After a Fashion
Is In in or is Out in? Is Out in In? Or is In in Out? Is In out? Out isn't even in Austin. In is. Why did we think of Out? This is about In. In is out. It is. Isn't it? Ouch.
IN IS OUT What's everyone laughing about these days? It's In magazine, but I can assure you, it's no laughing matter. Turns out that the microscopically sized In is the natural successor to the late, unlamented Access magazine -- a "cultural" guide with the accent on lots of barely dressed babes. Like a pocket-sized Swank magazine, its quality is abysmal. There are a couple of writers in there that seem to take themselves seriously. To them I say, "Run -- do not walk -- to the nearest exit, which may be located behind you." Most appalling is the magazine's fashion layout; the lap-dancers-in-bikinis look rules the pages. One of my favorite features of the magazine is the autograph page -- presumably for all the lap dancers you'll be getting to know. I especially liked the full-page ad from a certain unnamed pretentious, pseudo-swanky shoe store, whose owner once told me she'd never dream of advertising in The Austin Chronicle because we sold dildos in here. I have to admit that despite reading the Chronicle for 22 years, I've missed the dildo section every time! Regardless of how she feels about the Chronicle, it's obvious she's found her market, and for that, we offer our congratulations. All in all, In magazine's a pretty unpleasant affair. Almost as unpleasant as its raunch ... errrrrr ... launch party. This was one party I simply would not miss; all its components sounded like they would add up to one big debacle ... and we were not disappointed. The small, disparate group of attendees seemed dwarfed by the Austin Music Hall, as the party went from bad to worse. We stayed for one of the three fashion segments, probably the scariest one of all: the swimsuit segment. The models, their lips flexed as if ready to perform oral sex, oozed down the runway. Inevitably, each would hitch her thumbs in her bikini bottom, and when each approached the end of the runway, tugged them down another inch or two so we could note the full extent of their bikini waxings. With looks very similar to those on the runway, the magazine's "fashion spreads" would be more at home on some Web site that accepts MasterCard. These babes looked Crazy Lady-classy, if you know what I mean ... not quite up to Exposé par. To further underscore In's obsession with busty, barely dressed babes, they are sponsoring an upcoming swimsuit contest. One suspects that bikinis are required attire for all personnel at the In offices. I was approached by one chatty little woman, and within a few moments, I was telling her how dreadful I thought the magazine and the party were. Turns out she was connected with the magazine in some way; oops, sorry, doll. Needless to say, she was furious. Still, I had questions. Like: "Exactly who is the target audience of a publication like this?" Maybe the contestants on Temptation Island? The editor, whom we'll call Fabio, allegedly told one source that his magazine was going to blow the Chronicle out of Austin. Yes, folks, at this very moment the entire Chron staff is cleaning out their desks and getting fitted for bikinis, each of them praying for a last-minute call from In magazine to save their jobs.
THE SOCIAL CIRCUIT Had an absolutely fabulous evening at the chic new Japanese restaurant Uchi (801 S. Lamar, in the old Si Bon location, 916-4808). The décor, by the ultra-stylish interiorista Joel Mozersky, is truly fab -- especially the magnificent wallpaper he designed. The service, in the form of our waiter Adrian, was delectable, and from the generous and very accommodating manager Braden Frame, we were made to feel like royalty. Bravo, Uchi!... The ever-social style maven of Tribeza, Sara Lewis Seiders, was the event chair for the Austin branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation's first-ever Shop for the Cure. Opening with a wonderful Pink & Black Gala, the event included shopping from 70 vendors including Moxie, Luxe Apothetique, Cupidz Closet, and many others, as well as offerings from a number of area restaurants. We chatted with Tribeza's Phil Hudson and Austin Monthly's Lance Morgan. We also hung with the beautiful Marnie Sutton (formerly of KGSR) and chef Charles Mayes of the wonderful Cafe Josie. The following two "market days" (open to the public) were a great success... Then we attended the opening of Zach Scott's Side Man, a grimly funny tale of the disintegration of a family taking place during the fall of the jazz era, directed by Dave Steakley. The cast knocks out a few kick-ass performances, alternately hilarious and wrenching. (I was especially fond of the endearing character played by Meredith McCall. After seeing her in The Pavilion, I felt it evident that she has amazing range.) The lighting and sound were excellent, and Michael Raiford's sets helped bring the story alive. With excellent ensemble acting, it's an extraordinary evening of theatre.