Houston Couture

"Looks like they imported some gays for this thing, probably from Dallas," says my buddy, standing next to me at Fashion Week Live, the biggest attempt at runway action I've ever seen in Houston. We're surrounded by glitterati of all sorts, and yes, much to my friend's excitement, there are quite a few over-the-top gays in the mix, wearing outfits that might be described as "outer space meets trailer trash." Sprawled inside a large tent at the base of the Galleria-area water wall — which, I must say, has never looked so cool, not even during countless homecoming and wedding photos — the space is reminiscent of New York's Bryant Park, although celebrities such as Paris and Lindsay are replaced with the likes of Carolyn Farb and some huge dude who I assume plays for the Texans. The evening begins with cocktails and cocktails and cocktails, followed by a slowly staggering lurch towards the runway area in back, where, after an interminable, cocktail-free period, host Naomi Campbell comes out and starts up the show. (Feel free to insert your own phone-chucking joke here.)

And then come the models, showing off couture from Marc Jacobs, Anne Klein, Anna Sui, Donna Karan, David Chu, Zac Posen and tons of other designers. After the show, everyone -- gays, straights, men and woman alike -- can't stop talking about the clothes, especially the way one dress accidentally showed a model's nipple and another gave some well-positioned photographers a shot of a Brazilian.

For what you'd expect to be a tight-assed crowd, everyone was really pretty friendly, showing off their clothes, taking in the sights, pretending they were somewhere, anywhere, besides a tent on the side of the West Loop. I would've taken some photos of the outfits, but I left my camera in the car, assuming there would be plenty of society shutterbugs inside, and I was correct. Plus I was wearing my metro jeans and didn't want my, um, style cramped.

Of course, none of this would've been possible without the event's sponsors, which we now list, with a few extra companies thrown in for no apparent reason:

Sephora, Mercedes Benz, Joe's Crab Shack, Swarovski, Lycra, the Rip Cord, DHL, AT&T, Houston 420, Mo�t & Chandon, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lupe's Tire and Muffler Shop, Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation, Modern Luxury Magazines, Asian Massage Therapy and Paper City Magazine. — Keith Plocek

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