After a Fashion

Rants and raves about the state of the Austin fashion scene.

THE RAVE The letter said, "Hi! My name is Roy Fredericks, and I am the owner of Avant. First, I would like to congratulate and compliment you on the impact you have made in bringing the Austin Fashion Community together!" Mr. Fredericks goes on to list some of his own accomplishments as a pioneer in Austin style. The last three years he has spent traveling and teaching at over 100 shows nationally. Last year, Avant headlined at the two leading shows in the Southwest, Serious Business in New Orleans and American Excellence in Dallas. Next year, Fredericks will be a guest speaker at the Chicago Midwest Beauty/Alternative Show, the largest and most prestigious show in North America. Avant has been written about in Modern Salon, American Salon, Salon Today, San Francisco Examiner, The New York Times, Austin American-Statesman, and INC. Magazine, as well as having their photography appear in virtually every major trade magazine, They have been named one of the Top 200 Salons in North America by Salon Today, as well as one of the Ten Best Salons in the Southwest, in addition to being featured in Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire (and let us not forget the seven Austin Chronicle "Best of Austin"s). Fredericks has recently been nominated to become a member of InterCoiffure (the most prestigious and exclusive hair styling group, internationally). Almost more importantly, Fredericks' letter continues, "I came upon your column that seemed like shameless self-promotion of you and your friends that occasionally slipped to discussing Sears and Public Storage. Lately I have come to realize that you truly are inclusive, and are trying to help develop an Austin Fashion Community. Your last two columns have been both very informative about Austin Fashion. I sincerely apologize for my foregone conclusions. Thanks to you, I am aware that there is an Emerging scene that exists beyond my incestuous world of Avant. I am excited about becoming actively involved in extending my support! Though my Art Team is presently traveling, I will be coming to Guilded [the Designers' Guild fashion show on October 12] with a small entourage that will include my salon directors, make-up artists, and a few of my stylists. I look forward to the show as well as meeting you! Keep up the good work. Roy A. Fredericks." Very, very nice compliment from such a respected source, and an Austin institution. But the coolest thing is that he was big enough to say he was wrong in his assumptions. And he's absolutely right about that. Read on.

THE RANT It doesn't matter to me whether anyone I know is involved in a particular fashion venture or not -- what I do care passionately about is making sure that we are all aware of the vibrant and thriving creative style scene we've got here, and with all the attention that's being focused on Austin, let's make damn sure we let them know where we're coming from. I was told recently in no uncertain terms, by a respected observer of our fashion community, along with, apparently, several other people, that we were trying to make the Austin fashion scene something that it's not, and that we should just chill out and let it "be what it is." They must mean "be what it was" a long time ago, because the scene now bears little resemblance to 15 or 20 years ago. My only response to that kind of thinking is that if that person really considers themselves to understand fashion at all, that they are forgetting the two basic tenets of fashion: evolution and change. You're missing the boat, my friend -- it's happening all around you, and you don't even see it. But the saddest part is that, for claiming to understand fashion as well as you do, you have no concept of the artistry behind it, and no capacity to believe that designers of clothing, hair, and make-up can be just as passionate and dedicated to their work as anyone who composes with words, music, or images. And certainly they can't be as passionate about their fashion work as you are about yours.

THE RESCHEDULE You should have been reading a review of the Club DeVille Fall Fashion Extravaganza in this space today, but the eagerly anticipated show has been postponed due to the inclement weather of last week. The show will be next Wednesday, Nov. 8, 8pm. Tickets are $10, VIP $30. Proceeds from the event benefit the American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Research. Call 474-4070 for info.

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

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