Rico Starr | Gogo’s Entrepreneur

Rico Starr | Gogo’s Entrepreneur

What is gay sexuality? What is socializing in queer spaces? and what is the meaning of partying in a post-Covid circumstance, where we are still locking in and out while needing to rage on harder. With pride around the corner and what is sure to be #SlutGirlSummer we chatted with Eric Alán whose gogo dancing persona Rico Starr led to an iconic and vivaciously vulgar clothing line which bridges the gogo attire with the streets.

Who is Rico Starr?

I would have to say Rico Starr is an over the top version of myself. A world class traveler, into fashion, all things nightlife, glitter, fun, music and extravagance!

Is he a top, bottom or vers?

Definitely vers! Everyone knows very guys have twice the fun…Rico Starr even has a shirt for that!

What would be your ideal dream Starr to rock Rico Starr?

My tagg line is that EVERYBODY IS A STARR. There is no one type or aesthetic that my line is directed to or at or trying to attract. In fact, my website is full of photos with actual customers in their own Rico Starr gear.

 

What is your background in production and how did you see yourself utilizing it as a means of expression?

My segue into singing and recording my own music was being chosen out of a crowd in a dance club to audition for a slot as a backup dancer to another recording artist at the time. Doing that for about a year or so, I met music producers and just started working on projects and before you know it that lead to my own songs, music videos, tv spots, press, live shows, etc.

As far as expression, I just wasn’t afraid of putting who and what I am out there. The themes and imagery of my music are very authentic to me as a person. It’s flashy, gay, unashamed, proud, sexy and fun! I don’t think it ever occurred to me to try to fit into or be anything else than what I was/am. This was my art so intrinsically a visual and audible extension of myself.

Did you feel like dancing came naturally what was your gateway until performing and did you use it to incorporate and direct your musical career?

Since I was very young, music and dancing has ALWAYS been a HUGE part of my life. My mother incessantly played Donna Summer’s ‘On The Radio’ album which I still never get tired of listening too. My late aunt and I would dance in her laundry room for hours. She introduced me to Latin sounds like salsa and merengue and was so eager to listen to new things at the time like Madonna and Gloria Estefan.

Gogo dancing came after my stint as a recording artist. And yes, it did come very naturally. Music ALWAYS takes me to a place of joy. Every time I dance, people come up to me and remark at how much fun they have seeing and sharing the joy I have when I’m dancing.

Beyond stage outfits how did you feel your designs extended into the dancing in the music?

Dancing generally takes place in a dark room filled with flashing lights. The clothes I design are made specifically for that. I mean, as gay men the shirts come off pretty quick, but even at bars, there is dim lighting and at least a disco ball, right? The materials in my shirts are all used with that in mind. From foil to glitter and rhinestones, it’s all meant to catch the light and shine!

Do you feel that what you had made for a gogo dancing as a custom extension to how you view your own sexuality and personal sexual habits?

As far as gogo dancing, the point is to be as sexy as fuck right? But beyond that I have always felt that there is nothing sexier than confidence. So with that said, unless I was dancing for an event that was sponsored by a particular underwear or clothing brand, I always aimed to wear something that made me feel confident. And yes, that absolutely included leather, jocks, briefs and anything in between. My favorite gogo dancing gigs have been for various Madonna events. I got to reimagine and create her outfits but from a gogo dancer perspective.

The brand is super all-in, where the K crew and G crew can somewhere say high high hello, what would you say is the best layering technique of drugs for a night out?

Well. I’m not one to dose and tell but I personally find that a little bit of everything makes for a phenomenal night out dancing under those flashing lights and glittering disco ball!

Where do you see the brand going in the near future?

Rico Starr is about to put out summer gear and it’s first swimsuit. While you can already find the shirts in Chi Chi Larue’s Circus of Books in West Hollywood, CA, I would like to see Rico Starr expand to other brick and mortar stores across the country and maybe even internationally! 

How do you feel gay men have interacted with their sexuality as the pandemic hit, are we coming back to cruise culture for a sense of adventure?

From what I have seen and heard I would have to agree that cruise culture is on the rise again. Apparently the Rambles here in Central Park is quite the happening place! Again, so I’ve heard… It’s kinda like what Richard Attenborugh said in Jurassic Park but I would tweak it a bit. “Gays find a way.”

