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Of Dior and dweebs

Watchers of 'Sex and the City' and 'Flight of the Conchords' turn a night out into a fashion show of drastically different styles.

June 08, 2008|Adam Tschorn and Erin Weinger | Times Staff Writers

CARRIES AND Samanthas, meet the Jemainiacs and Breterosexuals.

Die-hard fans of two cult HBO series -- "Sex and the City" and "Flight of the Conchords" -- came out in force last weekend. First, throngs of "Sex"-starved viewers donned their finest and headed to the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to usher the beloved urban fairy tale to the big screen at 12:15 a.m. Friday.

Then, on Friday and Sunday nights, a more raggedy crowd hit the Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A., to see Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, the quirky musical comedy duo behind "Flight of the Conchords."

Giddy "Sex" fans skittered through the ArcLight lobby and paid homage to their favorite characters by wearing prom dresses, fur coats and of course, designer shoes.

"He's why I'm broke," said Lauren Preston, pointing to her Manolo Blahniks. She wore the patent leather spectator pumps, signed by Blahnik himself, especially for the film. "We are real-life 'Sex and the City,' " she said of the crowd.

Nicole Duque, 22, planned on wearing heels but opted for comfortable ballet flats instead. She paid her respects by pinning an oversized red fabric flower to her lapel. The flower pin was a key look from the show, and Duque picked up her version at H&M for a mere $4.99. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.

As if styled by Patricia Field herself, Billy Garcia donned a 1930s-era YSL tux jacket and a vintage sunburst brooch by Kenneth Jay Lane. "I had to step it up," he says of the ensemble. Like most of the night's moviegoers, the Decades vintage store clerk is Carrie obsessed. "She takes risks and so do I."

But these well-heeled wannabes had nothing on the resourcefulness of the Conchords' clique, who, judging by the number of freshly minted iron-on transfers, had left nary a blank Hanes Beefy T in Silver Lake. Many shirts riffed on the band's song lyrics, like the black-and-white rhinoceros drawing on Steve Waldinger's green tee that bore the word "rhyme-nocerus" (from "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" which spits lyrics such as: "They call me the hiphopopotamus / My lyrics are bottomless").

"It was a birthday present from my sister," said the 30-year-old from Gardena. "This is the first chance I've had to wear it."

Scott and Jennifer Mundy of Newbury Park arrived in matching white T-shirts that asked, "Who likes to rock the party?" on the front, and answered, "I like to rock the party!" on the back. (The shirts refer to an inside joke only die-hard fans could truly appreciate -- a song the band frequently starts but never finishes throughout the show's first season.)

Curiously, few attempted the easily duplicated thrift-shop meets airbrushed animal art circa 1970s Econoline custom van look favored by McKenzie's on-screen persona, perhaps preferring to look overtly silly rather than have the irony misinterpreted as a true fashion faux pas.

But Alex Hannis and Daniel Feeney, both 16, made the trek from Mission Viejo sporting pitch-perfect parodies. Hannis' baby blue thrift-store find showcased a pair of taut-muscled wild horses against a moonlit landscape, while Feeney's homemade purple number served up a pair of tiger cubs and their mother amid jungle vegetation. "Oh, yeah, this was totally inspired by the show," Feeney said. "I made it a couple of days ago, and I've already worn it to school."

Who knows -- maybe when the series returns for its sophomore season in 2009, there will be room for a third Conchord.


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