After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar rocks with the royals and those who throw parties like they are

The Royals: (back, l-r) Iwanna Man Winchester, Dana Woodrow, Cecelia Martay, Nadine Hughes, Lance Thames, Alex Courtney, Christine King, Jennifer West, emcee Rob Faubion, Rona Bare-it, and the one who started it all, José Norton. (Front row) Your Style Avatar, Topaz, Kate Messer, Cindy Widner.
The Royals: (back, l-r) Iwanna Man Winchester, Dana Woodrow, Cecelia Martay, Nadine Hughes, Lance Thames, Alex Courtney, Christine King, Jennifer West, emcee Rob Faubion, Rona Bare-it, and the one who started it all, José Norton. (Front row) Your Style Avatar, Topaz, Kate Messer, Cindy Widner. (Photo by Seabrook Jones/www.juicythis.com)

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.

Attorney/producer/auteur Mark Mueller surveys his party from the steps at the Belmont.
Attorney/producer/auteur Mark Mueller surveys his party from the steps at the Belmont. (Photo by Seabrook Jones/www.juicythis.com)

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!

Dave Sullivan (r), our new executive director of First Night Austin, with his partner, David Johnson (l), and the glamorous publicist Patricia Paredes, among the guests at the Mueller Law Office/Voodoo Cowboy party
Dave Sullivan (r), our new executive director of First Night Austin, with his partner, David Johnson (l), and the glamorous publicist Patricia Paredes, among the guests at the Mueller Law Office/Voodoo Cowboy party (Photo by Seabrook Jones/www.juicythis.com)

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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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  

READ MORE
More Austin fashion
The Good Eye: Service With a Style
The Good Eye: Service With a Style
Tip your server well – and nab some fashion tips in return

Amy Gentry, Feb. 14, 2014

After a Fashion
After a Fashion
Stephen's hair brushes up against a woman's breast, and he survives

Stephen MacMillan Moser, March 12, 2010

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 After a Fashion
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

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

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin fashion, Austin gossip, Austin style, United Court, Mark Mueller, Empress Simone Jewel Riviera, Royale Attache Crown Princess Royale Saffire Trinity Riviera, Coronation, Stepping Down, Kool-Aid

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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