Sweet readers -
Tuck your junk between your legs or lower your voice an octave or two. This week is supposedly smokin’ and I was all over it like white on rice.
1. Drag queens, unlike most models, have personality. Big time. Usually demonstrated by their name. The stereotypical drag queen name is “your first pet” + “the first street you lived on.” Mine is Choya De La Roche, FYI. Try it now!
2. Finding shoes ain’t easy. As I told before in my story about my foray into drag, it’s an event. Bluefly.com isn’t probably going to have a lot of size 14s. This could be a problem.
So the challenge begins. Chris March, the Gay Voice of PR (despite the other “Gay Voices” on PR) comes out in a fierce outfit. “OH!,” the contestants exclaim, he’s dressed like a Gay Viking! No, retard, he’s making fun of Wagner Operas. Duh. Welcome to the new century. The two most prominent Drag Queens on the runway are Hedda Lettuce and Varla Jean Merman (who I’ve seen in a revue and is SO worth seeing. She was also in the musical Chicago on Broadway).
Basically this was designing for shapes that weren’t “normal” model types. It was yet another redux of a past challenge where they designed for the contestants’ mothers who weren’t the usual sizes the designers are used to working with. They needed a vision outside of their comfort zone. Their comfort zones are apparently teeny tiny little squares listed in Dullsville. THESE ARE DRAG QUEENS, PEOPLE! For fuck’s sake, pad everything you see! Work the fierce accessories!
Oh child, this week was so disjointed. Joe (who espoused the most hetero, moronic, unrelated memos about this week’s challenge) almost delivered, which on this season means he won. His costume was a tribute (oddly enough) to the Drag Queen he chose. It was showy and could be worn in a revue any time. Yes, it was supposedly based on a sailor outfit, but where were the white ribbons on the collar? Where was the purse shaped like an anchor? Where was the belt shaped like a Sperm Whale, for God’s sake? I was shocked. He mentioned he designed for his daughters and I only assume they’re the most fab girls ever. Too bad they have him for a dad. So Joe won. But I still loved me some Korto. 1 - She made a dress and not a jumpsuit (which I think is bit of a drag copout). 2 - Loved the colors. It was like Krakatoa Kamp and the tear-away skirt was genius. Every good act needs a prop and here one was built in.
Keith’s costume must be what Mormon Dust Busters wear on Halloween.
His idea that all women want to dress like a Swiffer is misguided and a little weird at best. Darling, Lemon Pledge isn’t a scent by Chanel. Stella’s dress was “Mother of the Bride” at a Scottish wedding. Snooze. Blayne has clearly just lost his mind. Star Trek-licious and not in a good way. Take it from someone who’s actually heard Varla Jean Merman sing the Star Trek theme while eating (a highlight of her act)!
Daniel FINALLY gets auf’d. Let’s face it, he was hanging by a string for many weeks now and if he couldn’t face up to this week’s Gay Challenge, what hope had he? His costume was drab and wishy-washy; it was like a hostess outfit at Outback. His interests in wanting to be classy and whatever were silly here. The answer was to take what the client wanted and to multiply times ten. This is a dress for a DRAG QUEEN, queen! How many times did that have to be reiterated? What planet are you on? The bigger the better! Fail, yuk. It was boring and safe, two things going out in Drag in Public ain’t.
RuPaul was surprisingly astute and on point in her judging. Gotta give the girl some credit, she knew what she was talking about and delivered like Domino’s. If anything, she could have been a little bitchier (as I know she can) and torn down some of the more boring designs.
Overall, I wanted more Show for this show. I wanted more glitter, more glamour, more va-va-voom. I wanted more Chris March. Instead, as usual this season, we were only given more closeted, dull gayjects. Come out of the closet, and soon, or we’ll just give you up for done and throw you on the bash heap. Boring is so ugly in a young gay.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sweet readers -
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As you may remember, possums and queens, our very own Hughman recently laid down the law to Joe Faris, rapping Joe forcefully on the knuckles with a glitter cane and making the ageless pronouncement,
"Unless you've been in drag and heels in a crowded gay bar (which I have once), you have no right to use the Q-word." And now, in anticipation of tonight's Project Dragway, Hughman is giving us details of just how well he knows whereof he speaks. Please to sample and enjoy:
Get ready, girlfriends. This week is going to be a veritable stuffed bra of goodness. I feel compelled to preface my usual recap (which will come in a few days) with this little historical disquisition.
