1920s Shanghai Meets Grace Jones at The Blonds

No, this was not taken at Danceteria circa 1984. This wasn’t even at an underground rave circa 1996. This was backstage last night at The Blonds, Fall 2011, where fashion fused with music, music fused with performance art, and performance art fused with the next generation of club kid culture. Led by David and Phillipe Blond, The Blonds dress all of the top pop culture show divas, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Kei$ha, in their uber-luxe, lots-of-flash creations. Part Asian, part disco inspired, their Fall 2011 collection consisted of one showstopper after another.

David and Phillipe Blond of The Blonds

Let’s begin with the nails. Kristina Estabrooks for CND created 22 one-of-a kind “tranny-cures” to coordinate with each individual outfit. Nail looks sported glitter, googly eyes, ying yangs, dragons and fortune cookie statements, such as the above, “You don’t have to be blonde to be a Blond”. For the first time in my life the thought crossed my mind, “why the heck am I not wearing acrylics?”! (Luckily for me, CND kindly gave me a Swarovski Crystal studded masterpiece of my very own to wear on my pinkie. I swooned at it for hours.)

Models were each fitted with glitter-encrusted mega wigs by Tobell Von Cartier and Justin James at VON. The opening model wore a spectacularly theatrical Asian palace on top of her head, as ANY proper diva should.

Kabuki was the key makeup artist for MAC. Brows were blocked out for an alien looks, the lower lash line was elongated with black liner and the mouth was painted small and doll-like with a hint of glitter and shine. One group of models wore blush, eye shadow and lip color created with red Lip Mix. Another group had the same look but in gold and bronze. And a final group of girls had the same look as the first group but with the addition of frosty purple eyelids and peach blush. No mascara was used, nor would you even notice it was missing.

Don’t expect to see photos of any stone-faced editors in this front row. The Blonds VIP show guests were some of the most fabulous club kids and drag queens on the New York City party scene and they were dress to kill. The show opened with two Chinese dragons, which made their way down the runway to a hot club beat.

There was nothing tame about this runway show. I grooved in my seat to remixes of dance tunes from the 80s to today, as the full-house crowd cheered on wildly. Phillipe Blond walked the runway himself in a glittery pastel and gold dragon creation, perfect for any club queen, pop star or Vegas showgirl. A fierce gold jacket on a Grace Jones look-alike model took my breath away and made me for one moment wish I were 25 and full of nighttime stamina. 15 minutes later, I was certainly sad to see it end. The Blonds certainly know how to make fantasy an actual reality to their legions of fans thirsty for a city that is once again filled with inspiration, creativity and individuality.

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