August 21 2014

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3 posts tagged "Joey Arias"

Coming Out For Bowie


Last night in Chelsea, Out magazine threw a bash at the Americano to toast its April David Bowie issue. The party drew a pretty diverse crowd of fans, from Ladyfag—who credits Bowie as inspiring her to “go that extra mile, in twenty pounds of makeup”—to Italo Zucchelli, who said that Bowie’s glam rock was one of the reasons he became a designer. “When I discovered him, my world changed,” the Calvin Klein Collection men’s designer told

Bowie himself wasn’t in attendance last night, but his influence was omnipresent. Guests painted lightning bolts across their faces and sipped on Ziggy Stardust-themed cocktails, and Bowie’s longtime friend, drag queen Joey Arias, gave a knockout performance. As the night grew late, Out editor in chief Aaron Hicklin opened up about the challenges of doing a David Bowie issue with no David Bowie (the artist has been famously quiet lately in an attempt to let his new album stand on its own). But instead of seeing it as problem, Hicklin saw it as an opportunity—he ditched the idea of the usual cover shoot and feature, and instead commissioned personal essays on Bowie from Jean Paul Gaultier, Dries Van Noten, Jake Shears, Chuck Palahniuk, and more. Said Hicklin, “It was an editor’s dream. I don’t think we would have gotten there if we didn’t have to get there—the journalism had to be much more interesting and creative.” Out‘s new issue is on newsstands now.

Photo: Santiago Felipe

Thierry Mugler’s Next Act


The name Mugler is on the fashion world’s lips again, thanks largely to the collaboration of super-stylist Nicola Formichetti, now the label’s creative director, and Lady Gaga, its muse and sometime model. But the man himself has left the building: Thierry Mugler, now known as Manfred, has decamped for other pursuits. The latest premieres this week in New York: drag performance artist Joey Arias’ live show at Town Hall. Mugler, who previously worked with Arias (above) on a smaller-scale show at Abrons Art Center at New York’s Henry Street Settlement last October, served as the evening’s artistic director.

“Joey refers to Manfred as the Master and Manfred refers to Joey as the Muse,” said Earl Dax, one of the show’s producers. (Dax is a noted queer-nightlife impresario, and recently became one of the first recipient of the Museum of Arts & Design’s new Fun Fellowship for his work. “I was definitely surprised,” the 39-year-old said with a laugh. “I hadn’t heard of a fellowship to support the practices of nightlife before.”) Arias, who worked with Cirque du Soleil as its “mistress of seduction” for six years, has worked with Mugler on and off on various projects since 1980. And while Mugler himself isn’t talking, Arias was glad to tout him and his work. And to hear him tell it, the man’s bigger-is-better spirit is unchanged. “Working with Manfred is something that I wish many could experience,” Arias said. “His details are so exact and his love for the different and real is like no other. As a director he pushes you beyond human capabilities. It could be too much, but better too much than not enough.”

Photo: Leo Herrera

Thierry Mugler Says “No Sparkles”


Cross-dressing chanteuse Joey Arias has been a fixture on New York’s performance art scene since the late 1970′s, but he doesn’t look a day past fabulous. In his latest dramatic offering, Arias With a Twist, which opened to a packed house at Los Angeles’ RedCat theater last night, the star took to the stage in teetering stilettos and a custom Thierry Mugler thong that would make Sisqo blush. Before joining pals like Rosanna Arquette, Katy Rodriguez, and Lisa Edelstein at the after-party, Mr. Arias slipped into something more comfortable: a black cashmere pantsuit. But that’s not to say he left his sense of style at the green room door. “This is glamorous!” said Arias when we suggested that the pantsuit might be otherwise. “What did you expect, sequins? My dear friend Mr. Mugler would murder me if he saw me in anything that sparkled.”

Arias With a Twist, a phantasmagoric drag show co-starring X-rated marionettes, was the brainchild of Arias and his longtime friend, the famed puppeteer Basil Twist. Having enjoyed a successful run in New York, Arias has brought it to Los Angeles for a limited engagement ending on December 13.