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Ty Joseph | Social Connecting

Ty Joseph | Social Connecting

Oh how we miss it, how we missed it all. The chance to bump into friends you haven’t seen in ages had at a dark location lit by candles scented buy cigarettes and wood floors soaked with rosé. Everyone dressed in their best but kept a certain withdrawal to appear with an effortless ease. The international set of wayward vagabonds creating an elegant mélange that would stalk the hallways of hotels, parties, and hotel parties. Those last days of the Hollywood Flaneur are done for now but the artifice lives on through technology with Ty Joseph’s installation Social Connecting.

Utilizing video and audio the experience pays homage LA nightlife and is trickled with audio that has been recorded in various hot spots from the Chateau Marmont to Delilah’s. The experience casts the attention of a lifestyle that cannot feasibly exist due to Covid-19 restrictions as well as the social mores which come with such acts of social intimacy. The comforting sensations come in perfect timing when isolation fatigue and the trickling of indoor dinning has the city in a frenzy of what is right and wrong. Processing the experience harks back to what it is about LA’s night life which fueled the dreams of the world and adds to the on going narrative of a city of glamour and grunge.

Ty Joseph

Social Connecting

Beverly Center

Runs through April 26, 2021

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Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

There are some things in life which are held with the esteem as performance art in its various forms. From ballet and jazz dance to puppetry and geisha fan dance. In these spaces there is an expectation to innovate or clasp onto tradition. Either way the sheer visceral experience of live performances has been ultimately halted amidst openings and closings of regions and the limitations of a 25% capacity. While we have to think of the safety of ourselves and others, we are creatures who need social exchange and the entertainment of beauty in all of its abstractions.

At a recent socially distance interaction I chatted with Miss Tosh, the world-renowned burlesque performer and designer, who holds a devotional clasp on the tradition of the craft. Her presence has been one which cultivated and champions the contemporary beauty of LGBTQIA+, body positive and POC figures, while shattering the institutional white hetero-gaze which has long been so deeply rooted int the craft’s identity.

Her latest presentation The Beauty of Burlesque, has been one which celebrates the glitz, glamour, and the precision of the art, which affirms that the dimensions of the performer do not fit rigidly in the parameters of yesterday’s performancer. One thing is clear, the corsets are always gonna cinch you in, the crystals will glimmer, and the dances will knock you off your feet. See our conversation below as we speak frankly about the state of burlesque, breaking the 4th wall, and maintaining curiosity in the midst of sheltering.

What inspired you to put this event together?

The lack of authentic diversity in the entertainment industry is was motivated me to create Beauty of Burlesque. This is variatease revue starring diverse artist from around the world. As the founder & producer of the show it was very important from day one that we shine the spotlight on artist that represents diversity in talent & identity, focusing on lgbtqai+, poc, differently abled, and body positivity. 

At the start of the Covid Pandemic theaters shut down and so did live entertainment. Artist didn’t have any where to performer and especially our POC Trans community was facing so much hardship we had to come together as a community and do something to keep the showbiz flame still burning! 

Our annual halloween event is something we all looked forward to, so I created a the first ever Drive-In Burlesque Theater & Virtual Streaming Platform. The first event was on Halloween this year. All the talent donated their performances and we were able to raise funds for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute!

Do you feel like working digitally has been a helpful medium to expand in or has it be stifling?

One of the most beautiful things about artists is that they are resilient! I am so joyfully overwhelmed by the creativity admits this madness. Producing and performing in the first ever feature length Burlesque film was no small feat and comes with its own challenges. But the most exciting part is seeing what new innovative ideas the performers have. We are now able to reach a global audience, which is really incredible! Beauty of Burlesque has really brought the global burlesque community closer together during this hard time.

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

In these times of isolation and self reflection what else have you been working on?

I also have a fashion label (MissTosh.com) During isolation I’ve been able to really focus on designing new pieces, sewing everything in my pink garage. I was very lucky to have just moved in with my love right before lockdown in March. We have been nesting and having fun building furniture, painting murals and decorating our home. Im always making something.

How have you been able to maintain and celebrate yourself and your mental health?

With so much uncertainty finding a ways to cope, process and heal can be really hard. I get anxiety, and have non epileptic seizures when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Maintaining balance by just taking it day. Enjoying a bite of food, feeling the sun on my face, and trying too remain grounded and present. All we can do is try the best we can. 

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Do you have any luxuriant items that have kept you sane and well?

Luxury for me is a cup of tea, a cozy blanket with kitties and my girlfriend snuggled up by me. For the insomnia and deep stress moments I cannot express enough how much cbd/tch oils have changed my life. A few drops and its sweet dreams haha.

What is your next project?

