Project Highball

Highball Halloween is quickly establishing itself as the place to see and be seen - and that includes Project Runway contestants.

Althea Harper, a Dayton native who's still holding her own this season on the (previously taped) fashion reality show on Lifetime, will show her collection at the second-annual Halloween street party on Oct. 31.

She'll also judge the costume contest and might create a couture piece for the show, the Short North Business Association announced last week.

Terri Stevens and Kelli Martin, both Project Runway 5 contestants who live in Columbus, participated last year, and Stevens will be back again to show her collection and Highball creation in the Couture Costume Fashion Showdown.

Barb Wallace, Esther Chung and plenty of other local professional and emerging designers will also compete to be crowned HighBall Couture costume designer of the year.

The fashion showdown takes over the 80-foot High Street runway at 8 p.m., followed by the costume contest. A children's costume contest and doggie costume parade kick off the day's events at 4 p.m. Find more info at highballhalloween.com.

Serendipitous shopping

Those looking to buy local and lovely will find what they're looking for at The Market at Serendip.

The downtown Powell store brings together handmade pieces from local artists, with work ranging from sterling silver cuff bracelets to still photography to doggie dresses.

Owner Deb Helmrich originally ran the market out of a temporary space in Dublin but recently opened at 36 N. Liberty St. The 30 or so artists she's showcasing all live in Central Ohio.

"It amazes me all the time," Helmrich said of seeing the breadth and quality of local artists' work.

The market operates as a co-op of sorts, with artists paying a yearly membership fee, having a vote in new applicants and devoting a certain number of hours to Serendip work each month.

New spin on wool (photo)

Varied and versatile wool will be showcased in the Fashion Group International of Columbus' fashion show and fundraiser next weekend.

Felter T.J. Horst of Cleveland, who uses 100-percent Falkland Wool to make colorful, creative couture garments, will debut a new line of gowns, jackets and shrugs at the show, which is happening at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Bar of Modern Art in the Discovery District.

Order tickets and find more info at columbus.fgi.org.

Another woman's treasure

Your unwanted clothes and accessories are wanted - even valuable - at the Central Ohio Swap N' Shop this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Bring gently used, not-terribly-out-of-date women's clothes, jewelry, shoes and purses to cash them in for "swap bucks," then use that "money" to buy others' items.

It's like sharing closets with your college roommate all over again.

Katie Langmeyer, who's putting on this weekend's events at the Golf Pointe Apartments Clubhouse in Galloway, went to a similar event in Cincinnati and thought, "I could do this." Since then, she's amassed sponsors and all sorts of goodies for the first 50 women in the door.

Purchases must be paid for in swap bucks, not cash, so bring enough items to allow you to get everything you want. All leftover items are donated to Dress for Success. Pre-register and find more at swapnshop.blogspot.com.

Brittany Kress keeps up on the latest local retail news so you don't have to. For store updates and product giveaways, click to the Window Shopping blog.