After a Fashion

Swag: How Your Style Avatar rolls …

Two of Austin's best fundraisers, Lew Aldridge and David C. Smith.  Two of my favorite fundraising events make for a sure sign of spring: the Octopus Club's Art Erotica is this Saturday, April 7 (<a href=></a>), and the Hill Country Ride for Aids is on April 28 (<a href=></a>).
Two of Austin's best fundraisers, Lew Aldridge and David C. Smith. Two of my favorite fundraising events make for a sure sign of spring: the Octopus Club's Art Erotica is this Saturday, April 7 (, and the Hill Country Ride for Aids is on April 28 ( (Photo by Seabrook Jones/


Every year my sister Margaret's Austin Music Awards assistant director Scarlett Angell's sister Julie Angell Taylor provides little treats and surprises to be worn by the AMA stage presentation crew and various staffers. Last year, I plundered a sparkly geegaw from the basket and put it in my bag. Later, unloading the booty I'd collected, I came across this piece, this thing ... an eye patch which could only be worn by a drag queen pirate or Snake Plisskin bursting out of Elizabeth Taylor's closet. The patch was black, adorned with metallic gold lace, a sparkly spider, and a touch of gold-beaded trim. "Oohhh," I said to myself, "someday this little jewel will adorn a faaabulous outfit." A year later, the prognostication came true. I was dressing for Gail Chovan's 54th birthday party at the Saint Cecilia, trying to remix old outfits and accessories into new outfits. The only thing in my collection that really called out to me was the jeweled eye patch, which had never been worn. Suddenly the outfit fell into place, and I sashayed off into the night with the glorious Jacki Oh. It was a grand celebration for Gail's initiation into Studio 54 (as I call it, since I turned 54 a few months ago, Gail just turned 54, and her husband, Evan, turns 54 after that, along with several other friends). My friend Cheryl Bemis from Fashionably Austin not only shares my birthday, but also has a dog born on our special day. Another clever and entertaining Festival freebie came from Beautybox Five provided by Felicity Fromholz and City Life Studio. The beautifully wrapped box was embellished with ribbon, proclaiming it to be the South by Southwest Survival Kit. And indeed it was probably the only one that did not contain alcohol. Included was Angelica Line Smoother by Skyn, Mango Milk Care Treatment by Lavera, a can of Pssssst! Dry Shampoo, Almond Soothing Cream by Weleda, Supergoop Face and Body Cream, and a purse-sized sprayer which can be filled with your favorite fragrance for all-day (and night).

Quickly Now

Put these events on your calendar, set a reminder, and start choosing your outfit. I've been neglecting my favorite charities lately with so much else to cover. The New Wave Ball for the Austin Children's Shelter was the same fun flashback party that I look forward to every year, but I attended it in between hospitalizations so much of it was a haze for me. Still, fun costumes, fun benefit, and a terrific charity. In fact, last week, ACS threw its annual Fashion for Compassion benefit at Saks Fifth Avenue. I love this party – a frothy, festive, faaabulous event that I missed this year. Fortunately for me and you, my trusty photographer was there. On the heels of Wednesday's Arthouse 5x7 Splurge, comes the Arthouse 5x7 Social today, Thursday, April 5. This effervescent and swank affair is probably one of the most fun events on the social calendar. See more at Saturday, April 21, is the date of Zach Theatre's marvelous Red, Hot & Soul party. Co-hosted by Bobbie Topfer and Larry Connelly at the Hilton Austin Downtown, the VIP party is at 5:30pm, the preshow reception at 6:30pm, and dinner and showtime at 7:30pm. Go to for tickets and info. Saturday, April 7, is the always fantastic and always shocking Art Erotica 2012 at the old Home Depot at 7211 N. I-35. Benefiting the Octopus Club, 100% of the proceeds will go to AIDS-related charities. Visit for info. Thursday, April 26, is the Umlauf Sculpture Garden's annual garden party called Reflect. Renew. Create! This is always a dreamy, heavenly party. All info can be found at Friday, April 27, is the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson's birth and the 30th anniversary of the Wildflower Center. Promising to be the most charming and best ever, this is the most gracious must-go event. Go to for info.

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Austin style, SXSW Survival Kit, Swag, style, Gail Chovan, 54, Wildflower, Ladybird, New Wave Ball, Austin Music Awards

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