The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, November 23, 2001, Columns

THE MAIN EVENT I was afraid that it might feature hairy-legged women examining themselves with hand mirrors, but an event with the cumbersome name of Venus Attacks!! A Celebration of Feminine Spirit, Expression, and Courage Through the Arts defied all expectations, except perhaps those of the producers. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the benefit for SafePlace at the ultra-stylish Sky Lounge was one of the most professional fashion productions I've had the pleasure to attend. Great clothes, great hair, great make-up, great models, great sound, and great lights added up to a great show. Entertainingly emceed by Christine Valhouli (who has produced a documentary on plus-sized modeling), the fashion show and subsequent art and music gala was produced by sisters Angela-Jo & Ana-Maria Medina, event coordinators for Two Sisters ( The clothes from Flashback have never looked better on the runway, providing a wide range of creative looks from their collection: Viking princesses, pirate beauties, and gun molls. New Bohemia also showed an excellent grouping of vintage daytime and cocktail hour chic; they made the old look dazzlingly new. Emeralds showed youthful and stylish looks, and there's an amazing crop of student designers in the UT Fashion Group this year, displaying incredible potential. The fabulous shoes were provided by Goodie Two Shoes, and handbags by UTFG member Andres Bedoya, with Christoph and Sandi of Bella supplying hair and make-up.

REV UP YOUR WIGS Thursday, Nov. 29, 9pm, the Continental Club hosts the first annual Hairdressers Ball, featuring Jerm Pollet, Goudie, and Glamourpuss, and a Seventies Costume Contest. Proceeds will be donated to the club's fund to purchase a bust of the late, great "Shoeshine-- Charley Miller.

TAPEHEADS Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke were spotted on SoCo with their little girl (who is a carbon copy of Uma). Spygirl Louisa at New Bohemia said that both stars tried on a number of outfits -- the very pregnant Uma tried on maternity clothes, while Ethan tried on embroidered Western shirts. Their lovely daughter seemed obsessed with nail polish, and kept saying, "Daddy can I paint your nails?" Ethan declined the honor, and the family unit moved down the strip to Uncommon Objects.

KNOW THE TOE Our spy-girl-in-the-know Karla Keeton-Page tells us that we must not miss the Camel-Toe Report ( Featuring the bifurcated groins of Led Zeppelin, Charlie's Angels (circa Shelly, Jaclyn, and Cheryl), Cher (lift-and-separate) and Tyra Banks, the site also features haiku, T-shirts (Know the Toe), underwear (glow-in-the-dark toe), games, and even a link to an article in Cosmo about surgically reducing your cameltoes.

CO-STARRING ... A SUCCULENT The new Kevin Spacey movie will be co-starring a number of Austin locals: plants from the award-winning Big Red Sun nursery. The crew who dropped in was gracious and friendly, but Mr. Spacey himself was a no-show. The word is that he is very nervous about security issues, even though he's made well-documented appearances at the Speakeasy and the Starlite. And BTW, Big Red Sun has been selected as the backdrop for the Neiman-Marcus spring catalogue.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORS The Central Design District's Style Within a Mile event is Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-9pm. Similar to SoCo's First Thursday, this is a biannual event in which 16 independent purveyors of home furnishings and décor keep their doors open late. Enjoy food, drink, and entertainment as you experience a multitude of various concepts designed to enhance your life. The CDD covers the area between W. 15th and W. Cesar Chavez, and Rio Grande and MoPac. Shuttle service will be available.

THE DEATH OF STYLE Austin mourned as funeral services for "Shoeshine-- Charley Miller were held Monday. Miller was born in Smithville in 1937 and began his illustrious career at the age of 10 in a whites-only barber shop, eventually setting up shop at Antone's, before moving on to the Continental Club in 1991. His legendary status afforded him many brushes with greatness, as well as several film appearances, including The Newton Boys. It is the passing of an era in many ways. The dying art of shoeshine is just one of the final reminders of a time when men took a great deal more care with their appearances than they do now. Along with manicures, handkerchiefs, cufflinks, tie clips, and hats of every description (except baseball caps), highly polished shoes were a telltale element in the presentation of a sharp-dressed man. Shoeshine Charley understood that better than anyone... Also gone to style heaven is the inimitable Carrie Donovan. Long revered by fashionistas across the globe, Donovan was, at various times, editor of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine, before becoming one of the most recognizable figures on television by starring in 42 commercials for Old Navy. Her keen eye for style and flamboyant personality also signal the passing of an era ... one in which a fashion editor was more concerned with the readers rather than the advertisers.

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