After a Fashion

Hmmmmmm, didn't our Style Avatar's psychic "see" what awaited him at the Brown Bar? Why was he not forewarned? Also, AAF checks in on George Michael's potty habits.

ALLEY-CATTING The monthly First Thursdays on the chic SoCo strip are so fun I sometimes don't even make it past the first couple of blocks. A handful of stores and salons on the north end of the strip kept me so entertained that I never left. I did buy a beautiful silver ring at the Turquoise Door, and ogled a bracelet that I must own, but this night something unusual occurred. You see, I'm not very spiritual. I don't go to church or follow any variety of mysticism or religion ... except fashion. I do subscribe to one tenet, however, that if it's not pretty, I don't want to see it. I'm self-admittedly deeply superficial -- one of those fashionistas about whom they say, "What do you get when you scratch the surface? More surface." So it was with a great deal of insouciance that I sashayed myself right into the chair of Lois. The sign on the table said "Intuitive Readings by Lois -- concise, compassionate communication about your past, present, and future, by appointment only -- 445-0627." I plunked down 10 bucks for 10 minutes and, like Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, I whirled around in my chair and said, "Let's go." Lois had me draw four cards, and in the blink of an eye (several blinks, actually) she had read my beads up and down. She ticked off an astoundingly specific list of major factors in my life, and was blunt about my role in them. I won't divulge the content, but needless to say, I give Lois major marks for accuracy. Immediately after, I was kidnapped by my NBFs James and Gustavo and a gregarious Maggie, and taken to the Brown Bar. I had never been there before but kept hearing how stylish it was. So there we were, 10:30pm on a Thursday, and the place is packed, and woefully understaffed for the size of the crowd. We met up with some friends, including the lovely hairstylist Lisa Brooks (she looks like Deborah Harry from a time when we all looked more youthful) and stood around gossiping and sipping our drinks. After a while, a couple of "gentlemen" vacated their seats and hung out at the bar, and after about 10 minutes, Maggie and I sat down in the seat, and chatted amiably. After another 10 minutes, this drunken Type-A, post-frat guy has his finger in our faces saying, "I'm trying not to be an asshole, so just move from those chairs, and there won't be any trouble." Maggie and I look at him, look at each other, and said, "I don't think so." He persists, escalating into threats to "meet" us outside, where we'd be "taken care of." We were shaking in our stilettos, as you can imagine. The hot-headed cretin made a few more insulting remarks and stormed back to the bar in a major snit. He returned moments later, picked up Maggie's drink and said, "Is this yours?" She said yes, and he smashed it at her feet, showering her with vodka and glass. We stared at him like the deranged idiot he was, as he went back to the bar bragging to his friends. "Maggie," I said, "get a photo of him for later in case we need it for identification purposes." She snapped him from behind, and as she daringly moved to the side to get a better view, he lunged at her, grabbing her neck and trying to rip her camera out of her hands. Seeing this, James and Gustavo leapt to Maggie's defense and a melee erupted. Still bearing scars over my eyes from the last time I was involved in an incident like this (in New York), I stayed in the background, grateful for J and G's keen handling of the situation. I leaned over to Lisa, saying, "I'm so glad I came here to the Brown Bar, it's just lovely." The drunken psycho-boy and his friends left shortly thereafter, and after a safe while, we did too ... permanently. I cannot say that my first visit to the Brown Bar made me want to return. On the other hand, Ocean's 11, where we retired to, was divine. Sipping the lethal, flaming Smoking Krakatoas under the altar of Day-Glo tikis interspersed with busts of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr. accompanied by Hawaiian music was fabulous. Service by our waitress, Kate, with bartending assistance from Kevin, made our visit perfect. Even if the food did take waaaay too long, we were having so much fun we hardly noticed. Nice change of pace from that other place.

CLUB DEVILLE In case it isn't obvious, I have had a continuing love affair with the Club DeVille fashion shows. The diversity of participants and approaches insures that it encapsulates all the factors that make Austin style what it is. Even if this wasn't the most powerful Spring Fashion Extravaganza ever, the regular event is still the most original show in town. Perhaps it was a difficult crowd to engage, but the general energy seemed more diffused and less dazzling. On the other hand, there seemed to be some serious innovation; some very creative video projections added new dimension. Emcees Emily Fawcett and Joel Mozersky were their usual clever selves, though not as over-the-top as previous seasons. Act I was predictably sedate, and there were lovely presentations by Flipnotics (among the best directed), New Bohemia (great sense of humor), and Therapy. At intermission, Austin's Pizza was delivered to the crowd. I have recently joined the legions of Austinites who think highly of Austin's Pizza. Well, while we were partaking, it grew so humid, I could feel the firming gel under my eyes dissolve, and was afraid the bags would start oozing out from under my sunglasses. Thank god, CDV co-owner Abigail King showed up with a bottle of champagne, cooling things down considerably. Shiki (ethereal loveliness ... as usual), Legs Diamond (surprising and fun way to show shoes!), and Blackmail (whose tribute to Queen Victoria was wonderful) ruled Act II. I was more than honored to have the closing number -- Joel and a very good Cher impersonator performing "I Got You Babe" -- dedicated to me. Also, as usual, the CDV staff was pro all the way -- the service there always puts them at the top of my list of favorite clubs.

OIL FROM THE GRAPEVINE? We hear that the stylish Nick Cave was shopping at Flipnotics for new duds ... and that Eighties glamour boy George Michael was in town last week, reportedly dropping into Oilcan Harry's asking to see the wine list!!! There was no word as to whether or not he visited the restroom.

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Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Club DeVille, Spring Fashion Extravaganza, Austin's Pizza, First Thursdays, SoCo, Intuitive Readings by Lois, Vën Shoe Salon, Maggie, Brown Bar, Lisa Brooks, Oceans 11, Smoking Krakatoas, Nick Cave, Flipnotics, George Michael, Oilcan Harry's

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