La Brea Tar Pits roar back to life as the Ice Age Hair Ball raises $650,000
The hair designs were simply wild at the Ice Age Hair Ball on June 4, benefiting the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Attendees included, from left, Dana Delany, Dory Mostov and Susan Nimoy.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
From left, Eric Younger and Debi Younger pose during the Ice Age Hair Ball. Debi took home a trophy as the crowd favorite for her headdress re-creating the George C. Page Museum facade.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Models are covered in tar-like paint during the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Tara Lewis brings a hungry pal to the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Scott Murray, left, Dana Delany and Mihail Lari at the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
A model poses during the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks during the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Cecile LaForce and Danni LaForce left the Ice Age Hair Ball with the judges’ choice award.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Models pose during the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Gary Baseman and Joanne Hsieh at the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Dan Walters defies gravity at the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
The dinner scene at the Ice Age Hair Ball at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
Lisette Parra at the Ice Age Hair Ball.(Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging)
They came to the La Brea Tar Pits with their heads swarming in bees, fluttering with butterflies and swimming in light-up jellyfish. They gathered on the banks of the bubbling Lake Pit with their hair twisted into mammoth tusks, matted into moose antlers and spiraled into yak horns. And they flocked to the entrance of the George C. Page Museum building on Wilshire Boulevard with tiny plastic dinosaurs glued to their scalps, heads ringed in glowing crystals or devoured by four feet of vertical shark.
During the night at the museum, a leopard prowling the black-and-white circus tent was dressed as actress Dana Delany (or perhaps it was the other way around), while artist Gary Baseman did his best shaggy caveman, a fez-wearing doll tucked under one arm. On stage, professional models sporting towering tonsorial headpieces stood rapt as they were splattered with gobs of a black, tar-like substance.
While party-goers mingled, took torch-light tours of the tar pits and silently judged each other, celebrity stylist Kim Vo presented five incredibly intricate hair sculptures. “We started out with six looks, but not all of them made it,” Vo explained. “Each one is inspired by an actual fossil from the museum’s holdings,” he added, noting that his team of stylists spent from three to four weeks creating each one.
Around 10 p.m., after Vo’s team had dutifully daubed the models with a black liquid to achieve a tar-streaked effect, a contest winner was chosen. Taking home the 2016 Ice Age Hair Ball trophy as the crowd favorite was Altadena resident Debi Younger, who attended the party with a stunning miniature abstraction of the George C. Page building itself atop her head, right down to the trees inside the atrium – artfully formed by the teased up and tightly wrapped strands of Younger’s lime green wig – and a staircase earring in each ear. Earlier in the evening, Younger told us that the headpiece had been designed by architect friend Barton Choy. (Ildiko Choy, the architect’s wife, proudly told us that the “fossils” on the four panels were actual animal bones and shells – collected from a week’s worth of meals.)
A judges’ choice award was also handed out, with brother and sister Danni and Cecile LaForce’s coordinated glowing jellyfish and beard combination swaying Vo, who made the final hair-splitting decision from the handful of finalists with the help of audience applause.
They weren’t the night’s only winners though; the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum ended the night with an additional $650,000 in its coffers to fund research and programs – an amount event co-chairs Diane Naegele and Heather de Roos said exceeded the evening’s goal.
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