Let me start by saying I’m no rube from the sticks about Drag. On the contrary, over the years I lived in New York City, I was sort of a Drag Groupie. I even did drag once in the late 80’s, ironic since I was a steroided Chelsea Muscle Boy at the time. You can read about it here (Ed: Oh do, possums, do; it's well worth it).
In addition, I was friends with many of the Drag Stars of the time.
1. Lady Bunny - I was a denizen of The Pyramid Club in NYC’s East Village when Lady Bunny was a go-go dancer on the bar. Once she called me over and said “HONEY, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?” “The South,” I answered honestly. “ME TOO!,” she exclaimed, “WE’RE SISTERS!” True to her word, we became occasional friends afterwards. She also was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the infamous Wigstock, which originally started in the East Village too. Almost all of these Drag Queens performed at Wigstock while hundreds of guys (and gals) stood around shirtless in the sun with wigs on. Fun!
2. RuPaul also performed at The Pyramid and at another East Village haunt called Boy Bar. Once a friend and I were watching her on her talk show and my friend remarked “Remember when we used to push her out of the way to get to the bar?”
3. Joey Arias - I first met Joey at another lounge called Bar D’oh where he’d perform on Wednesdays. I’d often go and see him and we would chat endlessly, and he even met my mother, who whispered to me, “He’s wearing make-up!” Later Joey went to Las Vegas, where he headlined the Cirque du Soleil show called “Zumanity.” He does a flawless imitation of Billie Holiday.
4. Raven-O - worked in tandem with Joey and later became the emcee at the popular NYC cabaret called The Box. He also sang (as a woman) in his natural voice.
5. Lypsinka - lip-synched and acted in several acclaimed revues. I met her when I styled a shoot she did for Italian Vogue photographed by Albert Watson. She performed her whole act on tape while Albert shot pictures and I was an enraptured audience of one in his studio.
6 Other Drag friends included Mona Foot (who also worked at Patricia Field’s old shop on Eighth Street where we’d go hang on Saturday afternoons), Hedda Lettuce and The Duchess who was Susanne Bartsch’s assistant and event doorperson. They were all royalty in their own right in the Drag Scene of the time. Joey and Mona were also both in the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.
So you see, I know the gig.
In my opinion, there are two types of Drag Queens. Those who wish to “pass” as real women and those who were more performers, pushing the limits of their presentation towards Art and less concerned with being seen as a possible secretary in the work force. Naturally, I leant more towards the latter. They were always hilarious, glamorous and I hope to think flattered and excited that someone like me (and some of my friends) were willing to have fun with them and not be restricted by boring old stereotypes.
So let’s tuck in (ha ha - get it?) and get ready for the challenge.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
So this week, possums, Project Runway stumbled into the jungle, but little did they know that what awaited them there, the thing that goes bump and meow in the night, was none other than our own Hughman. And so, without further ado, we present the Bumble in the Jungle:
I gotta hand it to Bravo. They have officially upended my fucking world.
Here I thought, After building the Project Runway brand based on its loyal gay viewers and then losing PR in an ugly, adulterous divorce to frowsy, housecoat-wearing Lifetime, Bravo will surely go gently into that good night.
(Clearly, I had forgotten the Angela Bassett approach from Waiting to Exhale: taking lighter fluid and a lit match to the whole damned thing, and sashaying off with pert breasts proudly ensconced in a lace teddy.)
At any rate, Handy Andy and his gay elves at Bravo Headquarters (gelves?) have instead decided to troll the bottom of the barrel for this last season in order to parade before the huddled gay masses yearning to be freaks the most confused, childish people on Earth who’ve ever touched needle or cloth. This season’s contestants make The Real World look like the Antiques Roadshow. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some crazy. But though Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, he didn’t then go and draw outlines around his hand and call it Art. This season, with a couple of exceptions, is all Hand Turkeys. It frankly makes me want to be naked all the time just so I can say “Clothes? Oh no, I’ve never tried them.”
