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When my mother was in high school she worked as a “tea room model” for a high-end department store. Those were the last days of a fashion tradition begun over a hundred years earlier in Paris by the House of Worth. Women of means would come directly to the designer’s “house,” see the latest designs on a live model, choose individual fabrics and colors, and place their order in total exclusivity and privacy.

Fashion designer Angelina Mata brings a bit of that Parisian glamour to Southtown with her new studio space, Mata has designated a dramatic front room of the converted Victorian house as an atelier, a true designer’s workshop. The studio, staged with flair by Stacy Yndo, is by appointment only. The majority of clientele for Mata’s feminine, well-tailored couture designs are “order to measure” – each piece is individually created and constructed – and Mata plans to host small fashion shows and private parties as well.

While there are no immediate plans for a retail boutique, Mata’s ready-to-wear line, Angelina Mata Reinvintage, helps set the scene for the studio and key pieces from each collection are available for purchase. It’s worth the call to get your hands on one of Mata’s gorgeous wool felt cloches (bell-shaped hats) decorated with velvet ribbon before the weather gets any colder. For more information, contact Angelina Mata, 711 South Presa, (210) 223-8955.

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