‘Tis the Season for Crowds: Krampus on Parade & Renegade Craft Fair

I braved not one but TWO crowds today.  First up…  The Echo Park Holiday Parade!!!  I had high hopes for this because I’d heard a bunch of Krampus revelers were going to be there and I was not disappointed.  If you’re one of the uninitiated, “Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved… Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children and drag them off into the black forest.” (wiki)

Krampus was made popular a couple years ago by a viral video of hairy-costumed nightmares rampaging through a northern Italian mountain community and beating the ever-loving crap out of passersby.  I needed the little one to see this so she’d be on her best behavior for the next couple weeks.  But unlike Italy where it is apparently legal to beat innocent tourists, it’s frowned upon here, especially for 6 month olds.  That’s probably for the best.

There were other parade participants but I honestly can’t remember who they were after seeing the Krampus steam engine car built by Bay Area artist-engineer Kimeric Smythe.  Also several members of the Salzburg-area Alt Gnigler Krampus and Perchten Troupe joined the parade of domestic brand Krampus… Krampuses?  Krampen?  Krampai?  Whatever.  It was a hoot.

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As if seeing Krampus in Echo Park wasn’t enough, I dragged the kid downtown to Grand Park for the Renegade Craft Fair.  It’s one of my favorites.  Although I had nothing to buy this time (poor wallet…), I got to see some new friends like the ladies at Ave Dee.  I bought a fanny pack from them at the Patchwork Show in Long Beach and it’s been my saving grace on short outings with the kid.  Contrary to what movies tell you, you do not need to travel everywhere with a full diaper bag breaking your back.  Sometimes you just need your wallet, cell phone, car keys, and an emergency pacifier.  Maybe some chapstick.  Ave Dee’s fanny packs are the perfect hands-free device for busy mommas like me.  And they’re cool!  Anyone who says fanny packs are lame are probably pretty lame themselves.  And I guarantee you they’re carrying around way too much crap.

I also stopped in on good friends and former roommates extraordinare from Outlaw Soaps, Russ & Danielle Vincent.  These amazing villians started their business in our house just a couple years ago and look at them now!  Masters of saponification.  Lauded by the mighty Oprah herself, even.  I highly recommend you jump on their bandwagon, stat; they’re moving their productions from Oakland to a little parcel of land just southeast of Lake Tahoe and they’ve quit soap making until the new digs are up and running in January.  When I saw them today, they had very little stock left.  That’s what happens when your goods are being bought for wholesale by the likes of national retailers like Urban Outfitters and ThinkGeek!  I’m so proud of them, I could scream.

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Press Days of the LA Auto Show

Beer truck dispensing Stone Brewing brews at the Nissan display

I can’t begin to tell you the fun I have at Press Days for the L.A. Auto Show.  Yes, its a lot of work but a lot of fun is interspersed during it too.  You get to meet some really interesting people from all over the world, both media and manufacturer types.  The reveals are 20 minutes long and 5 minutes apart.  You have two choices…hustle to each or pick and chose the ones you want to stake out and really see.  I always take the latter approach and have time to photo the exhibits with minimal people in the way.

Most of the manufacturers have some sort of refreshment set up.  Audi and Porsche each set up pop-up restaurants with free wifi.  Jaguar did a nice cafe this year too.  However, hands down my favorite was the food trucks AND beer truck at the Nissan stand.  Yes.   A beer truck dispensing ice cold beer, ipa and ale from Stone Brewing.  I had a nice cold glass of Arrogant Bastard thank you very much.

There are tons of other things going on during Press Days as well.  There are receptions and happy hours.  Notable ones were for the Design LA and Aftermarket Halls at the show. There is also the opportunity to get in and drive cars, mostly green cars on the last day (Thursday).   Continue reading “Press Days of the LA Auto Show”

I want that shirt and our old ‘stang back too.

50 Years Mustang and Fashion
50 Years Mustang and Fashion shirt back

Blogging leads to adventures and fun soirees. Last night I was invited to a pretty swanky affair celebrating 50 years of Mustang and Fashion. It was held at The Standard Hotel on Sunset in WeHo.  This shirt was worn by the wait staff from the hotel’s Event Department and we couldn’t get them to give one up for us.

