After a Fashion

Your gracious Style Avatar on throwing rocks and giving 'em 'the finger'

<i>Artsträda Magazine</i>’s Editor Jaclyn Havlak with Ultimate Face Cosmetics’ Gary Spellman at the magazine’s launch party
Artsträda Magazine’s Editor Jaclyn Havlak with Ultimate Face Cosmetics’ Gary Spellman at the magazine’s launch party (Photo by Seabrook Jones/
Anne Elizabeth Wynn (l) hosted a booksigning at her home for author Sarah Bird (r).
Anne Elizabeth Wynn (l) hosted a booksigning at her home for author Sarah Bird (r). (Photo by Seabrook Jones/

BAT-TERY The e-mail said, "Come in your best Austin party attire." Well, don't I always, since that's all I really own? I chose one of my favorite holiday ensembles – black leather jeans, cashmere turtleneck, white fur coat, my faaabulous Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, cowboy boots, and my usual lavish assortment of jewelry. It was for my comeback on the stage – or, as Norma Desmond said in Sunset Boulevard: "I hate that word. It's a return, a return to the millions of people who have never forgiven me for deserting the screen." (Remember, I wanted to be an actress before I discovered costume and clothing design a thousand years ago.) The e-mail was from the charming Kevin Patterson, general director of the Austin Lyric Opera, asking me to be a guest at the big party scene in The Bat, the opera formerly known as Die Fledermaus that ALO, in association with Esther's Follies, brilliantly Austin-ized. The dramatic and droolingly handsome Richard Buckley conducted the orchestra – from the stage I got to see much more than the back of his head. I don't know why he doesn't return my calls, letters, e-mails, and text messages. The production was a scream: The Austin in-jokes were plenty, and the direction was very clever. I had assistants who guided me around the stage, whispering where to go and what to do next (thank you, Celeste and James!). I made snide remarks, smoked a fake joint onstage, and generally behaved like I do at every party ... well, not every party, thank God. Soon it was all over, and it was back to the salt mines for me and my other co-guests for the evening: the Biscuit Brothers, Wammo, Brewster McCracken, and Betty Dunkerley. As I walked through the lobby to the valet, a woman stopped me and said, "Who are you supposed to be dressed like?" Peering over my sunglasses, I intoned, "Liberace, darling," and sped off into the night. Thank you, ALO, for orchestrating my comeback ... I mean, return.

FREEWHEELING I recently went to Tribeza's party at Lance Armstrong's new venture, Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop at Fourth and Nueces. I suppose if I were really into bikes, I'd have been in hog heaven, but I made do with plenty of socializing with old friends instead. Lance greeted me warmly; I thanked him for the marvelous sponsor party he gave before the Texas Film Hall of Fame. He, in turn, was most solicitous about my cancer and gave me a big spiritual boost that made the rest of the evening fly by. I especially laughed over the in-store coffee shop called Juan Pelota Cafe. You figure that one out. Speaking of bikes, my heart began to turn to stone as I was stopped at Riverside and Lamar watching a parade of bikes indulging, presumably, in some form of civil disobedience. What that meant was that dozens of clowns on bicycles took up the entire street and brought most traffic to a standstill. After several minutes of obnoxious waving and smiling from the riders, I was ready to pull a Lizzie Grubman and plow right through them and be on my way. But I was hesitant to rack up a lot of hit-and-run charges against me ... and then there would be all that damage to my car. The thing is, all the smiling and waving did not make me sympathetic to the scofflaws' "cause." It made me think: "Don't give bikes the right. Give 'em the finger."

DRIVE-BY MOMENTS With my chauffeur/sister-in-crime Stephen Rice commandeering the Champagne-pink 1965 Cadillac Coupe DeVille convertible, we sailed (well, crawled) through the streets of Austin along the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's Pride Parade route. I kept wondering what I really wanted to throw from the car: Rocks? Cocktails? Bon mots? Instead, we settled for tossing garish beads and Twinkies. Good time had by all... Went to the launch party for the Artsträda Magazine, a new venture between Jaclyn Havlak, Patrick Labay, and their dedicated assistant, Treva McCroskey, who have produced a slick and stylish publication that seems to encompass fashion, fetish, and motorcycles... Dropped by Anne Elizabeth Wynn's booksigning party for Sarah Bird's new book, How Perfect Is That, and brought Kevin Pruitt and the Downtown camera crew with me. Seems the crew has been following me around to events, shopping, even to the hairdresser. Don't know what the piece will look like, but I have a feeling I'd better check my apartment carefully for hidden cameras.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin gossip
After a Fashion
After a Fashion
Your Style Avatar cleverly distills this weekend's news overkill, so you don't have to

Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 3, 2009

After a Fashion
After a Fashion
Stephen ponders self-immolation

Stephen MacMillan Moser, Jan. 23, 2009

More Austin style
The Good Eye: Where Everybody Sews Your Name
The Good Eye: Where Everybody Sews Your Name
Leslie Bonnell’s Stitch Lab insists that you are not a number

Amy Gentry, May 30, 2014

After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
Fort Lonesome will not be lonely for long

Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 5, 2013

More After a Fashion
After a Fashion: The Main Event
After a Fashion: The Main Event
Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 28, 2013

After a Fashion: The Jewelry Vault
After a Fashion: The Jewelry Vault
Stephen's got a brand new bag, and it has some local landmarks on it

Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 21, 2013


Austin gossip, Austin style, Austin fashion, black leather jeans, Roberto Cavalli, Norma Desmond, Die Fledermaus, Lance Armstrong, Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop and Commuter Center, bikes, scofflaws, Give 'em the finger, Stephen Rice, 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, Pride Parade, Anne Elizabeth Wynn, Sarah Bird

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle