January 31st, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

IF TOMORROW, “Super Sunday,” is America’s biggest day for macho horseplay, last Friday night was Seattle’s night to celebrate beauty.

First, there was the lavish opening party for Spa Noir, a new posh pampering palace in the former Confounded Books space at Second and Bell. Above, owner Jessica Norton receives a bouquet of flowers and a socket wrench to celebrate having finally gotten the space ready.

Spa Noir offers all the favorite day spa services (facials, massages, manicures, etc.), but offers them until 10 p.m. Appointments can be made for even later at night, so bar and nightclub workers will have something to go to after closing time besides the suburban casinos.

Just a block away, the Rendezvous hosted the Nerd Rock Fashion Show A Go-Go, a sprightly little fashion show featuring local designers and benefitting the fledgling DIY arts orgalization Hometown Gravy.

Then, down by Terry and Mercer at Consolidated Works,, came the lavisher-than-lavish opening night gala for the second Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. You’ve got to get there this weekend. It fills Conworks’ cavernous exhibition space with hundreds upon hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, Etch-A-Sketches, installation pieces, and more. They mostly are figure studies of lone females and males in provocative poses. There are also many fetish action scenes, some gay action and lesbian action scenes, and even three or four images of heterosexual coitus (the one category noticeably missing at last year’s festival in Town Hall).

It was often hard to see the beautiful art because of all the beautiful people in the way. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of flirty gals and dashing guys swarmed the joint, reveling in their fabulosity.

The festival organizers didn’t let me take pictures last night. (Hey, some of ’em are BDSM people, so you have to expect they’ll love to make rules.) I did, however, persuade a finely-coiffed party attendee named Alisha to pose outside the building. (Her outfit was designed by print MISC contributor Jen Velasco.)

As Seattle’s winter overcasts continue their reign of darkness, something like Beauty Night should be an annual ritual.

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