After a Fashion

Well Riverside and Congress is finally all clear. So now Stephen can go out and be fabulous at all these incredible Valentine's and early springtime happenin's!

The glamorous Eloise DeJoria, with husband JP, making her entrance at the 2004 Texas Film Hall of Fame.
The glamorous Eloise DeJoria, with husband JP, making her entrance at the 2004 Texas Film Hall of Fame. (by bobshermanart.com)

TRAFFIC CIRCLING Well, the Riverside/Congress nightmare is over, and ahead of schedule. It looks great, everything moves smoothly again and South Austin breathes a sigh of relief – though most of us who live here became very adept at finding ways to avoid it. Not that the completion is going to make my favorite Sonic Drive-In return. Two months ago, one of the Sonic waitresses told me how they had suffered because of the road closures. She said that from 6-9am they lost about 80% of their breakfast business. I don't know for a fact that's why they closed, but it sure couldn't have helped. The little Town Lake Market managed to survive, though the clerk there told me that their sales were down 40%, but they sell cigarettes and beer: the breakfast of champions. I groused a lot about the closures, but they were a necessity. If only we could get folks to understand that about a light-rail system…

SHOWTIME I told you last week about the Gat5 Showcase at Antone's coming Thu., Feb. 23 (tickets, $10 general w/ admission at 8pm, or $25 VIP, with a special cocktail hour at 7pm, are available at www.frontgatetickets.com and www.gat5art.com). I told you it was a benefit for the Gat5 arts group and AIDS Services of Austin, and if you read all the way to the end, I alluded to the fact that I would be debuting a new clothing collection for men and women for the first time in many years. I must have been possessed to agree to it, but I can't deny that I've been toying with the idea of designing clothes again. But before I even sewed anything, I was obsessed with who I'd get to model for me. I debated about using professional models, but decided that I wanted to show the ensembles on friends who might actually wear the clothes. Right off the bat, my dear friend, the gorgeous Carla McDonald, agreed to model, and so did my perennial valentine, the dazzling and talented Patricia Vonne. Patricia's rakish husband, Robert LaRoche, agreed to model, as did Phil Hudson, publisher of Brilliant magazine. So did the chic Julia Smith, wife of Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith, and the hunkier-than-thou Anthony Camargo from Anthony Nak jewelers. We were thrilled when the beautiful sought-after covergirl and social force Eloise DeJoria committed to model, and then, a true coup de grace, our affable and stylish Mayor Will Wynn committed. Ay-yi-yi! I'm officially nervous now. Especially after years of critiquing other local designers, I've set myself up as a target. I dish it out, so I'd better know how to take it, right?

LOVE'S DAY From downtown's chic new 2nd Street District, Shiki and Eliza Page offer their Valentine's Love & Trunk Show, Thu., Feb 9, 6-9pm. Eliza Page has a trunk show with jewelry by Sheleen, and Shiki has cocktails, chocolates, and Valentine's jewelry. For more info, see www.elizapage.com or www.shikistyle.com… The smart new store Populuxe, 4410 Medical Pkwy., invites you to a special Valentine's gift event, Sat., Feb. 11 from 11am-5pm, featuring jewelry trunk shows, complimentary champagne and giftwrap, chair massages, and chocolates… Nothing says romance like the Uranium Savages Valentine's Eve Ball, held Mon., Feb. 13, 8:30-10:30pm at Gino's Italian Grill, Stassney at South First. For more information about the Savages, call 480-9980… Valentine's night, 6-11pm, the fabulous new Crystal Ballroom of the Mansion at Judges' Hill (1900 Rio Grande) offers the ultimate Valentine's extravaganza for you and your paramour, with fine dining and dancing to Paul White & the Paradise Orchestra. Tickets are $55 per person. Call 261-0142 for reservations or write sales@sterlingaffairs.com.

REMINDERS Thu., Feb. 16, beginning at 7pm, Orbit Salon (500 W. 18th), and Almost Impatient are working together to raise money for Top Drawer Couture!, an upcoming benefit for Project Transitions, by having a "cut-a-thon" with free haircuts in exchange for donations… Sat., Feb., 25, 9pm-12mid, is the fabulous fourth annual Octopus Club Erotic Art Auction & Dessert Party. With stimulating art, attentive servers, and sinful desserts, the event benefits AIDS Services of Austin, and tickets can be purchased at www.octopusclub.com. Sat., March 18, 7pm at the Four Seasons is Austin's 12th annual Human Rights Campaign Gala with speaker Joe Solmonese, HRC president, and entertainment by the divine Jennifer Holliday, the original Effie from Broadway's Dreamgirls. For tickets and info, see www.boxofficetickets.com/hrc and for further info, write gala@hrcaustin.org.

CATWALKING See New York magazine's online photos of former Austin designer Tomer's most recent collection from Fashion Week: nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/2006/
fall/main/newyork/menrunway/tomer.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Riverside/Congress, road closures, Gat5 Showcase, 2nd Street District, Valentine’s Love & Trunk Show, Mansion at Judges Hill, Orbit Salon, Almost Impatient, Top Drawer Couture!, Human Rights Campaign Gala, Jennifer Holliday, Tomer, Fashion Week

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