After a Fashion
We had a ball (not a drag at all!) at the Drag Ball and go, go Gomi! Your Style Avatar went and is here to tell you about it.
A BALL OF FUN I have to admit, the Come As You Aren't Drag Ball at Le Privilege last Saturday night was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. In fact, I had a really good time. The club, we've said before, is a great space, with lots of cozy rooms and open spaces in which to gather. The gregarious owner Sammy is so gracious, and servers Jennifer and Sativa were especially attentive, always there when we needed them, providing cocktails and good cheer. Of course, the term 'drag ball' conjures up lots a drag queens in S&M attire (sequins and mascara, dears), but this modern drag ball was attended by a large lesbian contingent of drag kings, as well. Come As You Aren't may well be remembered as one of the few local events in which the many diverse gay and lesbian communities (among others!) intermingled thoroughly. The event was masterminded by my illustrious editor Kate X Messer, who had one of the cleverest costumes present. At one point, this little balding Italian-looking guy in a goatee and panda suit approached me, grinning. I cringed thinking it was some guy I had met who I didn't remember, and turned away ... until my escort and fellow judge, the chic Gail Chovan of Blackmail, elbowed me and said, "Stephen, say hello to Kate!" I was struck speechless -- a rare occasion, indeed -- shocked that I hadn't recognized this woman I know so well. (Perhaps it was the freshly shaved male-pattern baldness that threw me.) She was one of dozens of drag kings present who were just as cute and sexy as they could be with their amazing gender-bending makeovers. Another attendee completely unrecognizable, was Chronicle News editor Michael King. I introduced myself to the big, buxom babe in the trashy sequined sweater... she said her name was Mike, and I still didn't realize who he was. Duh. He and his wife Mimi won the honor of "Most Confusing Couple." One of our co-judges was the inimitable Marcy Fletcher, former nightclub doyenne, who for decades now has been known for her entourage of the handsomest boys in town. Our other judge was the dazzling Mega 93 DJ, Miss Kitty. NYC drag king troupe Club Casanova, featuring the sexy Mo B. Dick, performed their raucous brand of vaudeville to an adoring crowd before we awarded the final prizes. Winner of the "Best Gender Obfuscation" award was the beautiful Natashia Cole -- what a trip she is: She insisted that we change the name of the award to something she could spell or at least pronounce. My suggestion would be "Most Beautiful Drag Queen on the Planet." Word on the street is that she and Casanova king Antonio Caputo are going to tie the knot. For real. The evening's overall "Best Drag Queen" award went to an Amazonian babe named Charlene, with Judy Jetson receiving "Honorable Mention." "Best Drag King" was a sexy Brad Pitt-lookalike named Eve, with "Honorable Mention" going to a cutie by name of Ox. The crowd of several hundred was diverse and dynamic, draped in a riot of costumes and attitudes. As a benefit for Project Transitions and LGRL, this incredibly worthy event demands more support from the community at large. So start planning next year's outfit now, and maybe you too can win an award such as "Butchest Babe in Heels," or "Most Likely to Recede." One of my favorite parts of the evening was meeting noted interior designer, the delightful, smart, and funny Mark Ashby, and his sweetheart of a boyfriend, Tony (whose charms you can sample by getting a massage at the swank Mecca health club). Mark is without a doubt one of the most dedicated fashionistas in town, able to knowledgeably discuss every designer and every one of their collections. Closing out our lovely evening, our stylish little group dropped in to see Emily Fawcett at the always inviting Club DeVille, from which we will be filing next week's report on their Fall Fashion Extravaganza.
GOING GOMI Last Tuesday, Gomi (507 West Mary at South First, 442-9977) celebrated their first anniversary, and I finally got around to visiting their store. Owners John & April Loese have assembled charming shop loaded with some of the most interesting and affordable clothes around. For women, there are long faux-suede coats with ostrich-feather trim, long Missoni-like sweater ensembles, and others by Juno, and Cenit. There are beautiful black leather pants inlaid with white detailing, by illig, and wild little stretchy mohair-like dresses in ombre colors. For accessories, there are great Andy Warhol-print bags, fabulous shoes, and jewelry. But it is the menswear at which Gomi excels. John and April prove that they're not afraid of color or drama ... from a sleeveless black stretch vinyl jumpsuit by Nene, to an unusually interesting array of sweaters throughout, with styles by illig, Ben Ryan, Toku, and Crash, as well as stylish windbreakers by Tokyo 1. The print shirts paired nicely with some of the most original styles of mens pants in town, from labels like E-male, Custard, Mooks, Filter, and Krush. These are clothes that declare your fashion independence.