Sashay, Shanté

"I've always been interested in fashion," says 21-year-old Shar Superstar, one of a handful of Austin clubkids responsible for a spate of recent outre, indie fashion shows that would put Anna Sui and J.P. Gaultier to shame. "I love the production end of things, and I'm such a control freak that I can't be told what to do. I get to select other people, and then use them to portray my own ideals as far as fashion goes."

His most recent event, subtitled "The Asian Connection," held a couple of weeks ago at Club 404, was a triumph of clubkid ingenuity, with over 24 underground fashion plates striding across a hastily assembled and none-too-sturdy-looking catwalk amidst layers of chemical fog and propulsive disco rhythms. Featuring the garish, wildly inventive, Asian-themed work of local indie designers as well as outrageous outfits culled from local sponsors Garb-A-Go-Go and Forbidden Fruit, the crowd and the papparazzi reacted with all the leering, noisy bravado of professional hangers-on at a Calvin Klein run-through.

"As far as procuring the models for something like this," Shar continues, "what I usually do is just scout around town. I like to use local personalities from the club scene such as Sliver Cyberslut, Kenji, Malaysia, and others. I enjoy working with them because not only are they people I know, but they're also very much personalities. Everybody knows them, and everybody loves them, which makes it a bit more interesting. Actually, some of my best models I've worked with I've stumbled across in coffee shops or working at a Burger King."

Despite the seemingly professional appearance of Shar's fashion extravaganzas - Saturday's models displayed the haughty, albeit grinning, panache of any of their more famous Parisian counterparts, and the outfits were, naturally, to die for - the money to be made here is not exactly what you'd call top end. It's the designer's hunger for notoriety and the rampant DIY ethos of the clubkid scene that drives these events, which tend to crop up once every two months or so.

"We do get paid a bit," says Shar, "but oddly enough, it's not really a priority for me. Of course everybody wants to earn a living or get some extra cash and whatnot, but fashion is such a passion for me that I really don't care about the money, the financial aspect. I just love the whole experience."

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