After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar will tell you who's a designer and who isn't, thank you very much, and who to vote for, while we're at it

Former Austin singer and model, the beauteous Chrysta Bell, now resides in San Diego and maintains a strong Austin connection. In September she will be attending the Venice Film Festival with director David Lynch for the premiere of his latest film, <i>Inland Empire</i>, featuring a song she has co-written with him.
Former Austin singer and model, the beauteous Chrysta Bell, now resides in San Diego and maintains a strong Austin connection. In September she will be attending the Venice Film Festival with director David Lynch for the premiere of his latest film, Inland Empire, featuring a song she has co-written with him. (Photo By Todd V. Wolfson)

FASHION FEAR FACTOR Attending local fashion shows can be like going on Fear Factor – but instead of having to eat sheep entrails while thousands of giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches crawl all over us while we are suspended in a locked Plexiglas case over a pit of burning feces, in Fashion Fear Factor, we are subjected to ghastly creations that are passed off as fashion. The clothes are usually poorly designed and constructed by amateurs who insist they are "designers," and the presentations are dreadful displays of bad taste, often involving the "model" showing much more than clothing. The "models" are often real people, i.e., friends and neighbors of the "designer" – which is why you hear some of the most unlikely people say, "Oh, yes, I'm a model, too." My friend and personal fashion icon Gail Chovan and I know a couple of designers who went into business together, and we howled when we looked on the Web site and it said that they had met while "modeling" in New York. Ever since, Gail and I tell people that we met while modeling in New York, too. Having walked through a crowd of people in a beer-soaked nightclub wearing ridiculous clothes does not make one a model anymore than decorating a T-shirt makes one a designer. Of course, not every local show is abysmal; every now and then there is magic on the runway, but those instances are few and far between, and those shows are either not open to the public or they come with a very stiff ticket price. But since anybody can be a "model" and "designer," then, naturally, anyone can produce a "fashion" show … right? Personally, I'd rather eat sheep entrails and cockroaches than see another show like those, even though certain individuals who fancy themselves as part of the "fashion" community crucify me for refusing to accept their definition of fashion. But as the old proverb says, "The dogs bark, the caravan passes."

ELECTIONEERING So, serial divorcée Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn __________ (to be filled in upon her next marriage) has dropped her bid to be called Grandma on the election ballot. Or more correctly, her second attempt to be listed as such was once again firmly rejected. No wonder she wants to be called "Grandma" – her name changes as often as her political affiliation. She is a prime example of why women should continue to use their maiden name professionally. But her claim that "I am 'Grandma' to 23 million Texans" holds no water whatsoever, and no one I've ever heard of, except possibly her six granddaughters, really calls her "Grandma." The only thing I like about her is the way she attacks Gov. Rick Perry, the hateful homophobe who appears to spend more time on his hair than he does on the budget. Then there's Democratic candidate Chris Bell, who seems affable enough and has a good platform, but no one has ever heard of him. Though in his campaign commercials he appears as a towering giant, the ugly reality is that he will be the Ralph Nader of this election, splitting the vote from those who might win but not winning himself. One poll says that the homophobe is at 35%, Kinky is at 21%, the giant is at 20%, and Madame __________ is at 19%. But Kinky is virtually in the same place Jesse Ventura was at this point in his race … and look what happened to him! Go Kinky!

RETRACTION I was incorrect in last week's column by saying that Mix 94.7 was producing a segment called Fashion Fridays in conjunction with Tribeza magazine. The segment is being produced in conjuction with a former employee of Tribeza and has nothing to do with the magazine.

AGENDA On First Thursday, Aug. 3, 7-9pm, at the always-stylish Pink Salon, Boutique and Gallery (1204 S. Congress), Summer Lawson of SubKult Klothing Kouture and Tracy Robertson of Azrael's Accomplice Designs will be having a trunk show. Meet the designers and be the first to see wicked and wonderful new designs, including many one-of-a-kind pieces… Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 19-20 at Carlos'n Charlie's on Lake Travis, the ever-fabulous Lou Ann Barton, along with a slew of guests including Carolyn Wonderland, Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble, Soul Asylum, and many more will be performing at the Austin Rockin' Blues Festival to benefit the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. More info, including tickets and volunteer opportunities, can be found at www.austinrockinbluesfestival.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Fashion Fear Factor, Gail Chovan, model, designer, Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn, Grandma, Governor Rick Perry, Chris Bell, Kinky, Mix 94.7, Fashion Fridays, Tribeza, Pink Salon, Carlos'n Charlie's, Austin Rockin' Blues Festival

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