yellow sweater gives a nod to the 1960s.
    Karen Walker.com
  • Boxy coats and paisley booties at Karen Walker
    Karen Walker.com
  • Brocade dress at Karen Walker
    Karen Walker.com
  • Another personal favorite of mine, a high-neck, long-sleeved black velvet gown
    Photo by Andrew Werner
  • A personal favorite, a red and gold satin v-neck gown
    Photo by Steve Hellerstein
  • Dragon-like scaled embroidery at Mathieu Mirano
    Photo by Steve Hellerstein

New discoveries from New York fashion week: Mathieu Mirano & Karen Walker

Off the Cuff

Editor's Note: With 350 designers at fashion week, there's no way Clifford Pugh could see all the shows. CultureMap contributor Lindly Arnoldy sought out some new fashion talent. Here's her report.

NEW YORK — Viewing the runway shows of major fashion houses at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is a thrilling experience. There is something truly glamorous and titillating about being a stone’s throw away from the key editors and photographers who have long standing presence in the industry.

However, there is also something to be said about seeing an emerging designer present for the very first time, where the talent is palpable but the crowd is much thinner.

There is something to be said about seeing an emerging designer present for the very first time, where the talent is palpable but the crowd is much thinner.

One of my favorite experiences from fashion week was viewing the presentation of newcomer Mathieu Mirano in the Box at Lincoln Center. Unlike a typical runway show, Mirano’s presentation felt exotic and otherworldly, paying homage to his background in piano with intense classical music setting the tone.

His 2012 fall collection was inspired by a dream he had involving women and dragons, which was visible in his use of fiery reds, golds and blacks with the incorporation of exposed zippers, claw studs, dragon heads and talons.

The result was a dark, somewhat mystical collection that reminded me of the sort of ostentatious, regal feel of something put forth by Balmain or Versace. My favorites were actually two gowns — a black turtleneck velvet gown that had a sort of renaissance appeal to it and a red and gold floor length satin with a V-neck and cap sleeve.

At only 20 years old, Mirano is making a name for himself for his sense of imagination and couture skills focusing on high levels of construction. He dropped out of Parson’s School of Design and in the last year morphed from a student trying to sneak into the tents at Lincoln Center to a talented, emerging designer presenting from the inside. I was very impressed with his work and predict he will be one to watch.

Sea monsters on the runway

Another favorite at fashion week was newcomer – though not first timer – designer Karen Walker. She has really made a name for herself in the industry with her sunglass line, a gift to all of the attendees in the first two rows at her runway show. She used the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea as the inspiration for her “Sea Monsters” presentation, which translated into lots of navy, yellow and orange separates with funky paisley prints, brocades and boxy coats.

The wild colors and prints were refreshing next to all of the black seen at many of the other shows.

I love Walker’s ability to offset a sweet peplum or pussybow blouse with a boyish, drop crotch trouser. There were also '60s mod undertones, seen similarly in her signature round sunnies, with her use of fuzzy sweaters and A-Line silhouettes. I particularly loved how she brought the paisley prints into her pointy toe booties with vibrant colors and sweet ruffles. The wild colors and prints were refreshing next to all of the black seen at many of the other shows.

The show attracted some notables. I spotted well known blogger Man Repeller tweeting from the front row and Elle style director Kate Lanpher seated directly in front of me. Walker’s knack for eclectic mix and her ability to execute multiple influences really made her stand out to me as a whimsical, talented designer who we will continue to see more of.

Lindley Arnoldy writes the fashion and style blog The Flip Side.

  • Snug wool dresses look hip enough to wear off the slopes.
  • Ski sweaters have the famous Lacoste alligator crawling along both arms.
  • Lacoste designer Felipe Olivera Baptista updated tweeds he saw in 1930s chaletphotos; the sleeves unzip for cape-like effect.
  • Lacoste sweater dresses come in a variety of colors......
  • Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
  • .....and styles.
    Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

A familiar new look: Lacoste's latest collection keeps it classic and classy,with a touch of sporty style

Let it snow

NEW YORK — Once a stuffy old brand, Lacoste has made a comeback in recent years, just as its alligator emblem has grown bigger and shown up on clothing in dozens of different ways.

