After a Fashion

Go way back to the deconstructive Eighties as Your Style Avatar takes a chain saw to Barbie

Jody Denberg and Mickey Mann share a hug at Help Clifford Help Kids the night before Denberg announced he is leaving KGSR. The American YouthWorks benefit was another unparalleled success.
Jody Denberg and Mickey Mann share a hug at Help Clifford Help Kids the night before Denberg announced he is leaving KGSR. The American YouthWorks benefit was another unparalleled success. (Photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

THIS JUST IN A senior design student at the University of Texas, Kaki Gaines, has won the People's Choice Awards' national design contest. The contest had teamed up with Austin jewelry designer Kendra Scott to accept submissions of jewelry based on Scott's current collection. Scott picked her favorite three, posted them on her website, and Gaines was selected by the public as the winner. She will walk the red carpet at the People's Choice Awards, and a minicollection will be designed around the winning piece. Good work, Kaki... The former Downtown storefront gallery Kirk, for the finest in midcentury modern, is now Owner Jeff Kirk unveils the site today, Thursday, Nov. 19. Kirk Gallery's wares are also available on the exclusive and websites... Dropped into Anne Fontaine ( at the Domain the other day. Hypersonic Radio's Jacki-OH, my partner in fashion crime these days, and I saw a fabulous black sweater dress with white cuffs and collar in the Tribeza fashion show and wanted to see it close-up, so we dropped in. Wow. I knew that Anne Fontaine's forte is the white blouse, but this woman gives them a spin that no one's dreamed of. With only black to offset the white brilliance, the store is like a snowy drift of white organza, dimity, and lawn begging you to hurl yourself in and whirl around. From crisp tailoring to romantic excess, the styles are plentiful. Our saleswoman, Hiroko, was everything an excellent salesperson should be, and the personal note from the manager, Michele Ivy Vasquez, that followed impressed me even more. This international retailer knows times are tough and goes the extra mile... I would be remiss in not giving the same high accolades to Ralph Lauren at the Domain. Of the dozen times I've been in there for one reason or another, I'm always entranced with the clothes. Not so much the men's clothing, which is a bit conservative for me (duh), but the dresses and sweaters can be staggeringly magnificent. Manager Nina Seely and her staff are exactly the kinds of experts you want to deal with when you're talking about clothes in this price range. I've even traded in my Bulgari sunglasses for new Ralph Lauren ones.

TOY PLOY The ubiquitous toy company Mattel announced that it would be styling Barbie as Deborah Harry, Cyndi Lauper, and Joan Jett as part of its Ladies of the Eighties series. God, they're making Barbie into the kinds of women who rejected everything Barbie stood for. I wonder what rocket scientist dreamed this up? Please. As children, my sister Margaret and I were taking Bic pens and Flair markers and maiming Barbie. We did our own Ladies of the Eighties series during the Eighties. I vividly remember Margaret taking a perfectly lovely Malibu Barbie, shaving the sides of the doll's head, singeing the remaining hair into a Mohawk, putting electric tape on Barbie's nipples, and giving her a chain saw so we could have a Barbie that was like Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics. I chose to design a Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons Barbie, with butchered multicolored hair, a big beauty mark, and small kitchen utensils as an outfit. There was the Pat Benatar Barbie (which makes much more sense than a Joan Jett Barbie, really ... I mean, a lesbian Barbie?); there was the Patti Smith Barbie, the Lene Lovich Barbie, the Grace Jones Barbie (she was always late), the Siouxsie Sioux Barbie, the Nina Hagen Barbie, the Terri Nunn of Berlin Barbie, the Sinéad O'Connor Barbie, the Annie Sprinkle Barbie. The possibilities were endless ....

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