The event is documented in my flickr set, and was actually a lot of fun. Great food, nice cocktails and cars with pretty models next to them.  The Standard itself is quite the place. I remember it as the Golden Crest Hotel, then a retirement home when I first moved here, then it was abandoned for a while.  Quite the come back as you will note from the pictures.

The show itself was a fun bit of high zoot fashion history intermingled with a particular generation of the Mustang.  The speakers were L.A.’s own Christos Garkinos an expert in all things vintage along with Ford Design Director Joel Piaskowski who talked about the cars. Continue reading “I want that shirt and our old ‘stang back too.”

Sunday is Set the Tatas Free Day

tatas free
Set the Tatas Free meme

I really don’t apologize for the snarky image and the meme that has made the rounds on fb the last few days.  It does bring awareness to the issue of breast cancer in a fun way.   Celebrate your healthy bazoombas and set them free for the day.  All us guys will appreciate the effort and gesture.

Kidding aside, if you want to donate to the research for a cure go HERE or HERE.

What to Get the One Percent

It’s become our custom at b.la to share some ideas about how to help those in need during the holidays. We’ve been posting about places or organizations where you can volunteer your time or donate your money and truly participate in the spirit of giving this holiday season. But I know what some of you are thinking: All this helping-the-less-fortunate is well and good but what about the 1%? What to get them this holiday season? Thanks to a Thrillist email a few days ago, I have the answer for you. Continue reading “What to Get the One Percent”

She Wants Revenge Free Show Saturday at Northridge Mall

San Fernando Valley
Chris Yarzab's photo used through Creative Commons license

What do you do to promote an album called Valleyheart? You play a free show in the Juniors department of Macy’s at Northridge Mall, that’s what. According to Racked (to whom my metaphorical cliched hat is tipped), She Wants Revenge is playing the Northridge Macy’s this Saturday at 2:00 and Skylar Gray will be opening. To the parents brave enough to take their tweens, I salute you. You are good people. The first 300 people to buy at least $35 of select merchandise will get a free autographed picture. The rest will just get the memories.

We’re Number Two According to GQ

LA fashion
Malingering's photo used through Creative Commons license

LA was edged out of the number one seat for GQ‘s coveted “worst-dressed city” title by Boston of all places! I find it hard to believe–nearly impossible, in fact–that preppy old Boston can beat LA’s hootchie skirts, hipster glasses, bad knuckle tattoos, and omnipresent flip-flops [Oxford comma represent!]. GQ says:

Angelenos wage a fierce, daily battle against time and taste so effective it would be admirable if the results weren’t so obnoxious. Ground zero of this war against time is strongest in the thrumming hub of mind-blowing sartorial choices of the few neighborhoods nestled on the axis of Sunset Blvd. You know you’re getting close when you start seeing a profusion of regrettable headwear. . .

Note that Washington, D.C., most sartorially boring place on earth, did not even make the list of 40 cities, throwingthe accuracy of GQ’s snark and the list as a whole into question, in my opinion. Truly, I don’t know how a person could spend a couple hours at HiHo on any given weekend and not automatically grant us the gold. Silver–bah!

THREAD Show Highlights

On Sunday my friend Roberta and I ventured out to THREAD show. It was my first time at THREAD and I’d go back. Inevitably I find myself comparing it to Unique LA if only because I found out about THREAD from one of the Unique LA vendors, Lindsay at Felt Up.

Relative to Unique LA, THREAD is significantly smaller and less crowded. What crowd there is, though, is quite diverse, particularly racially diverse–both vendors and shoppers. There are a lot of jewelry vendors and very few food vendors. We didn’t even try for a free manicure or massage or visit with a stylist though the lines were not unreasonable. We were just entertained enough by the people watching and the shopping. Trends that I could live without: feathers and ginormous necklaces. Trends I love: knee socks and recycled fashion. More pictures of the event after the break.