This episode brings us the esteemed Brooke Shields of the possibly fictional TV show Lipstick Jungle. I mean, c’mon. Sure, ‘twas oft-mentioned on this episode, but has anyone really seen it or wanted to? (Well, aside from Kelli Martin’s Nana?) Enough to mention it 10,000 times? Suddenly Susan might have had as much resonance with this bunch. That said, the winner’s outfit this challenge will be shown on JAG! Uh, no! On Lipstick Jungle, or America’s Next Tranny Model, or at some craft service table somewhere.
After pitching clothes and pitching fits, the finalists are chosen for whatever reason and have to pick someone to work with them. Most choose in some blind parallel universe which is AWESOME for our interests. It’s the tasteless leading the tasteless, and the blind leading the lame. Translation: disaster. OMG, so fun! Jerell and Stella - please fail, please fail. The collaborative “process” between Korto, my fave, and Joe, my not fave, is not pretty. Clueless Daniel and Blayne are thrown into their combos where they can relive Madonna circa 1998. Done and over.
Ultimately, deciding what some crazy-ass fictional character on a dying TV show would wear is a no-win situation. It’s like designing an outfit for a character on The Little Mermaid—impossible and weird. The character, if they had listened to Brooke, is a movie executive. Plus she’s FUCKING BROOKE SHIELDS! You could hear the crickets in their teensy heads debating the parameters.
Daniel just turns into the whiny queen who asks every three seconds why you’re walking too fast when you’re late for a movie. His one task is to design a pencil skirt - IN BLACK - which is like drawing a Hand Turkey in fabric and he still fails. And after he claims on the runway to have “impeccable taste,” you’re just left with, “Queen, lay off the K.” Just ‘cause you daydream you’re Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t make you German.
As for Blayne, I really don’t get the obsession with shorts (or skorts) on this season. It’s currently on the runway with the men folk - misguided at best - but with women? Not so much. It comes across as a bizarre reach to the past, and not so original. Like a Three’s Company flashback. Blayne’s design was a nightmare. Step away from the Cul-nots. Day to night does not mean going from your job at Strawberry Fields to doing Jell-O shots at TGIF’s. Ok, maybe it does in Washington State where Blayne hails from, but not on the genius that is *drumroll* LIPSTICK JUNGLE!!! Perhaps he misheard. Dipstick Bungle, Dipshit Stumble? Who the fuck knows? It was fugly all over. Also, can we say “hippy,” as in “makes your hips look huge”? Ew all over.
The loser was, again, a worst of the worst. Kelli’s vision of dressing versus the unflattering shorts is a dice throw of design. Frankly, I would never choose the shorts because I’m not stupid. On a 40+ woman, shorts like this are retarded. They make women look too short and trying to be some age they aren’t. Kelli’s was at least a dress, which an adult woman would wear - especially one who is a supposed Studio Head.
Kelli is out, which I hate. And after reading her interview from when she was booted, I know why. She’s everything posers like Blayne and Jerell aspire to - she’s opinionated and most importantly she’s funny. This season could use a big honking dose of funny because so far it’s just crunching my buzz.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Well, possums, the love child of Brittany Murphy and Lorraine Bracco did not go down without a fight. No sirree.
To wit, have a look at what she said in an exit interview:
I have never seen Lipstick Jungle, but my grandma has watched it. [!!] I always assumed it was a cut-rate Sex in the City. [!!] Brooke Shields? Sadly, all I know about her are her Postpartum Depression issues, not much real work since the early ‘80s. [!!]
...working with Daniel was kind of like working with the town drunk dressed in a fancy suit ... [!!]
Bravotv.com: The judges’ comments questioned your taste level -- what is your response to that?
Simple. Our taste levels are different. Mine is on the wavelength of appreciating fashion, but also realizing that the majority of it comes from people like me. My generation is much different than the 50-year-olds judging me, particularly the different subcultures. You might think that you know what the kids are wearing, but you don't. You know what rich kids are wearing, and honey, we aren't all going to the Oscars. So the slam on taste was a joke. Nice try man. We didn't all come from money and weren't able to use that “in” to make us somebody.
