Was it a fit of Warhol-esque irony that had promoters place the West Coast Paul Frank for Andy Warhol 2005 party outside of Hollywood? Was college town Long Beach a natural choice for a youth quake collaboration celebration? Should one just accept that there’s bound to be traffic on the 405 freeway, whether it’s 9 o’clock in the am or pm?
Either way, it was an hour-long schlep to Long Beach — it “ISN’T that far” protested the evite — and the first stop after entrance into downtown’s packed Walker Building was the mile-long line for the ladies’ room. As half of the fete’s female attendees were hanging out in the hall, it was where to be fluorescently lit and seen; hugs and squeals about outfits — largely neo New Wave hipster dresses and beach bunny wedges — were exchanged.
Some hair-fluffing later, and a tour around the space revealed the goodies: a mini-gallery of the Paul Frank for Andy Warhol 2005 collection; plastic cases and velvet ropes protected banana belts, wallets, and the sundae-print bag, the inspiration behind the highlight of the evening — a sundae bar.
A sundry of ice cream flavors, syrups and candy toppings didn’t quite complement the Coronas being offered, but the sundaes made a pretty pair with all the bananas floating around. Banana-shaped balloons, bearing the iconic Warhol image ubiquitous in Paul Frank’s newest collection, made for, erm, phallic fun for many a male conversation, while most more innocently hung in the air. And those not standing around to beats by DJ John Mendez and DJ Denim Slinger were having their photo snapped in front of a logo’ed backdrop and bright lights, allowing partygoers to pretend they were famous for fifteen minutes.
If making money is art, and working is art, and good business — and marketing — is the best art of all, the Paul Frank for Andy Warhol 2005 launch party would have done Andy proud — helping hype Paul Frank’s latest line and first season of collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It was also a smart link in the broader revival of cultural and commercial interest in in Warhol (think the delayed “Factory Girl” flick about Mrs. Warhol, Edie Sedgwick).
Watching rare Warhol footage projected on giant walls at the club, more Warhol wisdom played out silently in accompaniment: “Death means a lot of money, honey. Death can really make you look like a star.”