Starvoice • 06.10.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY
Boy George turns 50 on Tuesday. The ’80s music icon announced earlier this year that he and the rest of Culture Club will reunite for a 30th anniversary tour as well as a new album for 2012. Although the band’s non-updated official website gives us pause. Here’s hoping he’ll tumble for us soon and without the drama.

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THIS WEEK
Mercury moves into Cancer, squaring Uranus and triggering  outbursts, mostly tempests in teapots, but Jupiter softens the square, offering practical wisdom that might be gleaned from those brainstorms and arguments. Mercury will also aspect Neptune and Pluto, drawing ideas and conversations to bizarre extremes; deep and inspiring, but be pragmatic!

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GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
In financial matters, family is more reliable than friends. Evaluate advice without giving away what you plan to do, unless you’re consulting an expert. Listen to your partner’s opinion.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Opening up a bit is good for you, but be careful. Friendly and conversational is good; just don’t reveal everything. What you say affects your professional reputation.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Dazzling your friends is easy. Be more creative and don’t worry who notices. You need downtime to balance private desires and public expression. Consider what sacrifices are necessary.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Rising to economic challenges helps you go far. Your partner and friends exaggerate your talents, but they’re not entirely wrong. Modesty includes acknowledging the range of your talents.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Start talking up your ambitions and accomplishments. Count on colleagues to support you. Your partner’s good intentions in that regard could do more harm than good.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Outspokenness gets you in trouble with colleagues. Watch your tongue at work, but don’t be shy with your partner or friends. At the right time, your ribald wit could be brilliant.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Exploring new sexual techniques unlocks avenues of creativity. Watch what you discuss and where. Digging up family secrets can help keep you out of trouble and deepen that creative spurt.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Getting involved help you clarify where you really belong in the world, what you’ve learned from elders to pass on to future generations, and what you could be doing for the kids.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
You are more outspoken and innovative. That includes disruptive outbursts, distractions and accidents. Find a safe outlet to be as outrageous as you like. Elsewhere, think ahead and cool it.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Feeling lost is the first step toward finding yourself. Expressing questions is more important than finding answers. Find your way through art and mysticism. Let friends provide grounding.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Bold moves prove profitable, but keep your eyes forward. The difference between bold and reckless is the difference between success and disaster. Double check your instincts.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Loquacious urges reveal more than you intended. That is advantageous, relieving the pressure of needless secrets. For those you do need to keep quiet, have a chat with someone you trust.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Fierro, en fuego

Born in El Salvador, Oscar Fierro hopped the border with the intent to become famous. Now the designer and TV fashionista is making his mark — and he’s not shy about saying so

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

OSCAR GOWN | Designer Oscar Fierro, below, finds the perfect marriage between fashion and fundraising when his runway show also acts as a benefit for the Legal Hospice of Texas this weekend. Photo by Jirard.

DAMAS DE BLANCO
Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.  $15­–$50.
DDB2010.com

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Oscar Fierro admits that modesty is not a value he subscribes to. He’s just not a humble person.

That might lead some to think he’s cocky, but really, he’s just confident … and not just because he’s a gay fashion designer with a sense of entitlement. It’s because he’s been through hell and doesn’t plan on going back.

“My journey to United States was painful and basically a miracle,” he says. “When people try to knock me down, I laugh about it. I crossed three borders [Guatemala, Mexico and Texas] and I have made a name for myself in a short time. It’s gonna take a whole army to bring me down.”

As a boy in El Salvador, he attended school barefoot and ate a meal only when he could. He emigrated to the U.S. illegally, but because El Salvador was in the middle of a civil war, he was granted asylum. He made his way to Dallas in 1990 to live with his “very straight brother and his family,” but Fierro found stability in his work as a waiter at Mercado Juarez.

“When people leave their country they say they’ll make their money [here] and go back,” he says. “But why in hell would I ever go back? Once I experienced the wonderful sense of freedom and flushable toilets, I knew this was for me. Toilets to me were the best things ever. But I also knew here, I could make my dreams come true and even help people in a way.”

On Thursday he’ll demonstrate that mission with the Damas de Blanco runway show, where he will debut his spring and summer collections. All proceeds will benefit the Legal Hospice of Texas, which provides legal services to low-income individuals with terminal illnesses or HIV.

“I think it’s the perfect marriage between fashion and charity,” he says. “When fashion can be attached to a great cause, I think it makes it better.”

Charity is crucial to Fierro. The struggles of his family and those near to him inspired Fierro to start the Oscar Fierro Foundation. In 2004, he returned to El Salvador to find that people still needed help, mostly children. His foundation helps to rebuild schools and provide for kids where it can.

Fierro’s dream has remained pretty basic: He wants to be famous. He knew from childhood that he wanted to be involved in entertainment. He began by helping make dresses for beauty pageants in El Salvador; that’s when his path to fame and to America was starting to reveal itself. But really, fashion wasn’t a passion — it was a vehicle to get to where he wants.

“I have a clear mind for logistics and I knew, whether as fashion designer, singer or whatever, I’d have to embrace myself to not make money doing it,” he says. “So I concentrated on working to pay bills and then ventured into fashion.”

He started designing in 2000, mostly because he had to create his own clothes. At 4-foot-11, finding fashionable clothing that fit him was a challenge. Figuring he’d have a niche market, he began designing for shorter bodies.

“It kept pulling me in and I loved it,” he says.

In 2008, he finally debuted his first collection — to him, a lightning-fast record. Fierro’s dreams were coming true.

“It was like an explosion when it came out. I’m not ashamed to say it, but I believe I have great talent and personality and people can relate to me. That has been the combination for me to go as fast as I can in fashion. Other designers in Dallas have been at it that same amount of time but haven’t been able to reach the level I have yet.”

As much as he loves his adopted home, he says Dallas isn’t as stylish as it pretends to be. Despite some success here, he has to work in New York to really put his designs out there. Dallas has some catching up to do.

“Dallas is not fashion-ready and you can put that in bold print,” he says. “These ladies can tell you all day long how fashion forward they are and how they support local fashion, but fashion forward for them is big hair — that’s it.”

That acerbic wit is enough to get him on television. Gabriela Natale of Telemundo tapped into Fierro’s sassy talk on fashion and celebrities as the fashion police on her Spanish-language show SuperLatina.

“Oscar is a natural,” says Natale. “He is an exquisite designer, an over-the-top diva and the fiercest fashion critic, all in one. He was born for TV.”

So: Television, in print and on the runway. All that’s left is one thing and perhaps his American dream will be fully realized.

“We’ve sent gowns to stylists for the Oscars, but I’m not aware of any red carpet where my gowns have appeared,” he says. “But one celebrity that I wouldn’t like to dress is Paula Abdul. She’s a crime for a fashion designer.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens