Take it from someone who hops about stylist-soaked soirees almost every week: L.A. fashionistas may not be as sophisticated (read: serious) as those in New York, but our aesthetic is much more than the flip-flops, jeans and mindless label-lust stereotype. So why does this city continue to get dissed when it comes to its own Fashion Week? Gaudy gatherings for Ed Hardy’s studded duds and 2Be Free’s same ol’ sweatsuits sure didn’t help matters, but the Chick by Nicky Hilton show at Smashbox, which kicked off the week, perpetuated the cheap-heap rep too. The baby-doll dresses and apple prints were very cute, but sooo last year (at Target). Not that the paparazzi cared. As we entered the show, we saw a TMZ photog literally begging security to let him in. For what? The front row seated Jaime Pressly, Jason “Gummybear” Davis, and Nik’s folks Kathy and Rick. Really? (Guess Paris was outta town saving the world or something.)
Grey Ant and Heatherette offered edgier catwalkin’ later in the week, and we hear the ’rette after-party at The Roosevelt Hotel — though tame considering the duo’s club-kid past — did at least see some fully clothed pool splashin’. A few nights later, Nightranger got wet (it was raining) when we checked out one of the hotel’s GQ Lounge events in its Blossom Ballroom, which had Swizz Beatz performing a sizzling hip-hop set for onlookers including Laker Lamar Odom, Corey Feldman, and that weird beanie boy Justin Bobby from The Hills. Not the most impressive list of attendees, though the lounge’s star power was much brighter the following two evenings, when Pete Wentz and Brett Ratner hosted GQ parties at Teddy’s and in the hotel’s beauteous lobby, respectively. Here’s an idea: Let’s get some runway shows at the Roosevelt next season! Talk about glitzy and elegant!
High Road, Low?Road
Speaking of which, the crowd at dapper U.K. designer Paul Smith’s intimate screening of Withnail and I on the patio of his pink Melrose Avenue store the Tuesday before last was probably more chic than all the Smashbox shows combined. Canapés and champagne, cigarette clouds and plush seating, a witty intro from the designer, and an audience that included bauble babe Tarina Tarantino, promoter/DJ Joseph Brooks, Sex Pistol Paul Cook, Warhol wonder women Tere Tereba and Cherry Vanilla, Donovan Leitch, Jennifer Tilly, E.T. maven Steven Cojocaru, Resurrection Vintage’s Katy Rodriguez and her man skate legend Tony Alva — they all made for a refined yet rockin’ outdoor environment, perfect for showing off new fall wardrobes. Talk about classy: The waite rs came to the valet out front and took drink orders before guests even got out of their cars!
Waaay on the other end of the style spectrum, we tore over to Blvd3 the next night for Complex Magazine’s Harley Davidson Fashion Show. Okay, we know what you’re thinking. An oxymoron, right? This is exactly why “fashion” doesn’t mean much in L.A. Maybe so, but the shindig did prove one thing — in La La Land, we have fun with our frocks, and the catwalk (and the red carpet) is only part of it. Danity Kane’s Aubrey O’Day, The Cheetah Girls and rap legend DMC vogued and vamped onstage in embellished biker wear, but we enjoyed a prancy display long before that. Travis Barker hangin’ in one corner with a huge posse of similarly baseball-capped rapper types (dudes from his skateboard team were models), a sober David Hasselhoff relaxing with his daughter amid free-flowin’ Belvedere bottles (now that’s willpower), Clean House’s Niecy Nash (love her!) enjoying some clutter and chaos for once, Perez Hilton working the room in white Kanye West shutter shades and man purse, and Bai Ling jumping the runway to boogie . . . there was lots to look at, all right, and we were having a blast doing so, that is, until we got kicked out of our comfy couch seat in the VIP section so some soap starlet could sit instead.
Hole in One
Which brings us to what was arguably the party of the week, month, maybe even year: Bolthouse Productions’ T Mobile Sidekick LX launch shindig at the Griffith Park Golf Clubhouse. Almost didn’t make it in, though. Parking was a bitch after the main lot filled up, and though there was ample space left in the nearby lot for celebs, unfamous — but fabulously dressed — revelers (“Why did we wear fuckin’ high heels?” we heard more than a few sexy vixens curse) were forced to leave their cars and walk miles uphill through the very dark Griffith grounds. We double-parked near the golf range (despite warnings, we didn’t get ticketed — ha!) and made it in just in time to see the real Kanye West do a surprise set, get a drink (served in gold pimp cup) and play with the freebies (a “make your own oils” table was a cool idea, but it was a nice but goopy mess by the time we got there, and the headband and faux-mustache station — yeah, seriously — might have been ironic good fun, but probably hit too close to home for the real hipsters in the house). The cool-kid quotient (NYC club crew The MisShapes, pink popster Jeffree Starr with LA Ink’s Kat Von D, “Leave Britney Alone” YouTube boob Chris Crocker) was as high as its actor counterpart (Carmen Electra, Jeremy Piven, Jack Osbourne, Franki Nunez, Nick Cannon, Shia LaBeouf). Actually, it was the most interesting — and fashionable — party mix we’ve seen in a very long time, even if the most prevalent accessories were the Sidekicks themselves. We know, so L.A.