Under the guidance of designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Lacoste remains sporty but has grown hipper looking, too. The Lacoste fall 2012 collection, shown during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with large rectangular snow globes bisecting the audience, was a winter wonderland of cool styles that you'd be tempted to wear even if you didn't come anywhere close to the slopes.

Baptista looked to the styles created by Lacoste for the 1966 French ski team and mountain challet photos from the 1930s featuring founder René Lacoste and his family as inspiration for his second Lacoste runway collection.

He updated knits and tweeds in space-age fabrics that range in shapes from form-fitting sweater dresses and matching leggings to large egg-like parkas with a rounded edge. Raw seams and zippers add an urban touch. The sleeves of several dresses in fabrics ranging from colorful tweeds to black leather zip open to create a cape-like cocoon.

In menswear looks, ski sweaters feature rows of crocodiles along the arms and nifty coats are quilted to add texture.

The fabrics throughout the collection are so light that layering never looked so good. Makes me wish for a cold spell in Texas.

See the Lacoste fall 2012 collection - and the snow globes:

  • Tory Burch closed her show with a tulle and chiffon embroidered evening gown
    Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
  • Burch opened her fall show with an embroidered tweed coat, embellished knitcardigan and organza eyelet skirt.
  • Tory Burch acknowledges the audience at the end of her show.
  • Narciso Rodriguez featured dresses with T-shaped fabric patterns that looked abit like a flock ot birds.
    Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Tory Burch and Narciso Rodriguez cast a spell with moody fashion & "can't get itout of my head" music

music & the magic of fashion

NEW YORK — Fashion always reflects the times. So with the uncertainty in the economy, the popularity of The Hunger Games and interest in paranormal activity, many fall collections shown during Meredes-Benz Fashion Week were a little dark and unsettled. "It used to be happy endings. Now it's all about the dark side," Roseanne Morrison, fashion director at The Doneger Group, explained to me before one show.

Ever perennially sunny Tory Burch seemed a little moody. She based her fall collection on a prim girl who is obsessed with a bad boyfriend. "She's innocent, unaware of her own sex appeal," Burch wrote in the program notes. Influenced by the 2000 Hong Kong movie, In the Mood for Love, in which neighbors each suspect their spouses of being unfaithful, Burch created a collection that is polished and proper, but with subversive undertones.

Influenced by the 2000 Hong Kong movie, In the Mood for Love, in which neighbors each suspect their spouses of being unfaithful, Burch created a collection that is polished and proper, but with subversive undertones.

To evoke the mood, the designer, a big music fan, selected the hypnotic song, "Under Your Spell," by Desire. (It was featured in the movie Drive.) Models walked down the runway to the words, "I don't eat, I don't sleep, I do nothing but think of you. You keep me under your spell."

Burch has quickly built a worldwide brand by offering stylish clothing well below designer prices. Her latest collection rachets up the level of sophistication and sensuality, with snugger silhouettes and a mix of fabrics like tulle and leather.

Yet it still includes plenty of saleable separates, including cardigans trimmed with pearls (very Chanel), tweed blazers with fringe detail, sweaters trimmed in tulle appliques, crinkled leather coats, patent skirts and handpainted plaids with sequin detail.

A variety of handbags, which range in styles from boxy with a chain link strap to embellished clutches, and shoes (T-strap and spectator pumps) gave each look a polished touch.

It was only Burch's second full-scale runway show and when I caught up with her that night at the Narcisco Rodriguez show, she seemed exhausted by the rigors of putting it together. Later, on her website, she listed the numbers involved in creating the runway show. It entailed:

Seats: 626
Racks of clothes: 10
Pairs of shoes: 500
Trips to fabric stores: 75
Sequins sewn by hand: 3,500
Hours to create custom hand-painted Gracie wallpaper: 1,200
Stores called for Fogal tights: 40
Pre-show food deliveries: 21
Boxes of Girl Scout cookies consumed: 12 (surprisingly, less than we expected)

Rather than get some rest, Burch and her boyfriend, record producer Lyor Cohen, sat in the front row of the Rodriguez show, alongside Gloria Estefan and Claire Danes. Burch and Rodriguez are close friends even though their design sensibilities couldn't be more different. In nearly 10 years of watching Rodriguez's shows, I don't recall ever seeing anything embellished. His designs are so pure and deceptively simple that it was surprising when several outfits in the fall collection were marked with T-shape fabric that looked a bit like flying birds.

