After a Fashion

Stephen does Dallas … No, wait, we mean Houston. Stephen does Houston. In a big way. With big names. At the Icon. Don't you wish you were this fabulous? Oh, and he does the State Board of Education, too. Don't they wish?

Monica, for Legs Diamond, prowled the runway like a 
jungle cat at Club de Ville's Fall Fashion 
Monica, for Legs Diamond, prowled the runway like a jungle cat at Club de Ville's Fall Fashion Extravaganza. (Photo By Mary Sledd)


As soon as we entered the security check at the airport on our way to Houston, a big blond babe with lots of teeth gushed that my assistant Neil Diaz and I had been "selected" for a "secondary search." Toothy hustled us into a glass cattle chute where, crowded in with some other hapless soul, we felt like lambs being led to slaughter. Needless to say, after public humiliation, no bombs were found on our persons or in our purses, and we were released to run amok in Space City for 48 hours. We checked into our glorious accommodations at the Hotel Icon, where I unwound in the wonderfully deep bathtub before meeting PR dynamo Stuart Rosenberg of Studio Communications for dinner at the chic, new Strip House restaurant. The interiors are so stylish and sharp and exquisitely designed that they threatened to overshadow the food. But no, the food was divine: The steaks practically melt in your mouth; the gracious general manager hardly had to force us to try their mountainous servings of a spectacular 24-layer chocolate cake and a decadently delicious cheesecake. Make sure to put the Strip House on top of your must-see list for Houston... Through March, the real must-see in Houston is the Cartier exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Don't even try to pretend to be nonchalant as you gawk at these stones; one begins to truly understand why these creations are called "rocks" and "ice." There was the Duchess of Windsor's magnificent gold, amethyst, turquoise, and diamond bib necklace that I've studied pictures of all my life. There were Gloria Swanson's diamond bracelets, Doris Duke's jewels, jewels of maharanis and queens – succulent rubies, vivacious emeralds, and honey-colored topaz!... We attended the benefit for the esteemed Neuhaus Educational Center, dedicated to training teachers to understand dyslexia and perhaps to become therapists themselves. In the Icon's luxe Aventine Ballroom, we mingled with Jaclyn Smith (honestly, the woman is so cool and composed and gorgeous, she looks like she's 30), the handsome Clyde Drexler, the inimitable Kinky Friedman, legendary attorney Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, astronaut Walter Cunningham. Next week, I'll tell you all about my intimate little luncheon with Carolyn Farb.


Returning to Austin, we drove directly to the Club de Ville Fall Fashion Extravaganza, a benefit for the very wonderful Sustainable Food Center. The show was vastly different than previous shows; much of the circus atmosphere was gone and replaced by a more streamlined production that put the focus back on the clothes. The changes looked good, and the addition of a great deal of new blood to the runway made the show fresh, fun, and fast-paced. Clothes were provided by Flipnotics, Upstairs, Shiki, Trio, Legs Diamond, and Therapy... We also stopped by All About Diamonds on Bee Caves Road for the Paul Morelli trunk show. Mr. Morelli's collection of diamond jewelry and other precious stones is breathtaking; some pieces bold and striking and others delicate and seductive, but all of it very contemporary and truly dazzling, and worn in many episodes of Sex and the City. All About Diamonds is the newest jewel-box-on-the-block and has many tempting ideas for gift giving... My dear friend Bettie Naylor took me to see the Rude Mechanicals production of Cherrywood. I'm still having psychological repercussions. These 90 minutes of comedic anarchy have the pace of a demented Laugh-In episode but with a script and characters that take you on a bumpy ride into hysteria. Don't miss it.


I wasn't about to miss the fundraiser for the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas at the glorious home of Gary Cooper and Richard Hartgrove. Stalwarts of community fundraising, Gary and Richard, along with Chris Fabre, hosted LGRL's Randall Ellis and Sheriff Margo Frasier, who made eloquent pleas for funds to address the issues threatening gay rights. The 75 attendees were an amazing group that represented the best in Austin business and culture. Fasten your seatbelts as the State Board of Education, with an agenda set by Terri Leo, the homophobic harridan from Spring, Texas, decides to take us back to the Paleolithic era. Leo insists that high school and middle school textbooks define marriage as "a lifelong union between a man and a woman." The myopic Ms. Leo has already done away with words such as "partners" and "two people" to replace them only with "husband and wife." She claims she is committed to removing factual errors in textbooks – factual errors such as birth control and references to partnerships that may not include a husband and wife. Even the book publishers balked at some of the demands, refusing to include the sentence "Opinions vary on why homosexuals, lesbians, and bisexuals as a group are more prone to self-destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use, and suicide." If that were true, who could blame anyone for being self destructive, depressed, and suicidal when faced with the frightening Ms. Leo? Being such a good American, undoubtedly the fun-loving Ms. Leo would just love to hear your dissenting opinion. Be sure and contact her at

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