After a Fashion

Happy Second Anniversary, After a Fashion! Follow along as Stephen has a great weekend talking "inner slut" with Lucinda Williams!

LOOSE-Y LU Gee, it was so glam -- just me and Lucinda Williams having dinner at Güero's together last Friday. Well, there were about 10 other people at the table, including her entire band and my illustrious sister Margaret who brought me there in the first place. It was fun to tell Lu how proud we were of her, and how fab she looked on Jay Leno's show last week. She's got such style -- that magnetic Marianne Faithfull/Chrissie Hynde sort: a tough-as-nails exterior that belies the tenderness inherent in her music. The approach becomes totally her own, as personal as the songs she writes. We discussed her style sense, and it's clear the cowgirl/bad girl hybrid really is the most suitable look for her -- and we referred to it as "discovering her inner slut." She has no use for the lap-dancer look espoused by many contemporary divas, and is sexy in ways most of them could never be. As she skyrockets to the top, it's the perfect opportunity for a stylist or designer to adopt her and interpret her style for her -- it's obvious her dazzling future will require hundreds of new outfits and accessories. Afterward, it was sublime walking her down the chic SoCo strip to her home-away-from-home, the utterly di-voon Hotel San José. I was hanging out at Blackmail's old location on Saturday (reopening next month on SoCo) and looking forward to Lucinda's show that evening, for which, of course, we had primo passes, when the phone rang. It was my sister calling to say, "Guess who I just had lunch with at El Sol y la Luna?" Well, with everyone she knows, it could have been anybody. But it certainly was not just anybody: It was Renée Zellweger. I was plucked. Renée! I must confess I've had a bit of an epiphany about Renée. I was initially turned off by all the hype surrounding her, but keeping an open mind, was charmed by her work in Bridget Jones's Diary. Renée was reading Margaret's interview with Lucinda, and Kyle Ellison introduced them. She raved about Lucinda and praised Margaret's writing, saying, "Would you consider interviewing me sometime?" Margaret was charmed as well. She offered to get Renée and Kyle passes to Lucinda's show, and consequently, I spent the rest of the afternoon worrying about what I was going to wear. Choosing a smart new shirt from Blackmail, for which I received many compliments, I was sorely disappointed that Renée was a no-show. But trudging through the Backyard's endless parking lots, we saw so many hippies with bedrolls that Margaret and I thought we were at Woodstock. Tie-dye is evidently still a serious trend here, though hundreds of women aped Lucinda's cowboy-hat-and-camisole routine. But, like Madonna (who obviously lifted Lucinda's look for her "Music" video), Lucinda surprised them all and didn't look like that in concert. The concert, of course, was sublime. Lucinda was resplendent in black leather pants, with turquoise beading and lacing on the hips, a black tank with jeweled clips, and a crystal rosary paired with gorgeous chunk turquoise beads at her throat. We were honored to stand behind the stage during Lucinda's set (she even dedicated her new hit "Essence" to Margaret, and when, at one point, she made reference to her "inner slut" and stuck her tongue out at us, we screamed with laughter). The chi-chi little lawn party afterward included lots of fun people, notably Liz Lambert and Margaret Tucker from Hotel San José (Omigod, they're like the most well-connected couple on the planet) and Selena Souders and Dylan Robertson from Big Red Sun, who named their landscape and architectural firm after Lucinda's "Big Red Sun Blues." Lu's opening act, Jim Lauderdale, spangled in blue and gold like a latter-day Porter Waggoner, kept the party rolling with his antics. Later we hobbled over to the Continental Club for the Elvis tribute, and then back at the San José, and stayed up waaay too late, partying with Lucinda and band. Wow. What a dame.

GOODNIGHT, SWEET PRINCE A fond farewell to Robbie Jacks, who went to his great reward on Aug. 8. We had admired each other's antics for decades. He was so kind and gracious in encouraging me and welcoming me back to the Austin scene a few years ago. The hats of singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and playwright were among so many he's worn, and his creative energy and contributions to our artistic scene will be missed.

OH, YEAH Happy second anniversary! We've been dishing the style dirt for two years now. Let's all go out for drinks or something.

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Lucinda Williams, Güero's, Margaret Moser, Jay Leno, Liz Lambert, Margaret Tucker, Hotel San Jose, Jim Lauderdale, Porter Waggoner, Continental Club, Robbie Jacks, Renee Zellweger, Woodstock

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