Rodriguez's designs are so pure and deceptively simple that it was surprising when several outfits in the fall collection were marked with T-shape fabric that looked a bit like flying birds.

This collection is also populated with eye-assaulting colors of deep orange, chartreuse and wine in colorblock patterns as well as black and shades of gray. Eyecatching dresses in angular patterns and bell-shaped coats showcase Rodriguez's unique design style.

He also introduced a new shoe and handbag collection featuring exotic skins and suede. Many of the runway looks featured kicky calf-high boots. But, like Burch, it was the music to his show that stayed in my mind as I exited the theater. Rodriguez featured a haunting song, "Tonight," by Koudlam, a French musician who was born in the Ivory Coast.
Rodriguez highlighted "Tonight," by Koudlam:

Burch highlighted "Under Your Spell" by Desire:

  • The cover of the March issue of Harper's Bazaar that goes to subscribers showsGyweneth Paltrow in profile.
  • Glenda Bailey
    Photo by Patrick Demarchelier/Harper's Bazaar
  • The March issue of Harper's Bazaar sold on newstands shows Paltrow in a moretraditional cover girl pose.

Front row at fashion week: Glenda Bailey explains Gwyneth's racy Harper's Bazaarcover & picks "must have" items for spring

fall means business

NEW YORK — As editor of Harper's Bazaar for more than a decade, Glenda Bailey realizes the importance of constantly reinventing the magazine to keep up with the ever more frenzied pace of fashion. She recently unveiled a new design for the monthly, beginning with the March issue, on newstands now.

Before the DKNY show began, I caught up with her in her customary front row position to discuss the magazine's changes, spring trends and her special affection for Paris designer, Andrew Gn, who will be in Houston next month.

CultureMap: Why did you decide to make over Harper's Bazaar?

Glenda Bailey: Actually it's evolution, not a revolution. Every six months we always update the design. But the reason why it looks particularly different now is because we've actually grown one inch wider. I know I'm the only person in fashion that wants to be wider. And the paper quality has improved. So the evolution of the design feels very substantial.

"I know I'm the only person in fashion that wants to be wider."

The timeline has changed in terms of where we get our fashion information. We go online to get our news. For something to be important enough to stay in your home for a month or longer, then it really needs to be something you treasure, a collectible, something you want to keep.

We looked back on our history and were inspired by Alexey Brodovitch and that wonderful typeface that he does and it was a question of bringing that up to date.

CM: How have you changed the inside the magazine?

GB: We're trying to make it easier to navigate because I am so conscious of our readers' time. It's the most precious commodity any of us have. We are in a priviledged postion of seeing the very best in the world, regardless of the price point, and being able to present it to our readers. If I can show it in a very clean and concise way, then it's going to help her make her decisions more quickly.

CM: Are you keeping some of the popular features?

GB: Yes, "Fabulous at Every Age," "A Fashionable Life" — all of these reader favorites remain in Bazaar. But we have signposted our sections a little bit differently. The shopping section is called "The Bazaar," and if you look at it, it's more similar to online shopping. We look forward to be able to announce our e-commerce venture later in the year.

CM: How is the cover different?

GB: The subscriber cover is very daring. I like to take risks. We have Gwyneth Paltrow, which is very appropriate because she is relaunching Goop this month. It's a full-length (photo) of her, with her hair down, and you can't see her face.

Also a star of the cover is an Anthony Vaccarello dress. He's a designer that's had only two collections in Paris. He's an Italian who grew up in Belgium. He works in Paris, but he has very little publicity in the American market. Since the cover came out only days ago, I'm happy to report he has received so many offers of backing. It goes to show the power and authority of Harper's Bazaar, not with just our grand tradition but showing the stars of tomorrow.

"I think pencil skirts look right right now. And I would really invest in a pair of stilettos with a pointed toe."

CM: What about the newstand cover?

GB: We have to show what the magazine is about to readers who aren't familiar with Bazaar. It's Gwyneth looking incredibly sexy in a black all-in-one YSL pants suit. We have cover lines on the news stand because it's very important to attract new readers and to tell them what's inside the magazine. Whereas with the loyal readers they know exactly what's in Harper's Bazaar.

