About a month ago, I attended the Second Annual Los Angeles Fashion Awards, our counterpart to New York's CFDA. Its director, Jennifer Uner, asked me and former GenArt director, Meghan Griffith to present the "Inspiration Award" to GenArt and its LA director, Jennifer Egan. You may remember that I co-hosted the "GenArt Fresh Faces In Fashion" show at Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hanger not too long ago, along with the gorgeous actress, Garcelle Beauvais.Here is a great video of the event, which was produced by www.OhRio.com
The LA Fashion Awards event was held at the historic Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Jennifer asked me if she could come over to my studio and get ready at my place since I am Downtown, 5 minutes away from the event. I guess, I was still in the shower when she arrived, with her make-up artist(like a true Diva), so they set up camp outside on the steps and proceeded to , as Tim Gunn would say, "make it work". Fifteen minutes later, I walk outside and find them in full-on make-up process on the steps of my Loft! To the delight of the lovely infamous LA bums walking their shopping carts as well as a film-crew shooting nearby, Jennifer then became a true Diva and had her make-up done right then and there!
The Award show had presentations for various awards, including "Best Designer" which was won by Rozae Nichols, "Marketing Excellence",won by Collection Bebe and "Fashion Retailer" , which Decades Two took the honors. There were corresponding fashion shows showcasing all the nominated designers, which showed the wide range of talent that the West Coast has to offer. When it came time to do the speech and present the award to Jennifer Egan and GenArt, I was happy to see that there were Teleprompters and a nice glass of wine waiting for me backstage, which calmed my nerves, just a bit. Everything went fine, even if I ad libbed some of it. A "Fashionista crowd" can be a tough, jaded one, so I felt I did OK, as long as I walked away without any boos and jeers from the audience.
The Orpeum Theater was the site for yet another award show I attended, the "LA Ovation Awards". My best friend, Louie Anchondo ,works with the "Actors' Fund" , which is a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment . He asked me to be his date to the "Ovation Awards", the Los Angeles answer to the NY Tony Awards. It was a night of THEATER(pronounced with the British accent) hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser). He was charming , funny and held the three hour show together. Although I am not exactly a fan of the Theater, I do enjoy a good musical now and then, especially if the costumes are fun. I was shocked to find out how many "Theater" fans "Project Runway" has, when I walked into the lobby of the Orpheum and several heavy weights of the art kept stopping me, gushing about how much they loved the show. I thought I could "slip in" un-noticed in this atmosphere of high-brow art. Not! I got to meet several actors and singers of the stage including Sam Harris (of "Star Search" fame) and the beautiful and Tony-nominated actress Valarie Pettiford. I almost fainted when I saw actress and Diva-extraordinaire, Carole Cook. She was the grandmother from the 1980s cult-classic,"Sixteen Candles". The one who felt Molly Ringwald's perky boobies as well as served breakfast with a cigarette dangling from the forefinger while opening a box of doughnuts. I cannot express enough my absolute love for her. There are many times when I want to channel her in moments of distress and trauma. This was definitely the highlight of my night!
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