From the sample closet (aka my mailbox at the Chronicle): First we received a sample of men's underwear from Donn Mason (www.donnmason.com and available locally at Stag). These made-in-the-USA manties feature beautiful workmanship; great fit; the softest, most luxurious cotton; and faaabulous packaging (a flip-top box crafted like a book, which urges you to not judge). Also in my sample closet (I mean, mailbox) were a pair of men's underwear called Tukz (www.tukz.com). These are kind of brilliant – smooth, stretchy Lycra boxer briefs with garters attached to each leg. Yes, they look like a girdle, but for men who can get beyond that (I can), these are very cool. The garters attach to shirttails and keep shirts tucked in, preserving an absolutely clean and smooth silhouette. I also received samples from BlingGuard (www.blingguard.com), designed to protect your jewelry from slipping, sliding, and falling. First are the BlingWraps, clever siliconelike self-adhesive bands that fit inside your rings to keep them from turning, twisting, and falling off. They work like a dream, securing your rings in place. BlingGuard also produces BlingDots – used to support your earrings and prevent loss. After using the products and distributing them among my friends, I'm sold. BlingGuard has a real winner on their hands. So to speak. ChicBuds (www.fashionaudiollc.com) sent me the package to end all packages: every possible style of earbud and audio accessory designed by a woman for women who work out and like Barbie colors. The collection features armholders for the iPhone 5 and headsets with microphones. My favorite thing is the printed, flat cord for the earbuds that doesn't get knotted or tangled. This is progress.
About a year ago, I wrote about James Bagley and his Selena/Slayer T-shirt phenomenon. Since our last contact, James reports that the Selena T has made the MTV online style page, was mentioned in a VH1 online Lady Gaga article, and is being worn by one of the main characters in a movie made in the Philippines. Plus, more celebrities have been spotted sporting the T: Cedric Bixler-Zavala, El Paso singer for the critically acclaimed bands At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta; Xolo Mariduena of the hit NBC television show Parenthood; and two of the young ladies in San Antonio band Girl in a Coma. Clearly the Selena design has taken on a life of its own, and James sells more now than he did when Lady Gaga first tweeted it. Says Bagley, "Most people buying it now have no idea she ever wore it; it's been an amazing year." See the phenomenal T-shirt and Bagley's new designs at www.selenaslayershirt.bigcartel.com.
Q AS IN QUEER
Queerbomb. I've avoided it like the plague all these years. Didn't care. Didn't feel part of the gay "community." What "community"? OK, we've beaten that dead horse many times in this column. But I wanted to take Grant Hicks, my companion in all the adventures of my life, to Queerbomb so he could wear a fantastic ensemble that had come to him in a vision. I, of course, was entrusted with designing and making the visionary ensemble, but when it was done (and we were so many hours late that we missed the entire event), we headed to the Alien She party at Elysium. So. Much. Fun. The Queerbomb energy was throbbing in the streets and in the clubs. The ensembles were magical and the camaraderie was awe-inspiring. Eventually we decamped and moved on to Rain where the nasty attitude at the door sent us directly next door to Castro's where we entered into a welcoming Queerbomb nirvana. Jacob Stetson, you are a god and a hero. Spending quality time with Rachel Mykels, Simone Riviera, and my new best friend, the exquisite Farrah Moan, was divine. Grant took his spiritual transformation to a new dimension, and I ... I learned a lot. I learned that when I act from very small places like I have in the past, I deprive myself of some of life's greatest joys. Like Queerbomb.
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