The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, August 19, 2011, Columns

BIRTHDAY GIRLS Last Thursday was my dear friend Stephen Rice's birthday. His near and dear from all walks of life gathered in his honor for a special celebratory happy hour at Rain. The ever-ebullient Bobby Cook manned the bar as Stephen's friends, including Chase Martin, Mary Morrison, and Scott Ballew, communed, gossiped, and shared birthday cake. Stephen's hubby, Mark Erwin, was there, fresh from back surgery, but he hosted the affair like a champ. I sat out on the back patio with friends so we could smoke cigarettes. Rain has done a great job on the outdoor area, but between the fans and the misters, it felt like we were trying to cop a smoke on the San Juan Ferry in Seattle. It's better than this insane heat at any rate. We celebrated Stephen's birthday on Friday, but that day was also my friend Jaclyn Havlak's – aka Jacki-OH – actual birthday, so she joined me at Rain with Stephen. Then we retired to Jacki's house for an art party. I had stayed over a day earlier sewing a shirt (I've decided that I must have a new shirt of my own design for every night of Fashion Week) and continued to work on it as Jacki's friends arrived with canvases, paints, sketch pads, sculptures, and even cow bones to make art. I wasn't so hot on the idea when I heard about it, but I was already set up and working there, so I decided to just go with the flow. Soon there were little workstations set up all over Jacki's house, and people were creating, chatting, inspiring one another, and being inspired in return. It was all so bohemian that I felt like I should have been wearing a peasant skirt and braids, or maybe a beret and a cigarette holder. It was that cool. Really. Even though I was twice the age of anyone else there, it was one of the most interesting parties I'd attended in my life. We were so wound up in what we were doing that we forgot to serve the cake (it made a lovely brunch the next day). But it's true: I'm madly making shirts for myself to show off. I wrestled with one design that I thought would be faaabulous, but I wasn't so wild about it at all when I was done. Then I was asked to present an award at the Austin Fashion Awards. Immediately, of course, I became obsessed with what I'll wear to that. Stay tuned.

BIG TIME STAR I mentioned last week that the fabulous Kendra Scott ( will be the guest speaker at Hospice Austin's Beauty of Life, but then got a press release with even more exciting news. Besides her glam flagship store at 1400 S. Congress, Scott announced the opening of her ultraswanky L.A. store at Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. With the new location, Scott will be better positioned to serve her established fans like Nicky and Paris Hilton, Hilary Duff, Rachael Ray, and Queen Latifah, among others. We look forward to Kendra's participation in the upcoming Austin Fashion Week. You can vote for Kendra or any of your favorite local fashion stars for Austin Fashion Week's People's Choice and Industry Choice awards online at

JUST DO IT I live with my mom and sister in a great semirural neighborhood near Manchaca. It turns out that our trusty next-door neighbors, pillars of our neighborhood and great neighbors, lost a 5-year-old grandchild to leukemia in 2004. Libbie lived four years longer than her doctors initially thought she might, and her mother, Becky Nichols, owner of the Bountiful Bakery and Cafe in West Lake Hills and Bee Cave, decided to give back to the hospitals by donating home-cooked food. The operation ( has been so successful and widespread that Nichols is organizing a party in honor of her daughter (who would have turned 13 this month) to raise money to make more food to donate to children with cancer. This first Libbie's Birthday Bash takes place Saturday, Aug. 27, 9am-1pm at the Austin Music Hall. The Biscuit Brothers will perform, and there will be ice cream from Amy's Ice Creams, cake and other food from Bountiful Bakery and Cafe, an indoor Velcro wall, obstacle courses, an enchanted fairy forest, superhero tents, and other kids' activities. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for kids. The money raised will help fund Nichols' efforts through the Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation, which provides mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, and other comfort foods to children and families at area children's treatment centers, as well as turkey dinners around the holidays, birthday cakes, and other support.

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