Photo by Bad JohnPaul Photography
I hadn't known of Stephen Macmillan Moser when I moved to Austin some years ago. I first heard his name during a brunch time tea with the lovely Micky Hoogendijk, as she told me about a recent photoshoot with him. Micky has a fascinating taste in people, a keen eye for the the most interesting people and magical way for capturing them on camera in a divine light. I looked Stephen up, as she mentioned he was a fashion designer, and I love fashion. We spoke here and there on facebook then decided to meet for a tea at Strange Brew Austin Coffee. There I found myself in the rare presence of a fellow in kind, a true Artist. I found that he wrote for the Austin Chronicle and took a peek at his writing style. In a similar way that i am married to my art of painting and writing is my mistress, he is married to fashion and his mistress seemed to be writing as well. Damn the written word really gets around, doesn't it? Stephen's sense of style is impeccable, bold, majestic and honestly I don't think he could even pull off wearing something less than amazing. He towers over the world in height like a shining star of style, leading by example, and trailblazing beyond look good feel good to something more like, look like a movie star feel like a movie star. The most beautiful thing about Stephen, as I have come to know him, isn't even his brilliance in fashion design. It's who he is when he writes. It has inspired me tremendously and made me fearless in a sort of way. There in a well read column, where he would delicately tap on style anecdotes and fashion trends going on around Austin, he shared his life with everyone. His loves, his passions, his romances, his lifestyle, he placed himself in a wondrous state of pure vulnerability, and when you read it, you understand those parts aren't necessarily written for everyone to read, but a way for Stephen to get his mind clear. To compose if not comb his emotions, the way he feels about the different people in his life, who he interacts with, who celebrates him and how celebrated he feels about that, his pains, his woes, it's all such a beautiful open book. There are times when I've met with him for a tea and cigarette and we catch up, discussing whatever projects we're working on and possible directions we want to go on our individual paths as artists. Despite the fact he is some 6 years overdue for a casual meeting with death, having survived cancer thus far, there is a spark in his eyes that shines from the far and great beyond, a spark undying, eternal and forever, the spark of passion. It is the very thing pumping his heart and keeping him going every single day. I feel in the time I have known him he has discovered that his passion has not been fashion after all, but exploring life and his place in it, fashion was his expression of his passion for it and he dives deeper into it a little more everyday. This is the essence of a true Artist. Most of you won't get the opportunity to get to know him, let alone meet him, or even get to see him, and as you won't ever meet another man like him (he is truly unique), I do hope you come to find someone that walks that same path of passion for life and self discovery. It's the few people like that which make the world so, so beautiful.
Wishing you all the best life has to offer, Stephen, and thank you for being a wonderful person.