After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar confides in Secret Circus and tattles on Texas Film Hall of Fame

Boudoir Queen models, groomed by Propaganda Salon with makeup by Jacqueline Fernandez, await their entrances for Secret Circus.
Boudoir Queen models, groomed by Propaganda Salon with makeup by Jacqueline Fernandez, await their entrances for Secret Circus. (Photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

BOUDOIR BABES I think they're calling it "upcycling" these days – reworking vintage clothing into a new style. Whatever they're calling it now, Boudoir Queen's Dawn Younger-Smith does it best and has a worldwide following that hangs on every stitch she makes. Her well-publicized legal battle with Courtney Love is still ongoing, and yet Dawn and her husband, Mark Younger-Smith, along with Matt Swinney (Launch787) and Gary Dorsey (Pixel Peach Studio), produced a moody, murky Valentine's Day treat called the Secret Circus at the gracious and opulent Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Mansion. (Note: Though it is called "The Mansion," do not confuse it for the well-known Mansion at Judge's Hill, also located in the West Campus area, as dozens of others and I did.) The evening started out with fabulous original music by DJ Manny (omigod – world-class talent) and Claude 9 that led into a musical set by Chrysta Bell and David Garza; meanwhile guests were served multiple courses by Hosteria Verde Supper Club and cocktails from Lucky 13. Gary Dorsey's fantastic art added a surreal ambience, as did acrobatics from Ricochet. Featuring not one but two dazzling Boudoir Queen fashion shows called Glam Dolls of Knightsbridge (with makeup by Jacqueline Fernandez for Bleach Online and hair by Propaganda Salon), the evening was a beautifully produced affair that might have benefited from a slightly faster pace. Once dinner was over, the ballroom was transformed into a concert hall with music by Electric Touch (featuring my friend Isaac Strycker, among others); headliners Murder My Sweet featuring Mark Younger-Smith (Billy Idol, INXS, Charlie Sexton), Aaron Barrera (Abra Moore, Active Radio), and Chris Potter (Ministry); and a second bigger-than-the-first Boudoir Queen fashion show. Stylish and at times breathtaking, the Secret Circus could well evolve into a not-to-be-missed annual Valentine's Day affair.

THE DRILL I've been up to my eyeballs in Renée Zellweger movies lately, watching everything of hers that I can get my hands on (with incredibly gracious assistance from the staff at Vulcan Video). Soon I'll be moving on to watching John Hawkes movies, while my sister Margaret watches Rip Torn movies. Why? It's Texas Film Hall of Fame time again, of course, and I am choosing the film clips to be included in the tributes to the award recipients as I have done for 11 years now. This year's emcee is Wyatt Cenac, and the Star of Texas award goes to the Friday Night Lights television series and will be accepted by Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, accompanied by Brad Leland, Jesse Plemons, Scott Porter, and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. Special guests include Catherine Hardwicke, Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Haden Church. The band Spoon will be awarded the Soundtrack Award for its contributions to film. The Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards will be held Thursday, March 10. Tickets, tables, and other info are available at

PRACTICE YOUR POGO Haven't yet decided what I'll wear to the Austin Children's Shelter's New Wave Ball this Friday, Feb. 25, at 8pm at the Parish (info and tix at, but I'll be judging Eighties costumes and dancing along with a judging panel of such local media celebs as Deb O'Keefe of the 101X Morning Show, Tyler Sieswerda of KVUE, Regina Gilbert of KTBC, Alicia Dennis of People, Colin Pope of Austin Business Journal, and Michael Barnes of the Austin American-Statesman among others. Emceed by our esteemed Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, with DJ Christian Barbuto spinning our favorite New Wave songs, Annie Ray and her infamous photo booth, and an auction and raffle, this year's New Wave Ball promises to be a riot of fun and fundraising.

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Austin style, New Wave Ball, Austin Children's Shelter, Friday Night Lights, Texas Film Hall of Fame, SXSW, Renee Zellweger, John Hawkes, Rip Torn

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