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Makin' It Work 

Style Wars, Divine Design and Kitchen 24

Wednesday, Dec 5 2007
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Makin’ It Work

Project Runway meets Iron Chef.?.?. in the club .?.?. on crack. That’s how we’d describe our experience as a contestant in Style Wars, a bodacious battle that pits budding fashion designers and pseudostylists against each other on stage, challenging them to create an outfit from old thrift store rags and other unexpected materials in less than five minutes using only scissors, tape, pins and lots of imagination. The event has been a big hit in NYC where its creators — the edgy design team House of Diehl ­— have been taking over nightspots and offering cash prizes for the winners chosen by an elite panel of chic-sters. For the L.A. competition held the Tuesday before last at Cinespace (hours before younger sheared gear-types descended for Dim Mak’s weekly party), the judges included Runway winner Jeffrey Sebelia and ’80s dance queen Jody Watley, both of whom gave us surprisingly good feedback on our ’70s glam-meets-Gallianoesque shredded dress. (Though it wasn’t intentional, it ended being reminiscent of Courtney Love’s infamous black Golden Globes frock.) Watley called our sparkly green creation “something I’d wear at a club” while Sebelia complimented our “creative foresight” and cutting skills. Alas, our opponent won, with an over-the-top gothic getup and weird wire headdress. Obviously wacky beats wearable in this showy competition. Though many in the crowd told us they thought our challenger cheated (she wore her supplies in her hair), a briefing with creators Mary Jo Diehl and Roman Milisic the eve before at the Roosevelt Hotel made it clear that we could bring whatever/do whatever we wanted at the battle, declaring, “The only rules are there are no rules.”

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Speaking of the Bravo TV show that made Sebelia a star, long-time L.A. clubbers will recognize one contestant from the current season: the no -B.S. blonde who calls herself Sweet P. Not only was she the door diva at long-running L.A. fetish dance clubs like Club Fuck and Sin-a-matic, and later the designer of a sexy eponymous line perfect for wearing at those nightspots (Nightranger, in fact, modeled a provocative PVC dress in one of her fashion shows back in the day), she’s also a former L.A. Weekly staffer. At press time Heidi Klum hadn’t uttered her famous kiss-off “auf Wiedersehen” to our pal, and we’ve got our fingers crossed P. will “make it work” all the way to the finale. You go, girl!

Jean-ie in a Bottle

Ran into two more fashion mavens with L.A. rock cred a couple nights later at Divine Design, the annual megashopping event benefiting Project Angel Food. While pilfering through the marvelous merch, we bumped into gal pals Susan Holmes, wife of Velvet Revolver’s Duff McKagan (and designer of a super-sexy swimwear line),and Daniella Clarke, Duff’s former Guns N’ Roses mate Gilby Clarke’s wifey and the stylish femme behind Frankie B jeans. Clarke’s line basically started the low-rise trend, and now it looks like she’s found a new one — well, an old one. She’s re-launched Dittos, the butt-enhancing brand that 30-something sistas will likely remember as the pants they had on during their first kiss — they were as ubiquitous as disco and pet rocks in the ’70s. Hot stuff. A dinner and fashion show at the Beverly Hilton from the U.K.’s Ted Baker (whose menswear collection brought to mind a less-hip Paul Smith) preceded, but the main event was definitely the retail rager that took place inside the abandoned Robinsons-May department store building (soon to be condos).

What better way to cap off sweaty shop hoppin’ than with sweatier club rubbin’? Later that night we headed over to Cahuenga Boulevard for the soft opening of Adolfo Suaya and Michael Sutton’sgorgeous new nightclub Goa, hosted by The Alliance’sJosh Richman and Hartwell with tunes spun by Samantha Ronson. We know, another club on Cahuenga? How could there possibly be room on the block? Well, not only is there room (it’s in a space next to Hotel Café), but it’s quite cavernous, and maybe one of the most beautiful nightspots we’ve ever seen. Asian/Moroccan fusion has been done before, but this multilevel room really takes it to exotic new heights with carpeted walls, plush seating (even some near the side bar that’s not for bottle service or VIP) and ultra-ornate details throughout. The waitresses grant drink wishes in cute genie getups too. Of course, with the Alliance guys hosting, it really doesn’t matter what the place looks like. Richman and Hartwell are the go-to guys for star-packed bashes, and the opening was swimming with celebs: the Hiltons, the Duffs, The Hills girls, plus Bruce Willis, Entourage’s Adrien Grenier (an educated guess: He’ll be back to film a scene there) and a very persistent paparazzi posse camped outside. We were “blinded by the light” as we exited. Expect the Corridor to be more of a clusterfug than ever thanks to the paps, especially on Thursdays, which Richman told us he’ll be hosting weekly. The nonfamous can get a look at the plush palace when it opens to the public this Sat., Dec. 8.

Spacing Out

And here’s more Cahuenga scoop for ya. Now that they’ve reached the half-decade mark (an eternity in fickle clubland) our pals at Cinespace have a new project. At the club’s five-year anniversary Black and White Party last Saturday (which was swingin’, by the way), the owners told us about their latest endeavor: an all-night diner on the ’Wenga called Kitchen24 featuring food by former Foundation Room chef David Rosenberger, set to open spring ’08. Can’t wait for the 3 a.m. scene at that one!

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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