CM: Let me ask you a couple of trend questions. What are you excited about for spring?

GB: I love the sleeveless jacket, particularly when it's like what I'm wearing today, like a tuxedo, this is a Lanvin coatdress. I think it looks incredibly modern. I also love a peblum top. I think pencil skirts look right right now. And I would really invest in a pair of stilettos with a pointed toe.

CM: It looks like what we're seeing on the runways for fall is a tougher-edged look.

GB: We're seeing lots of military, lots of black, red and gray. We'll see a lot of document-case style bags because you want to look like you mean business. In the pre-fall collections, one look that really stood out was a three-piece pinstripe Céline trouser suit. What that's saying is it's fashion waking up to the economy and realizing that women have to compete against men in the workplace. All of a sudden it's even more important to look smart, strong, confident, because you want to look like you mean business.

"All of a sudden its even more important to look smart, strong, confident, because you want to look like you mean business."

CM: You have been a champion of Andrew Gn's work since early in his career.

GB: The reason I love Andrew's work is he very much has a couture sense of design. He has a love of fashion history and is able to produce something that is a distincitive signature that is right right now. He really understands his customer and her needs in terms of how she needs to dress for certain occasions in her life. And he really fulfills those needs.

  • Ralph Lauren opened his show with the tailored menswear look he has made famous.
  • For evening, Lauren features black evening pants and a gold jacket.
  • Lauren closed with a gold lame gown.
  • A black skirt and gold vest looks modern.
  • A crisp motorcycle jacket updates the look.

Lady Sybil would approve: Ralph Lauren looks to Downton Abbey for crisp fallcollection

Past and Present

NEW YORK — No once does the English countryside look better than Ralph Lauren, so it came as no surprise that America's iconic designer looked to the PBS blockbuster hit, Downton Abbey, for his fall 2012 collection.

Music from the British soap opera, which ends its second season on KLRU Sunday night, wafted through the intimate studio as models came out through a carved dark wood entrance and walked down a runway parquet floor with massive chandeliers overhead.

While the female characters in Abbey, which is set in pre- and post-World War I England, aren't quite ready to wear pants, we can imagine the rebellious Lady Sybil adopting the look in future episodes.

The first third of the Lauren show featured tailored menswear looks that the designer does best. Models appeared in three-piece suits, with button-down shirts and contrasting white collars, houndstooth coats, Fair Isle sweaters and plaid jodhpurs, accessorized with top hats and bowlers. While the female characters in Abbey, which is set in pre- and post-World War I England, aren't quite ready to wear pants, we can imagine the rebellious Lady Sybil adopting the look in future episodes.

Eveningwear had a tingle of the roaring '20s art deco influence, particularly in the closing look, a wavy all-gold gown. Other nifty nightime looks included black evening gowns with jeweled collars, evening pants with jackets trimmed in gold, and a black-and-gold ostrich feather cape.

While such obvious references to the past were evident, Lauren created looks that feel modern and fresh. He included some nifty cropped motorcycle jackets and paneled leather skirts that added a dash of pizzazz.

Lauren, who has often appeared at the end of previous shows in jeans and a casual shirt, dressed in a three-piece gray suit with matching tie when he made his runway bow. With such an uptown Downton collection, it seemed appropriate that he dressed for the occasion.

View the Ralph Lauren fall 2012 collection:

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Affluent Austin suburb boasts one of the biggest holiday budgets, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Affluent Austin suburb cashes in with one of the biggest holiday budgets in the U.S. Cedar Park boasts a jolly big holiday budget of $2,855 per person this year — the 14th highest in the U.S.

2. Acclaimed Hill Country winery pours onto list of the world's 100 best for 2022. The celebrated vineyard near Fredericksburg just uncorked a coveted spot on an exclusive list.

3. Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta acquires award-winning California resort. The Billion Dollar Buyer scooped up one of only six hotels in the U.S. with the Forbes Triple Five-Star rating.

4. 100-plus comedians set to make Austin laugh in Moontower's 2023 festival lineup. Trevor Noah is one of Moontower's exciting 2023 headliners.

