The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, November 16, 2001, Columns

NBF Pt. 2 Jennifer Braham, 32, is a graphic designer of considerable talent, whose clients include Wells-Fargo and Lavaca Street Bar. When I knew I was bringing a model to see the celebrated José Eber (again, to reiterate, it's French: JO-say A-bear) at his salon at Saks, Jennifer was the perfect candidate. Obviously she had been giving her current look some consideration, and maybe it was time for a change. Last week, we discussed the consultation and cut. Then it was on to Cameron to work his color magic: a rich, dark auburn with brighter highlights at the front. Before the styling was done, Jennifer submitted to make-up artist Felix for a new approach to her maquillage. Meanwhile, I submitted to massage therapist Brian Bullock's amazing hands, which made me feel like there was electricity traveling from my spine to my fingertips, and José and I chatted. He spends a lot of time in his Beverly Hills salon, where he can occasionally be found doing the cuts himself, and says, "I love cutting hair. It's why I went into the business and what I still love about it. It's the most creative part." He talked about being with Liz Taylor in New York on September 11 and going with her to the Armory to help the families of victims. His easy, intimate style was enchanting and we bonded quickly, trading tales of New York and Austin. "Darling," he told me, "I'm going to call you every time I'm in town; you know everything." Not quite, I assured him, but it wasn't difficult to persuade him to accompany Bob Sherman and I to First Thursday on the chic SoCo strip. This most recognizable figure drew stares as we strolled along the avenue and was greeted like the star he is in every place we stopped. But, back to the makeover ... It was incredible. Jennifer's hair now has a vitality and movement not present before. It is sexy and sophisticated, and combined with the make-up, bowled her over. She says of her experience, "José was inspirational and intuitive. He knew how the cut would change my life. I was petrified at first; now I'm fearless." Says the humble José, "It's only hair. ... You can do miracles for someone's look, ego, and state of mind, but when all is said and done, you're still just doing hair."

CATWALKING The Designers' Guild of Austin presents Seamless, Sunday, Nov. 18, 3pm, at the lovely Design Center of Austin (3601 S. Congress). We can look forward to the remarkable work of Judy Masliyah (part of whose collection is embellished by the amazing work of artist Cindy Crowe), Christina Klisanin for her boutique Vylette at Davenport Village, as well as the always fabulous Gail Chovan for Blackmail. Tickets are $10 general admission, $20 VIP, and are available at Vylette, Pink Salon, and Blackmail. Call 447-2888, or e-mail for further info.

ON THE PROWL I didn't get invited, but well-connected spy girl Lois Richwine did -- to wardrobe consultant Paula Lundgren's engagement party at the Red Fez. We've raved about the Red Fez before, so assume that it was a suitably glamorous place for Paula to celebrate her upcoming wedding in January, with belly dancers, a fortune teller, Moroccan food from the fabulous "Best of Austin"-award-winning Word of Mouth catering, and lots of cocktails. Hostessed by Gay Gaddis from T3, there were fake cobras on the floor, third eyes, and lots of party girls, such as the Garden Room's Pattie Hoffpauir, Trisha Mason of Adelante, Katie Culmo of By George, Julie Crenshaw, Cindy Morgan, and Julie Wilson and Mike Genung of Charles Edwin Shoes.

BEJEWELED The brilliantly talented jewelry designer Stephanie Lindsey (babyjanejewelry. com) is having her second annual studio sale, Saturday, Nov. 24, 10am-4pm, 1710 Bouldin. She will be selling new work at 20% off and seconds and older inventory at 50%-75%. She will also be at the Wheatsville Arts Fest the following weekend, then the first annual Blue Genie Art Bazaar the weekend after that.

THE BLACK INK BRIGADE The opening party that Gail Chovan threw for the opening of Blackmail (1202 S. Congress, 326-7670) was divine. With a noir de rigueur dress code, it was wall-to-wall, drop-dead beautiful black. Guests included Steve Wertheimer, Laura Cisneros (looking fabulous), Karla Keeton-Page, Heather Hill, Bernadette Noll, Claudia Voyles, Paul and Ann Chovan, Neil Diaz, Suzie Rapp, Mark Ashby, Joel Mozersky, Nathan Tate, Philip Thomas, Kathy Miller, Deborah Carter, Bob Sherman, Robert Patterson, Liz Aston and Michael Hall, Liz Lambert and Margaret Tucker, Emily and Steve Wyman, and Selena and Dylan Souders.

HAIR APPARENT Jackson Ruiz Salon owner and hair stylist extraordinaire Allen Ruiz was in Miami this past weekend as one of the nationally chosen hair and make-up persons for the finalists for the Ford Model Search. Make-up artist Heath Smith from Jackson Ruiz will also be part of this event. This is another big honor for the salon, which was recently chosen as one of the five top Aveda Concept Salons in the country.

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