The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, March 1, 2013, Columns

The DIFFA Report

By the time this column appears in print, I will have turned over my new collection to the fabulous folks who run Dallas' Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). The women's ensemble is a slick, wet-look black evening gown trimmed with black, iridescent coque feathers, and a black sheared beaver coat, also trimmed in those feathers. The eight looks in the menswear collection are comprised of slim-cut jeans in rich brocades and velvets, topped with pullover shirts in dazzling stretch fabrics and opulent military-style jackets in metallic and velvet brocades, embellished with fur, roping, tassels, lace, appliqué, and just about anything else I can get a sewing needle through. I will see these designs – donations for DIFFA's grand fashion show and auction ( – only one more time in all their glory, at the Hilton Anatole, on March 23.

The Skinny

The AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) ad quotes me as saying, "Viva Las Vegas is a riot of fun, music, and faux gambling." Along with those things, it is also a sacred gathering of the folks who truly care about AIDS and those living with it. The sense of camaraderie and the faces that we sometimes only see once a year are welcome visions. Holy as the event is to me, it is not necessary to wear a veil or enter on your knees. Put on something Vegas-tacular, envision Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Maclaine, and the infamous Sands Hotel, and bring lots of loot. Slug down the cocktails by Tito's Vodka, gamble (faux, of course), nibble from so many of Austin's finest restaurants, gamble again, take a break to write your name on every silent auction item, and listen to the Copa Kings, Coty Ross, Mouthfeel, and others. ASA's Viva Las Vegas is Sat., March 2, 8-11:30pm at the Shoal Crossing Events Center. Tickets can be purchased at

Head Room

We have a number of creative and experienced headpiece designers in town. It's an area with increasing function (accent on the "fun") for Austin's burgeoning entertainment field. New to the scene, Jamie Slye ( offers individually hand-sewn, one-of-a-kind work, using vintage buttons, fabric, and brooches combined in a unique accessory that makes a very personal statement. Says Slye, "When using vintage brooches and buttons, my mind always wonders about the woman who wore it before. Was she a woman of influence? Was she a fashionista? Was she just the girl next door with big dreams and hopes for her future? There is something very intriguing to me about vintage pieces, so that is why I have chosen to bring together pieces of the past into special designs for a modern-day woman."

On The Shopping Block

Among the best designer consignment stores in Austin is Moss Designer Consignment (, which has great news for fashionistas of the male-ish variety. They have expanded their retail store space at 705 S. Lamar in order to launch (yes, it's true) a department dedicated to designer consignment menswear, beginning early in March. For the past two years, Moss has brought terrific high-end consignment to Austin in an entirely new way as the city's premier clothing and accessory consignment store. Focusing on everything from formal wear, bags, and footwear for every layer of life, Moss' merchandise is hand-selected by owner Masha Poloskova and is comprised of over 75 high-end designer and popular contemporary labels from past seasons that reflect current trends. Labels featured at Moss include Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Tory Burch, and Zac Posen.

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