After a Fashion

Stephen goes green and manages to work both Maureen and Scarlett O'Hara into the same bit

Guests at the Arthouse 5x7 Art Splurge view some of the 1,200 pieces of work on display.
Guests at the Arthouse 5x7 Art Splurge view some of the 1,200 pieces of work on display. (Photo By Chris Patunas)

GREAT MOMENTS IN GREEN Since this is the Green Issue of The Austin Chronicle, and green is arguably my favorite color, we're going to talk about green here, too. Green can be a risky color in fashion. Store buyers are sometimes afraid of it, and when confronted with a choice of colors, consumers will often leave the green alone. But for me, green is regularly my first choice. Green, to me, is at varying times seductive, mercurial, dynamic, and ostentatious. I adore it in all shades. One of my earliest memories dates back to when I was 4 or 5, at the church in Houston where my father was the minister. I laid my young eyes upon this ravishing creature – a titian-haired Maureen O'Hara look-alike with scarlet lips and nails wearing a wasp-waisted suit with a pencil skirt and peplum cinched in with a narrow patent leather belt. The suit had a stand-up collar and sleeves with cuffs and was a deep jade green. Seeing her with black gauntlets pushed down at her wrists, a green hat with black veil, black patent leather bag and stilettos, it was the first time I knew what the concept of chic was, even if I didn't know there was a name for it. Her powerful impact remains with me many decades later. Another early fashion favorite, Scarlett O'Hara's velvet dress made from Miss Ellen's portieres, is an indelible image in moss green and chartreuse (did you know that the original dress from Gone With the Wind lives at the Harry Ransom Center on campus? Their GWTW collection is stunning. See it online at www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/online/gwtw ). Another great moment in green for me was meeting the inimitable Carla MacDonald at the Ballet Fete a couple of years ago. She was wearing a magnificent emerald-green duchess satin vintage couture gown by Yves Saint Laurent – a spectacularly draped column with a deep ruffle running the length of it. Perfection. I love forest green, teal green, acid green, sea green, army green … and somehow don't expect to be turning over a new leaf any time soon.

GREENBACKS In another example of green, attendees at the People's Community Clinic (www.pcclinic.org) luncheon were generous with the green, supporting this great organization. Austin Chronicle Editor Louis Black was a guest speaker… The 5x7 Art Splurge at the Arthouse was rolled in the green as the art came flying off the walls (www.arthousetexas.org). It may have been the best 5x7 party so far. The 1,200 pieces of art on display were captivating, and the crowd was resplendent… The patio at the new Mars on the chic SoCo strip is a verdant green oasis, but the Joel Mozersky interiors are burning hot. Good food, good service, and great ambiance… Green with envy was exactly what I was when gazing at the Anthony Nak necklace designed for Princess Haifa of Saudi Arabia. A giant spear of turquoise surrounded by leaves of various other jewels in green and blue, suspended by multiple fine chains in various metals – it is breathtaking and was on display in their store (www.anthonynak.com) for the party AN gave for the Zach Scott committee members from Red, Hot and Soul… Green was also in vogue at a lakeside fundraiser for the Town Lake Trail Foundation (www.townlaketrail.org) – keeping the trail green and safe and in good repair is the intention. We all benefit from that.

GREENER THAN THAT Speaking of green, I got slightly green around the gills after a festive birthday celebration for my sister Margaret at the Belmont (www.thebelmontaustin.com). Nestled among the greenery of palm trees, banana trees, and a bank of foliage with giant night-blooming blossoms, I felt like Angie Dickinson as we drank and dined and generally held court. Our waiter, Tony Jahnke, was superb, and we had a fabulous night watching Dino Lee aka Mr. Fabulous and his band Casino Royale (www.mrfabulousltd.com), who play the Belmont every Wednesday. It is a perfect marriage of venue and performer. Why he isn't the top draw on the charity circuit is a mystery to me. He's the whole package, a consummate showman presenting timeless, sophisticated music in a retro modern style that is completely enchanting. I was completely entertained by Troy Dillinger (www.troydillinger.com), the rakish and charming musician/actor who dropped in to pay homage to Madam M (no, not me, silly, my sister!). The margaritas were divine … possibly too divine.

HOW GREEN WAS MY JERRY So the legendary Jerry Falwell is dead. IMHO, he's a man who squandered his substantial power by choosing to use it to divide rather than unite (Moral Majority anyone? Tinky-Winky? His statements about 9/11?). And, of course, there's the fact that he would have liked to see people like me go to prison for being the way nature made us. I agree with my mother who always says it's sad when someone dies alone, and I also think we should always say something good about the dead. Jerry Falwell's dead. Good.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Green Issue, Austin Chronicle, Maureen O'Hara, Scarlett O'Hara, Carla MacDonald, Louis Black, 5x7 Art Splurge at the Arthouse, Joel Mozersky, Belmont, Mr. Fabulous, Casino Royale, Jerry Falwell, Austin style, Austin fashion, gossip

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