After a Fashion

Our Style Avatar get Grease-y and posh all in the same week!

GREASE IS THE WORD ... It's got groove, it's got meaning ... and it packed the Paramount to the rafters recently, with rabid fans and casual observers there for the benefit Grease Sing-a-Long. Jenn Garrison emceed, and Bryan Ockert and I were among the celebrity judges. You can find more extensive photos, plus a couple of flash movies at Bryan's site (www.chaosinaustin. com/fotoj/index.html). Lonny Stern appeared as an Elvis-ized Frankie Avalon in the "Beauty School Dropout" routine, and Michael Friedman and David Lee Richardson III were hysterical as a couple of poodle-skirted schoolgirls.

LABELLE DU SOIR It's so typical of Deborah Carter to call me at the very last minute, saying, "I need you to put on your best clothes and attend this fabulous event with me ... tonight." Well, of course, I had a prior commitment, but how could I say no? Deborah has certainly helped me out in a pinch a time or two. So we wound up at the Austin Music Hall for the annual Mueller Law Offices Presents ... Party -- a pretty swank event, indeed. Given by attorney Mark Mueller and wife Paula Wilson to celebrate a number of events, including their anniversary and birthdays, they opted for a black-tie approach this time, entertaining 400 of their closest friends and associates. With a guest list that included movers and shakers such as Sue McBee (writer, philanthropist, and wife of Tracor Inc. founder Frank McBee), Wayne Ball, and Dr. Kent Cullers (the blind astrophysicist portrayed in the movie Contact), it was a wonderful and splashy affair. In the past, it's been Mueller Law Offices Presents ... Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan, Big Mountain, Lyle Lovett, or the Temptations. This year the firm presented the legendary Patti LaBelle. The diva was remarkable, performing a string of hits that led to her big number, "Lady Marmalade," in a scarlet kimono embroidered with spectacular beadwork. She closed the show with a rendition of "Over the Rainbow" that was unlike anyone else's ever. She showed 'em all why she leaves most other divas in the dirt. Tomas Esteban from St. Thomas Boutique, who had a gaggle of gorgeous gowns in attendance, certainly had the most original outfit -- a jeweled red denim jacket trimmed with red coque feathers around his face and wrists -- which the hostess begged for ... and was given. The night featured some of the most beautiful men's formal wear I've seen in Austin so far: custom-made tailcoats, frock coats, cropped jackets, vests of brocade and velvet slung with platinum watch fobs, dazzling cufflinks and studs, and gorgeous footwear -- primarily cowboy boots, naturally. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't take money to dress well. It's a lie. To look this sharp takes big bucks. And so does throwing an affair like this. What a fabulous party, Mark and Paula. Can I come next year, too?

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Grease Sing-a-Long, Paramount, Jenn Garrison, Bryan Ockert, Lonny Stern, Frankie Avalon, Michael Friedman, David Lee Richardson III, Deborah Carter, Austin Music Hall, Mark Mueller, Paula Wilson, Sue McBee, Tracor, Frank McBee, Wayne Ball, Dr. Kent Cullers, Contact, Muelle

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