After a Fashion
Your Style Avatar rocks with the royals and those who throw parties like they are
LIVING DOLLS It was the grandest e-mail I've ever received. If e-mails could have a wax seal and a fragrance, this one would have been it:
Dearest Fashion Diva Stephen MacMillan Moser,
I wanted to send you a personal Invitation to attend my stepping down as Empress XIV of the United Court of Austin at our Coronation Ball on August 9th, 2008. This year's theme is A Night of the Living Dolls: A Celebration at Studio 54. Opening ceremonies are at 6pm.
It would give me no greater pleasure than to have you in attendance as my personal guest. I would feel so special knowing that someone as fashionable and fantastic as yourself is in attendance at my stepping down.
With much Love and Respect,
HMRSIM Empress XVI, Simone Jewel Riviera
Written this thirty-first day of July in the year of our Lord, Two thousand and eight, by my hand and seal.
Sent on behalf of her majesty Simone Riviera by Her Royale Attache Crown Princess Royale Saffire Trinity Riviera.
Saffire's a real jewel. I first met her whoopin' it up at the gay rodeo, and then she was enticed to perform as Joan Crawford at my Mildred Pierce Pie Social. So an invitation from her is always sure to contain something interesting. A Night of the Living Dolls? Giant living dolls, as a matter of fact. Everywhere. With hair so big that the room looked like a skyline littered with colored, puffy clouds that would softly collide and then sail away ("Bitch, your wig is stuck in my tiara!"). The occasion was the United Court of Austin's Coronation, including the stepping-down of current Empress Simone Jewel Riviera, who wept copiously as she seemed to hand out plaques to everyone, including the hotel maintenance staff. The pageantry was awesome – walking in was like entering an entirely different dimension with its own New World Order of elected officials, their courtiers, and worker bees. My fave was a beauty of a certain age who looked and carried herself like the Duchess of Windsor. Another was an 8-foot-tall replicant of Joan Van Ark and another who is beginning to look so much like Divine that I expected her (à la Pink Flamingos) to stoop down and eat doggie poop. My esteemed editor, Kate Messer, and her cohort at Gay Place, Kate Getty, received awards for their support of the Court, as did the Chronicle. When their names were announced and the Kates were nowhere to be seen, I seized the moment and sashayed up to the dais and accepted the awards on their behalf. Sigh, always the bridesmaid but never the bride. Maybe I should run for empress! Sorry, we were already onto our next party before the new emperor and empress were elected, so see the Gay Place Blog (austinchronicle.com/gayplaceblog) for more photos and info – including photos of Kate dressed as a woman. Imagine!
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? Kool-Aid and cookies? Not at Mark Mueller's annual party. The Belmont was overflowing with chic, stylish, creative, and just plain fun folks from all over. (Hi, Tom and Cheryl Bowser!) We mingled, tingled, lounged, and lingered in the moonlight, basking by the shores of the river running with free liquor, tacos, and tattoos (styled after much of the work of my late brother-in-law, Mike Malone aka Rollo Banks). My brother Scott (the older one) was there with his paramour, Michelle Kosusnik, and since I consider Mark to be a member of my chosen family – a dependable, concerned, and caring friend – it was like family night. Except we were drunk. My new BFF was there: Dave Sullivan. The new executive director of First Night Austin has arrived in town, and soon you will all know who he is. As usual, the music was compelling, and the company was top notch. Thanks, Mark, for making this one of the biggest highlights of every year for me.