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Striking A Pose at Mustache Mondays
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Jeremy Scott and pals at Opening Ceremony party
Blades are dull, at least to scenester boys these days. Yup, ’staches and beards continue to fuzz up just about every party we pop into lately (especially on the Eastside), so we were somewhat surprised by the lack of Village People lip locks at Mustache Mondays in downtown last week. Okay, there were a couple hairy homos roaming about, but this wild gay grind is also attracting notably smooth guys, many with glossy, glittered-up mugs we haven’t seen since the days of Club Makeup. Currently in the basement of Club 740, formerly at Charlie O’s (and briefly at Crash Mansion before that), Mustache would definitely be our favorite club right now — if we could get our butt out of the house every Monday night. “When did vogueing come back?” we asked Mustache’s main man Nacho Biz as a posse of posers pranced around us. (Yes, the dance floor has once again become a catwalk à la Paris Is Burning.) “Honey, it never left for these queens,” he answered, pointing to the club’s “fiercest bitches,” Hector & Jason “Extravaganza,” making like Tyra Banks around the room. And that wasn’t even the official show.
At midnight, MM offers weekly dance performances, and upon our visit, we got exotic queen/America’s Next Top Model makeup artist Raja stripping from a clown suit, a video-style group dance show choreographed by Nina McNeely, a sexy Day-Glo paint-splattered boy-on-boy vignette from Ryan Heffington (of the monthly art mash Fingered Fridays) and a live rap/dance thang from DJ Kingdom, in town from NYC to promote his latest mix tape. Biz and partners Danny Gonzalez and Josh Peace attract fab freaks mainly from downtown, but that Monday’s mix included faces from all over and lots of fashionable real girls too — even a couple ANTM runners-up. The underground grotto may seem very New York, but Biz, who grew up in the area, insists Mustache represents L.A. in every way, and we agree. It’s about time a homegrown happening meshed art, music and dance like this, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more Mustache-style mashes start sprouting around town.
CATCH OF THE WEEK
Latinos seem to be helming all the stylin’ soirees lately. A couple of weeks ago, we attended the grand opening of De la Barracuda on Melrose, and the massive store and its outdoor patio provided the perfect place to shop and bop, attracting the likes of Blow Up L.A.’s Anne Lee, skate icon Steve Olson, jewel Jedi Han Cholo, rap rouser Murs, and House of Pain’s Everlast and Danny Boy, to name a few. Owner Miguel de la Barracuda, a Mexico City trendsetter who got his start in L.A. with the Blue Demon boutique and a smaller Barracuda down the street, has upped the ante with this new depot (the exterior of which you might have noticed if you’ve driven by Melrose lately — a giant mural reads, “Your Job Sucks,” and though a Speed Racer movie ad goes up this week, the wall will be curated by different artists after that). With a pink-neon-lit walkway that leads to a rear entrance, and loads of colorful hipster staples like skinny jeans, hoodies, and busy-printed dresses and tops (think MIA’s closet) for sale, plus its popular graphic T-shirts (the best-known logo features “LA” with a fish drawn into the lettering), the new store should do swimmingly, especially with all the DJ- and drink-filled parties and art openings it has planned. It kicked off the visual display this past Saturday with “Cinematics,” a photo show from K.Z.O. (a.k.a. downtown-based designers Kazuo), and this coming Tuesday, April 22, female graffiti artist Claw debuts her grab bag of accessories with a launch bash.
DOWN WITH OC (IN) EP
More high-fashion connoisseurs converge at Opening Ceremony, the über-edgy NYC boutique, and its L.A. sister store on La Cienega. The kickoff party last year for the (then just-opened) Echoplex was a real rager, with Karen O, Drew Barrymore and Spike Jonez all coming out to celebrate, so last Saturday’s shindig marking the store’s new second-floor “mini-mall” in conjunction with L.A. Art Weekend and the debut of Chloe Sevigny’s new collection for the company, was an even hotter ticket. Although it struck Nightranger as strange that a Westside store would hold its party on the Eastside (even stranger? they actually curtained off a VIP section in a corner of the club ...), it totally made sense after we saw Sevigny’s blurry look book full of ’90s-flavored thrift store–ish pieces mismatched in that effortless, meth-head way many Echo Parkettes favor these days.
The crowd was much more thoughtfully put together, though. Visionaire’s Cecilia Dean and OC’s Carol Lim were très chic in black, while wearable wunderkinds Jeremy Scott, Wren’s Melissa Coker and Endovanera’s David Hershberger rocked their own dynamic designs. Hershberger just opened his own shop, Front St., right around the corner on Glendale Boulevard, and it was as much of a fash-flurry as the ’Plex party itself, teeming with emaciated 20-somethings and smoky-eyed waifs in stripes and feathers. We hear the store will be keeping the same hours as the club, so expect a (t)arty scene under the Sunset bridge from now on.
PERK YOUR EARS
Ever wonder how Nightranger is able to groove about the city with tireless gusto? One word: caffeine! But Starbucks is weak. Our secret is the really strong, organic, free-trade stuff from The Coffee Cellar, which sells in the streets at the Silver Lake and Hollywood farmers markets every weekend. Well, the guys had some bad luck recently when the shiny new coffee truck they just bought got stolen! They’re having a fund-raiser this Friday, April 18, at the cool community dwelling called the L.A. Eco Village (117 Bimini Place, in Koreatown), with musical entertainment from Telematique, Jumbo Rockers, Solar 13 and Thiago Winterstein, plus art, poetry, a silent auction and more, and we encourage y’all to attend. Definitely a (buzz) worthy benefit.