After waiting outside Vain Nightclub downtown for half an hour for the bouncers to confirm that yes, we do want press at this event, I was granted entrance to the All Star Red Carpet Bash, one of the opening events of this weekend’s NBA All Stars game.
I finally got in the door after all that waiting only to find that the club was
Granted, it was only 10:30 p.m., and everyone knows the Orlando crowd doesn’t party hard until midnight or 1 a.m., but the flyer said 9. And this was the All Star Red Carpet Bash! Celebrities! All Stars!
There were more bouncers than clubbers up until around 12:30 (and it did eventually get packed after that), but that was fine with the Remy Martin reps and I – it just meant more liquor and whipped cream-filled strawberries for us. The liquid relaxer couldn’t stifle my reporter’s blues, though. “Is Dwayne Wade here yet?” I kept asking. “LeBron James?” The staff muttered something about airplanes and delays. I shrugged and downed a few more strawberries.
The staff looked like overworked students, all stressed out over busy work. Bouncers hauled large black couches over their shoulders through the club, upstairs and back down again. Midnight at an All Star Bash seemed like a strange time to redecorate, especially since the tables and couches in each of the exclusive rooms were empty.
On Vain’s ticket-purchasing website they state their seriousness about dress code: “Be advised that dress code restrictions are at the discretion of management. It pertains not merely to article of clothing, but also to style and execution.” But I’m pretty sure the fashion police were off duty last night. One major attraction was a pair of scantily clad women on glittery stilts. These futuristic Xenon space warriors, with tentacle hair extensions that looked like octopus head warmers from year 2030, hobbled around the club for photo ops.
Weaving between them were the pencil thin (all female) bartenders and shot girls. On a possible diet of vodka waters and Iceberg lettuce, the shot girls bustled around and handed out shutter shades (!).
After sticking around for more than two hours with no sign of anyone more famous on the horizon, I was starting to get antsy. And tired.
The Remy Martin reps kept nudging me and encouraging me to “make sure to say Remy Martin is the best!” Given that there were no All Stars or celebrities in attendance yet, their free alcohol was the best part of the night. At least for me.
I did find out that celebs, including Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose and Lil John eventually made their appearances, just a few hours after their expected arrival times.