Last week, it seemed the entire world was ooh-ing and aah-ing over the procession of over-the-top designer ensembles that graced the red carpet at the annual Met Gala in New York, wherein celebrities try to outdo one another in the theme of that year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Exhibit (2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”). Collectively, the much-photographed looks surely cost millions of dollars, and while some outfits were worship-worthy, some were, sadly, garish as hell. Worse yet, some lacked imagination and some looked cheap! For all their money and fame, a few celebs surely would have not passed through the Pearly Gates if the fashion police were guarding them, that's for sure.
Right here in Los Angeles just a few days later, a way cooler, more punk rock and nearly as opulent spectacle took place, and for those of us obsessed with beauty and fashion, it really was like heaven! (I’m not even talking about DragCon, which also kicked the Met’s ass when it came to originality, if ya ask me.)
I’m talking about the gilded wonderland that tattoo artist/beauty mogul Kat Von D created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her makeup brand sold exclusively at Sephora. The all-gold themed gathering at Vibiana downtown was one of the most epic bashes I’ve ever been to … and that is saying something for a nightlife reporter who’s covered massive raves, glitzy award show soirees and corporate dollar–drenched product launches.
The dress code was “head-to-toe gold” and patrons really took the request to heart (of gold), showing up in sequins, lamé, metallic Spandex, leather, Lurex and glittery frocks, plus body paint, headdresses, turbans, wigs, hats and crowns as well as chains, shoes, gloves, hair shimmer, nails and, of course, eyeshadow, lashes and lipstick.
Upon entry into Vibiana, guests were greeted by a giant lipstick sculpture and a black-wigged, gold-catsuited string quartet playing classical versions of rock hits. We then were led down the gold carpet into a hall of “mirrors” and then out into the main ballroom, where amusements included a “muse-museum” featuring Von D’s inspirations, original artwork, logo design sketches and color palette planning boards, a slow-motion video booth with gold fleck glitter flying everywhere, human performance-art sculptures (gilded, of course), vegan treats, golden drinks that literally sparkled and shimmered in the glass, and a make-your-own-makeup-bag “Katnip bar” with large metallic pouches guests were encouraged to fill with free lipsticks, lip pencils, brushes, powders and perfumes (Von D’s two dueling scents: Saint and Sinner).
The night was capped by the unveiling of Von D’s new promo video, celebrating her 10 “muses” — people who’ve inspired her makeup brand on its milestone anniversary, including dancer Malice McMunn, Von D's mom, and new husband Leafar Seyer of the band Prayers, who also performed. Von D, who'd performed the night before at the Fonda with IAMX, came onstage with her man for a rendition of their duet, “Black Leather.”
The evening, which took place under gold-specked projections that twinkled from above and throughout Vibiana's cathedral arches, ended with gold-sprinkled vegan cupcakes and a special gift for select guests: a 5-pound gold “book” that, when opened, had a tiny TV screen that played the video inside (like a high-tech musical greeting card). It also was filled with KVD Beauty's entire super-fancy 10th-Anniversary Collection featuring all her best-selling products: her signature Studded Kiss Crème Sante Sangre, liquid Tattoo eyeliner and Metal Crush powder, plus makeup brushes and a gorgeous new eyeshadow palette, all of which are also available as limited-edition products at KatVonDBeauty.com and Sephora.com.
Next up for the reality TV star turned entrepreneur: a debut solo record, a vegan shoe line and motherhood (she announced just last week via Instagram that she and Seyer are expecting a baby boy soon).
Read the L.A. Weekly People Issue piece I did about Von D exactly 10 years ago, when she starred on L.A. Ink and was just about to launch her beauty line, here.