After a Fashion

After SXSW, everything is an afterparty!

Retailer/scenester John Gomi spins at the opening of the 
new Gomi store (233 Second St.) during SXSW. Gomi is 
joined by Jo's Coffee, Loft, Paciugo, IF + Design, Which 
Wich?, and Milk and Honey Day Spa as the newest 
tenants in the 2nd Street District.
Retailer/scenester John Gomi spins at the opening of the new Gomi store (233 Second St.) during SXSW. Gomi is joined by Jo's Coffee, Loft, Paciugo, IF + Design, Which Wich?, and Milk and Honey Day Spa as the newest tenants in the 2nd Street District. (Photo By bobshermanart.com)

PARTY POOP It felt like 1981 all over again, tramping around downtown in a pack looking for some fabled party about which we overheard the details in some bathroom ... Was it at the Hilton? Or at the Omni? Was it in room 2243? Or 2443? Or 2342? Would we be able to breeze in and mingle? Or would we have to try pulling a Pamela Des Barres "I'm with the band" routine? "So sorry, we heard there was a party here – didn't mean to wake you up!" OK, it's not in this room; should we go over to the other hotel? I felt like we should have been wearing headbands, cheap make-up, and crepe-soled platform boots, but instead, we were a well-dressed, tasteful pack acting like we were wearing headbands, cheap make-up, and crepe-soled platform boots. My sunglasses fogged up, my hair products were failing me, my fragrance had faded, and I was wearing purgatorial cowboy boots. It was a recipe for disaster. I felt like Baby Jane Hudson as we slogged through downtown, and I marveled at all those fresh-faced out-of-towners that had invaded Austin with their cheery dispositions and stars in their eyes as they breezed around as easily as the Trapp Family Singers waltzing over the Alps. Maybe they were all from New York, where people still walk. Enough was enough. It was 1:30am, and I was tired and in a foul mood. "I'm dying. Take me home," I said to Mark. I knew I'd need rest for the next day's activities. Little did I know that the next day would bring more of the same. But I was prepared this time: I did wear a headband, cheap make-up, and platform boots...

HE'S BAAACK "You don't recognize me, do you?" "No, I've never seen you before in my life." The gorgeous blond guy looked fabulous at the Austin Music Awards – right up my alley with great hair, beautiful clothes, sparkling accessories, and attitude to burn. But I'd never seen him before ... or had I? He smiled and said, "The last time you didn't recognize me, I'd lost 30 lbs. Now I've lost 70." Omigod! It was my old friend Brian Arceneaux, recently returned from Los Angeles. He looked so amazing, my jaw hit the dirt, and with him standing in front of me, it all came whirling back. Brian had been a fixture on the Austin style scene when I first met him years ago. We hung out a bit, went to the same parties, had great times together, and there was a rumor he had a crush on me, but I didn't believe it. Now, I wistfully wish it were still true. Brian, always a great stylist, can now be found at Barocca on South Lamar

HRCing With so many men (and a few women) filing in wearing tuxes, it may have looked like March of the Penguins at the Four Seasons, but by the time Jennifer Holliday took the stage, at the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner, it was sizzling inside. Will Wynn was there (I think Austin's incredibly lucky to have such a cool mayor) among so many powerful and generous Austinites in attendance. Anne Elizabeth Wynn was honored for her support, as was Octopus Club founder Lew Aldridge. The crowd of 400 was a passionate one, but they are also a privileged one, and that is, of course, the desirable crowd for fundraising. But in my humble opinion, it was a bit, well, stodgy and lacking in any kind of youthful spirit. In Austin, we do not have a gay ghetto that gives us a sense of community, and there is a vast separation between the gay haves and have-nots (like in most cities). But in their admirable mission, HRC needs the support of everyone, including the younger ones. I have a suggestion for the gala committee: Why not throw an afterparty like the Art Ball does (see below)? Make the afterparty tickets affordable and hire Hedda Layne or Jacinta to rock the house and draw in a younger crowd. As everyone knows, we have an ugly fight on our hands and can use all the help we can get.

NOTABLES Fri., March 31: Orange is the new black ... so says the Austin Museum of Art as they prepare for the Art Ball X at Laguna Gloria, with guests Christo and Jeanne-Claude. One reason the Art Ball is so cool is because if you can't afford to spring for the individual tickets ($500), you can always have dessert, bid on the silent auction, and dance into the night with Grupo Fantasmo at the Art Bash After-Party ($75). See www.amoa.org/abx for complete information… Sat., April 22: Red Hot & Soul, Zach Scott's annual gala and live and silent auction, is coming up at the Austin Music Hall. Zach Scott always knows how to throw the fun parties, and this one promises to be a real lulu. See www.zachscott.com/get_involved/Red_Hot_2006.html for details.

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