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How my SF Pride Party got together this year

The extraordinarily complicated art of conspiring against the norm

JM! Pride, 2022 / Photo by Gooch

It it can be magical when a group of talented people come together to collaborate and contribute their knowledge to a project or mission, turning those efforts into something extraordinary. For example, there have been many brilliant collaborations between artists and stylists throughout history.

However, what strikes me most was the one between Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali during the height of the surrealist movement in 1937. Together they created the Lobster Dinner Dress. Dali’s work inspired the lobster design and designed the initial shellfish motif which was then incorporated into the fabric. Lobster art was printed on silk organza by master silk designer Sache. It was recreated again for the Schiaparelli house under creative director Bertrand Guyon’s in his spring 2017 collection.

Photo: Courtesy of Vogue, Georges Saad

Schiaparelli and Dali also created the iconic high-heeled shoe hat for the same collection. Author Dilys Blum (Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) wrote in her book Shocking! Elsa Schiaparelli’s art and fashion – that inspiration for the hat came from a photograph Salvador Dali’s wife took while wearing one shoe on her head and another shoe on her shoulder in 1933.

Inspiration comes in many forms. For example, my longtime friend and collaborator, Mr. David Glamamore, and I spend a good portion of the day creatively designing new ideas and trends and putting these crazy concepts into practice in our lives.

Every year for Pride, I commission an artist to create the poster artwork for my annual Pride Party. My general art direction helps bring clarity and definition to the poster and convey a connection to our guests about what they will experience. First I ask that they capture my beauty (of course), incorporate my French bulldogs and add something historic that represents the city I love and live in: San Francisco.

Photo: J. Manuel Carmona, JM! & Guilherme Lemes / Fred Rowe Photo

This year I chose the artist Guilherme Lemes who paints under the name of Eyelien, a Brazilian artist currently residing in Las Vegas. I met him in 2019 via artist J. Manuel Carmona who won a call for a 21seeds Tequila muralist to describe me as San Francisco’s “Newest Painted Lady” in Alamo Square. I knew then that one day I would like to work with Eyelien and I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to do so.

When the poster artwork was completed, it represented everything I was hoping for and more; it had strong, vivid colors that combined with sharp edges with distinct soft shapes. There was a 1970s art-style vibe that started inspiring me and Mr. David to think about what I would wear on Pride Sunday. Of course, we wanted to incorporate those deep colors and started imagining yards and yards of tie-dye silk organza. A mutual friend introduced us to Triple Cream, a New York City custom dyeing company, and 55 yards of silk went in the mail.

Photo: Courtesy of Triple Cream Studio

While the fabric was impregnated with dyes, my concerns turned to my handbag. So I reached out to my friend Scott Tal from Tauro Design, who specializes in leather goods, and gave him my inspiring update. A few days later, he called me from a leather shop in Northern California with a pile of metallic goatskin in his hands.

Photo: Tauro Design courtesy handbag

He had the innovation to turn them into a shiny bag with fringes and tassels. This theme would ultimately inspire the six giant tassels we created as umbrella covers with fellow Queen Ginger Snapp for the Pride Party at 620 Jones venue. Designer Domingo Cholula created a set of tassel earrings that I wore at the 3rd annual march and gathering of the people.

Photo: Earrings with tassels L. Domingo Cholula / JM! Pride Party, 2022 Tassel Umbrella Cover / Fred Rowe Photo

The Triple Cream fabric was back and, immediately, I was overwhelmed with joy. The colors jumped out of the box and were deep, rich, beautiful and inspiring. Next, I saw Mr. David’s brain abacus bring the creation to life as he figured out how to use every inch of that silk. This process falls within the typical fashion norms when working with him and is a joy to see.

Then, her assistant Mary Vice began embroidering the edges of hundreds of yards of organza, then gathering them in tiers and tiers of flounces before seamlessly sticking the silk into a giant fluff ball gown.

The dress floated around my apartment like a cloud of rainbow puffs an hour before I wore it to the event. And it was light as a feather. When I joined 620 Jones, I felt like I was levitating through the crowd, followed by a quintet of young drummers on the main stage.

Photo: JM! Pride 2022 / Photo by Maddie Boy

For this project, the art process flowed between family and friends, who brought their ideas, skills, experiences and opinions to the project with wide eyes through inspiration and love. This extraordinary and complicated undertaking is the basis of the creativity that continues to give life to my world of art and dragging. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such extraordinarily talented friends and family.

As Vincent Van Gogh once said: “Great things are made from a series of small things put together.”

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