To which we say: BITCH! But only because we wished we'd thought of some of these putdowns. Never mess with a Columbine, possums (or whatever people from Columbus are called); they're scrappy.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
In Ernst Lubitsch's The Smiling Lieutenant, Miriam Hopkins is the wife, Claudette Colbert the mistress. The circle each other, bitchslap, cry, sing about their lingerie, and stage a makeover. Don't say you weren't warned, possums.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The last season of Top Chef had lesbian couple Jen and Zoi, and this season of Project Runway almost had Judy & Grant. Like Jen and Zoi, they're from San Francisco, and despite Grant's girly delight at the loveliness of elephant-printed crepe de chine, they claim to be sleeping together. Oh what might have been....
Dispatch from the Department of WTF: This Guy Didn't Make It to Season 5 But Blayne and Stella and Jennifer Did!?!?
Ok, we'll give you Blayne and Stella because what they lack in talent they obviously make up for with good television, but Jennifer Diederich? This fellow who was doodling stripper shoes as a three-year-old in Armenia is somehow less interesting and less talented than deer-in-the-headlights, mousier-than-mouse Holly Golightly at that goddamned Salvador Dalí exhibit? No comprendo.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Oh the Hughmanity! Week 4: “Unless You’ve Been in Drag and Heels in a Crowded Gay Bar, You Have No Right to Use the Q-Word”
08/08/08, the luckiest day of the year, possums, because Hughman’s claws are in Olympic form:
So this week on Project Runway,
WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO BRING YOU THIS SPECIAL MESSAGE
Have you seen Million Dollar Listing? I assume you have because you’re a Bravoholic like I am. In the realm of wacky, fucked-up craziness, this show has it in spades. Barely legal, self-centered, greedy young boys hopped up on hormones.... boo-yah!
Why, you may ask, do I bring this up? Well it seems there are certain points which remind me of PR. Over-groomed, egotistic imp and 2005, Misfits, Peggy Moffitt hairdo (Chad Rogers on MDL). Uh... BLAYNE! Ambisexual, butch (relatively) sane one sporting Playgirl looks and non-threatening masculinity (Madison Hildebrand on MDL). Hello Keith! Dull, over-styled bore with spiked 2006 hair and three-day beard who hasn’t shown much talent - plus with his arresting art theft credentials and being BFFs with Jason Davis, the fat slacker brother of hated Brandon Davis - (Josh Flagg)? Jerell, perhaps the lamest gay black ever! Check, Queen(s), Mate!
It’s like some odd parallel universe. Cutting prices vs. cutting brown satin. Coincidence? I think not! Rather some cocktail-induced plot by Andy Cohen to ease us from one show to the other. For what it’s worth. I am SO THERE.
END OF MESSAGE
Anyhoo, so this week on Project Runway...
Obvs. the object of PR this season is to get us to just hate everyone. Sure, I was grossed out by Stella at first (as it seemed a lot of other people were). Worn hippies with one leathered look aren’t my favorite. Especially with that voice.
Yet now my disgust has expanded. Suede still has a level of conceit that is hard to stomach, not abetted by the whole calling himself by the third person thing. Blayne continues to whine endlessly about tanning or lack thereof. Tanning should be the least of his problems. Jerell has jumped on the Hate-Wagon due to his snarky comments and bad designs. To me, it’s like a hair stylist. Would I allow someone who dresses me to wear a Boogie Boy hat and jodhpurs? Ew. Finally “straight guy” Joe is just whiney and petulant.
”There are too many queens”. Uh, hello? “Queens” is to me like the n-word. Unless you’ve been in drag and heels in a crowded gay bar (which I have once), you have no right to use the Q-word. What did he expect? Fashion isn’t exactly an enclave of lumberjacks. Complaining about “queens” on a show like PR is frankly ignorant and stupid.
