Barfly - Fashionistas at home at Halo

A likely pick-up line at Vagrant launch party: Who did your hair?

Don't you hate when people act like the bar is their personal runway? As if all the nightclub's patrons should move out of the way for some skinny girl to strut in a skin-tight outfit while everyone watches? Oh, this is a fashion show?

To fundraise for the launch of his new fashion magazine Vagrant, local blogging fashionisto Tomik Dash (featured in CL's recent Thrifty with $50 issue) summoned a crowd of Atlanta clothes-horses last Thursday at Halo, below the Biltmore in Midtown. Dash, who was sporting a gold-leafed unibrow and a half-foot bleached mohawk, handed out mini-mags with fashion spreads he styled to tease the real thing to come.

I thought it was simply a stylish set at the party; I didn't realize I was in the presence of Atlanta's haircutterati. The hairstylists of the city seem to have a tight, influential network, and one severe hairstyle after another reminded me of the power beneath those bangs. One dapper gent even had a checkerboard shaved into the sides of his curly ginger mohawk.

But it's Atlanta's male hairstylists that are so interesting. All these men in their fitted blazers and designer stubble set off my gaydar. They're at a fashion show for God's sake. Yet some are married. Or rumored to have flings with the female salon assistants. With a few drinks in you, it'll really boggle your mind.

Partygoers weren't too cool to get down as all the skinny girls spastically danced to a combination of electro rap and Euro dance remixes. DJ Double Dutch, also part of Atlanta's salon mafia, played along with DJ Vicki Powell and Rachael Pryor.

The fashion show started at 10 p.m., put on by designer Jason Gurley for his line the House of March. Gurley also happens to be a hair stylist at Van Michael in Virginia-Highland and has a loyal clientele. Fashion shows at night make little sense, but party guests parted like the Red Sea for the parade of six all-black looks. The girls walked down the narrow passage between the bar, up the stairs, around through the bar again, and then finally posed on the stairs for photos, where I was standing. I suppose I could have gotten out of the way.

Drinking promptly resumed once the models were cleared, and guests were ready to show off their own ensembles. Gurley's wife was there, too, and she carried a few boxes of amazing smelling Antico pizza to the back room. I may not have a style magazine or my own clothing line, but I do know the first rule of fashion: Don't feed the models!

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