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Jared Gold's 'Alice in Wonderland'-themed Royal/T pop-up party

February 6, 2010 | 11:30 am

Alice royal t Culver City's Royal/T cafe and art space has a reputation for bringing a world of whimsy to Los Angeles. Not only for the space’s signature Japanese tearoom with servers dressed as fetish-ized maids, but for its bizzaro pop culture-infused art and fashion events.

Thursday night was no different as gallery-goers were invited to “fall down the rabbit hole” and peruse Susan Hancock’s lowbrow art collection and a pop-up shop curated by local designer Jared Gold. A hodgepodge of top hats and petty coats nibbled on “Eat Me” cupcakes and sipped absinthe-infused spirits in the "Alice in Wonderland"-themed affair.

We stepped into the fairytale setting of Royal/T's pop-up shop, and from the collection of teapots and mushrooms, up sprang designer Jared Gold. In a bow tie and paisley shirt, Gold looked like he just stepped out of the pages of a storybook.

The shop featured Wonderland-esque hand bags, dark sheaths, leggings trimmed with fringe and charming miniature gardens, among other items. Arguably the most exciting of Gold’s featured designs were his fanciful accessories.

The local designer's personal favorite was his new signature “prize pins,” colorful ribbon pendants inscribed with satirical phrases like “Haute,” “Last Place” and “Hater.”

I loved Gold’s colorful “spats,” which (for those too young to know) are an accessory placed over the shoe with button details on the side — think late-19th century solider footwear meets the color palate of a box of Fruity Pebbles.

“We can’t make them fast enough,” Gold said, about the fancy foot add-on.

Two years ago, Gold stirred up a scene at L.A. Fashion Week when he hosted a show at downtown’s Union Station. The designer, who is known for his more macabre work — including decorated cockroaches as accessories — says there is more of his “funny little world” of designs in the works.  

“My next collection, I know it’s going to sound horrifying, but it’s inspired by the Renaissance Fair,” he said.

Royal/T owner Susan Hancock, fitting with the quirky mood of the evening, sat calling on passersby to discover their “Animal Spirit” from a collection of cards she read from. Hancock beamed at the swelling crowd of Alice in Wonderland-inspired ensembles.

The New Yorker is planning a three-day trip to South Korea, which she calls “the new Japan” where she will be perusing art and fashion to bring back to her art space. Whatever her discoveries are, it's certain Los Angeles will be rewarded with a playful party to celebrate her latest finds.

We'll toast an un-birthday to that.

--Sophia Kercher


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Photo: Designer Jared Gold poses with one of his signature "prize pins." Credit: Sophia Kercher.