After a Fashion

Phew! We're glad that's over. SXSW is gone and things are beginning to get back to normal. Your Style Avatar has some parting thoughts about Courtney Love and looks (fashion) forward to some upcoming events.

Models at the Oswald Gallery for the Carolyn Carlson opening, March 21
Models at the Oswald Gallery for the Carolyn Carlson opening, March 21 (Photo By Mitch Carlson)

THE DATE BOOK I was fortunate to attend a very stylish opening at the Oswald Gallery two weeks ago, accompanied by a coterie of accomplished women: Katherine Jones, CEO of Milkshake Media -- her firm is in a very close race to land a contract to produce a new campaign for none other than the purveyors of ultimate luxury, Chanel; filmmaker Rebecca Fulton; ultra-stylish Blackmail owner Gail Chovan, who is also a founder of the SoCo Fringe Film Festival; and Laura Cisneros, independent producer aka Party Girl No. 1. With the Oswald's current exhibition of gorgeous black-and-white photographs as a backdrop, Carolyn Carlson showed a small but delicious range of goods, including a collection of chairs she designed herself. Taking pieces like Louis XV bergère, and painting them striking colors and upholstering them in magnificent fabrics, she created gorgeous visual art. In addition, a number of other collections that Ms. Carlson had purchased in preparation to open her own store were shown, including handbags, painted T-shirts (I know, I know), and beautiful jewelry. She showed a distinct eye for merchandising by displaying the jewelry on the well-muscled backs of a trio of strapping black studs. The lovely merchandise notwithstanding, with techniques like these, Carlson could sell snow to an Eskimo. The catering was fabulous -- and the little champagne Jell-O shots with blueberries and strawberries in them were sublime. It would seem that Carlson made a killing as a high tech exec -- two years ago she was named by the Statesman as one of the Top 10 women in Austin who were rising stars in the field. Since then she has turned her attention (and her fortune) to more creative pursuits. Fashionably speaking, Carlson is to be congratulated on her fabulous presentation, production values, and guest list. Along with a slew of high techies (who could have used some advice on proper cocktail wear) was Leslie Fossler of LFI Interiors, Ed Norton of the County Line, Zach Scott Creative Director Dave Steakley, Lytle Pressley of Spazio, Sarah Weddington (Roe v. Wade attorney) of UT, legendary designer of clothes, millinery, and interiors Jerri Kunz, fashionable young attorney Albert Percival with his partner Dale Senglemann of David Wilson Landscapes, and Zarghun Dean of Tribeza. Tribeza has certainly come into its own as an absolutely gorgeous magazine. Though the editorial content is as slim as the volume itself, it is lushly designed with spectacular ads from some of Austin's most upscale retailers, galleries, and restaurants, with stunning color reproduction, and is available at some of the more chic addresses around.

Leaving the Oswald, we arrived fashionably late to the opening at Vën -- perhaps a little too fashionably late. Many of the remaining guests were, how shall we say, in their cups? But there was good reason for celebration. The store is sleek and rich, showcasing owners James Rowley and Gustavo La Grave's stylish range of designer shoes and bags. We stayed awhile, and then my posse and I repaired to the Four Seasons for nightcaps and argued over whether Jennifer Aniston is truly talented. You know what my point of view was ...

OSCAR FALLOUT Great e-mail the day after the Oscars from my friend and favorite actress-writer-wife-mother-bon-vivant Barbara Chisholm: "I couldn't help think of you last night as I gawked at the parade in Hollywood. I must share some of my more indelible impressions.

"I am soooo over Ms. Paltrow and the fawning fashionistas that follow her every change of panty liners. Apparently I was the only person on the planet that thought the pink Cinderella gown that she wore when she won the Oscar was too baggy in the bust and too low slung. But the worn-out wet nurse look combined with the boarding school slouch at [the Academy Awards] was too much! Put on a bra, and stand up straight!

"And while there can be a certain charm to a hairstyle that appears sexily tousled (as in Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live), there is nothing becoming about dirty hair hastily and partially pulled back in a rubber band, Ms. Diaz. I know. I do it, and it's not good. Who'd a thunk that Reese Witherspoon would show 'em how it's done?"

When I replied, bringing up the risky subject of Renée Zellweger, Chisholm replied, "Yes, is there a shortage of powder? Or even facial blotter tissues? There is a huge difference between glowing and greasy." Chew 'em up, Babs. And on that note, I also got e-mail from esteemed food maven Virginia B. Wood saying "I'm taking up a collection to purchase a much-needed Wonder Bra for Gwyneth Paltrow and to send her, Helen Hunt, and Cameron Diaz to a real hair stylist!" I personally pledged $1,000. Give what you can ... it isn't always pretty being pretty. Every little bit helps.

FILM AT ELEVEN Last week,'s daily newsletter had the headline: "ZZ Top bassist and John Wayne Bobbit marry." I thought, "Gee, that's so hard to imagine; they both always seemed so ... heterosexual. Guess my gaydar wasn't working. I do hope they'll be very happy." Well, it turns out, upon further investigation that they are getting married, but not to each other. Damn, and I already had the towels monogrammed... Mega 93.3's mega-magnificent Miss Kitty's star continues to rise: MTV flew down and did two auditions with her, which she says were a breeze. "I was just myself and did my usual sort of routine -- they had me talk and introduce a few videos. It went well, and they called me back the next day for more." She is awaiting word, and so are we. Does this mean she will be leaving us? We'll have to wait and see... Saturday, April 6, is In Techno-Color, a fashion show at Texture nightclub at 505 Neches. Doors open at 10pm, show at 11pm. Tickets are $8 at the door.

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