After a Fashion

Learn why Your Style Avatar is running around, flapping his arms, and shouting 'bingo!'

And speaking of Debbie Reynolds ... a sextet of Princess Leias from the Princess Leia look-alike contest held by New Milestones (<b><a href=http://www.newmilestones.org/>www.newmilestones.org</b></a>) in advance of its upcoming Bridge the Gap event featuring Carrie Fisher
And speaking of Debbie Reynolds ... a sextet of Princess Leias from the Princess Leia look-alike contest held by New Milestones (www.newmilestones.org) in advance of its upcoming Bridge the Gap event featuring Carrie Fisher (by Seabrook Jones/www.juicythis.com)

RAMBLING ROWS I've been slogging through extreme lethargy and malaise for some time now (but I prefer the Victorian term "melancholia"). Feeling grim physically and with absolutely zero energy over the last couple of years, it's been hard to find interest in life. I'd put back on almost half of the weight I'd lost several years ago and kept trying to keep my head above water. But enough is enough, and I'm working toward finding some fulfillment in my life. I'm trying to get out more, which, while occasionally entertaining, really just provides me with things to write about. Otherwise, you're stuck with the demented ramblings of a cranky, homebound harridan. As a formerly scathing provocateur with almost no journalistic integrity, writing has sustained me through thick and thin. I'm so fortunate to have this space in this paper in which to cast aspersions and vent my spleen. If I weren't in print, I'd be just another dreaded blogger, a fate worse than death. As I tell our dogs on a regular basis: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, tweet." Besides writing, I'd also become disconnected from clothing design over the last few years since I closed my last studio (whenever that was) and am actively trying to rekindle my passion for it by doing it again. But only for me and only at home. Working in the yard has been a very useful therapy for me, but since it's so damn hot already, I've had to find something else to do with my hands. Creating at a sewing machine fills that need very well. Sewing for myself can be a valuable asset, particularly since I have worked very hard to shed so much of the excess weight I'd packed on. Being so much skinnier makes it more fun to go out to events. Not only are skinny clothes so much more fun to wear, but also I also never tire of hearing that I look fabulous. I'd like to lose a few more pounds, but realistically, I won't be satisfied until get back to my birth weight. Unfortunately though, that would result in so much excess skin that I'd have to wrap myself from head to toe in Ace bandages to control it. I've definitely developed a saggy neck, and aside from turtleneck sweaters, the only way to cope with it is by wearing chokers or making my own shirts with really high collars, like Karl Lagerfeld does to rein in the wattle. Worse though, as my nephews Max and Tyler pointed out, accompanied by peals of raucous laughter, I've developed "bingo wings." The image of elderly women in sleeveless tops wildly waving their arms and yelling "bingo" is seared into my brain. Apparently the "bingo wing" is that flap of skin on the upper arms of the aged that quivers during gesticulation. Well, I'm at least glad to know that there's a medical term for it. I thought I was just morphing into a flying squirrel. But morphing into something is better than not morphing at all, right?

AWE-INSPIRING AUCTION On June 18 in Beverly Hills, Calif., in an auction of Hollywood memorabilia rivaled only by the great MGM auction in 1970, Debbie Reynolds is selling off her incredible collection through Profiles in History (www.profilesinhistory.com). Amassing this collection over decades was a consuming passion for Reynolds, and she'd hoped to open a museum, but it never worked out. So on the block it goes: Judy Garland's gingham dress from The Wizard of Oz replete with the ruby slippers (though not those used in the movie); the legendary white pleated halter "subway" dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch, along with a red sequined gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat; Rudolph Valentino's "suit of lights" matador costume from Blood and Sand; Elizabeth Taylor's headdress from Cleopatra; Joan Crawford's waitress uniform from Mildred Pierce; and so many other treasures. It's a dazzling catalog. While it's sad that Reynolds' dream never materialized, the real question is: Why didn't anyone step up to the plate and help finance this museum?

STYLE WITH A HEART Monday, July 11, 9am-5pm, Francisco's Salon (1400 S. Congress) presents Francisco's Salon Cut-a-Thon. With all proceeds benefiting AIDS Services of Austin, a donation of $30 nets you a consultation, shampoo, and stylish new cut. Visit www.asaustin.org/cut to book your appointment. Just do it.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin style, Francisco's Salon, Cut-a-Thon, AIDS Services of Austin, ASA, Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood memorabilia, museum, melancholia, enough is enough, journalistic integrity, sewing, skinny, bingo, bingo wings

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