After a Fashion

Oh, you know it's the season when everyone gets on the First Thursday bandwagon. Plus, this week, our Style Avatar goes to jail. You'll just have to read about it.

Dennis Quaid in Todd Haynes' <i>Far From Heaven</i>: Now <i>that's </i>style!
Dennis Quaid in Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven: Now that's style!

CLOSER THAN THAT Have you seen Far From Heaven with Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid? Wowowow. What a classy little movie: Todd Haynes' tribute to the glossy soapers by Ross Hunter and Douglas Sirk. While the original films in the Fifties addressed social issues in a slightly smoother way, Far From Heaven is like a trip back to a time that never existed, when all women were beautiful, all men were successful, and the American Dream reigned supreme. Julianne Moore is delicious as the Hartford society matron whose life comes crashing down around her ears, and Dennis Quaid is proficiently angst-ridden as the husband with a secret. But the star of the movie is the cinematography and art direction. Spectacular and beautiful, and a gorgeous re-creation, Far From Heaven boasts techniques worthy of the originals; it's the most stylish movie to come down the pike in a looong time.

THE STOREFRONT The rumor mill said it wasn't going to happen, but Deniz Anders of Nordstrom says it definitely will happen; Aug. 15, 2003, the venerated Nordstrom department store opens at Barton Creek Square. As a former Seattleite (Nordstrom is known as Nordie's in that neck of the woods), I can assure you that this is a thrilling development for retail in Austin... Go to www.sparklecraft.com and see Tina Lockwood's amazing selections of guitar straps (including the "vegan" guitar strap for girls -- I guess this is a guitar strap that doesn't eat meat or use animal products). At any rate, her work is delightful and original, and can also be found at Blue Velvet.

XMAS STARS BEHIND BARS This week, we peek in on a few of our favorite little Christmas criminals, strolling through the halls of a fictional women's detention center, the Leona Helmsley Institute. The entrance hall is lovely -- befitting the institute's celebrity "guests" -- and only mildly disrupted by the unearthly wailing and caterwauling coming from a nearby room. Stepping over to the left, we spy Noelle Bush in the day room. The first Noelle retains that peculiar Bush hauteur, though she is still looking in her shoes to see if there's any more crack left, and we sit down to chat. We giggle about her little predicament, and when asked what her idea of the ultimate Christmas gift would be, she answered, "Bolt cutters." That wacky Noelle. Down the hall on the left, in solitary, is Lizzie Grubman. "Merry Christmas!" we wave, and Lizzie's gray pallor (matching her sweat suit) brightens considerably. She gives us a tour of her cell (one at a time, of course; it's not very big), and we learn she is a meticulous housekeeper with a great deal of time on her hands, though she does miss driving. Lizzie directs us to the cell next to hers, still sadly decorated for the aborted arrival of Winona Ryder. Lizzie confides that she would have liked to have company, but admits that many inmates drop by her cell every day, exchanging lovely confidences such as, "I'm gonna kill you, bitch," and "Fuck you, white trash." Further down is the as-of-yet-unoccupied cell reserved for Martha Stewart. Martha will delight in the sheer fixer-upper-ness of the place, and her fellow "sorority sisters" didn't even try to decorate, since they knew Martha would insist on redoing it. But they did chip in and buy her a little Suzy Homemaker oven and a Chia Pet so she could keep up her cooking and gardening skills. Inmates hope Martha will chair the Prison Rodeo committee, as well as the Culinary Club. It's been charming visiting the Helmsley Institute. We'll visit again next week with details of Lizzie's release. We'll also drop in again in the spring, and meet all their new guests.

OK, I LIED ... I must have been possessed when I wrote about Texture. Owner Tarek Morshed asked me to please correct my information. So, for the record, Jetset Lounge is every Friday. I said it was on Saturday. I was evidently delusional. Then, I said they will feature fashion and art on Monday nights. What was I thinking? They aren't even open on Monday nights. Texture's next featured fashion/art night will be this Friday, Dec. 6. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to set the record straight.

THE SOCIAL AGENDA Tonight (Thursday Dec. 5) seems to be a happening date -- a little too happening. Of course, it's First Thursday on South Congress -- a great time to mingle, shop, and be merry ... It's also First Thursday at Davenport Village (a lovely idea, but why they chose the same night as the South Congress event is beyond me) ... Also, the Central Design District presents their wonderful semiannual Style in a Mile walk. For more info, contact Michael Capochiano at 658-5138 or mcap@io.com (ditto on the subject of being on the same night of a more established event -- there are only so many places we can all be at one time -- and you're all vying for the same customers!) ... In addition, the wonderful Luxe Apothetique at the Arboretum is staging their own fashion event on this same night -- the event begins at 5pm, with fashion at 7pm. Call 346-8202 for further info. Lots to do tonight! Let's roll...

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Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Far From Heaven, Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Todd Haynes, Ross Hunter, Douglas Sirk, Nordstrom, Barton Creek Square, www.sparklecraft.com, Tina Lockwood, Blue Velvet, Leona Helmsley Institute, Noelle Bush, Lizzie Grubman, Winona Ryder, Martha Stewart, Suzy Homemaker, Chia Pet, Prison Rodeo, Culinary Club

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