Teetering atop stilettos and stark-lit against exposed brick, the wildly-coiffed creatures descended the staircase towards us -- towards what seemed an impenetrable mass of floating cocktails. Thigh-high liquid leggings, a lacy black garter belt, and the shock of an emblazoned redhead against the spotlight drew delighted, hushed outbursts from the crowd packed tight in BEast's basement bar last night.

Located deep in the bowels of the Lower East Side, the moody venue played host to the Outlaws of the Border Fall/Winter '09 collection preview. The young label's designer Lindsay Jones paired Victorian elegance with gothic sensibility, and what seemed a nod to the perverse Sci-Fi aesthetic of Sean Young in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Set to dreary custom-made electronica beats (to be released with the collection), the show featured a unique blend of texture and fabric, including a wide-gage, backless knit dress; bare silk frocks embellished with fur collars; and this year's requisite black jumpsuit.

Amid the stir, bright young things sipped vodka drinks with the hipster element clad in shrunken blazers, ratty T-shirts and pork pie hats. There was, however, an air of conservative chic among certain patrons (a sign of sober economic times, perhaps?). Indeed, the couple next to me looked rather handsome and strikingly civilized. Almost adult, juxtaposed to one fellow's deliciously lewd handlebar mustache.

Photos by Chichi Williams

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