The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, March 18, 2011, Columns

COSTUME CUSTOMS I don't think I've ever seen quite so many costumes at SXSW – clowns, stilt-walkers, fairies, and some unidentified beings – particularly among the badgeless contingent. Seems that the bulk of the costumed ones that I spoke with are not actually participating officially, but are reps from various companies seeking exposure for their products in the crowds. The appearances of such fantasy figures add a festive, circuslike atmosphere to SXSW ... in case you were missing that.

STYLE BY STYLE X Think you've seen just about every kind of band play in every kind of venue? Not quite. At SXSW's debut style showcase, Style X, you can see more than three dozen musicians including Sahara Smith and members of New York's Asobi Seksu wreak havoc on the fashion runway today, Saturday, March 19, at 6pm in the Austin Convention Center. Surrounded by exhibitors from around the world, Style X seeks to underscore the timeless connection between music and fashion. "Fashion brands all over the world are partnering with musicians to develop lines, raise brand awareness, and provide mutual inspiration. Style X's runway shows will truly be the culmination of this important relationship," said Joah Spearman, Style X's co-founder and executive producer. And like some of the big fashion events, there are head-to-toe gifting opportunities in abundance for the participants. Frank's Chop Shop from New York is providing free haircuts, and TIGI, the official hair care provider of Style X's runway shows, will provide gift bags of products to showcase musicians ... and what musician doesn't like hair products? Other gifters include Keds, Whit-NYC, DTA, Nooka watches, Sushiami, Native, Penfield, Flud Watches, No Mas, Brooklyn Industries, Unstitched Utilities, Fur Face Boy, and many more. Among the multitudes of musicians and bands modeling for Style X are the fabulous Alexis Foxe from NYC, the Novocaines, Candy Claws, Andreya Triana, Dorian Colbert, Matrimony, Wakey!Wakey!, Ryan Harkrider, and ZE! The fashion show is free and open to the public.

SEEN Exene Cervenka, REM's Peter Buck, OMD (OMG!), Men Without Hats (!).

THINGS WE LOVE The SXSW Cares relief fundraiser melding with Robert Wu's SXSW4Japan to help disaster victims in Japan.

PREMIERING Comely singer Larissa Ness sneaked into the VIP room at the Maxim/Paul premiere party at Shakespeare's Pub and spent time with the two lead actors of the film, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. They got along famously and Larissa ended up going to the premiere at the Paramount, passing the huge long lines because Luke, Frost's publicist, put her on his "friend" list. The movie was a riotous hit and was followed by a Q&A with Pegg, Frost, Kristen Wiig, and director Greg Mottola. Larissa and her publicist, Neil Diaz, also visited with the band the Neon Trees, which is catching on like a house on fire, and watched as they were interviewed by MTV.

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