First, an update on the latest Art Bar incarnation of the Grand Avenue Club:
Ain’t it Grand (Ave.)?
It’s still too sketchy for us to live in, but downtown definitely beats Hollywood for going out: less traffic, less moolah, less velvet-rope burn. It’s no wonder D-town’s boomin’. Let’s hope it doesn’t go too far, though: Many of the new living spaces go for seven figures, and we even heard rumors that Posh & Bex were looking at some swanky pads east of the Civic Center. (Shall we call them Pex for short? —ed.)
Based at Broadway and Ninth, the arty collective BOXEight get props for putting the focus back on the beauty and character of L.A.’s old, under-used architectural treasures. Not only did they choose the palatial Los Angeles Theatre as a venue for two nights of music and clothing-designer action (an alternative to Smashbox’s Fashion Week shows), but they’re bringing new life to the previously neglected Grand Ave. Nightclub with a monthly gathering called Art Bar.
The Grand old building’s usual crowd includes salsersos and Top 40 fans, but owner Gary Warfer told us he’s looking to attract a more rockin’ scene and has some biggie band bookings in the works. With a groovy new paint job and seating/eating area, it sure looks nicer than it did back when it was a rave fave, and we know it works as a rock venue: Tiger Mask had its first (and last) L.A. Shakedown garage-a-thon there a few years ago, and though there were problems with that event, the space wasn’t one of them. We’ll keep ya posted on the plans for Grand’s return to grandeur in the coming months.
Then the party events at the LA Theatre shows:
Hot & Hammy Media Whores
The Los Angeles Theatre provided a charming, ornate backdrop for BOXEight’s three highly entertaining fashion shows and after-parties. Friday, a group show featuring the local lines Kit Pistol, Rock N Roll Beauty and Goddollars was zesty fun, but it only warmed up the runway for the main event: the flamboyant, uniform-inspired frocks of Salt Lake City provocateur Jared Gold (see A Considerable Town for full review). Gold’s show attracted a Technicolor brew of tatted art tarts, spiffed-up rockers (Eric Erlandson, Miss Derringer’s Elizabeth McGrath and Morgan Slade), hot & hammy media whores (celebutante author James St. James, Anna Nicole Smith “pal” Bobby Trendy in a puffy shirt and stripper boots), and industry playas & pets, including Amy Heckerling (Fast Times, Clueless), Heather Tom (Young & the Restless), Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and porn queen Jenna Jameson (sporting a bob haircut). Catwalk prancers were plucked from America’s Next Top Model, Janice Dickensen’s Modeling Agency and outer space — uh, we mean cyberspace. (Pink princess Jeffree Star, currently No. 1 on iTunes’ dance-music chart with his EP Plastic Surgery Slumber Party, worked it like Wonder Woman.) Overheard at the show’s close: “Well, that was the hippest crowd and show in L.A. Fashion Week. We might as well take the rest of the week off!”
Of course, we didn’t. We returned for Eduardo Lucero’s show the following night, where a more sophisticated, mostly Latin crowd gathered to eyeball Lucero’s Studio 54–ish getups. We were banished to bad seats in the back, but even from that distance, we thought the collection was hit-and-miss. We actually preferred the edgy ensembles we saw on latecomers after the show — including members of Orgy and The Living Things who funneled into the theater for Stephen Hauptfeur’s post-fashion show happening. The androgynous NYC electro-poppers Dangerous Muse and Suicide Club (led by Morphine Generation designer Erik Hart) provided the sounds but, alas, Nightranger had other (drunken) fish to fry. It was St. Paddy’s Day, after all.