After a Fashion

Slightly shopworn but still vital and acerbic fashion authority available for hire ...

LABORS OF LOVE Like being a musician, artist, or writer, being a designer is one of those pursuits that requires a lot of sacrifices. Also, like art and music, the paying jobs in fashion are few and far between. Especially here. That makes the ever-present specter of the "Day Job" loom ominously over the lives of so many brilliantly talented people. People like myself, for instance. As with any community that is awash with emerging talent, Austin is awash with creative people supporting themselves by waiting tables, driving cabs, and being sales clerks. Other people actually develop entire careers that have nothing to do with their real interests. That is unfathomable to me. I have to do what I love, and love what I do. Otherwise, I simply can't see investing time and energy into it. But it is necessary to pay the rent, and the options can be few, especially for part-time work. For something fulfilling that pays reasonably well, you're out of luck. Believe me, I know all about it. So if you know of someone who can use a slightly shopworn but still vital and acerbic fashion authority to be generally entertaining as well as useful in a thousand little ways, and can be available three to four days a week, e-mail me at I may have the perfect candidate ...

RETAIL ROUND-UP Going from room to room at Flashback (2047 S. Lamar) is like wandering from one attic to another, bursting at the seams with vintage clothes and accessories. And as in a fine dusty old bookshop, be prepared to spend plenty of time sorting through the racks to find the sartorial treasure that has your name written all over it. Good prices and vast selection. Last Call (4115 Capital of Texas Hwy. S.) is the best way to shop at Neiman's. With serious discounts on discontinued merchandise, there are fab buys to be had in every department. Women swear by the shoe department, and who can resist a couture gown at rock-bottom prices? The home department is heaven, with top-quality furniture, mirrors, home décor, and gifts of every variety. And then there are the sales ... I seem to have spent an exorbitant amount of time at Target recently, and am always amazed at how stylish and ambitious they are. Granted, what they offer is generally of perhaps slightly lower quality than the designer originals, but, amazingly, they seem to be able to produce their copies just as quickly as the designers do. They now even produce their own Target lifestyle magazine, chock-full of advice on modern family life, as well as, naturally, merchandise available from their stores. "The Target lifestyle." Hmmm. I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to spend that much time there!

THE EXPLODING FASHION INEVITABLE September 5 marked another milestone in Austin fashion history with the opening of the acid green IDoL gallery/boutique (2026 S. Lamar, 445-5678 -- and forget that old e-mail address -- the new one is Led by a band of five insurgent fashionistas who passionately believe that Austin fashion is not an oxymoron, IDoL is the only establishment devoted entirely to promoting local designers. Featuring clothing by Judy Masliyan, Carol Mizelle for Cosmic Valet, Angela James for Colorwheels, Ninfa DeLeon for Evangeline Galvani, Corie Nguyen for Sebastian, accessories by Kathie Sever of 1000 Stitches, Kathleen McTee Textiles, jewelry by Karen Vargas for Full Moon Designs, Leslie Weeren for Bellatrix Bijoux, and Shayna Weeden Jewelry Designs, to name a few, IDoL begins a wave of retail openings that we will explore in more depth very soon.

DANCING FOR DOLLARS Sunday, September 10, doors open at 9pm, Pink Salon (1208 S. Congress, next to the Austin Motel), admission $5. Benefiting the Designers' Guild of Austin, and hostessed by fashion stylist to the stars Brooke Carter and the vivacious Bonnie Barton, designer extraordinaire, the dance will feature the inimitable DJ Shane on the turntables, spinning Seventies glam and Brit pop, as well as DJs Eyad & Kelly spinning Eighties New Wave. The festive atmosphere, which will include a wonderfully kitschy champagne fountain and bubble machine, could also serve as a fond farewell party to Pink's old space as they prepare to move into their grand new space two doors up. I have never been in Pink when it wasn't packed with clients, so Debra Carter and crew (Hi, Farah!) are doing something very right. Good work, ladies. For dance party info, contact your hostess with the mostest Brooke at Pink, 447-2888. Be there or be Cher.

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