After a Fashion

SHOWTIME The annual UT Fashion Show continues to evolve. Newcomer Mary Margaret Quadlander has taken over the major organization of the show, and some of the changes, such as using professional models, were a big improvement. Brenden Mills received the award for Most Innovative Collection for his black-and-white organza group with wonderful references to Fifties couture. Kyle Sanders did some very nice work in his collection that won Most Marketable Collection. Stacey Bearden received the award for the Best Collection of the Year, and Alison Ricketson received the award for Best Eveningwear Design for her bridal gown. The distinguished panel of judges was composed of Gail Chovan of Blackmail, Patti Hoffpauir of the Garden Room, the legendary Grace Jones of Salado (no, not the disco star), Diane Lyerly of Scarbrough's, Cynthia Johnson of Julian Gold, Sarah Seiders of Tribeza, and myself.

SWINGTIME On Friday, June 6, the eighth annual Texas Swing is being held to benefit Project Transitions. Project Transitions is a nonprofit agency that provides hospice, housing, and supportive care to individuals and families living with HIV/ AIDS. Texas Swing is a two-step and country swing dance fundraiser that attracts more than 700 people each year for live music by Alvin Crow, as well as a cash bar for beer and wine with liquor setups, a silent auction with over 200 items, barbecue buffet from Scholz's Biergarten (1607 San Jacinto), and entertainment including jugglers, tarot card readers, and psychics. In addition, this event is the wonderful Lonny Stern's swan song as promotions director for PT. The upcoming Swing will be held 8pm-midnight (dance lessons at 7pm), at Saengerrunde Hall and Scholz's Biergarten. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $35 at Book Woman, TapeLenders Video, Top Drawer Thrift Store, and at the Project Transitions administrative office or for $40 at the door. Call 454-8646 for more info.

OH YEAH... And have I mentioned that I have now been a nonsmoker for nearly four months? There's never been a craving that I couldn't cope with, and I haven't had a single cigarette. After 32 years of smoking, it still amazes me that I did it -- with the help of hypnotherapist Sylvi Salinas (389-3990). Yippee!

CIRQUE TIME As if we expected any less, the VIP performance of Cirque du Soleil was truly fabulous. The performances were incredible, eliciting numerous oohhhs and aahhhs from the audience ... especially from me. When they set up the net and those guys were on the trapeze, I covered my eyes fearing for their safety. The poignant snowstorm segment was gorgeous, sending millions of tiny pieces of tissue confetti whirling around the stage (and the audience) in a delirious maelstrom. Then there was the contortionist ... omigod, if I could bend like that, I'd have a date every night of the week. The amazing performances garnered five uproarious standing ovations. Glitterati in attendance included Rebecca Campbell from the Austin Film Society; Mega 93's Miss Kitty and her beau Zach Garrison; Sarah Seiders, Phil Hudson, and Zarghun Dean of Tribeza; KLBJ's Dale Dudley; Blackmail's Gail Chovan and her husband Evan Voyles of the Neon Jungle; the ever-dapper Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires, his lovely wife, actress Barbara Chisholm, and their adorable daughter Rosalind; glamorous socialite Lance Morgan of Austin Monthly with his date Deirdre Earls; and the effervescent Emily Fawcett of Club DeVille.

GREAT SCOTT TIME Well, Bettie Naylor told me I had to go to it, and if Bettie Naylor tells me I have to do something, I just do it. So there I was at Zach Scott for a reception with my glamorous date Rita Garza of AIDS Services of Austin. The purpose of the reception was to help Zach Scott's already great contributions to the gay community become even more focused, by establishing an outreach program. It's such an honorable mission, and I'm pleased to be involved. Among those also involved are Zach Scott's Ann Ciccolella and director Dave Steakley and Bob Emerson (the Babe Paley of Austin society).

BY GEORGE TIME Well, By George doesn't do it very often, but when they do, it's wonderful. As a benefit for SafePlace, they kept the store open late while the glitterati browsed the clothes while enjoying the music from DJ Trey Lopez in one room and the Erik Hokkanen band in the other. With two bartenders dishing out the cosmopolitans and the hors d'oeuvres constantly replenished, Austin's temple of high fashion provided the perfect backdrop for shopping and socializing. The ultrastylish crowd included By George owners Matthew and Katie Culmo; Maris Stella Ostrewich of Premiere Atelier; noted architect Dick Clark (thank god I got his name right this time); interiorista Mark Ashby accompanied by Tony Senecal, Selena Souders, and Dylan Roberts from Big Red Sun along with daughter Ruby; Karen Linder of Uncommon Objects; and Shiki's Jane McCann.

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