Late night hours passed by, with speakers trembling – sound waves starting at the floor and rising up to your calves, until one couldn’t seem to tell the difference between a heart beat or the bass.
“This is our community, express yourself,” began stylist/wardrobe consultant Leonardo D’ Almagro, wearing a patterned floor length coat from Rick Gonyo of Designs by Talon. “And this is proof that we have fashion to go forward,” his words stood as a platform starring designer Stephen Moser, amongst others, taking part in “Cattivo” A Fashion Affair presented by Bad John Paul Wilson.
“My work had nothing to do with his and his had nothing to do with mine, but meeting each other made sense,” said the controversial photographer, who credits Moser as “the first person who told me not to change.”
Stemming from this open-minded freedom, an impressive line-up illustrating the work from members of The Austin Fashion Market under WhiteStar Manufacturing kept a pace of constant excitement and imagination.
Gonyo’s eccentric pieces opened the runway, followed with the statement of “gender friendly clothing” by Valeri Jinxy Abrego-Liszewsky from Jinxedaposed Clothing. Dina Chavez’s “Sixchel” favored a dark color palette, like that of Esther Bowen’s “Schoeneck”, illustrating a modern approach to edgy cuts and design esthetics; while the minimalistic natures of Malissa Taylor Jenkins and Kinskey provided a contrast to the classically feminine looks of Regina Samone and “LaLa” by Laisa Chavez Macias.
Anslee Conell’s surprise SavanahRed visit illuminated pin-up inspired pieces exuding with character, as MJVO Couture highlighted YNN Fashionably Yours host Anne Hudson, modeling a printed maxi from the collection. Adding to these summer staples, bikini swimsuits by “Four Small Cats” among other ready to wear pieces and evening gowns, exemplified designer Tina Johnson Sapp’s versatility.
In “Hubris Caligula,” recent University of Texas graduate Jonathan “Jon Jon” Shakarisaz (classmate Rebekah Hoffer also participated) accentuated his master tailoring skills for menswear – something that was profoundly apparent with Benson Roberts’ (founder of WhiteStar Manufacturing) following line, Mange la Mode.
“What you’re about to see [is that] Stephen Moser is alive and well,” asserted Roberts, as he introduced Moser’s eight year absence from the runway with “Made in Heaven.” As Moser’s close confidant, Hypersonic Radio On-Air Personality Jacki OH, strutted down the wooden runway: her bleach blonde pixie cut hair accessorizing a cocktail dress and sheer coat pairing, elements of the Austin Chronicle famed fashion columnist’s own style and persona was equally apparent in every piece.
The next afternoon, Moser was awakened from the self-doubt that has continuously plagued his design career spanning over 40 years. “They all believed in me so hard, and I didn’t,” he said, reminiscent of his supporters from family, friends, acquaintances and “people who knew me, but I didn’t know them.”
“I didn’t believe in my heart that I was good,” he continued, but after the “agony, misery, joy, ecstasy, and everything that goes into making clothes,” Moser says the end product of “Cattivo” is “the luxury of being able to dream something,” and the “first time I was proud of myself.”
“I was the finale, so I had to design a finale,” Moser said of previewing of his Fall/Winter 2012/13 collection, accessorized by fellow unconventional mind, Kristin Bunyard of Ossuaria Jewlery.
Yet the aftermath is something that is still overwhelming for the man who has spent 13 years of his life documenting what happens in his column After A Fashion. “I don’t get it sometimes; I don’t understand it, but I love it,” he said, of the clapping and screaming heard through the walls at Haven on Friday night. “It keeps me going.”
Through it all, Moser fondly remembers his mother quoting Freud, stating that there are only two things to do in life: “to love and to work.”
“And that’s all I know how to do,” Moser said.
Musical entertainment was provided by DJ BigFace and Luis Banuelos
Additional accessories for models were provided by Gay “Sugar” Isber and Evelyn Tharp Christensen of *E *by EVELYN Designs.
Written by Audrea Diaz
Photos by Clayton Hodges (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ed Lehmann