The Fairmont hotel downtown never struck me as a hot spot until staff photographer Matt Shelley and I packed up equipment and headed over to shoot their holiday cocktails in November (which were delicious, by the way). Now, there’s another reason to love Fairmont. New to their Artist in Residence program is Texas’ Next Top Designer runner-up, Isabel Varela of Varela + Brooks. You can watch her sculpt her architectural, fabric-focused garments through a glass-walled studio on the “O” level of the hotel from 9 am to 5 pm every week day. It’s a bit like a zoo, but much cooler and sans screaming kids with juice boxes. (Less cruel, too.) If you like what you see (you will) and want to commission a piece, contact Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, stop clicking through ShopStyle.com through your lunch break, and check out live fashion design in action instead.
Update: Slip-up. Isabel Varela is the designer and resident at Fairmont. Ashlee Brooks Patton, the line’s co-designer, is her business partner.