Vendor info:

Circles and Squares
Art Kills Artists
Dominique Ansari
Siobhan
Mother Plucker
Micha Design
Sonas
Naughty Blonde
Felt Up
PeaceImages Jewelry
Bela Koi
Retro Outlaw
Bipolar Gear

My favorite thing I bought? Well, I love the little gray porcelain rose earrings from Bela Koi and the tee shirt with Julie Andrews giving the finger from Retro Outlaw and the mirrored spiral earrings from PeaceImages, but my very favorite would have to be the yellow tutu from Bipolar Gear. LaRae Wilson, the creative spirit behind the operation is a force to be reckoned with. Have I ever bought an article of yellow clothing in my life? No. Am I glad I did? Yes. Thank you, LaRae for being persuasive. You can catch Bipolar Gear at LA Fashion Week’s Fashion Minga in October. I’ll be there if I’m in town.

The Dude Aside –

Honestly.

I saw This Person shopping at a Santa Monica Ralph’s last week, fully without irony.

She and her friends were not looking to see if anyone would notice the robe, nor were they in any sort of Dude-like good humor.

I would have been willing to Consider giving her a pass if she at least bought milk and/or Kahlua, but all they bought was a few bags of Doritos.

They wandered the store, jabbering in a language I failed to identify (and I’m pretty good at that), and exuding general bitchiness.

Ugh.

No thank you.

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(No, I don’t show her face. And neither should she.)

In the mood for a little Mother’s Day shopping @ Unique LA

UniqueLA
UniqueLA

Fretting over finding that last minute, yet oh so perfect gift for your mother?  Or perhaps you’re tired of going to the standard Mom-osa filled brunch & want to try something new…  Well you’re in luck, this weekend the wonderful Sonja Rasula is putting in another installment of the coolest independent design & shopping show in the country, Unique LA.

With over 300 designers & artists showcasing their wares over the course of two-days of fun filled shopping this is truly an event not to be missed.  I know I always come home with armfuls of amazing finds, from jewelry, to purses, to ironic t-shirts for my boyfriend & one-of-a-kind “omg where did you FIND that” outfits for me.  It’s also a great way to meet a ton of local designers, many of whom are right here in Los Angeles!  Plus there are a ton of workshops & food vendors peddling all sorts of yummy treats camped out at the event.  You can even check out a preview of some of the awesome clothes in their new catalog!

Your $10 admission includes…

• Free drinks & a hosted bar (IZZE, Honest Tea, Bear Flag wine, Hendrick’s cocktails, and Numi Tea)
• Unlimited re-entry for both days
• Your very own collectible tote bag, exclusive to each show!
• Free DIY workshops and handmade Mother’s Day cards all weekend
• Plush lounge seating area hosted by H.D. Buttercup
• Access to giveaways and door prizes all weekend long
• Souvenir copy of the Vendor Directory + Mini Magazine

Unique LA
May 7th & 8th (11am – 6pm)

California Market Center’s Penthouse
110 E 9th St # A727
Los Angeles, CA 90079-1727
http://uniquela.com/

Buy tickets HERE.

Tuesday is Be Kind To Boobies Day!

(not to be a jerk, but….)

To hell with all you ladies who can buy bras on street corners or online or at the mall even – this post is for the breastally endowed.

From those of us sporting mighty racks, a resounding cry: All Hail the fearsome Jenette for opening a lingerie emporium just for us. An amazing establishment where, as Jenette is fond of saying, “The alphabet starts at D.”

And the merchandise is downright saucy ~ no battleships, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything white (except a few hot bridal-type numbers).

In the past, Jenette’s hours have been a bit limited, but I’m happy to announce that she’s added Tuesday (11-6) to her work week – great news!

Jenette Bras

4308 Melrose Ave., near Vermont

(Ironic: It’s just around the corner from Scoops!)

323-665-7490

 

 

 

ICME: Where to Buy Your Stupid Man Suit

All Kinds of Crazy on Sale

Donnie: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

While it doesn’t answer the question the question why he’s wearing it, now we know where Donnie Darko may have got his stupid man suit.

Korea Town, Western and 3rd.

I’m not sure it’s very convincing, though.

(Pic taken w/my phone.)

We’ve Got Valentine’s Day Licked: The Power of the Little Pink Box

I needed a reset. I’ve been down with the flu for a week, so I decided I would visit some lingerie shops to try and get some hotness on for Valentines Day. I picked the two sexiest shops I had heard about, “Coco La Mer” and
Agent Provocateur”.

