The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, April 13, 2007, Columns

BUSTED Devoted reader Mindy Sue Cohen wrote me recently, presumably in response to something I'd written about a guy wearing Joey Buttafuocco pants who should have been arrested. Ms. Cohen took the time to create a Fashion Crimes Against Humanity "ticket" that I could issue for the multitude of fashion misdemeanors and felonies that we are regularly subjected to. Clever and succinct, the tickets outline such misdemeanor "charges" as ill-fitting bras, visible underwear, and backward baseball caps (which she correctly pointed out could also be a fashion felony in certain circumstances). In the felony section, included are such crimes as untrimmed nose hair and ungroomed eyebrows (you know how I feel about that!), adults who dress like teenagers, and inappropriate attire at black-tie events. Very clever, but to those charges, I'd be inclined to add a few more. Specifically, those little knit caps that are cute if you're some tragic little emo boy, but turned loose in the hands of 50-year-old hipster men, these caps are deadly weapons and a dead giveaway to the fact that you're hiding something under it. This infraction will be treated as a misdemeanor through the end of the calendar year, at which time it will become a felony, with fines doubling. And then there are Bettie Page bangs. Girls, it's time to grow up and let them go. You've done them every possible way here in Austin forever; we need to look at other options. You'll be given six months to grow them out, but by the fall, penalties will be severe, and we will not be lenient. Love and kittens, SM.

ABSURD LOVE Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? The Gallery of the Absurd Web site ( is so brilliant, I'd marry it if I could. Having lurked on it many times, I'm now obsessed. Obviously. With an uncanny skill at capturing the tawdriness of tabloid headlines, the artist known as Fourteen (14) gives wickedness an entirely new dimension in pieces like "Britney, Lindsay, and Paris: The Three Disgraces" and "Jude Law: Common Trouser Snake." Fourteen's Celebrity Endorsements and Celebrity Animals paintings eviscerate their subjects as skillfully as a surgeon, and her commentary will burn holes through your monitor.

AIR GUITARS I'm also head-over-heels for the GuitarTown Project, though I'm certainly late in registering that. These towering 10-foot beauties add so much to our cityscape, and as canvases for local artists, they provide an extensive gallery for thousands and thousands of viewers. Don't even think about it – just download the map ( and go see! My favorites include Federico Archuleta's Amor Ven a Mi (Love Come to Me) in front of El Sol y la Luna, the mirrored Reflections of Austin by Shanny Lott that's in front of TateAustin on Lamar, Bob Wade's Gibskin at Ranch 616, Evan Voyles' neon Live Wire that's at the airport, Sara Hickman's Keep Austin Weird, the Janis Joplin one, and … you get the idea, I'm sure.

RANDOM THOUGHTS Tonight (Thursday) is aGLIFF's Bloom! event at Big Red Sun's Nest, emceed by yours truly, at which we will raffle off a Mini Cooper… After seeing my mom's and sister's heartfelt reactions to a news story on the shortage of places to stay for children removed from their homes during abuse and crime investigations, it was a pleasure to be at a fundraising dinner for the new Kozmetsky Center for Child Protection. The evening raised enough money to complete the center's capital campaign drive for $9.1 million. On hand were Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle and Darrell and Edith Royal, among other supporters… The new By George on South Congress looks wonderful (and raises the bar on SoCo fashion), along with its new neighbors Ann Kelso Salon, Cissi's Market, and Mars Restaurant and Bar… The Umlauf Sculpture Garden's annual Garden Party is coming up on Thursday, April 26. To me, this is one of the loveliest and most romantic evenings out – a not-to-be-missed fundraiser you won't soon forget… Friday begins the Heritage Antiques Show at the Austin Convention Center – forget about it being some stuck-up affair. Go see it, and feed your soul with beauty.

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