Seasoned Sexpots, Rock Sirens and Frugal Fashionistas 

On Pleasant Gehman and Maggie Barry

Wednesday, Apr 8 2009

View more photos in Lina Lecaro's Nightranger slideshow.



click to enlarge ANNE FISHBEIN - Terri Nunn is a Rock Siren at Maggie Barry’s show at the Ivar
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Terri Nunn is a Rock Siren at Maggie Barry’s show at the Ivar

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“Cougar” culture and Beverly Hills Botox-bots not withstanding, L.A. sure is chock-full of 40-something (and beyond) foxes. About to cross the (laugh) line out of 30s-ville ourselves soon, we’ve become quite contemplative about aging lately, but we don’t fear it. How can we when the women we most admire (both physically and as people) are older? Take Pleasant Gehman, the L.A. writer and performer who, among many, many other things, started L.A. Weekly’s first nightlife column, La Dee Da, helmed legendary cowpunx The Screaming Sirens and is now one of the city’s premier belly dancers, under the name Princess Farhana? Despite her debauched punk-rock past, this doll looks astoundingly better than ever, and she hasn’t lost her rebellious moxie, either. Throwing age shame to wind, Plez’s birthday bash last week at the Edendale Grill was titled “The Party of the (Half) Century” (in honor of her 50th!), and it brought out a gorgeously garbed swarm of scene-makers both seasoned and spanking, all there to worship, fawn over and adulate, as the invite’s “behavioral code” suggested. Guests including Masque man Brendan Mullen, singer Abby Travis,burlesque babes Selene Luna, Kitten DeVille and Myng Dyna Tease, The Dragonfly’s Anthony Belanger, dance dynamo Ryan Heffington and legions of luscious yet toned belly-dancing babes (okay, sign us up for a class pronto!) enjoyed a Barbie Dream House–like pink cake and a beer-shaped piñata complete with PG’s face on the front (it was battered to bits right inside the restaurant), plus the groovy sounds of DJ Señor Amor and mugging mayhem in the Grill’s famed B&W photo booth. Mz. P was pretty much sloshed by the time we got there (as she should be) so we didn’t get to chat much, but according to her blog, she’s got a lot going on as usual — touring, teaching and an appearance in the upcoming Steve Balderson flick Stuck, a women-in-prison saga also starring Mink Stole, Jane Wiedlin and Karen Black, currently in preproduction. Check out Plez’s plucky prose and stay up to date on her appearances at www.princessraqs.blogspot.com and www.princessfarhana.com.



Like Gehman, Nightranger has never been one to shy away from sparkle, glitter and shimmer, which made last Tuesday’s “Rock Siren” fashion show by Maggie Barry our favorite presentation ever by the designer. Held at the Ivar in Hollywood, Barry’s sequin-swathed spectacle was sexy, colorful and very stage-geared. We scored a front-row seat for the show, sitting next to another beauty who’s been around the block (but sure doesn’t look it): Berlin’s Terri Nunn. Wearing one of Barry’s chain-covered, bondage-y frocks, Nunn showed she’s still one hot nymph, and we hear her show last week at House of Blues on Sunset proved her music chops have preserved just as well (she tells us a live CD/DVD taped at the gig will be out in June, and if you missed it, she’s got another one at HOB Anaheim on 4/17). But back to the catwalk: Though the frocks were fabulous, we did have one peeve — Siren’s preshow. The event was also a sort of coming out for a new Universal Music artist by the name of Alexandra, and while she was charming (if a little too over-the-top with her copious kicks and hair flips), the performance was wa-a-a-y too long, like concert long, and instead of building anticipation for the runway action, it seemed to make the audience (which also included Perry Farrell and BFF reality reject Brittany Flickinger) weary. Thankfully, the clothes made up for it, and Alex’s backing band provided a revvin’ backdrop to the brilliant glam-gal looks, which Barry knows well; she was a onetime doorwoman at Studio 54 and she started designing back in the ’80s after Bret Michaels coveted a pink zebra jacket she was wearing while shopping at Rock ’n’ Roll Ralphs on Sunset. Smokin’-hot story, right?



If it seems like we’ve been covering a flurry of fashiony fetes lately, well, we have. Forget Fashion “Week”; late-March/mid-April was def Fashion “Month,” and the best part was that everything seemed to brim with music. Friday’s launch party for Charlotte Ronson’s new JCPenney line, “I Heart Ronson,” at Bar Marmont was no exception. Though the blog/text/twit-osphere was all abuzz about who was there (Nicole Richie, Sting, Josh Hartnett, etc.), and even more about who wasn’t (sis/DJ Sam Ronson’s off-again gal pal — who accosted the stage at Lily Allen the night before — was apparently banned & turned away), we didn’t notice. This LL was having a grand ol’ time, thanks mainly to the stars who took Marmont’s stage. A real family affair, Char’s party, put on by The Alliance, featured a soul sizzler of a set by bro Mark Ronson & the Version Players, who offered pretty much his entire debut album, with vocals by Daniel Merriweather (vocalist on the hit Morrissey cover and the singer Mark is currently producing), as well Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald, Simon Rex and Sam Sparro. Hyperhorn players and a monster rhythm section on the tiny stage made this set better than any we’ve seen from Ronson, though the Patron his roadie shared probably helped! Guests also scored a free Ronson piece in a pastel-pink pop-up boutique, and we gotta say, don’t judge the looks by the badly styled JCP Web site; it’s all supercute cheap chic, which everyone (except maybe the party’s rich ’n’ famous guests) could really use right now.

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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