Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New York Fashion Cool-Aid by Laurel Marcus

Amanda Lepore Showcases her "Doll Parts"

Amanda Lepore with her book "Doll Parts"
All photos: Laurel Marcus
(Click images for full size views)

Amanda Lepore at 49, is a woman born both before and after her time. Entertainer, model, muse, blonde bombshell and now author with her just released book, a memoir titled "Doll Parts," she shares dual roles as a pioneering member of the OG transsexual world, yet she pays homage to a throwback in the pinup queen era.

Book signing

One of the early 1990's Club Kids and nightlife figures, she made her way to NYC after escaping life as an abused child bride in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, (her father-in-law paid for her transition), working as a manicurist in a nail salon, a stint as a dominatrix, and as a cosmetic salesgirl for Patricia Field.

Her quest for fame was realized when she became an international legend after meeting photographer David LaChappelle one night while hosting at Bowery Bar. She has appeared in ads for Armani Jeans (in Italy they call her La Silicone),MAC Cosmetics, Smart Car and others. In 1999 Swatch used a LaChappelle likeness of her on their Time Tranny watch. In 2011 she released an album (I...Amanda Lepore) and has since released three EP's.

Far right Patrick McDonald

If you want more details, it's all in the book, which oddly shares a name with a Courtney Love/Hole song which Lepore may or may not have collaborated on. A few snippets (ooh, maybe a poor choice of words lol): She was born Armand Lepore to a schizophrenic mother who was in and out of mental institutions; her father would buy her dolls while her mom was institutionalized and take them away when she returned.

Left: Artist Scooter LaForge aka "Bluebeard"

She claims she always knew she was a girl and couldn't understand why her parents were dressing her in boys clothing. In her early teens while attending hairdressing school as well as high school she met a transsexual who paid her for the costumes she made with hormones. She dated her boyfriend, (now former husband), for three months before he had any idea she was really a he -- due to her feminine features and "Mia Farrow look."

"Friends"

She's endured countless surgeries hence the title "the most expensive body on earth," including an operation in Mexico (it's illegal in the U.S.), in which her two bottom ribs were cracked and moved in order to make her waist smaller (rumor has it that Cher and Raquel Welch, among others, have also had this surgery.) Her press materials describe her as "a woozy, inflatable doll" and "like a Jeff Koons statue of Marilyn Monroe." It takes her a minimum of three hours to get ready to go out but she doesn't do the whole look for errands or to go to the gym -- "I'm a woman in the world" she says.

"Friends"

Last night I attended a book signing at Bookmarc followed by a launch party at The Standard High Line. Both were absolutely mobbed by a feeding frenzy of what I'll call "civilians" and those of her peers/friends/fellow club denizens/members of the trans community. At Bookmarc, the crowd spilled out into the street, while a long line formed inside as the Jessica Rabbit lookalike signed, and smiled for endless photos.

Susanne Bartsch

Amanda was dressed in a sheer black get-up to which she occasionally added a white fur boa. Her wig basically obscured her right eye making me think that she could have saved time by not making up that side of her face. Her lips are exactly like those fake red wax lips only incredibly glossy although I think I see the faint shadow of a mustache. Her decolletage and overall skin tone is alabaster with no signs of aging whatsoever. It's a lot to take in.

Boom Boom Room

It was actually my first time at this legendary lounge space. The party at the top of the Standard's Boom Boom Room, is known for its amazing views however the view had some competition this evening as the people at this event were something to drop your jaw at as well. I saw relatively few familiar faces including Dandy Patrick McDonald, another queen of the nightclub scene Susanne Bartsch, Photographer Roxanne Lowit and Artist Scooter LaForge aka "Bluebeard" -- his beard was actually dyed a bright blue!

"Friend"

When the room was a sea of people, a little over an hour into the party, a minimally clad Amanda wearing your basic ensemble of nipple pasties, garter belt, thong, nude fishnets, and over-the-elbow crystal embellished gloves made her grand entrance, riding in on the shoulders of two bare-chested men. She was taken to one of the platform seating areas where she performed a little pinup posing routine.

"Friends"

In a cage of her making against the upholstered wall, alternately sitting and standing on the banquette, she was stalked like an animal in the wild; camera light flashes constantly strobing the small area. I worked my way to the front of the pack for as long as I could handle it however soon the jostling for position got too intense and I struggled to come out for air.

Female Impersonator

An Amanda Lepore female impersonator, also minimally clad in fishnets and nipple pasties accessorized with the ne plus ultra of drag striptease: a red feather boa -- performed Amanda's club hit "I Don't Know Much About Clothes But My Hair Looks Fierce," while prancing and pirouetting expertly along the narrow bar top in high heels. I can't so much as stand for one more minute in mine. Even though he's probably got an appendage tucked under, I'm secure enough to admit that he's the better woman.





- Laurel Marcus

No comments:

Post a Comment