PLAY WITH STYLE
Eliza Audley, who established her reputation designing for upscale St. John Knit after learning her craft at the American Fashion Institute in Paris, is taking the tennis apparel scene by storm. An avid tennis player, Audley understands what a woman’s body needs on the court — and her strength is the ability to create transitional pieces, in particular the tennis tops that look just as good off the court with a pair of jeans. “She knows how to flatter a woman’s body, and the clothes move well with you on the court,” says Therese McNabb, the buyer for the City Club at River Ranch’s tennis pro shop. “The built-in shelf bra didn’t do it for her, [so] she’s sewn in pads because women need more coverage.” The line also includes tennis skirts and dresses, as well as jackets, with prices ranging from $70 to $190. “Even with the price points higher, it’s not stopping anyone,” McNabb says. For more info, call the pro shop at 216-6588. — Leslie Turk
MAKE IT FUNKY
Somewhere around the borders of The JB’s well-oiled and fully functional funk machine and the drive and lunacy of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic-All-Stars-Frankenstein, lies the heart of Big Sam’s Funky Nation, firmly grounded in that unique brand of New Orleans funk. Trombonist Big Sam Williams, a former Dirty Dozen Brass Band member, a product of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and a former student of Crowley native Edward “Kidd” Jordan, heads up the ensemble and rules with a benevolent hand. With a dozen tracks, The Nation’s latest CD — Peace, Love & Understanding — serves up healthy doses of funk ladled with plenty of brass. The CD retails for $12.50 and is available online at www.bigsamsfunkynation.com. — R. Reese Fuller
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME ...
The Gulf Coast is a gardener’s paradise, and the bounty of roses suitable for Louisiana make for endless variations of beauty and color. And every rose has a story, with names frequently drawn from history and mythology. Pink Ladies and Common Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses, tells the tales behind 50 such beauties, including Greenmantle, named for the heroine of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Redgauntlet, and the flesh-toned beauty of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens’ namesake rose. Written by The Houston Chronicle’s Molly Glentzer, the hardcover book also includes stunning full-color photographs of each rose. Pink Ladies and Common Gents retails for $22.50 and is available locally at Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. — Scott Jordan