After a Fashion

Burying Reagan and 'Mommy Dearest.' Kind of like chocolate and peanut butter.

The force known as Lonny Stern applies his lipstick in preparation for the most recent <i>Mommie Dearest</i> Roast.
The force known as Lonny Stern applies his lipstick in preparation for the most recent Mommie Dearest Roast. (Photo By chaosinaustin.com)

ANOTHER ONE FOR THE GIPPER The circus has passed and "Ronnui" (as www.gawker.com describes it) has set in. Never a Reagan fan by any stretch of the imagination, I hold him personally responsible for the wholesale slaughter of thousands and thousands of AIDS patients (and dozens of my closest friends) due to his denial of the epidemic. With his passing, however, it was not difficult to identify with the grief and sorrow of his loved ones. What could never be denied is Ronald and Nancy Reagan's slavish devotion to each other, though Nancy must have already said goodbye to him long ago. His children each had long battles with him but had made their peace with the man they loved so much. Daughter Patti Davis, who most surely slapped her father's face by dropping his last name and using her mother's maiden name, looked schlumpy in every appearance along the funeral circuit. When Ronnie was lying in repose at the Library, Patti looked like she'd just rushed in from her waitress job, wearing a white shirt and black miniskirt, with long, barely kempt hippie hair. At the funeral itself, she looked like Ozzy Osbourne in her round sunglasses. Her eulogy for her father was very sweet, but she shares low marks in the grooming department with Ron Jr.'s wife, Doria, who evidently subscribes to Patti's tenet that long hair needs no maintenance or attention. Ron Jr. himself came off very well – immaculately groomed and suited; he is achieving a certain distinctiveness as he ages. Michael, the adopted son of Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, came off like a ... radio talk show host, which he is. Nancy was, of course, impeccable, though a bit frail – she is, after all, 83 years old. You know there was no last-minute scramble to figure out what to wear in her closet, and, as expected, she was perfectly turned out. Her suits were exactly what was expected, though I did mention to my mother that Nancy wore the same jewelry two days in a row, to which my mother sweetly replied, "Maybe she only brought one suitcase." Nancy was dignity and restraint personified, breaking down only at the end of the funeral during her four-day ordeal. Her laying of her cheek on the casket and kissing it became her signature move as she laid him to rest a little bit more, every step of the way. It was a fitting tribute to a fallen world leader. On the other hand, I think Ray Charles should have had a state funeral, too.

MY DATE WITH DEBORAH Thank god she can never say no to me. When my poor planning leaves me dateless at the last minute, she is always the one that has me cooing on the phone, "Deborah, darling ..." As versatile as a chameleon, Deborah Carter of Pink Salon is the perfect date. "Deborah, you must attend the opening of the Jacques Dessange Salon at Davenport Village with me – pleeeze!" And we did, inspecting the swank new digs of this internationally famous chain of salons. One of the partners is maestro Norbert Lemke, formerly creative director of José Eber, returning to legions of fans here in Austin. The salon is fab, of course, and will soon have a long waiting list, so book your appointment now... Next stop on our agenda was the Summer Launch Party for the new issue of Jewell. It is a jewel of a shopping guide – bright and well-designed by founder Christy Butler – and covers Austin shopping like no one else... We had so much fun we reprised our date by attending ASA's VIVA! Las Vegas benefit at the Austin Music Hall the next night. Carousing with good friends amidst the glamorous casino setting and swinging to the truly fabulous sounds of Mr. Fabulous & His Las Vegas Revue, we had a lot of fun giving to a good cause.

THE STYLE CALENDAR It is season number six for Shiki's Shiki Freaky Happy Hour, Thursday, June 24, 5-7pm, featuring DJ Claude 9, Shiki's dangerous vodka mint lemonade, 15% off all merchandise, and the magicians at Avant doing complimentary hair and make-up touch-ups for a night out (3407 Guadalupe)... Saturday, June 26, 7pm, KOOP Radio 91.7FM is hosting the third annual Mommie Dearest Roast at the downtown Alamo Drafthouse as part of the Stonewall Weekend, a series of events to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which mark the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States. The Mommie Dearest Roast is an audience participation screening featuring drag emcee Gigi LaRouge from the United Court of Austin, roast masters from KOOP Radio, and complimentary wire hangers! Admission is $10, and prizes will be awarded for best costumes and audience participation. Tickets are available in advance by phone at 476-1320 or online at www.drafthouse.com

... Also Saturday, June 26, 5pm, Zen Japanese celebrates the opening of their new restaurant at 35th and Guadalupe with a weeklong series of events, beginning with a Zen Style Show for Dogs. Categories include Trick Dog, Dirtiest Dog, Best Zen Dog, Glam Dog, and Best Dog Overall. For further info, call David at Milam & Co. at 472-3444... and be sure to check the Chronicle's listings section for other fashion-related events.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gipper, Ronnui, Reagan, AIDS, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Patti Davis, Ozzy Osbourne, Ron Jr., Michael Reagan, Jane Wyman, Ray Charles, Deborah Carter, Pink Salon, Jacques Dessange Salon, Davenport Village, Norbert Lempke, Jose Eber, Summer Launch Party, Jewell, Christy Butler

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