After a Fashion

Star light, star bright: Ross Bennet could be our 'Fashion Star'!

Artists and models from the Art Department who made Art Erotica a little more erotic
Artists and models from the Art Department who made Art Erotica a little more erotic (Photo by Seabrook Jones/


As of episode three of Fashion Star, Ross Bennett made his first sale – a whopping $120,000 for a pair of fairly basic pleated summer shorts. Delighted with himself as the bidding went from $50,000 to $120,000, he was unctuous nearly to the point of wringing his hands and salivating on himself. As another contestant said, "Ross is the guy at school that everyone wanted to beat up." Even though I did not see anything original in the design or fabrications, I was indeed proud of him for giving the stores exactly what they wanted. He humbly said that he had taken the advice of the panel and the buyers more seriously. He was indeed the star of the moment. Good going, Bennett! Your $120,000 was among the highest bids for any garment so far. Going into episode four, I naturally had high hopes for Bennett's continued success. It seems every time he talks about following his own instincts, a funeral march should be playing. Previously, he gushed about how the advice from the pros had helped him, but this time, that advice seemed to fly out the window and Bennett proceeded with a dress designed for a Southern belle bridesmaid going to a quinceañera followed by a prom. It was cute enough, but way over the top for anyone over the age of 15. I totally understood the look he was going for. He referred to Dior's 1947 New Look, which has enchanted me all my life. But again, fabric choices were a problem, and Bennett's flair for the dramatic went against the panel's advice. He received no offers this episode and wound up in the bottom three, but was mercifully saved. Bennett does have talent or I wouldn't waste my time writing about him. Good luck on episode five, Bennett!


Although unable at the last moment to attend the always fab 5x7 show at Arthouse, I was there in spirit at least by appearing in a portrait done by the deeply talented Leon Alesi ( I can't imagine who would want to buy it, but it is a beautiful composition showing me in my mini-Versailles bedroom with portraits, mirrors, and crystal junk everywhere – it makes me feel rich in my declining years.


I'm always excited about Women & Their Work's Benefit Bash: Beautiful art, beautiful settings, beautiful people. And this year, I expect nothing less. Really, even if I didn't like this event and had never attended it, I'd attend this one just to see the legendarily fabulous Karen and Rick Hawkins. The gloriously gorgeous Karen renders me weak in the knees – just to be in the presence of her beauty, to worship her at her altar: sheer nirvana. Go to for details.


The theme of this year's Red, Hot & Soul is Zach's upcoming production of Xanadu, featuring fantasy, disco lights, and roller skates (Seventies rollerwear encouraged). It happens Saturday, April 21, at Hilton Austin, Downtown. The VIP party is at 5:30pm and preshow reception at 6:30pm, with dinner and showtime at 7:30pm. Go to for tickets and info.


Barney Groten and I had a mutual admiration society, having met many times at public and private functions. And I grieve to say that Barney has passed on. I know that my dear friend Eric Groten has gotten so much of his gracious charm, handsomeness, compelling intellect, and common sense from his father. My deepest condolences to Eric and his deeply devoted wife Maria.

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Austin style, Barney Groten, Fashion Star, Ross Bennett, Zach Scott, Xanadu, Women & Their Work

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