I've been unnoticeably absent from Fashion Week this season for no real reason other than I have been doing lots of random shit. It's not 'cause of any beef I may have with Smashbox (even though I am on Fern Mallis' shitlist after accidentally misquoting her in a piece I wrote for the LA Times - she said 'lobby fleas', I heard 'lobby sleaze', next thing you know we're on LAObserved.com under Correction O' the Day...oi vey).
But life has been distinctly unfashionable these last few weeks, and actually, it's not so bad.
Today, for instance, I witnessed the deeply unfashionable spectacle of a grandma wearing nothing but an old yellow bra wandering around the changing rooms at the Desert Hot Springs Hotel, yodeling at the top of her lungs. And then there was the older fella in the mineral pool with the huge booger hanging out his nose, telling me about the time his friend's nephew's cousin talked to Jessica Simpson. "Have you met any celebrities?" he asked me, shortly before launching into a story about meeting an editor from Teen Vogue who brought a bevvy of Russian models to the Desert Hot Springs Hotel. His fingers trembled and the threadveins in his cheeks glowed as he recalled the day.
I was with my best friend from London, singer-songwriter Lara Frankel, who has been staying with me these last few weeks. She and I had dinner in Palm Springs with George Englund, author and best friend of Marlon Brando for five decades (he directed Brando in 1963's The Ugly American and wrote a book about their friendship, The Way It's Never Been Done Before. He was also married to Cloris Leachman.) George is someone who has been a father figure to me during my most shitty moments. "Time to get your game face on, kiddo," he said, dispensing the usual kernals of wisdom, trying not to grimace at the plate of tuna-stuffed papaya being shoved in front of him. We talked for hours, until the waiters started vacuuming around our table, rudely interrupting our debate on whether all lesbians have the same hairdresser.
My run of unfashion stretches even further back into the week - a few days earlier I went to a school play, an hour-long production of Peter Pan with a cast of 150 children from University Elementary School, held at UCLA's Freud Theater. The kids were fabulous, as was the audience, populated by the sorts of parents you only find in LA - Richard Gere's brother, Gabriel Garcia Marquez' son, Bob Dylan's son...
From the play, we headed to The Echo to pick up my cell phone, which had been there since early February (I left it on the bar during a Black Lips show). Beck had played an early evening set that night, which we missed, but we did catch the tail-end of synthpoppy Ultraviolet, fronted by a Fergie/Gwen Stefani wannabe with a misplaced sense of irony (unironic Joan Jett covers, ironic Eighties keyboard player).
Then we got a text from Johnny Kaps, publicist for The Kooks, who had just played the Jimmy Kimmel show. "Come to the Formosa for a cocktail," it said, so we dutifully complied. Kaps is a charming 'fro-haired mogul-in-the-making in town from Brooklyn. He represents The Kooks, Editors, Ambulance LTD (Marcus from the band was also at the bar), The Subways, Monsters Are Waiting and stellastarr*. We bonded over a few vodka tonics while he told me about the new band he is working with, Illinois...he is sending me the EP, so a full report to come.
Yet another unfashion-related incident last week:
We went downtown to the Desert Eagles/Bobby Evans new DJ night at Redwood bar. Jamz, rapper from Brother Reade was supposed to be hosting but he never showed. Not sure why - we had seen him earlier that day, when he picked us up from an auto-mechanic shop in Silverlake after my new secondhand Mercedes Benz developed an enormous oil leak. Jamz drove us to Pazzo Gelato on Sunset where we ate marscapone and raspberry swirl ice cream, and he told us about Brother Reade's new album, Rap Music, coming out in July. He gave me a copy and I really really want to listen to it, but it is heavily shrink-wrapped and I am unsure as to how to open it without destroying the cover.
As mentioned, Jamz wasn't at the party that night, but we did chat to Matt Goldman, who runs DanceRight at La Cita on Thursdays and works at Shepard Fairey's design studio. Goldman told us that there are packets of Doritos bearing his likeness currently in circulation, all thanks to a design job he recently did - although he had no idea his face would end up on the product. Fame at last!
I do plan on being slightly more fashionable in the coming days, and will dispatch a report from the Flaunt magazine party downtown on Wednesday but, as you can see, it is easy to be effortlessly unfashionable - especially during LA Fashion Week.