After a Fashion

Stephen has a DIFFArent weekend in Dallas and wants to give Katie Holmes a glass of water

JET-SETTING Well, it's been a week of fascinating local travel – spent a couple of days at the Hill Country haven that belongs to Carrie Bills, Mark Holzbach, and Dana Friis-Hansen. Of course, all three of them are such dynamic Austin figures that I knew their little hideaway would be something special. And it was. The photos do not do justice to this serene, spacious compound with what must be the world's largest screened-in porch and the house with striking decor that is both native to our area and combined with stark, contemporary details. After viewing the place online (www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p171686), I wheedled and whined to Mark to please let me come out for some R&R (that would be "rest and relaxation," as opposed to "rock & roll"), and he and his partners consented. So my brother Bill, who has been visiting me from Seattle, took off with me, and we reveled in the rural peace that I somehow always miss when I'm spending too much time at nightclubs. Llamas, turkeys, sheep, donkeys, frogs, and all that, plus 17 acres of fields and scrubland encouraged us to put on some exploration-wear – I wore leather jeans, hiking stilettos, and a fur coat so that I could blend in more easily with the wildlife. But then I was afraid I'd be mistaken for wildlife and quickly fled back to the house for a strong cocktail. The place is faaabulous, and I'm already harassing Carrie, Mark, and Dana to let me return. What a place for a spring pool party!... Friday and Saturday in Dallas; God, I just loathe Dallas. Snottiest fuckin' queens on earth – and for absolutely no reason at all. The clubs Friday night were wretched – particularly some supposedly chic gay disco, which was like entering the gaping maw of hell. However, a well-connected friend made sure our trip was otherwise divine by putting us up at her swank $10 million mansion. It's just not fair. I richly deserve to live like that all the time. When I return home from these excursions and enter my tawdry little hovel, I just want to cry. The main reason for the trip was to attend the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole. Well, it might as well have been Night of a Thousand Gowns. With that crowd, some were wearing their gowns on the outside, and some were wearing their gowns on the inside, but make no mistake, there were evening gowns in the hearts of every attendee. The auction packages included with the custom-designed garments were incredible, and the event obviously raised nine gazillion dollars for DIFFA. The finale was brilliant, with hundreds of models crisscrossing the stage in over-the-top finery; my friend Stephen Rice referred to it as Cirque du So Gay, but the creativity was astounding. Austin's never seen anything like this, but perhaps on the horizon, we'll be able to support such glamour.

Poet laureate of Texas and Texas' official cowboy poet Red Steagall will join fellow inductees at the Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association Homecoming Concert on March 2.
Poet laureate of Texas and Texas' official cowboy poet Red Steagall will join fellow inductees at the Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association Homecoming Concert on March 2. (Photo by Seabrook/juicythis.com)

RENEGADES Some of the renegade showcases and parties that occur when South by Southwest is in full swing are almost as fun as the official events. Our friend Rob Faubion at Shout Magazine let us know that on Thursday, March 13, at Rain on 4th and Oilcan Harry's, in conjunction with Gay.com, PlanetOut.com, and The Advocate, there will be a venue for performances by GLBT bands from all over the country. The best part? We're keeping our fingers (and legs) crossed that gossipeuse Perez Hilton may be on hand to cover the festivities. Call me, Perez! We'll make sure you have lots to talk about. Complete info can be found at www.shouttexas.com.

ART TO WEAR In the gallery connected with vintage clothing store the Opera House (2209-K S. First), there will be a presentation of wearable art called "Boston to Austin: Work by Eight Transplanted Artists," curated by Cory Skuldt and Leah Smith, opening Saturday, March 1, 7-10pm. The eight artists are Boston transplants living in Austin now. Fashion, film, video, and music round out what should be a very cool evening. Through March 31. For more info, go to www.myspace.com/theoperahousestore.

WHAAA? I just don't understand the $cientologists' obsession with diuretics. They even have a book called Diuretics. What have diuretics got to do with this sci-fi religion? Is that why Katie Holmes is so thin? Someone get that girl a glass of water. But then again, diuretics are obviously not a priority for some $cientologists. Poor Kirstie Alley is no longer shilling for Jenny Craig, and she certainly looks like she could shed some of that fluid retention. But she's the kind of gal who probably saves everything.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin fashion, Austin style, Austin gossip, Hill Country, Carrie Bills, Mark Holzbach, Dana Friis-Hansen, rural peace, Dallas, Snottiest fuckin' queens on earth, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, DIFFA, Rob Faubion, Opera House, Boston to Austin, diuretics, Scientologists, sxsw

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