Note for future Love pumping: I mentioned to my paramour that I was going to tour some lingerie shops.  For the first time ever, he volunteered to go along with me while I shopped! Hmm. I declined, a good tease is half the fun of romance!

My first stop was Coco La Mer on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood.  This place has a lot of intrigue.  Set back from the street, you enter after wandering down a short path.  The setting is very Marquis de Sade.  Very high end, very French Chateau Mistress action. It looked good, but the mix of low lighting and plush furniture made me want to sit down and eat a chocolate.
Nevertheless, I was on a mission, so I picked some corsets, had them turn up the dressing room lights and went to work. Wow.  Very expensive.  (Why is it that silky sexy pieces of fabric strategically placed cost more than a whole outfit?) No matter.  It’s the end result that matters.

At Coco La Mer, there are lots of classy looking leather pieces that hoist, tighten and in general mold the female body into fetish art.  There are also lots of very art like dildos, vibrators and bondage items.  Not your everyday plastic stuff, we’re talking hand blown glass objects, gold vibrators, leather mixed with feathers and steel.  Very super high end fantasy stuff.  This is life-style we’re talkin’ here, not a ‘role-play for the night get-up’.  So as they say, ‘why not invest in something that will last forever?’

Alas, I didn’t find anything.  But it did work some magic.  As I was walking out, aforementioned love puppy sent a picture of him posing in his shorts.  This was new territory!

On to my next stop, at “Agent Provocateur” on Melrose, I got lucky. First the saleswoman had me try on some sizzle worthy red pumps, telling me that everything looked better in heels. She was right. I had a really hard time choosing between the corsets and stockings and a short number with fringe and amazing push up action. Damn it American Express! I bought both. And the red heels. (Did I mention lingerie is ridiculously expensive?)
Now…. how to choose just one outfit for Valentines Day?

And by the way, as a result of this research, my boyfriend can’t wait for Monday!
I highly recommend going lingerie shopping to make V-Day memorable, if only to come home with the pink box! Anticipation is everything!

To Do This Weekend: Gallery At the End Of the World Closing, Robotanists, Derby Dolls, Divine Design

This is a heartbreaker. Artist, collector & gallerist Ben McGinty’s closing his beautiful Gallery At the End Of the World in Altadena, and this weekend is its last hurrah. You can’t miss your last chance to see his amazing back garden full of treasures, everything from a hanging garden of magnifying glasses to the back of a gypsy caravan. There will be the ubiquitous eclectic collection of art, crafts and handmade books, and a chance to meet the artists & enjoy drinks with the locals.

Also celebrating a final night tonight: The Robotanists close out their residency at Casey’s, the historic Irish tavern in downtown. Don’t miss their atmospheric, dramatic compositions and vocalist Sarah Ellquist’s lush vocals.

Continuing the theme of going out with a bang (or in this case, lots of bangs & thuds & whams) is the final Derby Dolls bout of the year…tonight’s their season championship, with my personal faves the Tough Cookies going up against The Swarm.

And I also have to recommend hitting Divine Design in Beverly Hills, the annual charity shopping event; 100% of funds raised to to Project Angel Food, and everything–from Oscar De La Renta dresses to cosmetics & jewelry and shoes, is 60% off today; 70% off on Sunday; and 80-90% off on Monday.

Black Bra Friday at Jenette Bras

To all my busty sisters out there! Jenette Bras is having a HUGE sale this coming Friday. She’s calling it “Black Bra Friday” and you must go.

From 10am to 6pm everything black in the store is on sale – bras, panties, camis, slips, corsets, you name it. Discounts range from 20 to 40% off. If you have been waiting to buy some gorgeous support for your gorgeous rack, head on over to Jenette’s.  While others will be muscling through crowds to get the latest electronics, you will be shaping up nicely in a beautiful new bra, aided by the expert care of Jenette and her crew.

Gents! Don’t think you aren’t invited. If you have a lovely busty gal in your life, gift certificates are 20% this Friday as well.

Black Bra Friday
Jenette Bras
Friday, November 26
10am – 6pm

“Where the Alphabet Starts at D!”