Friday, June 05, 2009

 

Austin Scarlett and Destiny

I wrote in March that I'd been invited to attend the Young Lion's Award Ceremony at the New York Public Library, and that among the guests was the fashion designer/Project Runway winner Austin Scarlett. He'd stood out to me then because he was so elegant-so elegant that he was out of place, really, in a room full of writers and editors. And I was also sort of fascinated at the time because he was really paying attention to the readings and to the presentation. He seemed to actually care.



I forgot all about Austin Scarlett for a while, until my friend Jeffrey and I began our Wagner odyssey. We attended the final performance of Gottedamerung, which was also the Met's last opera of the season, and had a grand time chowing down on sushi after act one. After act two, we strolled out on the balcony and swore that next year we would eat at the fancy restaurant on the Grand Tier. I also swore I would show up with my own Wagner horn-hat.



And who should we pass on our way out to the balcony but . . . Austin Scarlett. I was so surprised--but pleased too. And then I got to thinking. Here is this extremely elegant person who is completely at home on television and designing gorgeous dresses. He attends a literary award ceremony--by himself, as far as I could see--and then very carefully concentrates on the readings and the presentation. He goes to 5 hours of Wagner not for show, but because he is actually interested in the music. I say this because I ran into Austin during the second intermission. People do not last this long at a Wagner opera unless they care. I also say this because the music accompanying his slideshow comes from Der Rosenkavalier (I have tickets to two performances, Austin. Just so you know).

And all of this made me very happy that he seems to really love art so much--from different disciplines--and to take the time to actually consider each experience. Not everyone does this. Some writers stick mostly to books, musicians to music, etc. I had never watched Project Runway, had never even heard of Austin Scarlett, in fact, until I saw him at the Young Lion's Award Ceremony. But I developed this extremely high opinion of him, and decided that should I ever run into him again, well, obviously it had to mean something.

And there he was last night, on the balcony at Avery Fisher Hall, while I, returning from scalping my unused ballet ticket, was on my way to see ABT. Couldn't believe it. I'll refrain from saying any weird stalkerish things like, obviously we are meant to be friends (oops). But seriously, I'm amused and charmed and all the more intrigued. And quite happy that someone would care so much for the classic arts.

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