After a Fashion

Austin style avatar Stephen puts his most certainly Queer Eye on a local band, gives them an up-do for the festival, and gets away with it… Plus, where's he going tomorrow and upon whom did he spy at the Mark Mothersbaugh art show?

Monsieur Don, after, sporting his fab new hair, Merc jacket, and Fred Perry  shirt from FactoryPeople – wailin' away and knockin' 'em dead at Exodus.
Monsieur Don, after, sporting his fab new hair, Merc jacket, and Fred Perry shirt from FactoryPeople – wailin' away and knockin' 'em dead at Exodus.

A MINI-MAKEOVER The band was Los Abandoned – three guys: Moises, Chris, and Don and a female lead singer, Pilar (or Lady P.). BMI publicist Hanna Pantle forwarded photos and band info to me. They were all attractive, well-groomed individuals, and it would not be a chore to help them look good for their SXSW showcase at Exodus (this past Wednesday night). Hanna had them write little fashion bios for me; it was so sweet. "My fashion idols are Elvis Costello and the better dressed poor guys in Pretty in Pink," wrote one. Another said, "I want something a little retro and conceptual somewhere between Devo and the Strokes, or Talking Heads and Blondie." This would not be difficult. I met up with Hanna and the band at BMI's party at Stubb's on Tuesday night, and we all got acquainted (and I sized them up). We began the next morning at what seemed like the crack of dawn with a Fox 7 camera crew following us to KLBJ as we appeared on the Dudley and Bob show. Los Abandoned performed, and we chatted amiably and departed for South Congress to do the deed. We had breakfast at Magnolia Cafe, and the band proved charming and funny, and passed approval on Mag South's cuisine. Fueled for our adventure, we hit FactoryPeople, which provided clothes and grooming. With such an amazing selection of merchandise, owners Le and Thomas Popov have rapidly become one of the most stylish stores in the city. It was our good fortune that FactoryPeople, the official Spin magazine lounge for SXSW, already had a number of events occurring that included having an absolutely incredible New York hairdresser named April Barton on hand to provide cutting and styling using a complete collection of fabulous new hair-care products from Garnier. Mme. Barton let me take a peek at her book, and I was deeply impressed to see page after page of magazine tear sheets featuring her very high-profile work, such as styling U2 for the cover of Rolling Stone and Adrien Brody for Vanity Fair. She went to work right away, quickly taking Don's early-morning bedhead and transforming it into a casual, well-coiffed look that suited his style. Meanwhile, the other band members were availing themselves of clothes from Merc and Fred Perry. Lady P. had a very distinct approach that she'd already perfected, and needed little help (except for a darling pair of pink pumps from Goodie Two Shoes). April trimmed and styled Lady P., and then the make-up magicians from Urban Decay showed off their prowess and products, enhancing her natural beauty (April and Urban Decay are at FactoryPeople through Saturday). Chris and Moises were a breeze – they zeroed in on what they wanted and that was that. It was hardly really a makeover, since we had so much to work with in the first place. The fact is, they know themselves better than we did; all we could do was help them be themselves – only better. And they were; their showcase that night was a hit, and so was their look. (Many thanks to publicist Jill McGuckin, BMI senior publicist Hanna Pantle, and FactoryPeople publicist Allison Hodge for making it all come together!)

TOMORROW Saturday, March 20, 9pm at Ludwigs (217 W. Fourth) Strangetribe Productions presents A Night With 18th Street Lounge Music featuring the Sixties-meets-electro-now sounds of Ursula 1000, the ultra-clean future soul of Thunderball, and the Latin soul of Federico Aubele. Tickets are available, presale, for $15 at Upstairs Mens Boutique 2208 S. Lamar. Also, the Platforms, Austin's rock & roll fashion vixens, perform at Pink at 7pm, and the incredibly divine Patricia Vonne spins her magic web of music at the Continental Club, 9pm.

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Los Abandoned, Lady P., BMI, Hanna Pantle, SXSW, Exodus, April Barton, Garnier, Goodie Two Shoes, Urban Decay, Jill McGuckin, Allison Hodge, Strangetribe Productions, A Night With 18th Street Lounge Music, Ludwigs, Ursula 1000, Thunderball, Federico Aubele, Upstairs Mens Boutique, Platforms

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