Rock the Runway Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Ok, spring is here. AKA, Los Angeles Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2005. This season's kick-off party, ' Rock the Runway,' started out with the best of intentions.

Cindy Crawford on the Red Carpet

Cindy Crawford at Rock the Runway

A benefit for city of hope, a leading research treatment center for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases. This event was held at H.D. Buttercup, in the famous Helms Bakery Building. The evening entertainment, which resembled a sartorial line-up for the Gong show, included the ex-super model gone soccer mom Cindy Crawford, a woman who in the early 90's held the hearts of men in the elastic palm of her hand. She was followed by Sekou the Misfit (def jam poet), Fern Mallis, the executive director of 7th on Six, and the very special musical guests, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Let me start out by saying that this event had one major perk, plenty of free street parking.

The press check - in was also nice and easy. A woman with a headset pointed me in the direction of security and gave them the thumbs up, indicating that it was okay to let me in. At that point, a red wristband was slapped around my wrist, and I was shuffled inside the party with the other fashionistas - celebrating this seasons fresh new styles.Walking-literally, through what seemed like an endless maze of furniture showrooms, I finally found the lair of the white worm, the bar.

Standing in line, I was chatted up by a man, resembling Boris, from the cartoon, Rocky and Bullwinkle. ' I invented Velcro nerf-balls' Boris said. ' Hospitals use my Velcro nerf-balls in rehabilitation programs. I also own several clothing lines' .' Blah, blah, blah. Boris's turn came at the bar, and after a fairly painless exchange of business cards, he vanished, blending into the party as quickly as he popped into the bar line. Grabbing my vodka-concoction I joined the ravenous crowd and maneuvered myself toward the stage.

Sekou

I didn't have to wait long, Fern Mallis's well-tailored figure appeared to cristen this season's runway shows. At that point, I was well into my second drink when the hostess of the benefit, Cindy Crawford, took center stage. Let me start out by saying that Ms. Crawford was very sincere in her attempt to give a heart-felt speech about cancer, and the importance of the City of Hope Organization. Unfortunately, between her mic going in and out, and the crowd who talked through her entire speech, even the part where she talked about her brother that battled cancer, I could barily make out a word she was saying. The Epochal moment came when somebody spotted a tray of lamb-chops, and Ms. Crawford's climactic ending was upstaged by the question that appeared to be on everybody's mind, 'Where's the beef?'

Next came the performance of Sekou the Misfit. Sekou, in his spoken word performance posed such inconsequential questions as, 'Who's in love right now and who's not?' The room started to clear out, and I decided to wander through the furniture kingdom of H.D. Buttercup to see if anything was on sale. Marveling at the prices that I could never afford, I quickly wondered back toward the stage. Sekou was finishing up his act, while the waiters grimaced glances desperately trying to feed the cavernous appetites of the guests.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Oddly enough, as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the stage, the room suddenly emptied. I sort of got the impression that they were the main attraction for the evening, and never seeing them live before, I was looking forward to it. Carrying their acoustic guitars, Karen O. and Nick Z. entered the stage immediately sitting on their side-by-side bar stools. Ostensibly, the scenario reminded me of A Mighty Wind, when Mitch and Mickey do their final performance together. Same as Mitch and Mickey, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs quietly, yet briefly plied us with their acoustic set, exiting as quickly as they appeared.

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