After a Fashion

Be there or Be Cher.

A "GUILDED" DILEMMA How to review a fashion show that I, myself, was in? Simple. Let the audience do the talking! Guilded, the Designers' Guild of Austin first ever fashion event was SRO, with over 400 seated and many turned away. Showcasing original works by nine Guild members, Gail Chovan, Jyl Kutsche, Amy Turnbull, Laura Maclay, Levi Palmer, Bonnie Barton, Merritt Grooms, Brooke Carter and, yes, your beloved Style Avatar, it owed much to the miracle of teamwork. With wonderful support from this publication, the Statesman, and News 8, as well as generous help from Capra & Cavelli and the Garden Room, the show "blew away every other fashion event in the city," according to one source. Rex O'Neal, regular attendee of local fashion shows said, "This show was strictly about fashion -- the UT show is about the students, Club DeVille is about fabulous entertainment, and the Big, Bad & Beautiful was about promotion -- I had a wonderful time and look forward to it again." Amanda Steere said, "The show was an absolute mecca of creative talent; it was just fabulous." "So incredible, at one point tears were running down my face," raved Bob Sherman. CdV fashion emcee Joel Mozersky said, "The clothes were both beautiful and interesting and I had a great time." Wet's Debra Carter said, "I cried. I have not seen a fashion show of that caliber since I moved to Texas in 1984, and believe me, I've worked on some big ones. I wanted to wear something from every collection shown tonight." Alexandra Renwick of New Bohemia added, "The show was wonderful, but more importantly, you're really making the fashion scene happen in this fashion-impoverished city." Other quotes about specific high points included, "The wigs (by Alton on the Spot) for Blackmail were just incredible, and Gail's clothes sent the show into another dimension." "Jyl's collection was dazzling, and what a departure." "Amy Turnbull is superb." "The entire show, but especially the segments that showed together, was an amazing representation of how designers can coexist without competition."

It was an amazing collaboration that included the work of many fine hairdressers and make-up artists. The workhorses of Pink and Wet salons were there in force, as well as the talented and devoted Kathy Miller and crew from Maximum FX. A number of the designers received calls the next day about the availability of specific pieces (Gail has a client interested in her spectacular gold dress to wear to Istanbul to a party hosted by Jean-Paul Gaultier). But, lest you think it was all accolades, a few negative comments also surfaced -- we'll suppress names to protect the guilty. "The organization of the tickets was a mess, and the door people were inexperienced." "It was very difficult to tell the designers' segments apart; there was very little clear definition as to who you were seeing." "I'm a grandmother and was shocked at some of what I saw." "The guys at the end looked like they were from an escort service." (Wait, is that a compliment?) "The chicken-on-the-head sequence left trash on the stage." "The emcee needed rehearsal." "The lighting was terrible." "The pace dragged badly at the beginning of both acts." One oddly flattering comment came from an anonymous source, "It made the Club DeVille show look like a high school talent show." A lovely compliment, but one to which I take exception. Club DeVille shows are legendary entertainment of the highest order, but they are primarily about retailers -- an entirely different ball game than original design.

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT Fasten your seatbelts -- on Wednesday, Oct. 25 (presumably in honor of your Style Avatar's birthday), Club DeVille's triple-threat Abigail, Nathan & Michael present the eagerly awaited, never-to-be-missed, "Best of Austin"-winning, semi-annual Fashion Extravaganza. Starring the mercurial Emily and emceed by Joel Mozersky. Be there or be Cher. Wait ... Cher was in their last show. Oh well, just be there.

TWO DOWN, TWO TO GO Tonight (Thursday, Oct. 19), Neil Diaz and Atomic Cafe present their second Fashion/ Fantasy. This was a pretty fun little show last time and has every possibility of becoming the serious alternative fashion show of Austin, but if experience means anything, it will start very late, run very long, and be hot as hell. Doors open at 9pm.

Write to our Style Avatar with your related events, news, and hautey bits: style@auschron.com or PO Box 49066, Austin, 78765 or 458-6910 (fax).

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Guilded, Designers' Guild of Austin, Gail Chovan, Jyl Kutsche, Amy Turnbull, Laura Maclay, Levi Palmer, Bonnie Barton, Merritt Grooms, Brooke Carter, Style Avatar, Abigail, Nathan & Michael, Fashion Extravaganza, Emily, Cher, Neil Diaz, Atomic Café, Fashion/Fantasy

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