|Crouching Bitches Fashion-Wresting|
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Century - the evening starts early. 4pm. Cognac twice (my god, but they're big. Deceptively big). Lemon Drop and a Bellini.
Over & onwards to MGM and their local. JD and Coke times three - or was it four? Media guy has a new job - really cool - and marriage on the horizon - wow - my life is so slow sometimes.
Arrive @ 93 Feet East - guest list, press list - everyone's there - inside it's cameras, videos, media maze. Blue mats, pink lights. Filling up by 8pm.
Music - definitely, defiantly 80s - Love is a Battlefield x 2, St Elmo's Fire/Pretty in Pink vibe with a dash of new romantic. DJs Richard and Julie spinning the decks like they're having fun.
Feel kinda New York hip-hop thing coming on -Courvouisier and apple juice times five.
Toilet - women's by mistake, pretty clean and a shelf in the cubicle, thank god - I hate using the lid. Bouncer playing catch on the way out - what's he trying to say? Oh, right... flash a stamp on my hand and all's OK.
Meet Call Me Audrey, call her Audrey by mistake. We owe the night to her. She's tall. Really tall. Tall me Audrey. Or is it just the shoes???? Wearing her Tom Ford Nazi T... call me Gucci.
Who are Crouching Bitches? NYC, anti-fashion, put the aggression back into aggressive clothing, put your ass where your mouth is. Style to die for? DIE FOR YOUR STYLE!!! Point to prove? Prove it in the ring. Points awarded for verve as well as muscle. And it all started with Call Me Audrey. Tall started with Call Me Audrey.
Time's a blur - Audrey calls people on stage, grabs a random punter and makes him ref for the night ("his shirt looked right... with a bit of electrical tape"). Random MC chaos.
House of Diehl onstage, styling anti-fashion, death of the designer, £40,000 worth of Instant Couture given away free. Frantic work: size people up, find them clothes, cut, stitch, glue, pin, customize until everyone looks fit to fight. Pretty cool. Not as cool as the ring. It's shining bright - it feels so New York here. Weird. A few Madonna Like a Virgin clones. Or is it Molly Ringwald, Pretty in Pink?
Judges lined up. Ringside seats. Ringside sofa more like. Ben Westwood ("son of Vivienne") and... some guy who was just sitting on the sofa. Who are they to judge? Who am I to judge? Fuck 'em.
Jockeying with photographers for position. "Could you get off the stage please". Fuck it. Point & pray - random zen camera angles. Leave the details to god. Slotted between the photographers, the journalists. Trendy Hoxton sleazedazedface kids. Notebooks and an eager smile
Pretty in pink girl brewing an article, writing up art - some guy she hates - what was his name?
First bout, cameras clicking... flash flash flashwow... her top's off, she's giving the geezer a hard time, naked breasts forcing him to the floor... ahhh, it's gotta be a set up, something to entice us into the ring. She's pretty fit though.
More drink, toilet again, two times, three times... second bout. Two going hell for leather, this is more like it. The real thing.
Beautiful blue dress Japanese girl, spot her across the ring - Wayne's World moment. Music - Pat is back. Flash is back. Drink - tasting more like apple juice, juice down the brandy, headblurfuzz - snap back normal.
Beautiful boys into the ring - 4 of them, leather jackets, black jeans, chains - kinda on the waterfront/grease cool, kinda Westside Story rumble, kinda hard.
Audrey's friend Eva with her beautiful green eyes - will you wrestle? I dream of... smashing, breaking, killing the wanky judges -bottle it - try to find a stooge to break them for me but... no go.
Finale - Audrey and Eva wow they're really going for it this is great - real buzz fills - Duran are playing, Girls on Film, never sounded so good first time around. Flip the camera to movie mode - catch these girls on film. Feels like the beginning, when really it's the end, only 10.30 but... can it really be over??? Things were just starting to get good. Another 10 minutes and I might have jumped into the ring.
Then Watermark club, Sean. 3 times JD & Coke, toilet twice. Bar-stool waltz with sleazy ladies, almost as drunk as me. Ha! Impossible. Barmaid's T-shirt says God is alive. I ask her to prove it. She clams up. Fuck, said the wrong thing again.
1.30am outside. Shit, rain, East London, broke - get to otherside... how???? Bollocks
© Mark Westall & Dan Sumption, April 2002
This was a live report on a fashion-wrestling event, part of London Fashion Week and organised by Crouching Bitches. The bare bones for this article were written by FAD co-publisher Mark Westall, and I filled in some details and "styled" it, the idea being that it came across in a sort of semi-SMS semi-drunk semi-rambling style that very much suited what we felt that night. There is a set of photos to accompany this article here.
return to in print, articles by Dan Sumption