After a Fashion

Stephen pulls a rabbit out of
his ... hat

(L=r) Rachel Mykles, Allison Barr, Jinny Kwan, and Indigo Rael in flawless red carpet attire for Zach Theatre's Red Hot & Soul
(L=r) Rachel Mykles, Allison Barr, Jinny Kwan, and Indigo Rael in flawless red carpet attire for Zach Theatre's Red Hot & Soul (Photo by Seabrook Jones)
(L-r) Clara Gordon, Patricia Paredes, and Jinny Kwan in fab make-up and hair by Pink
(L-r) Clara Gordon, Patricia Paredes, and Jinny Kwan in fab make-up and hair by Pink (Photo by Seabrook Jones)

LAST MINUTE RUN(WAY) I've said before that I learned the art of sewing and design at Zach Theatre when I was 17, and while I've been so many places since then, Zach is always in my heart. So when Zach calls, I answer. And Zach called. The theme of this year's Red Hot & Soul benefit was Red Carpet Chic: Broadway Meets the Runway. Red Hot & Soul is always fun to attend, certainly in the year's Top 5, but I hadn't been on the other side of the event before. I was given two fashion segments, took down all the information, and assembled a team of assistants immediately: Caitlin Smith was my right-hand man, er, woman; Chris Bugatti was basically my left-hand man; and Neil Diaz was, well, somewhere in the middle. I called Pink Hair Salon & Gallery ( – it does most of the biggest shows in town and is brilliantly chameleonlike in adapting to whatever theme is thrown at it. This year, all I said was, "Over-the-top, please, and then add more." But then I was completely distracted from the show by that funny thing called "life." Suddenly, the show was three days away, and I'd barely done a thing. I went into panic mode and started barking orders like an angry Doberman. We had two fashion segments to do – the first was more informal, with the models strolling the red carpet and runway during the reception in all manner of glamorous evening wear, mingling with the guests and causing an uproar everywhere they went. We had so many beauties all dolled up: Allison Barr (a demure, soft-spoken woman who wound up looking like Courtney Love on a good day) wore a drop-dead black-and-silver lamé gown by Linda Asaf (; Jinny Kwan wore an enormous ball-gown skirt of my own design with a vintage black velvet jacket from Cream Vintage (; Clara Gordon wore the sexiest vintage mini cocktail sheath with fur across the top from Flashback; Patricia Paredes wore a stunning gold floor-length Blackmail Couture gown by Gail Chovan (, though Gail herself had to decline to model at the last moment; Indigo Rael wore an amazing green confection (designed for Rachel Mykels and which apparently won best evening gown in a recent beauty pagent); the remarkably gorgeous Mykels herself wore on over-the-top pink lamé affair that reminded me of Glinda the Good Witch, though Mykels was badass in the gown; Brittnie Dilley was divine in raspberry-colored Linda Asaf; Alaina Smith (a beauty who shocked everyone by revealing she was only 16) wore vintage Chinese embroidered green satin pajamas from Amelia's RetroVogue & Relics (; Ryan Swanson wore a black chiffon and unbleached muslin deconstructed gown designed by Blackmail Couture; Bugatti wore a spiffy top hat and tails from Amelia's RetroVogue; Elizabeth Gordon wore a vintage velvet jacket from Blackmail Couture paired with a velvet skirt from my last collection; Tyler January wore green-and-yellow hand-painted evening pajamas from my collection; and Stephen Rice stepped in at the last moment wearing a smart sailor suit and a lot of attitude, from his own collection. Aside from the magnificent hair and joyfully colored make-up that Pink provided, the models were accessorized with beautiful baubles from the Beyond Tradition ( showroom, absolutely awesome jewelry from, and glamorous shoes and jewels from Goodie Two Shoes. Poor Larry Connelly, who chaired the entire event for Zach, did not know what to expect from me, but after it was all over, he hugged me tightly and whispered, "Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous" in my ear.

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