After a Fashion
Don't tell Stephen who to expose
It was heartening to see how quickly Central Texans responded to the devastating tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Okla. Among the first responders was Shaesby, a jewelry store, offering 20% of the online sales (www.shaesby.com) of their fabulous collection to the Red Cross. Bravo!
Last week I received a disturbing email offering me the chance to buy pre-makeover photos of an old friend. My friend has become incredibly successful and has made a lovely life. As I have learned from firsthand experience, success brings the pissants out of the woodwork. My friend has remained very private, risen above it all, and does not deserve this. No one does. The idea that someone would confuse The Austin Chronicle with The National Enquirer is insulting all the way around. The issue here is whether it's okay to make over or reinvent yourself. We no longer live in the world of Jacqueline Susann novels, where characters cannot let anyone know who they really are. Today, decent people understand and accept that some choose to deal with the hand they are dealt by throwing the cards away and starting with an entirely new hand. I've rather done that myself and am not at all unhappy with the results. I began a process of overhauling myself, to create the image and persona of what I wanted to show the world. Why on Earth would I expose someone else for it? This despicable human being overlooked the fact that we are a community that supports one another rather than one that retreats into tawdry salaciousness, stabbing one another in the back. As Austin pole-vaults into its place as the 11th largest city in the country, will the influx of new hordes rip at the fabric of our once intimate community? God, I hope not.
It's almost time for Texas Swing, one of Project Transitions' major fundraisers, on Saturday, June 8, 7:30-11:30pm, at the Shoal Crossing Event Center. Tickets are available at www.projecttransitions.org.
In all the mentions of my recent fashion show, the common thread is the praise for my models. When I started thinking about doing that show, I immediately envisioned some of the most interesting characters I know. I knew I wanted Fets Benavides as my Pagan Prince. Though a professional model, Fets is a true character who inspires me to design beyond anything my training ever taught me. I knew I wanted Grant Hicks as the Shaman. Grant has completely changed the way I feel about clothes; everything I design, for both men and women, has him in mind. Eva Strangelove is practically a professional muse as it is, and, coupled with her willingness to help in the studio, I always want her on my runway and in my heart. Sabra Johnson walks in beauty like the night, and her jaw-dropping stage presence (and that of her sister Kierstin) was invaluable to the scenario I wanted to create. Allyson Garro is so fabulous and full of imagination that I knew I had to have her on my runway as well. I knew that Jay Woods and Jonathan Horstmann would be fabulous, each of them imbuing their own brand of style and attitude as they walked. Lucy Secord is simply fabulous. Margo Aleman, Matthew Redden, and Lydia Hutchison, knowing of my design work, all wanted to be involved. I was very flattered. Elle LaMont was my gorgeous Pagan Princess, referred to me by headdress designer Jennifer Ayers. I trusted Jennifer's intuition, and she was absolutely correct. Mary, Caitlin, Callisto, Rosaline, Rocio, Skye, and Kasey all came to me through Austin Fashion Week, and their personalities and presences made the runway sparkle. I am incredibly blessed to have such devotion from my friends and fans.
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