DINO DINCO : MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK / LOS ANGELES

Day 3

I opted out of driving across town to SmashBox, since 2 of the shows yesterday were of designers who had either the word "Denim" or "Jeans" in their name.  Scary.  This would fall into my "why bother?" category even though I celebrate the fact that a pair of Levi’s is acceptable attire in Los Angeles for both the opera and a funeral.  Ok, maybe I’m an asshole (or just leave off the "maybe") but "jeans collections" seem better suited for a shopping mall. 

There was this really chilling trend with jeans for a while where the jeans had these long, bleached out patches around the knees and on the ass.  They looked disgusting, as if the wearer had knelt down at the edge of Lake Clorox to take a drink, then poo’d it out while still wearing the jeans.  Maybe this scenario clouded my desire to drive across town to see potentially more hideous permutations on something that shouldn’t be messed with. 

An email arrived this morning from some PR company trumpeting about last night’s shows.  As fortuna would have it, they were ALL denim designers and the star-power that turned out for these shows made me REALLY feel like an asshole to have missed it.  Let’s see… according to this report, in attendance were… the Duff sisters (whose name I recognize but I don’t know what they look like or what they do), some Playboy bunnies (what else do you fill a hot tub with?), some "ICE SKATER" (I’m not joking), Eve (ok, Eve’s hot….even wearing ice skates and sliding across the rink on her butt for 35 yards screaming ‘lord, jesus christ!’ Eve would be hot), and someone from "American Idol," another tv show I’ve no interest in knowing anything about.

Oh, yeah…and before I forget…Los Angeles is prone to earthquakes and if you’ve never experienced one, they ain’t not no fun, especially when they go on and on for more than 30 seconds and your windows are shattering and the house and car alarms are going off and you can’t find either the baby OR your iPod.  I’m thinking that Fashion Week has kicked off a string of little earthquakes, because every show that I’ve been to, the music has NOT been seamless.  In other words, find some flow, DJs…

I decided instead to check out Erin Fetherston’s presentation at the Chateau Marmont.  I had never heard of her but we briefly met at a Nokia fashion blogging panel in Paris.  When I read that she was presenting in Los Angeles, I wanted to check her out.  So I dragged my friend, Kate Gilbert, along with me to the Chateau, a great hotel and the spot where more than a few celebrities have exhaled their final breath.  (Helmut Newton, you will never be forgotten…) 

The girl running the elevator was cute and saucy, cracking jokes under her breath, all of us going to the 6th Floor.  As she and I were face to face and virtually touching each other (due to the small elevator), I detected a very familiar scent on her breath — that of Natural Citrus Listerine, my favorite bottled gargling substance — so delicious that it’s tempting to let it just wash down the back of your throat, like good bourbon. 

Prod_listerine_washcitr_lg  (hard to choose…)
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I said, "You just gargled, huh?" She responded surreptitiously, "No, it’s my gum…(chew, chew)…want some?" I said, "Oh, it smells like…"  The elevator doors opened and I backed out first into the hallway.  "It’s not Six yet, silly, it’s only Two!" said the Elevator Girl.  I squeezed back into my corner, again face to face with her.  She continued, "Yeah, (chew, chew) it’s Orange Listerine."  I’m all, "They make gum, too? That’s my favorite?" She’s all, "Yeah, it’s great."  Then I’m all, continuing this highly intellectual exchange to show off in front of my fellow elevator mates, "Got any more?" And she’s all, "In my purse."  And I’m all, "Which is…?" "Shit…it’s downstairs," her mouth wrinkling sideways.  I’m all, "That’s cool…" DING! 6th Floor.  I said goodbye to her, backing out again from the elevator.

Kate and I walked up to the only person that we saw in the hallway, some tall dude in a shiny suit that was just this side of shark skin.  "Can I help you?" he snottily asked, looking way down his nose at me.  I’ve pretty much gotten used to strangers taking a look at me and assuming one of about 4 possible scenarios: 1) that I’m part of the housekeeping staff; 2) that I’m a delivery guy; 3) that I’m smuggling firearms under my vestments; or 4) that I’ve finally arrived with the cocaine that they’ve ordered.  Instead of barking out, "I’ll punk you right here, bitch," like I should have, I smiled warmly at him and asked, "Is this Erin’s presentation?" 

I also wanted to check out a short film that Ellen von Unwerth had shot with Erin’s collection, starring Kirsten Dunst, which was to be screened at some point in the evening.

Kate and I grabbed some champagne, squeezed through the crowded hotel suite (set up in preparation for the screening) and headed for the sweeping patio overlooking that dirty, dirty lady, Los Angeles.  Here’s a view down over the Sunset Strip with a public sculpture that we’re all very proud of — it’s meant to resemble an iPod ad and is a statment of art vs. commerce:

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As the presentation was about to begin, Kate and I wandered inside and found a place to crouch down, facing the projection screen.  "You can’t be there because models are going to be walking through there," snipped a woman in a noisy, prom-like dress.  We stood up and walked back into the hallway, lined with wooden seats, only half occupied.  "Go sit there," she continued, "Sit down! Sit down!" I told her "Relax, lady, we’re not 6 years old," to which the hallway of guests started to laugh. One seated woman said, "I know, right? Calm down…."  (Where do event people confuse the necessity of this boorish behavior? There’s a lot of that going on with the PR / event people at the SmashBox location, as well.  It usually starts with being given a headset and a clipboard and then somehow, a case of rabies sets in…)

Kate and I took a seat as yet another Official Event Person came over to us, saying stiffly, "Please sit and don’t cross your legs," before dashing away.  I laughed and said, "What?" as Kate said, "What did she say?"   I continued laughing and said, "I think she said, ‘Don’t cross your legs.’  Maybe there’s a cooter check later."  Kate started to glow. "A cooter check! Wow!  You didn’t tell me about the cooter check. My cooter is READY."  Soon after, two women were ushered into chairs directly across from Kate and I.  The same Official Event Person also brusquely instructed them to "sit down and don’t cross your legs."  They looked at each other unsuredly, but I kept my cooter talk to myself, as I wanted them to draw their own conclusions. 

Overall, I think it was a beautiful collection — feminine, graceful, elegant, and modern with a romantic touch — something a fair maiden might wear on horseback, for example, or when the same maiden is having an affair at an expensive hotel with a married man.  I hope Erin is super proud — as I felt like her clothes reflected thoughtful and passionate design and a confident hand.

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For me, however, having so many of the girls wearing the fuzzy / kitten eared / pompom ski hat thing bordered on precious (if not dopey), especially as there was lots of promise for really good hair. But then maybe I thought I wasn’t into the hat thing because I’m not a girl and when I see a pompom (on anything) I just want to cut it off.  So I asked the smartly dressed woman sitting next to me, "What do you think about the hats?"  And she said, "You know, they’re cute…why? Are you not feeling them." I told her that I wasn’t.  She said, "Hmmm…" and turned away.

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The same woman next to me then turned back to me, putting her hand on my thigh.  I thought, "Oh oh, cooter check…Kate, get ready!" Instead, the woman said, "You know what, you’re right.  No hats.  Too cutesy.  Don’t need ’em." 

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Erin Fetherston

P.S. I could not resist Dino, proof that you are not part of the cleaning crew.
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