Zoned out, closed and ruined 

VANITY ZONE

This past weekend offered up a pre-Thanksgiving appetizer of madcap music, flailing fashions and fond farewells — the fashion portion of which could be found Friday at the Majestic Theater, where the Metro Times, everyone’s favorite alt-weekly rag, teamed up with Vox Vodka and WDRQ-FM 93.1 to present “Zones.” Ostensibly conceived as an evening of fashion and music, the 8 p.m. VIP preparty was essentially an hour of furious freeloading, be it nori rolls and crudités or Red Bull and Vox.

In fact, the bar actually ran out of the gratis Vox before the end of the hour, thereby evidencing some real effort from those in the crowd who sought to squeeze every last drop of value from the extra shekels they shelled out for those VIP tix.

After what seemed to be an interminable wait, the show eventually kicked off with superstar journalist and MC Sarah Klein at the fashion-show microphone. The cue card-toting Klein engaged in some snappy rapport with the audience while slipping into more costumes than one might find at a Bette Midler show, modeling outfits from almost every one of the evening’s sponsors, including Mother Fletcher’s, Priscilla’s, Harry’s Army Surplus, Noir Leather, Shapes and Salon Agapé hair styling.

Unfortunately, the crew from Vain Couture in Royal Oak neglected to bring Ms. Klein’s outfit, and had also apparently sold one of the pieces the previous evening at the store’s opening party.

Vain Couture, by the way, opened its Royal Oak boutique just last Thursday in the space formerly occupied by the Coffee Beanery. The space has undergone a complete makeover, and the glittering new shop demonstrates with ample flair and élan that you don’t have to go to Ferndale to open a new boutique. Besides, any time you get an actual new retail presence in Royal Oak, as opposed to new restaurants or old retailers switching locations, it’s always cause to celebrate.

Ambling about the sizable crowd, the Loose Lips camera crew caught a contingent from Mother Fletcher’s consisting of Scott Showers, Wendy VanAntwerp and Carrie Mayes, who were modeling the “latest vintage fashions.” How’s that for an oxymoronic phrase?

Also bumped into advertising consigliere-by-day/club promoter-by-night Steve Zeff, who will apparently be relocating to Chicago in December. Adios, Steve, the Fanclub Foundation and Sunday nights at the Sky Club will never be the same.

The evening also featured live performances by Broadzilla, Perpetual Hype Engine and Crud, the latter of whom engaged in audience participation by pulling a circa-’80s metalhead from the crowd to waddle onstage as Danielle from Crud ripped off his shirt and rubbed lotion on his sizable beer gut. Music or fashion? You make the call.

In a final fitting note, Klein strolled onto the catwalk in an American flag ball gown designed by ever-the-patriot show stylist Julie Greene. Aghast conservatives in the audience immediately contacted Lansing demanding the passing of an anti-flag couture amendment. Somebody get ultraconservative David Jaye on the blower, but pronto (“blower,” despite the double entendre, being intended as a slang term for the telephone).

LAST CALL AT THE KRESS

Saturday night was an evening for fond farewells, as a capacity crowd of well-wishers, bar-art aficionados, lachrymose lushes and the Trees Lounge-loving hipsters who love them converged on the Kress Lounge to bid farewell to our little slice of Bukowskiesque barflydom.

The Kress has long occupied favored status among the nightlife cognoscenti from its discreet post on Michigan Avenue near Lonyo, as old-timers and generations of cocktail-tippling trendanistas alike flocked to its nude oil paintings, velvet wallpaper and convivial tobacco-stained congeniality. With the closing of the flamenco-happy Casa de Espana down the street, the old “Spanish Fly” night on the town is sadly no more (i.e. garlic-infused dinner at the Casa, garlic-breath drinks at the Kress).

Ah, the memories … I can recall one night at the Kress about four years ago, where the gentleman sitting next to us at the bar was grilling some recently bagged, fat-spattering venison on a miniature hibachi, a la Benihana. I declined his offer for a sample, although I wondered if some of that same venison showed up in the Swedish meatballs at the party, which few dared to touch.

As has been well-documented, after some 63 years on the job, Irene and Bill Kujawski are calling it quits and migrating to Florida. This was probably the biggest crowd at the Kress since the end of WW II. Patrons arrived early and stayed late, including longtime patrons and 6:30 arrivals Dan and Tracee Miller, who represent two-fifths of cow-country troubadours Blanche, which performed to an enthusiastic crowd the previous evening down at the Gold Dollar.

The Loose Lips camera crew also captured Jenipher Zap, Adrian Quinn and Julie Martin basking in the warm glow, as well as lone valley boy Gino Fanelli and Melanie Schridde.

Local glitterati rock stars included aspiring male model and guitarist Dion Fischer of The Go (look for his photos in an oversized glossy near you), as well as your usual Wildbunch members (note, The Go and Wildbunch will be performing a Yuletide double bill on December 23 at the Magic Stick). Farewell fair Kress, ye shall be missed.

OUR RUINED REPUTATION

In yet more national media coverage for Detroit ruins (see the October 24 Loose Lips column), ABC News was parading about town last Thursday with reporter John Martin to talk up the city’s perceived “renaissance” and our tax-subsidized stadiums. They even chatted with noted local artist and creator of the fabled Detroit Ruins Web site (www.bhere.com/ruins/), Lowell Boileau. Could a piece on our venerated skyscraper graveyard be in the works?

Although the show was originally scheduled to air Sunday night, it was postponed a week or so because of some news event apparently coming out of Florida. Keep your VCRs at the ready.

Casey Coston writes here every other week. Got gossip, party invites, snappy comebacks? E-mail looselips@metrotimes.com or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial

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