After a Fashion

Whoa! Your Style Avatar is older than dirt! Oops, we mean, "just celebrated another b-day!" Come celebrate within.

<i>Texas Monthly</i>'s Evan Smith making a heartfelt 
plea at the annual Austin Children's Shelter benefit, 
thrown by St. Thomas Boutique and St. Thomas Cheap Is 
Chic<br>
(photo courtesy of Austin Children's Shelter)
Texas Monthly's Evan Smith making a heartfelt plea at the annual Austin Children's Shelter benefit, thrown by St. Thomas Boutique and St. Thomas Cheap Is Chic
(photo courtesy of Austin Children's Shelter)

HIGH GLAM The fabulous St. Thomas boutique threw their annual benefit for the Austin Children's Shelter, A Look for Love, featuring a runway presentation of Zac Posen's fall collection. Previously held at Four Seasons, this year's venue was the new Downtown Hilton. This event is spectacular. The work put into it, the wonderful auction items, the presentation, the décor and flowers (by marvelous Victoria Reed and divine David Kurio) ... all are magnificent, including the cause itself. But this year, the fashion segment was in a separate room taking place on a narrow u-shaped runway with chairs in between and on risers on the sides. Presumably this was supposed to be effective seating, but I can assure you that from the nosebleed section in a corner, where the press was seated, this was not the case. In fact, I can't really say much about the show, since I could only see it from the waist up. (Two New Yorkers present laughed and said, "Did they really put the press in the back row? At a fashion show?" I had to agree with their tone.) News 8's Cheryl Bishop was the smart one: She simply planted herself and her video camera at the end of the runway and did not move. With what I could see of the show, Posen's strappy, latticework theme was very fun and colorful, but a severe and unpleasant contrast came in the form of really lame hair and no-make-up make-up. I know there were at least a dozen of our best salons involved, but it seemed (with few exceptions) that the person in charge of the total look passed around a box of rubber bands and said, "OK, girls, we're going to turn all the lights off, and I want you to put your hair up in a ponytail using only one hand!" And followed it by decreeing, "No pretty make-up! I want these girls to look haggard!" Otherwise, the show was short and very well-done. The setting was amazing and an enticing clue as to what the dining room would look like – white mounds of white hydrangeas and white roses crowned with crystalline branches all bathed in icy polar blue light. Master of Ceremonies Evan Smith made a very touching, forceful plea for support for ACS, and the live auction was stunning. Dinner was excellent, as was the service at the Hilton – it sure is nice to have another large event venue. The benefit was, without question, a huge success, raising $340,000, and is edging toward being one of the most sublime annual events.

DIVA OR HE-VA? It was inevitable that I would turn 47 someday, and I guess that day came last week. My dear friend Deborah Carter foolishly volunteered to throw a dinner party for 10 in honor of my birthday. The figure 10 came and went very quickly as the plans became an all-out cocktail party for 80 of my very best friends -- divas Margaret Moser, Hedda Layne, Gail Chovan, Miss Kitty, Maristella Ostrewich, Diane Nicholas, Amy Prince, Amy Weaver, Kat Jones, Cat Swanson, Jennifer Braham, Brandi Cowley, Brittney Cowley, Mary Sledd, Marjorie Baumgarten, Christy Butler, Summer Lawson, Jean Scheidnes, and a panoply of other beauties. Or it may have been a Night of a Thousand He-vas, featuring the dramatic likes of Nak Armstrong, Mark Ashby, Mark Sullivan, Lance Morgan, Alfred Robinson, Werner Campbell, Evan Voyles, Gary Cooper, Richard Hargrave, Neil Diaz, Steven Aichlmayr, John Lohse, Tomer Gendler, Kurt Hernandez, Neil Kaiser, Todd Wolfson, Raoul Hernandez, Chris Gray, Stephen Arevalos, and a host of other boys. Of course I'd be remiss in not mentioning the tide of gifts that arrived – a flood of cards, flowers, fragrant candles, wine, liquors, chocolates, jewelry, accessories, gift cards, books, tiaras, a wool scarf so fine you can pull it through a wedding ring, and a fabulous pair of black lizard cowboy boots – all from Austin's best stores. I peed; I was just in heaven surrounded by so many dear friends and the tokens of their affections. With many thanks to the folks that distribute my favorite Red Stripe beer for their donation, and to Beth Pav at Cooking by Design for the fabulous catering, and to Sweetish Hill for the divine cakes. But mainly the thanks belong to Deborah, who patiently rolled her eyes as I interfered and meddled in the details of the party planning every step of the way. The fact that we are still friends shows the depth of her true devotion, and her friendship is something that I will rely on as I'm in my sixth year of Chronicle-ing the Austin style scene.

SAMPLE SALE Have some wine, hear some music, and shop for exquisite quality menswear at a huge discount. Local designer Tomer has an international eye for comfort and luxury in his designs, and it is an honor to have him selling off his Metropolis collection starting at 60% off. The sale is Sunday, Nov. 7, 2-6pm at the Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos, across from the Driskill). Reward the man in your life (or even yourself) with this rare shopping opportunity... Also, don't miss the Ansara Fine Custom Jewelry display and sale at f8 Fine Art Gallery (1137 W. Sixth, 480-0242) tonight, Thursday, Nov. 4, 7-8pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Stephen's Birthday, 47, Deborah Carter, Red Stripe, Beth Pav, Cooking by Design, Sweetish Hill, St. Thomas, Austin Children's Shelter, A Look for Love, Zac Posen, Downtown Hilton, Evan Smith, Tomer, Metropolis, Firehouse Lounge, Ansara Fine Custom Jewelry, f8 Fine Art Gallery

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