After a Fashion

There's no lack of fashion at Groopie; hair online; Marcy gets well soon, and another José Eber sighting. All inside!

BEST WISHES Our good friend Marcy Fletcher, former nightclub impresario (or is that impresaria? Or empress-aria?) and local legend is recovering nicely from hospitalization following heart problems. Never one to be kept down for long, Miss Fletcher wrote me, "My doctors did a cardiac conversion yesterday, and it worked ... so instead of my upper atrias doing the watusi and the ventricles waltzing; they all are doing the tango. Oh, course the burns on my chest and back are just minor compared to the alternative." The rest of her missive offers further evidence as to how little this is going to slow her down: "On to booking for [summer] ... doing the new South Beach in Houston starting Memorial Day weekend and of course, Oz & Johnny Chisholms' Abracadabra, Wave, Bounce, Sweat, and Goddess Parties in Pensacola. Last year we had more than 55,000 gay men and women -- at least a quarter of them had adopted or spermacompared babies. You could tell the dykes' babies from the gay men's children -- the babies of the women had sensible shoes, appropriate clothes and sunscreen, and the men's children had designer clothes, $100 sandals, and their sunscreen consisted of a tent with a hardwood floor, chandeliers with roped-off play areas. Oh, paintings on the canvas windbreakers. There were enough Aprica strollers ... with 'sand wheels.' Who knew those existed? The evening of Wave is the fireworks, $100,000 worth, just off the beach on the barge -- an awesome sight: all of the gay men and women waving their arms to the music and fireworks. Originally, Pensacola didn't want them to do it, but Johnny Chisholm walked in with lawyers to enjoin the city from having their Fourth of July fireworks if they didn't let the lesbian and gay citizens have a celebration of freedom on this date. When the city officials saw it was going to be a big war, they said yes. Johnny was not going to give up. It is a wonderful Memorial weekend. Does my heart good, and I'll be there. Thanks for your encouraging words ... I do appreciate them. Love to you, Marcy."

RETAIL PROWL Dropped by Julie Lack's shop Groopie (807 W. 12th, 472-1212), and there's no "lack" of humor in all the merchandise she buys: an assortment of witty and clever fripperies at down-to-earth prices. Primarily featuring accessories, Groopie carries trashy chic jewelry and lingerie (I especially laughed over the long, narrow velvet drawstring bags designed to get your "little silicone friend" out of his linty hiding place in your sock drawer and give him a luxurious home of his own), as well as works by local entrepreneurs, such as the vintage-styled shoulder bags in assorted found-fabrics (Star Wars sheets, etc.) by Chia. With a small but cult-ish following, Lack has an unusual eye and offers many things you won't find anywhere else in town.

A NOVEL IDEA Schedule your health and beauty appointments anytime during the day or night through a centralized online system? Very clever and it's here now. The site www.salonscheduling.com is a smart little upstart of a business offering a service designed to make life just that much easier. Director of Content Services Patrick Kirkland says "The idea for Salon Scheduling grew out of the frustrations one Austin hairstylist had with the reception desk at his salon. High turnover, missed callbacks, and related communication breakdowns were costing him a significant part of his business. To resolve those problems, we set out to build a friendly and straightforward system that helped automate and streamline the scheduling nightmare many service businesses face." The system has more than 500 clients and has logged over 1,000 appointments since its launch (and has the capacity to handle much more). "We are now in the process of extending the site to related style and health services," says Kirkland, "Like massage therapy, personal training, and medical treatment."

A SPRING OPUS The annual UT Fashion Group show is always a favorite, and the most recent one was a pretty glamorous affair. Perhaps more than anything, I'm always dazzled by the production values of the event. The production itself has been completely revamped into a sleeker, more sophisticated presentation, having done away with the almost variety-show approach of past years. Having a DJ and musicians performing original music behind a scrim and the T-shaped runway were cool touches. This year's graduating class is large, and space prohibits, so while we'd love to go into more detail, we'll suffice to say there was some very creative, original work presented, and the students should be very proud.

HAIR TODAY Last week brought another lovely visit with hairstylist José Eber. The jet-setting legend breezed into town briefly and then was gone in the blink of an eye. Naturally he was booked solid with consultations at his fab salon at Saks, but still found lots of time to gossip ... none of which we'll repeat here. But he did ask, "Darling, did you see the picture of Liz in Vanity Fair's last issue?" I admitted I'd neglected to read it yet, but as soon as I got home, I looked up the photo of Elizabeth Taylor, and indeed, José had done gorgeous work on his best client. It's the sort of legendary connection that makes Eber's Austin clients swoon. As usual, salon manager Mari Stella (as well as the rest of the staff) was graciousness personified, and helps make José's salon a lovely place to visit.

THIS WEEKEND! Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, 6pm, is the Fashion From Trash show at the Old Pecan Street Festival. Featuring creations from world-famous designers, all the garments will be made from EcoSpun, made from recycled plastic bottles. Betsey Johnson, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, and Vera Wang will be represented. Bring four plastic soda or water bottles to trade for a T-shirt, 4-7pm both days at the Bottles-4-T-Shirts booth.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Julie Lack, Groopie, Chia, www.salonscheduling.com, Patrick Kirkland, Marcy Fletcher, South Beach, UT Fashion Group, José Eber, Saks, Elizabeth Taylor, Mari Stella, Club DeVille Spring Fashion Extravaganza

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