Designer Miranda Bennett recently relocated from New York back to her hometown in Austin, Texas. Her classic, one size fits most apparel is making waves in conversation and among the shelves of beloved local boutiques such as Olive, Paloma, and Kick Pleat. All of her pieces are handmade and consist of natural origin materials – (so you can bask in how comfortable you are while looking amazing in them). You can find all of them here. She is a seasoned alumni of Feliz, and rumor has it she’s a finalist for a certain Martha Stewart American Made Award for 2014. We’re really excited for her, and especially excited that she has agreed to be featured on today’s Friday Favorites:
dream Friday for me would involve bicycling to some of my favorite central Austin locations, ideally with that perfectly elusive Hill Country weather that is somewhere above 70 and below 85 with the smell of blooming mountain laurel and rosemary in the air. I live and work in East Austin, so the areas I am in the most are East, Central and Downtown, since I try to bike as much as possible (even when it is almost impossible come August).
1. I usually have way too much coffee before even leaving my house, but since this is a dream Friday, it would start with a visit to one of my favorite Austin coffee shops, Sister Coffee, Friends & Neighbors, or Houndstooth (the first two are within an easy distance, so they would probably win). Jenny at Sister Coffee makes the most delicious Blue Bottle Coffee you've ever had, topped only by her killer personality. She is also an insanely talented ceramicist who I had the pleasure of collaborating with on a recent edition of my apparel. F&N has become my go-to place for meetings; their tranquil backyard is the perfect spot to sit and chat about upcoming projects and is never too crowded during the day.
. fter all of that coffee and inspiring conversation, I would head west to the library. The downtown branch, Faulk, is definitely my favorite (seconded by Carver). I love the building, its strange smell, the cool blast of AC when you walk in, the giant windows, and the totally bizarre blend of people you will find there on a weekday. I went to high school in Downtown Austin for a while and we used to study here, so it also feels very nostalgic to be there. The Austin Public Library system has a really wonderful collection of books on natural dyeing, when I first moved back to town from New York and began researching the medium, this place was my first stop. The houses nearby are also some of my favorite in the city.
. From there I would head over to Barton Springs to cool down in that perfect water, pore over my new books and work up an appetite. The boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake is my new favorite place to bike. I can take a seven mile route from my studio to the springs now that only involves a half mile on the road thanks to this beauty and the rest of the hike & bike trail. The views of the city are stunning as you ride, walk or run along it, and it always feels a good ten degrees cooler when you are so close to the water.
4. Next I would head back over the river to enjoy a late lunch/early dinner. I live for the happy hour at La Condesa. The drinks are half off and the appetizers are super afforable. I love sitting on their itty bitty patio and sharing a ton of plates with a friend while we catch up. Park Side has an amazing happy hour, too. (Plus they serve oysters - is there anything better than a plate of oysters and something sparkly to drink?)
5. The Violet Crown is a quick walk from La Condesa and I am a sucker for the movies. I would go here with my boyfriend to enjoy something old or new. Any place that combines an amazing programming schedule (independent, revivals, major studio releases) with food & drink has me. The Alamo Drafthouse is definitely my first love, but the Violet Crown pretty much nails it every time.
6. My last destination would be back east to an opening at the Big Medium Gallery at Canopy. This beautiful space is run by the same organization as my studio (which is just down the road) and they regularly show contemporary art. The entire complex is full of incredible friends, artists, designers and makers as well.