A Meeting of Four Minds

These Dallas designers may gravitate to different genres, but they definitely have one thing in common: strong opinions. Here, they share peeves, crushes and style credos while outing this century’s most dubious contributions.

Amy Adams. Portraits Nick Prendergast.
November 30, 2012

A Stone Fox: Brenda Houston

Furniture and Objets

Fall’s most compelling fashion trend: Stella McCartney’s slimming Octavia dresses — I may never wear anything else again!

This century’s worst invention: Resin.

Riffing on my first concert: Sonny and Cher at the Dallas Convention Center. I wandered into the back area where Sonny and I had a nice chat. I was too young to know who he was. I returned to my seat, saw him take the stage, and told my mom what a nice guy he was!

Last song I downloaded: “Black Bird” by Paul McCartney.

First celebrity crush: Dustin Hoffman. I met him years later but was too timid to tell him he was my first crush.

I’d spend my last $100 on: Kibble for me and steak for the dogs.

I can’t throw away: My grandmother’s bamboo silverware. Tiki is always in fashion!

My favorite blogs: Rock Paper Scissors, Dilly Dallas, Freshome and Material Girls.

I am so annoyed by: Neighbors who call the police when they hear dogs bark one single time. (You know who you are.)

I have a design crush on: Tony Duquette. Like me, he started his career as a visual director, and he’s in my top five dinner guests if I could pick anybody dead or alive.

My productivity’s enemy: Answering a personal phone call — sometimes voicemail should be used.

I’m working on: Four new table designs, wall sconces and accessories for my Holly Hunt Collection, tables for Amy Lau, new lighting for the Four Seasons India and new accessories for my own collection.

When I play, I go to: Italy.

When I was little, my favorite outfit was: A pink satin mini-dress with a burgundy vest and white brocade go-go boots. I think I saw it on a fashion runway this year!

You’ll never catch me wearing: Denim overalls.

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Jumping off a 50-foot cliff in Palau, where I broke my back. Now I don’t even jump off a curb. That accident taught me humility.

I am dominated by: My heart. I have learned to trust my inner instincts — if I don’t immediately feel right about a new design, then I know I need to move on and not look back.


A Step Ahead: Angela Scott


What I’m wearing this fall: Studded booties and shearling short boots are my go-to choices.

The worst invention this century: That’s a tough one … Reality television shows?

On my first concert: Don’t laugh, but it was Milli Vanilli — and, yes, they were lip-syncing. I didn’t know that at the time. I just loved their dance moves.

The last song I downloaded: “Cut a Hole” by Radiohead.

My first celebrity crush: River Phoenix.

Reliving my last fender bender: Don’t tell my husband, but embarrassingly enough, a pole in La Duni’s parking lot jumped out in front of me. He still doesn’t know because I had the work done while he was out of town. I hope he doesn’t read this!

I’d spend my last $100 on: Tasty cuisine and wine. If I only have $100 left, you can guarantee I’m going out with a fabulous meal.

I can’t throw away: Shoes, no matter how long I’ve had them. Each pair has such a story to tell, and most will never be made again. It would be an absolute tragedy to have to part with them.

My favorite blogs: Highsnobette, Backyard Bill, Tobacco & Leather and Jessica’s Mirror.

I have a design crush on: Alexander McQueen — and still do, with Sarah Burton at the helm.

My productivity’s enemy: My dogs. I am a huge animal lover, and my dogs do have the ability to distract me. Other than that, I’m a Virgo from top to bottom, so productivity is something I thrive on.

I’m working on: Handbags and a men’s collection.

When I play, I go: Home to Santa Barbara.

When I was little, my favorite outfit was: A pale yellow Pac-Man T-shirt, skinny corduroy pants and penny loafers. My poor mother wished I would have worn the dresses she bought, but with three older brothers, I wanted nothing more than to look like them. Besides, dresses made it hard to skate on the mini-ramps they built.

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Every time I dye my hair, that thought comes to mind. I have been blonde, black, brunette, pink and red.

You’ll never catch me wearing: Crocs.


A Golden Girl: Ariel Saldivar

Olivia K. Jewelry

Fall’s most compelling fashion trend: Leather and jumpsuits.

My vote for the century’s worst invention: The Shake Weight.

My first concert: U2.

Last song I downloaded: “Sleeping Ute” by Grizzly Bear.

First celebrity crush: Eddie Vedder.

My last fender bender: When I backed into a closed garage door because I thought I had pushed the button on the garage-door opener.

I’d spend my last $100 on: Taking my friends out for cocktails and buying my pup her favorite treats.

I can’t throw away: My old Wallpaper magazines.

Blogs I’m following: Garance Doré, The Golden Smith, Advanced Style and The Salt on NPR.

My biggest annoyance: People who are late.

I have a design crush on: Kelly Wearstler and Wiener Werkstätte.  

My productivity’s enemy: Pinterest!

I’m working on: Designing a collection of handbags and various musical projects with my fiancé Eric Harvey and my gal pals of Dolphin Cry.

When I play, I go to: New York City.

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Touring with The Polyphonic Spree. 

On the senses that dominate my life: In some areas, feeling and the ability to empathize are my dominant senses. When it comes to my work, I’d say I’m a visual person. I’m inspired by art and design and by the beauty of simple things, whether it be a shadow on a wall or subtle differences in shades of white.

A Soft Touch: Elizabeth Anyaa

Textiles and Fashion 

Fall’s most compelling fashion trend: The return to opulence, luxury and over-the-top decadence. I just can’t get enough. I particularly love Dolce & Gabbana.

My vote for this century’s worst invention: The fanny pack.

My first concert: Hilllsong Australia.

The last song I downloaded: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

My first celebrity crush: Richard Gere.

I’d spend my last $100 on: The needy children in my homeland of Sierra Leone.

I can’t throw away: A blouse my father bought for me. I never got to know him because he died when I was about two years old.

My favorite blogs: The Sartorialist, Garance Doré. Remodelista, The Dallas Diva, Bytes of Style, DFW Style Daily, Sea of Shoes, PinkMemo, D Stylesheet.

I am so annoyed when: I can’t figure out what’s wrong with my computer. Its duty is to make my life easy, right?

I have design crushes on: John Rocha, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Louboutin, Carsten and Lenke Rundholz.

My productivity’s enemy: A constant flow of ideas and not enough time.

I’m working on: My spring and summer collections (I just completed them), and am now working on home designs.  

It seemed like a good idea at the time: My mother told me never to eat raw fish. So when I was living in Finland, I always avoided salmon cured with salt and dill — until I saw another African eating a sandwich made with it. I gave it a try and have had to make up for lost time ever since!

When I was little, my favorite outfit was: Something I wore on national TV — I was one of a dozen kids in a Christmas choir. My made-for-me dress was damask with a red, green and purple print outlined in black, a fitted bodice and a gathered long skirt.

You’ll never catch me wearing: Anything synthetic.