The winning designs were iffy. Joe showed a “skort,” which is the “brunch” of fashion, a word made up to bridge a gap between two meals that stand on their own. Even his skort was questionable, more like an apron over shorts - like a shorpron. Ehn. He was there as the best of the worst, not because it was so great. Terri’s design was a study in separates. The jacket was nice, I guess, but did anyone else notice the boobs popping out over her “corset” during the runway that were later covered up by that weird scarf?
Korto wins. Yay! I have to admit I’m all Team Korto so far. The story she shared about her background this episode was actually interesting and compelling, not some crazy-ass shit about her current dilemmas. The outfit was sleek and modern and could easily be adapted to male athletes as well. Good for her.
The losing outfits - what a fucking mess. Jerell’s result was freaky weird. That hat? It was like Mary Pickford on mushrooms. Throwing the Bluefly belt on the skirt was just wrong and stuck out like a sore thumb. Daniel’s dress was made for a stewardess on IHOP Airlines. Word to the wise for the designers (which comes a little late): STEP AWAY FROM THE SHINY SATIN! It shows all flaws, puckers and rarely lays right. His dress looked like a drag outfit for French sailors. So awkward and unsophisticated. Finally, poor Jennifer. I actually liked the skirt, although I thought the color choice was wrong. It was well made and fit kind of cute. The jacket, however, was crossed signals all over the place. One minute it was a bolero and the next it was a jeweled sweater your grandma would wear. It just looked heavy and not athletic or Summer Olympics in the least. I thought other outfits were worse, to be honest, but in the end she had to go.
Previews warn us of Daniel’s petulant breakdown. God forbid someone question him about his level of “taste”. Honey, taste ain’t like the SATs. Real designers get questioned about their taste every season and don’t go into melt down. Joe goes against Korto. OH NO YOU DI’NT! IF he wants to inflict his lameness against someone, I’d suggest Blayne, who’d crumble like a card house during Katrina.
Battles, people. Learn how to pick them.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
We, we will miss her, possums, since our source of surrealism jokes has now gone. On the other hand, it's videos like these that have permanently cured our insomnia. Five seconds, and you're out like a (Holly Go)light.
Composed by Stephen Sondheim, produced by the Pet Shop Boys and sung by Liza Minnelli--we think we have the trifecta, but if you believe you can beat this, possums, please prove us wrong.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Devil Wore Mainbocher: Confidential Advice to Nina García Before She Begins Her New Job with “Marie Claire”
Ponga atención, Señorita García. Not that you need lessons, but perhaps a refresher course from the master would not be amiss. And then, just to prove that plus ça change, the more things stay the same, we have (and we suspect Meryl Streep did all her own foreign-language dubbing):
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
From Cecil Beaton’s The Glass of Fashion:
The terms of Mrs. Vreeland’s human appeal are liberally peppered with an astonishing slang. One would think that she spent hours in ambiguous Times Square drugstores or Fifty-second Street night clubs, absorbing the highly coloured range of pimentoed expressions that are an integral part of her linguistic repertoire. Nor is her slang ever out of date. She will innovate expressions long before they have become popularly known. This gamey speech, combined with her personality, inevitably sends her friends off in gales of laughter at almost every sentence. “You’ve got to give it a lot of pezazz!” she will roar; and to an assistant who was working on a fashion article Mrs. Vreeland cried, “Tassels! Don’t forget tassels! Lots of tassels from Tasselville!” Anecdotes are underlined with a terminal, “It was but to die, my dear!” Once, when the word “amortization” appeared in a fashion article Mrs. Vreeland was supplied with a lengthy definition by the writer and finally commented, “Listen! Any word that’s got amor in it is okay with me; let’s use it!” On another occasion, when Mrs. [Carmel] Snow [, editor of Harper’s Bazaar and, not coincidentally, her boss] came back from Paris wearing a Dior suit with very sloping shoulders, Diana Vreeland observed, “Carmel, it’s divine. It makes you look drowned.”
Christian Siriano, Blayne Walsh—this is how it’s done.
Monday, August 4, 2008
On the plus side, Charlotte Rampling is around to shred the taffeta with her customary hauteur, and the wigs do look fab.
