Just One Eye’s Survival Spectacular
When one of my favourite LA boutiques Just One Eye invited me to the launch of ‘Ulysses Tier 1:The Ultimate Survival Kit’ last week I had to admit I was intrigued on various levels. I was interested in the link between the store (best known for it’s ultra-chic, art gallery-like environment and luxury product range) and what sounded like a rucksack of items for extreme camping – ‘roughing it in The Row’?!? I couldn’t really see it myself. I also wanted to know what the ‘captivating rooftop performance’ would be. The invitation advised that the performance would begin at 7.30pm sharp and ‘live helicopters’ would be part of the performance. If the invitation was designed to capture the attention, it had certainly done its job on me.
As I approached the store I realised that the surrounding area had been shut off to traffic. Police and security were swarming – this was going to be something major. I was ushered up the stairs and on to the vast flat roof with the other guests and was approached by one of the (extremely handsome) wait staff. Decked out in white boiler suits, these gorgeous ‘spacemen’ were serving vacuum-packed ‘space food’ in foil packets and gorgeous cocktails served in sample jars with metal straws. All around us were beautiful, vacuum packed floral displays on concrete blocks by talented florist Eric Buterbaugh who was there with his good friend Demi Moore.
As all the guests including Mary-Kate Olsen and Dita Von Teese piled in (everyone was on time…almost! Unheard of for an LA fashion party!) there was a palpable sense that something spectacular was about to happen. There were more than a few familiar faces in attendance – the fabulous Arianne Phillips (Madonna’s long-term collaborator/stylist and costume designer for the recent Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch among many, many others) was rocking a gorgeous cheetah coat and Karla Otto, of Karla Otto PR, looked as elegant as ever in a turtle neck plaid dress.
Suddenly, a series of spotlight beams began cutting through the sky as a live orchestra back lit by eerily beautiful coloured lighting broke into the frantic opening bars of Wagner’s ‘Flight of the Valkyries’. As if this wasn’t dramatic enough, three helicopters began circling overhead, swooping and weaving, almost dancing with each other.
Veteran Navy SEALS began to descend from the aircraft on ropes, a troop of black boiler-suited dancers marched onto the stage before storming through the audience and performing alongside us. At the other side of the venue meanwhile, free runners descended the wall and chimney from ropes, dangling upside down and running vertically. There was so much hectic activity going on that I almost got whiplash from all the rubbernecking.
It transpires that the event was put on by the superb Bureau Betak who have organised events and shows for everyone from Dior to Rodarte – no wonder this launch was so good! The finale to this jaw-dropping performance was when one of the dancers split open a concrete block to reveal a glass cabinet housing the $12,500 survival kit that this awesome launch was in aid of. This super-technically advanced bag of wonders would ensure your health and well-being remained in tact regardless of whatever testing situation you happened to find yourself in. I was left reeling from the performance and on my way out, in a slight daze, walked straight into my old mate and fellow Brit Sienna Miller, in town preparing for a whole host of new films coming out that she’s been working on. It’s always nice to hear another British accent here in LA.
On checking my instagram over dinner that evening, the feed was 50% full of images from the launch. It would seem that so many of my friends were there that I didn’t even notice. Between the orchestra, the waiters, the dancers and the veteran Navy SEALS, I’m not really surprised that I didn’t register them!