The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion: Just Another Day?

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, February 22, 2013, Columns

As I celebrate Singles Awareness Day, aka Valentine's Day, at the Honeycomb Hideout (which is what I call Jacki Oh's house), I find myself thinking that I'm so happy for all those people I know who are in love and find this a very special day. I, too, am in love and spending this day with my love – designing clothes. Needing to be more centrally located and accessible, I've been sewing a new part of my fall/winter 2013-14 collection at the Honeycomb Hideout. I'm concentrating on menswear and doing all of the pieces I dreamed of for my last show. But with that show under my belt (my men's fashions focused on cocktail wear), I'm in a much better place to design this collection – and design it in a big hurry. It will be a gorgeous, glamorous men's collection that is also fleeting and ephemeral, since it's being designed for the big Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) show in Dallas, in March, at which time the clothes will be auctioned off for AIDS funding. But omigod, I am so excited about this group of one-of-a-kind designs that are destined to have a brief moment of glory on the runway and then disappear into the hands of private collectors. The lines and styling are so sleek and sharp, but with luxury fabrics (ordered specially through TexStyles Designer Fabric Showroom) that are, as usual for me, nontraditional for menswear. It will be most interesting to show these clothes to the A-listers of Dallas. I always get an enthusiastic reception and raves on what I'm wearing, but what remains to be seen is whether the men of Dallas (or the women who shop for them) will bid on these clothes. What I can predict with absolute authority is that I will be begged to create these same styles for women, and that I will definitely consider. But it will take a very strong male personality to pull off these clothes and balance the elaborateness of them. Fantastic in my mind, of course (even though I definitely do not love everything I design), there is a certain sacredness to this collection for me. I've always loved designing luxury menswear, but had never really done a complete collection until my Eleven Eleven show, and even then I didn't get to put together these ensembles. In my mind, the designs have grown to epic porportions, and I must create masterpieces. Now, I get to pour my heart and soul into them, and they, in turn, return the gratification to me a thousand times over in a hundred different ways. With this kind of perfect symbiotic relationship, who needs candy and flowers?

Gwen Arrives

As we are infusing Austin fashion into seemingly every typical Austin-style event, we already know that the world's designers and emporiums are knocking at our door. On Jan. 31, ART + FASHION debuted spring styles from Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. fashion line (now available at Young & Fabulous), with a night of art, fashion, and fun – plus a lineup of luxury cars from écurie25 for that added upper-echelon factor. But it's always the clothes that should be the star of any fashion event, and Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection certainly did star. The line draws inspiration from British, African, and Brazilian looks and stayed true to Stefani's eclectic personal style, with plenty of houndstooth, plaid, pleats, mod prints, and tapered hems. The goal of Young & Fabulous is to carry styles unusual to Austin, and it is poised to do exactly that at its home at the Hill Country Galleria, with its stay-a-while aesthetic, anchored by Bee Cave City Hall and a library. Honestly, it feels more like Temecula, Calif., than western Travis County. The event mixed it up with Art by Nina, styling by my dear friend Leonardo D'Almagro, food from Carmela's Pizzeria, Cafe & Deli, music with DJ Flaco, and a photo shoot featuring models from San Antonio and Austin. As no Austin event is complete without a little philanthropy, a portion of the night's proceeds went to Dell Children's Hospital, so all in attendance could feel faaabulous inside and out.

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