Melanie Steele, Wig Master

Steele, a Colorado native, moved eleven years ago to Austin, where she is now the wig master for the Austin Lyric Opera. She has toured the U.S. and Mexico with the Broadway production of The Lion King and served on the beauty crew of the world premiere of Elton John’s Aida, and these days—for fun and extra money—she tends to the artificial locks of several drag queens.

How to Design a Custom Belt Buckle

Western-yoke, pearl-snap plaid shirts and straight-fit jeans may currently be trending, but custom-made belt buckles will never go out of style. “It’s an item you can wear every day for the rest of your life, then pass down to the next generation,” says Ingram’s Clint Orms, who has crafted buckles for clients ranging from ranch hands to Ralph Lauren during his 36-year career as a silversmith. But the style befitting a cowgirl in Alpine might not be best for a bank president in Dallas.

How to Wear Spurs

Any rodeo fan can don a Stetson, Wranglers, and a pair of Tony Lamas, but the cowboys in the arena are the ones who wear the spurs. “It’s like a knight in his armor,” says Joe Spiller, who’s been handcrafting them for 27 years and owns Spiller Spurs and Bits, in Wingate. The jangling accessories started out as a utilitarian training tool—riders use them to give movement cues to an animal by applying pressure to its sides—but they have also become a sort of social statement.

Not By Design

Brian Crumley never thought he would make a living for himself designing jewelry. Like much of his life, his entrance into the business was unplanned and filled with strokes of luck. In fact, the inspiration behind his first necklace was born out of a moment of imperfect vision: While visiting a friend in New York City’s Harlem, he glimpsed what he thought was a knotted scarf on a walking passerby. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the accessory was only being worn in the usual fashion, but it no longer mattered.

Runway or Another

She wore a dress made out of newspaper, got into a “sticky” situation with double-sided tape and earned a spread in the February issue of Marie Claire. Now that Kalyn Hemphill has cat-walked her way to the winner’s circle on Lifetime’s Models of the Runway: Season One, the model/actress/singer is moving her focus from the runway to Broadway.


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