I will continue to produce Drive-In Burlesque shows and virtual events at www.BeautyofBurlesque.com Be sure to tune into our Holiday show, “Merry Stripmas” and New Years Eve extravaganza. Creating safe and sexy ways to celebrate safely at home or at the Drive-In. You can also shop my fashion label at MissTosh.com We will be having a major Black Friday sale of our accessories, dress, and home goods. Everything is handmade by me here in Hollywood, CA. 

The Feelist | Shea Marie Get to Know the Business Woman and Social Media Trailblazer

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There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

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Chatting up the young artist as he interacts with the modern NFT market on his own terms

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Late Summer Mix | Water Sport

Late Summer Mix | Water Sport

This is a 40-minute dive into tunes that I’ve been particularly enjoying during this Great Reset. While mostly containing music released in the last month or two, I wanted to inject some older ones, since nostalgia has played such a prominent role while we find ourselves meandering down memory lane more than ever. A mixture of some pop, alt, garage rock, ambient, choral, and bolero. 

Quarantined – Atlas Sound
Legends Never Die – Orville Peck and Shania Twain
Lucid Dreams – Brandy
King For A Day – George Clinton and Nick Hexum
Loner – Dehd
Surf’s Up – The Beach Boys
Poinciana (Song Of The Tree) – The Four Freshmen
Anuque Pasen Mil Años – Toña La Negra
Look – Duval Timothy
Going Home – David Allred
Liam Casey (DJ Watersport) is a writer, editor, researcher and cultural producer in Los Angeles. His work has been published in AQNB, Autre, Berlin Art Link, Flaunt, i-D, and Office. As co-Founder of interdisciplinary evening, Bubbles, he’s hosted the likes of Yves Tumor, SOPHIE, Juliana Huxtable, Total Freedom, Physical Therapy, and others. In quarantine, Liam began a garden and is currently writing a screenplay.

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Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

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Natura | Lumina

Every blonde deserves a fortifying treatment that will keep you brassless and malleable

Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

Get to know the Australian brand brings sexy bath, with soul, scent, and marine collagen.

Leo Season | Lion Vibes Sunrise to Sunset

Leo Season | Lion Vibes Sunrise to Sunset

Oh haaaay it’s the time of year again- when the Lions come out of their den to shine brighter than ever. I’m sure you’ve been following on the Co-Star app, but this month is intense, kicking off with the Lion’s Gate on 8/8. It’s been described as a stellar gateway with the ‘spiritual sun’ Sirius anchoring energetic codes onto our planet. A time to attune with your divine potential, your sacred mission on the planet and voicing it out loud to the cosmos. 

As an Aquarian, Leo is my polar opposite. I’m often advised to embody more Fire Leo qualities to counter balance my own Airy nature. So instead of being cerebral/ lost in thoughts, weighing the most diplomatic response- it’s more about not thinking but rather feeling/ leading with your heart, doing what feels right, being in the moment and most importantly Living out Loud. Doesn’t sound like you? For me it helps to ‘act as if’. As I start my day, I ask myself questions like, ‘How do Lion Queens dress for work and get in their zone?’ Here’s your guide to channel Lioness energy from Sunrise to Sunset.   

 First kick off your day with Beyonce’s Summer Banger, ALREADY, from the Lion King soundtrack. “Shine Already, It’s Time Already.” If you really want to be on Black King theme wear the Marine Serre Crescent Moon Top during your morning meditation. Next get lit with fierce moves in this vid of Steph and Ayesha Curry’s daughters.

Don’t look at your phone and wonder why he didn’t text ‘good morning’, Leo wouldn’t sweat that. Just ‘act as if’ and order the Helios sunflowers bouquet from UrbanStems for yourself to remind you that you are the sunshine beaming love to the world.  

Dressing for work like a Leo: Lioness leaders shine with gold, bling and animal style. This is the perfect boss lady zoom look. Héros silk crepe de chine shirt has mother of pearl buttons for a touch of effortless luxury. Beyond Yoga high waisted biker shorts are comfortable and sleek with a IDGAF vibe. Bring the power moves with a chunky Ben Amun 24-karat gold necklace and Alepel Leopard Leather Mules (handcrafted in Brazil and hand painted in Miami). This cat is silky smooth, ready for sensual affection but can also outrun and outsmart you- a regal woman who will not be underestimated.

Social plans like a Leo: She’s not on a date, she’s at an event holding court. This cheeky Neon Blonde Venus leopard slip dress is for a Lion babe with confidence. The sheer look says ‘look at me’ and the TMRW Studio suede fold over Milo clutch says ‘I know you see me’. 

