PSST! WestFest

Western Design Expo celebrates the Old and New West



Tres Outlaws boots.

Steve Thornton/courtesy Palm Springs WestFest

It might be too chilly for Patricia Wolf’s Peasant Blouse and lace tank tops, but the Western-wear designer will certainly win attention for her chiffon Jim Morrison Blouse, with its oversize collar and double ruffle flounce around the neckline.

One of many designers at the Western Design Expo from March 24 to 27 at Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, Patricia Wolf designs will feature prominently in the booth of Country Club Cowgirl, the Western boutique in Palm Desert. Look for Wolf’s traditional ensembles, including classic tank dresses with bolero vests and Gus hats, as well as “All-American” leather and textile jackets, purses and bags, home and ranch décor, and even hide paintings.

Whether you’re a cowboy or a country-club dweller with a Western aesthetic, you’ll find the best genre fashion, jewelry and accessories, furnishings, and art that appeal to your sensibilities. Top couturiers, boot makers, hat shapers, jewelers, and furniture dealers will showcase their wares in one wing, while another space exhibits Western artists’ oil, watercolor, and plein air paintings, as well as mixed-media works.

With a variety of fashion and furniture design come legendary personalities, including Nashville’s Manuel, the “Rhinestone Rembrandt,” who has outfitted celebrities from Brando to Travolta and Sinatra to Dylan, and a few presidents (Reagan and both Bushes). Manuel takes credit for making Johnny Cash the man in black, crafting Elvis’ signature gold lamé suit, and dressing all three Hank Williams.

Another exhibitor, El Paso’s Tres Outlaws Boot Co., has made boots for Palm Springs’ own Gene Autry, both presidents Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Reba McEntire.

Downtown Palm Springs-based Pony Express will show a collection of retro Western shirts.

The expo is part of Palm Springs WestFest, which also includes the TwangFest concert series, Gene Autry Film Fest, Old West Mercantile market, gunfight re-enactors, barbecue showdown, fast-draw competition, Taste of the West food court, and Frank Bogert Memorial PRCA Rodeo.

“Western heritage is important to our country, as it builds pride and creates historic perspective,” says Christopher Burkhardt, CEO of Palm Springs WestFest, the largest Western festival in California, which bene-fits several local charities. “This event focuses on both Old West and New West — with an emphasis on the Wild West.”

For more information, call 1-800-665-5617 or visit www.palmspringswestfest.com.

Western Wear at WestFest

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