After a Fashion

Stephen loves Bettie Naylor so …

The glamorous and gorgeous Karen Hawkins (l) and her glamorous and gorgeous guest Micky Hoogen at the best Women & Their Work benefit <i>ever</i>
The glamorous and gorgeous Karen Hawkins (l) and her glamorous and gorgeous guest Micky Hoogen at the best Women & Their Work benefit ever (Photo by Seabrook Jones/

Dear Bettie

I'm going to leave the elegies and biographies to other writers. Bettie Naylor was friends with everyone and an iconic activist whom I first met at the inaugural Gay Pride Parade in Houston a thousand years ago. She was among the first people I met in Austin when I returned in 1999; we became fast friends. She called me her boyfriend, and I loved it. She'd always blush when I'd tell her she was the best-dressed lesbian I knew. I went to her for some political advice during voting season one year and her answer was, "Darlin', vote the entire Democratic ticket. There isn't a damn Republican out there that deserves your vote." I loved her for that and still heed her advice. I stand by something I wrote about her almost 10 years ago: "Bettie Naylor can't wear miniskirts, because her balls will show." God bless you, Bettie, and thank you for making our lives so much richer. And thank you to Bettie's life partner, Libby Sykora, for making Bettie's last years happy ones for her.

Working Women

The Women & Their Work benefit was a glorious piece of event planning. Held at the home of Karen and Rick Hawkins, the party absolutely sparkled with energy, bold-named faces, and of course beautiful art, which appeared to be raising a small fortune for the gallery. Someone had apparently made a deal with God to provide divine weather while guests wandered around endless rooms, terraces, pools, and the upstairs deck where I held court on an Indonesian wedding bed while receiving treats from Word of Mouth Catering (so scrumptious) and other attentions from the WaTW volunteers, who helped make the party a true joy.


I attended last Thursday's UT Fashion Show, Contour, with my consort Jacki Oh at the Erwin Center. It can be called the biggest, most well-attended, best-produced show in town. The production values are stunning, and for a few minutes you can actually imagine you're at a couture show in New York. The clothing keeps getting better every year. Just because I wanted to feel young again (and get more mileage out of a fabulous outfit), I let Neil Diaz talk Jacki and I into going to the official Contour afterparty at Elysium. Year after year, Elysium owner John Wickham runs the edgiest club of its kind. He's such a great host; while Jacki and I held court on the patio, a lengthy assortment of people we knew and people we'd never met stopped by to admire our fashion show ensembles. We chattered and appeared very gay, like those skinny rich women in Kathy Womack's paintings.

The 'FS' Update

Our hometown boy Ross Bennett made another sale on last week's Fashion Star with women's lingerie. The styling – popular in Austin for sometime – seemed familiar and was snapped up by H&M for a cool $50,000, bringing his total earnings to $230,000. The competition is getting tough, so I imagine Ross has a few tricks up his sleeve for the next episode.

Quick Reminders

Tonight, Thursday, April 26, 6:30pm, is the Umlauf Sculpture Garden Party – yes another glamorous pit stop on my annual social calendar. With so many restaurants providing a huge array of food, it's lovely to stroll through the grounds of the Umlauf and enjoy the nibbling, the setting, and the terrific music of the Nash Hernandez Orchestra. See all info at Friday, April 27, 6:30pm, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the center celebrates their 30th anniversary as well as the centennial of Mrs. Johnson's birth. Can't guarantee you'll be whooping it up, but I can guarantee this lively and lovely event will make you very proud to be a Texan (even if you're just a temporary one). Go to for details... Saturday, April 28, is the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Don't walk, run to and sign up, even if it's just to volunteer.

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Austin style, Bettie Naylor, Karen Hawkins, Umlauf, Women & Their Work, Lady Bird Johnson

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