America has become a casual-Friday, jeans-and-T-shirt, no shirt/no shoes/no problem kinda country, and it's definitely hurting our credibility on the Continent. Maybe France would have backed the U.S. up if our fearless leader wasn't buying his suits off the rack from some businessmen's warehouse. Well, if you're against the dumbing down of America's fashion, you need to attend Hairball 2003, 7 p.m. Sunday at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard). Hairball is an annual event founded by Jeff Noble of Bouffant Daddy salon, and its raison d'être is to celebrate the artistic expression of hair design, makeup and costume through sensory overload. You are encouraged -- nay, required -- to stretch beyond your usual nightclub attire of shiny shirts and stripper shoes and to express the more fantastic elements of your personality through wardrobe. Mona Desmond hosts the evening, and when the fashion show is over, DJ Alexis gets the party started all over again. Tickets are $55 at the door; the money goes to St. Martha's Hall and the Kathy J. Weinman Shelter, which help battered women and their children improve their lives -- so you can look good and feel marvelous about yourself. Call 314-727-1423 for info or style tips. -- Paul Friswold
Cash bar at the Omnimax
Young folks who like to mix cocktails with the druggy hypnosis of wraparound cinema are flocking to the Omnimax Premiere Parties at the St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue). When the IMAX filmmakers use that big-ass camera to maximum effect, you feel like you're gonna fall forward in the steep environs of the Omnimax theater and land on the shlemiel in front of you. The new film, Space Station, chronicles the efforts to build and maintain the science-fiction fantasy currently in low orbit around Earth, the International Space Station. Enter on the red carpet, have a martini (or three), eat a mini eggroll, build an eight-foot-high arch of soft blocks and step into outer space from 6-10 p.m. Ages 21 and older only should call 314-289-4424 for advance tickets, priced at $25. Removing the shrieking children from the Science Center and bringing in the booze was a stroke of genius. -- Byron Kerman
It's the 74th time for Wash. U.
Did you miss last fall's Fashion Week in NYC preview of this spring's collections? (Who remembers those designs through the winter, anyway?) Never fear: The Galleria (Clayton Road and Brentwood Boulevard) is hosting a gala that features garments for all fashionistas and seasons.
Twenty Washington University junior and senior fashion-design majors caught the eyes of professional designers, university faculty and clothing-industry trendsetters, and these newbie vogue visionaries are showcasing their wares on the runway. The hourlong show begins at 8 p.m. and is preceded and followed by receptions. Call 314-935-6543 or visit the mall concierge for tickets, priced from $25-$50. -- Alison Sieloff
Nothing says springtime fun like dancin' around a maypole. But who has time to erect his or her own pole and then festoon the blinkin' thing with ribbons? Fear not -- the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard) steps into the breach with the English Country Faire, which offers Shakespeare on the lawn (plays, not Bill himself), tea, pastries and, yes, maypole dancing on both Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. The Faire is free with regular Garden admission; call 314-577-9400 for more info. Huzzah! -- Paul Friswold