5. Renovated UT Austin museum set to reopen in 2023 with exciting new exhibits. The Texas Memorial Museum will reopen in fall 2023 with new exhibits.

New self-guided tour showcases iconic Fort Worth Stockyards' many Hollywood ties

Tinseltown in Cowtown

A new self-guided tour showcasing the Fort Worth Stockyards’ many star-studded appearances in cinema throughout the years recently debuted in time for the 16th annual Lone Star Film Festival, which took place earlier this month in the Stockyards for the first time.

Called Stars of the Stockyards, the eight-stop, go-at-your-own pace walking tour guides folks to famous film sites where celebrities have stepped foot in front of Hollywood cameras. Visitors to the Stockyards can access the PDF tour map on their smart phones via QR codes (no app required) posted throughout the district, namely at hotels and tour kiosks.

"The Stockyards is a historic and celebrated destination for many reasons, but one that may be lesser known is its popularity as a filming location for some of our favorite movies and TV series," said Ethan Cartwright, VP of marketing for Stockyards Heritage Development Co.

The tour and corresponding QR codes are a permanent addition to the district, he said.

Stops on the map include the iconic White Elephant Saloon, a hotbed for Hollywood performances including several by legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris in the longtime TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger when the watering hole was portrayed as the fictional CD Bar. The White Elephant was also graced by country music superstar Tim McGraw and Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton for their appearances in Paramount Plus’ hit series 1883.

Also in 1883 and featured on the tour is Hookers Grill, hidden in the less flashy West side of Exchange Ave. The burger shack transformed into a gambling den in the show called The Texas House of Liquor & Sport. It’s the only building in the Stockyards that preserved the façade constructed by 1883’s production team. During operating hours, customers can order at the outdoor burger window and dine at patio tables within the two-story structure.

Cowtown Coliseum is marked on the map for its appearances in the 1983 film Tough Enough, where actor Dennis Quaid played an amateur boxer. It’s also the home of the final rodeo scene in the 1992 movie Pure Country starring country music legend George Strait.

Billy Bob’s Texas, the Stockyards Hotel, and even unassuming historic cattle pens also make the list on the tour, along with notations for the Texas Trail of Fame, which features more than 240 bronze markers honoring contributors for preserving and perpetuating the Western way of life.

Veteran actors Sam Elliot and Robert Duvall, both stars in the megahit TV series Yellowstone, are among the most recent Texas Trail of Fame inductees.

For more information and to get started on the tour, go here.

Favorite Austin burger chain joins local music nonprofit for $50,000 grant campaign

Musical Tastes

In Austin, the bell of the ball is the rockstar. Black Fret, a nonprofit that creates gigs and organizes funding for local musicians, makes sure these rock stars get their spotlight at the annual Black Fret Ball, now in its ninth year, and this time with some unexpected help from a burger bar.

Staff at Hopdoddy Burger Bar (a local favorite for lovers of toppings) got to nominate their favorite artists from across the country for a total of $50,000 in grants, an initiative called “Tuned In.” The restaurant asked guests to vote on favorites and landed on a group of nine final artists, including one from Austin.

Bonnie Whitmore, an Austinite, a singer, and a bassist, makes nostalgic country and Americana with bold, feminist themes. Although her candid tone matches that of the pop stars taking over the industry from their bedrooms, she’s been an active member of the music industry for more than 20 years.

Other Texas musicians made the final nine: Gold Fighter, from Dallas, leans back into the good old days of pop punk; Piñata Protest, from San Antonio, also plays pop punk while moving the needle more into Tejano traditions; and Will Van Horn, from Houston, makes the pedal steel languidly cool and a little psychedelic. (Listeners may recognize Van Horn’s work in records by the unique and popular Houston trio Khruangbin.)

The Black Fret Ball is returning for its first in-person year since 2019, on Saturday, December 3 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The fundraiser will distribute grants totaling $250,000 to 20 local artists, with performances from all but two. The 2022 class of musicians includes Whitmore, rap duo Blackillac, blues guitarist Buffalo Nichols, R&B singer Mélat, and one of Austin’s most frequently booked and buzzed about bands, Quentin and the Past Lives.

Black Fret members ($750 annually) are invited to join the ball at 6 pm. See the local lineup at hopdoddy.com.