Time to unwind and recharge like a Leo. Keep the Goddess signal clear with a non-alcoholic Kin Euphorics cocktail, crafted with botanicals, adaptogens and nootropics to strengthen the adrenal system, moderate stress responses, and improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions (boss lady!), memory, and creativity. Also a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which helps to prevent cellular damage. Stay pretty Leo baby.

Time to get sexy with a We Are Hah bodysuit and cleanse your crystals in the moonlight. Channel strong focused goddess Serena Williams with her ethically mined conflict free Crescent Moon 14-Karat Yellow Gold Diamond Necklace. Create sensorial moon mama magic with BVLGARI Le Gemme Ambero Eau de Parfum. Associated with regeneration and eternal youth, amber is a mythical gem favored by the gods of immortality. It conveys an unbreakable bond with the earth as it is distilled from a root. The obtained essence has a fabulous earthy, woody and slightly smoky scent that is very different from traditional Vetiver essences. This ambery effect is complemented by the brightness of essence of ginger from India along with olibanum incense for elegant character. Yaassss Mami!

A Leo night time ritual is indulgent but effortless, like this Living Living Libations Best-Skin-Ever Seabuckthorn All-in-One cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer resets skin to its natural state of luminous, sparkling wonder! This Seabuckthorn and pure plant botanical skin elixir packed with omega fatty acids, vitamins, lipids, and hundreds of bioactive compounds is a lush lion pleasure. Keep a decadent journal by your bed to write your visions and dreams as you stoke your inner fire preparing to dominate and radiate. As the sun sets, I must say, I’ve never felt so good as living life like a Leo!

The Feelist | Shea Marie Get to Know the Business Woman and Social Media Trailblazer

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9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

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Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

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Tricia-Noël Burke | BLACK MOON BOOK

Tricia-Noël Burke | BLACK MOON BOOK

Hope. Transition. Inspiration.“Black Moon” (2020) is finally here and ready to add some magic to your coffee tables and bookshelves.

In this stunning 12 x 10 hardcover book, I introduce the art of dance to the human experience. This year we are bearing witness to over 40 million jobs lost. Over 400 thousand lives lost. A viral and racial pandemic across the globe. Far beneath the devastation lies a transformational future that could be unfolding faster than we think.

Photographed by James Mountford.
              “I remember mostly living in parallel worlds that were not mine.”

Much like the revolving changes in our lives, this magical ball of light piercing the night sky is a mother icon of constant change and cyclical patterns.

One of the most powerful celestial phenomenons is the rare black moon. A second new moon that occurs within one calendar month. It is said that the black moon amplifies a cleansing energy, dragging our deepest strengths and desires to the forefront, uninhibited. Just like the dark side of the moon, there is a side to each of us that we don’t reveal to others. 

             “She hid the dark side of the moon in her soul just to give light to everyone around her.”

Countless women around the globe work hard to carve, manifest and own their journey. Many who are robbed of this by fear, culture, relationships, society, politics, even family. Many who wake up each morning set out to build their sandcastles with a fine tooth comb only to witness the hands of disruption destroy it flat. 

Mirroring a lunar experience in contemporary dance form, “Black Moon”(2020) is a unique collection of inspirational messages and some of the most vulnerable stories revealed by women from around the world.

Tricia-Noël is a classically trained ballet/contemporary dancer and graduate from Queen Mary, University of London. She has travelled to many countries over the years and exchanged life stories of affliction and fortune with a number of inspiring and transformational women in different corners of the globe. Purchase Black Moon Prints and Greeting Cards from Black Moon Site. 

The Feelist | Shea Marie Get to Know the Business Woman and Social Media Trailblazer

We took a moment of the HBIC’s time to check in all the ways she organically took on this project, plant-based skin care, and her own regimen.

Pendry West Hollywood | Back to the Sunset Strip

As the world reopens a new offering from the Pendry West Hollywood offers up the glory days of Sunset Blvd.

The Solo Journey Experience | Ojai

If you’re itching to get out of L.A. alone for 24 hours, here are firsthand tips on how to plan a solo overnight trip (if you’re looking for a zen recharge)

Rico Starr | Gogo’s Entrepreneur

From the closet to the bar get to know more about the creative multi tasking the gay clubs

Dana Boulos | Talk By Brainfreeze

The hidden entrepreneur gets vocal with her latest podcast Talk by BRAINFREEZE.

9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

Ty Joseph | Social Connecting

An Ode to LA Night Life built on paintings, photographs, installations and film

Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Chatting up the young artist as he interacts with the modern NFT market on his own terms

Natura | Lumina

Every blonde deserves a fortifying treatment that will keep you brassless and malleable

Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

Get to know the Australian brand brings sexy bath, with soul, scent, and marine collagen.