And now, Mrs. Vreeland shows you how it's done.
Have a look, possums, at this snippet of the Dalí-designed sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, and tell us whether this has anything to do with what Jennifer Diederich designs. Indeed, the more we think about it, the more profoundly annoyed we are by the whole “Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dalí exhibit” shtick. Now, Tippi Hedren or Kim Novak goes to a Salvador Dalí exhibit—that is something we could really get behind.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
‘Tis a pensive, gnomic, almost Trappist Hughman we bring you this week, possums, as he vows, out of boredom as much as out of propriety, to follow the example of Mother Superior García:
“I have nothing to say” - Nina Garcia on Episode Three.
Oh Nina, if only the contestants followed your lead. In fact, since Bravo has seemingly run out of original challenge ideas, here’s one I could fully appreciate - the designers have to make an entire outfit without saying a word. “Leathuh” SSHH, Stella. Corset your lips together if you have to but just shut up. Blayne, “Muffle atcha blather.” Suede, “Block on.”
Granted, we’d be spared stories about Keith Bryce’s Mormon upbringing with his (assumed) 60 siblings and 12 moms. A household so crowded that when cutting his hair, they got to that last long strand in the back and said “eh... fuck it.” I’ll admit, while that rat tail might get him better seats at an Indigo Girls concert, it kinda freaked me out. What kind of Fashion Magazines are the gays in Salt Lake City perusing? The kind that made chicken costumes for school plays and then later recreate them as “night life looks”? I guess night life in Salt Lake City involves corn pellets and fresh eggs.
Of course the whole “Holla Atcha Boy”-gate would also go away, which could only be a ratings booster. We’d be saving poor Tim from having to wrap his wise mind around an impossible amount of stupid. Later Blayne remarks he “hates his life” which is something we can at least agree on.
Last week’s “eco-friendly” theme continues with a recycled competition. It was a pretty lame challenge the first time around, not very structured towards any particular direction, where they all take some Sponsor cameras out to take pictures of whatever. Stella has a John McCain moment and asks the Einstein of the bunch (Blayne) for help with her camera. Eventually they all get some banal pics to inspire them. None of which had much to do with the original directions to emulate NYC at night. Haven’t these people ever seen a movie? People, taxis, neon lights... hello! Who goes out at night in Manhattan and looks at a clock, for God’s sake?
I’ve read several reports wondering why Sandra Bernhard was a judge. There are more reasons than you’d think:
1) Known Lesbian. In the Gay Ballpark.
2) Supposedly slept with Madonna. Gay First Base.
3.) BFFs with Isaac Mizrahi. Gay Babe Ruth.
4) Goes to all the Fashion Shows. I’d see her at shows in Bryant Park all the time with ex-Interview editor Ingrid Sischy. Gay World Series.
So yeah, in terms of the Gays, she scores more than most. Otherwise it’s hard writing about this episode because frankly it was so boring. Banal pics = banal clothes. No shock there.
And for the final results, we naturally get a mixed bag. Stella hammers her “gay little grommets” into something Jackie Warner might wear to a S&M club. It was ok, but not really an outfit you’d see on a Fashion Week Runway. Keith presents his Big Bird Burqa. Blayne’s dress looks like a uniform for Drag Flag Football. Terri’s outfit is like Mother of the Bride over pants and I just didn’t get it. The judges loved it but sorry, Michael Kors, a dress over pants isn’t groundbreaking.
The winner is Kenley with a cute dress but one that was pretty much done before on runways everywhere. It was finished but didn’t knock me out. I much preferred LeeAnne’s cleverly constructed skirt and top. It just seemed different and so much more thought out than everything else offered.
Emily’s dress was the loser even though it was really only a half step below Blayne’s. It was like something you might serve margaritas in and those ruffles were wacky, like she used an Etch-A-Sketch to decide their placement. As I noted before, Nina said, “I have no comment,” and really, how do you judge a dress that has no reason to its Helter-Skelter logic? I blame the lame headbands.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
N.B. Once it starts playing, it goes and goes, possums, in different little segments, with Simon telling you about neon and the 18th century and so forth. Don't say you weren't warned.