Archive for April, 2008

Voltage 2008, or, Minneapolis Pretentiousness

This year’s Voltage Fashion Amplified was bittersweet. It was my friend Nathan‘s (aka George Moskal to the rest of the city) second and final time showing at this prestigious event in Minneapolis. He’s moving to Portland, which I’m sad about but I cannot wait to go visit him all the time. I adore Portland.

We were hoping this year would be better than last year in a few ways. One was that the First Ave staff stupidly refused to let to let others go into the VIP Lounge after the show to help the designers (or anyone) get their shit packed up. Last year I whisked past the security dude somehow, but this year he stopped us cold and wouldn’t let us in. Tell me, First Ave, what is the point? Don’t you want those people out of there as quickly as possible, especially when you know there’s an afterparty everyone wants to go to? It’s not like you’re going to sell tons of drinks after the show. To top it off, and to show First Ave’s hypocrisy, a friend of a friend got into Voltage for free by simply holding up his hand and walking through the front doors. He didn’t have a stamp to show off, but he played it like he did, and got in.

We took all of Nathan’s stuff to their car in the Target Center ramp, then proceeded to Sound Bar for the afterparty. None of us had heard of it, and with good reason. Last year’s party was fairly lame, and again I barely got let in because the Voltage crew were only allowed one +1. This year though, anyone could get in with a $3 cover. Or at least that’s what we were told.

We got a little lost, and as we walked up we noticed a small crowd and a velvet rope. I was fumbling for my ID when I heard a little commotion. Greg (Nathan’s S.O.) was trying to hand over his ID for inspection to one of the two bouncers. Nathan was getting his Voltage tag out. He said that we’re here for the Voltage party. The bouncer was unresponsive. Greg noticed that he was starting at Nathan’s feet. The bouncer, noticeably Easter European, turned to his buddy and whispered something. Nathan waved his Designer tag in front of him again and the bouncer replied, “We don’t allow white shoes.”

I began to cackle. Greg huffed and Nathan simply said, “Seriously? Well fuck this!” with his best diva hand action. We walked off, me still cackling. The party was partly for Nathan, yet he’s not allowed inside this ridiculously pretentious Minneapolis bar because of his super cute, uber hip, off-white Keds. Ummm, yeah. Well, better him than me in my super cute retro Nike slip-ons.

We returned to the Target Center ramp where Greg and Nathan took off long before me because my car was a little farther away. It took me a bit to find my way off the top floor (there was a Timberwolves game), but when I finally reach the exit, Greg and Nathan were still at the toll booth thingy. I could see Nathan’s siloutte obviously shouting at the toll guy, and Greg trying to hand the toll guy money. The toll guy had a ticket in his hand, but got out and wrote down their plate number. Meanwhile, I’m thinking the toll guy must not be honoring the tickets we already paid for ($10, thank you very much) due to some stupid post-midnight rule or something.

Finally Greg and Nathan pulled away, after much more shouting from Nathan. I pull up to the booth and said to the guy, “So you’re not honoring these tickets?” The guy replied, “They lost their ticket. They had to pay for lost ticket charge.” The money and lost ticket ticket (yes, he generates a ticket for a lost ticket) is still in his hand. I get a little flustered and apologize. Pretending I didn’t know the trouble-makers, I offer the possibility that the men had a bad day. I talked with the toll booth guy for a good couple of minutes, trying to make him feel better. He was near tears, and appreciated my concern.

Nathan called after I pulled out and he said that they had no idea that they needed to take a ticket when they entered, which was obviously the toll guy’s fault. *Sigh*.

We’re all rude and pretentious sometimes, but Minneapolis was full of it last night.

It’s official

I finished reading Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography late last week, and I am now officially obsessed. After I was done, I missed reading it before bed. Luckily I had queued up a bunch of his films on Netflix. I watched “City Lights” early on Sunday and basically never stopped watching or reading Chaplin-related stuff the whole day (turns out there’s tons of obsessed fans who create YouTube mashups or compilations. Today has felt incomplete without being inundated with the Tramp.

One of the YouTube compilation vids featured what appeared to be Chaplin in drag. The author kindly sent me all her pics of Charlie dressed in high flapper gear. Here’s a couple.

close-up

with a suitor

I think the biggest reason (beyond his pure genius) I love him is because of his politics. The fact that he was driven from America shortly after he began his talking pictures proved what a powerful political voice he could have become. In some ways I feel like he was born slightly too early. That if he’d been born 10 or 20 years later, he could have been the old guy amongst the hippies chanting for peace. But he certainly wouldn’t have the comic talent he had if he was born later. He was very old-fashioned, and lagged behind the times in Hollywood in many ways. He was more innovative in his politics and comedy than in his directing films.

He reminds me a lot of John Lennon. Both are English, spent much of their adult lives in America, slept around and didn’t really settle down until late in life, followed by the FBI because of their strong leftist leanings, led their field in terms of talent and popularity, and made daring art for their time.