Monday, May 14, 2007

Launched, or Six Degrees of Desperation

I've got a couple event recaps in the pipeline here, but since I've been inundated with requests for reports on Friday night's Launch party at the FD Lofts I will start with that.

I'm at a bit of a loss for how to describe the whole thing because it was almost like two parties happening concurrently. There were some really cool elements ... a boutique was set up in a loft near the party entrance and sold clothes by the featured designers The dj there was awesome, up in the loft bedroom overlooking the boutique, spinning vinyl, being hip (I'm assuming that was the Sass dj).

The FD Lofts look pretty damn cool. You had to wander through the building to get to the large loft where the party was held. I was impressed, especially with the secret courtyard area. A really good venue.

The main room was one huge fucking loft. Really, 10,000 square feet is a lot of space. There was some food from local restaurants (very casually presented, which I suppose is fine, but pizza from a box?). Booze was plentifully available at the cash bar (we were told "discounted drinks" were available when we walked in, but I'm not sure where in Detroit $8 for Raspberry Stoli and soda is considered "discount"). And the energy drink was like speed, I threw a shot of it into one of my drinks and I was bouncing off the walls.

The runway was set up at the far end. The fashion show was really pretty great. Man, I loves me some local models with their retarded walks. They try so hard, they're precious! The collections shown were mostly good, we liked the Wrath Arcane in person more than in the fashion show, but (if I recall correctly) Juma, Michel Delon and Wound Menswear were standouts.

But then ... there were some really fucking cheesy elements. And come on, we all know where they came from. Is there no other option in this city for event production and promotion than Six Degrees? I mean, let's run down the Six Degrees party checklist. Energy drink sponsor: check. Crazy sponsor logos everywhere: check. Luxury/sport cars casually strewn about: check. Long bar along the wall wth really, really tan female bartenders: check. Giant white balloons hanging from ceiling: check. "VIP" seating sofas with bottle service: check. Giant video screens with mediocre video production: check. Superstar DJ Mike Anthony, voted Detroit's #1 DJ (love that top 40 dance, play Fergielicious again!): check. I mean honestly, it's such a formula at this point.

So yeah, that was a 20 foot high inflatable can of Cintron energy drink by the entrance.

But ok, so I can run with the fact that this is a small town ultimately and that it's a necessary evil. And you know, isn't it all about getting your name out there and selling your damn product? This is America, right?

The crowd was pretty good. My prediction of gay hipster central was completely off, because of course I wasn't thinking about how a $25 cover might affect attendance. But it did have a great presence of Oakland County gays, a few fashionistas, definitely SOME gay hipster types, and some of the gay downtown crowd. So really no complaints, a rather respectable gay presence!

In addition, there were Detroit establishment types, actually quite a few media types, lots of downtown residents, and then the whole "Night at the Roxbury" crowd. It was funny to see a few older OC gays flirting with some of those tan boys with the loud print shirts and seeing the boys get all into the attention. I ended up with a little crowd of gay sourpusses for a good portion of the night, which was a little irritating. Look, sorry there aren't any cute gay boys for you to look at. This is a Detroit party.

Even Kwame Kilpatrick was there (lookin' stylish in a newsboy hat), who talked about how we need all kinds of people to make Detroit work, "white people, black people, Hispanics, Arabs, Chaldeans ... everyone!" Except apparently gay people. Go ahead say it, mayor sir. "Gay people and straight people." I mean, there are about fifty of them standing right in front of you. Don't worry, it's a safe crowd, no one will excoriate you from the pulpit for saying it.

I will say this right now, I am super fucking tired of Kwame Kilpatrick showing up places and talking about how welcoming the city is to all types, creative types, everyone, and never once will he explicitly include gay people in that welcome. I mean, I sat and watched him introduce Richard Florida at Orchestra Hall back in 2004 and pull the same crap. He played the "creative class" card, and mentioned all different types by name except for gay people, and then Richard Florida got up and talked about how the single most consistent factor in his research is a welcoming atmosphere for gay people.

It's like Ronald Reagan and his AIDS avoidance of the 80's, because it was considered a gay disease. Ignore it and maybe it will go away. That turned out to be really good policy.

Anyway, that didn't really diminish the fun of the evening (and the even greater fun of talking about it the next day). I'm proud of the Sarahs for pulling this off so successfully. With a little help from their friends, of course.

Also, Kwame ... Arabs and Chaldeans? Same thing.
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