By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
All hail THE TRINITY, the nouveau club-kid trio that has sparkle-flogged Gotham nightlife by sucking up to the old while kowtowing to the new like a more accessorized version of the original supermodels via the triplets of Belleville by way of the three bears. All in their early twenties, they live, breathe, rouge, and regroup together while pushing sneaky doses of fun fun fun. With a nod to late-night history, the Trinity members dress to the nine-and-a-halves while bringing the old club-kid ethic up-to-date with some discipline, holding day jobs and staying grounded within today's more controlled clubland geodome.
They are DREW ELLIOTT ("Drewpsie"), a take-charge fashionista from Bloomington, Indiana, who's Paper's marketing and promotions director; his boyfriend, MACK DUGAN ("Mackie"), a wispy ex-raver from South Dakota via New Zealand who's Heatherette's seamstress-technical manager; and AIMEE PHILLIPS, the been-there daughter of Woodstock hippies who's Heatherette's publicist and a flashy dresser.
"We all grew up watching club kids and all the usual shit," Phillips deadpanned to me, "and lately it's been depressing, so we're trying to turn it back. It's a pretty simple formula: Don't take yourself too seriouslyjust dress up and wear more glitter!"
But naturally there's a whole new, less friendly palette to doll up your puss with. "I miss the drug debauchery," Phillips lamented. "Not personally, but I think it was all great and it all served its place. There's a lot more cocaine on the scene now and less of the fun drugs. That whole creating-a-fantasyland thing is harder when you don't have people actually hallucinating!" (As she said that, I swore she was turning into a giant octopus dancing the hula.)
"Clubs now are basically Disneyland with chains," she went on, "and they have to live up to a corporate standard. It's not the fun kind of corrupt anymore, it's the not fun kind of corrupt. That whole chain-store feel is a little bit dirty. But it's gratifying for us to be part of the fun stuff in New York!" Hooray, honey, woonow corrupt this!
The Trinity throw parties at chain-stores-with-chains like Crobar and the Cabanas, and their guest lists invariably include fixtures like ERICH CONRAD, MR. MICKEY, and RICHIE RICH, mixed with some naughty newbies bearing an outfit and a dream. Drewpsie says the key is to salad-toss all the divergent crowds with croutons, but without favoritism. "Richie was always saying, 'MISS GUY hates me,' " he relates, "but we were like, 'No, no one hates each other,' so we whooshed everyone together!" (Note the refreshing use of whoosh rather than Queer Eye's overdone zhush. Details, details.)
All together, the Trinity recently whooshed to Moscow's fashion week, and Phillips reports, "It gives you a perspective into what New York should be like when you see everyone climbing the walls, naked and insane." But Mackiewhose lawyer/doctor parents encouraged him to go into fashion/clubbingis staying right here, optimistic through the war paint. "I think it's about to get really crazy and good again," he says. "I never saw it the first time around, so all I'm trying to do is make it fun for me." Finejust put me on the list. For me!
CANDIS BUSH KNELL
I was down plus entourage for the annual Fire Island whoosh, where I learned once again that I'm a big star in trashy, fat-people-laden Cherry Grove and completely invisible in the haughty, bicep-laden Pines. But at least the latter's Blue Whale club had a midnight show by the glamorous CANDIS CAYNE, who ingeniously turned "I Who Have Nothing" into a mandatory-tipping song. In the crowd, ROBIN BYRD swore she saw a flash of "package" during one of Candis's high kicks. Maybe it's just a protruding vagina?
SLOTS OF FUN
All my privates were on fire during a comp press visit to Atlantic City, which used to be filled with skanks and losers but is now teeming with winners and impressionists. Even in its resurgence, the town's divergent palaceschurches and casinosmanage to peacefully coexist, mainly because the persistent chant of "Please, dear God" handily unites them. (And gorgeously enough, you cash in your chips at a window marked "Redemption.")
I stayed at the new Rendezvous tower at Resorts, whose rock-and-roll exhibit has displays of ESTHER's undies and SPRINGSTEEN's report card (he got an F in writing! Glory days indeed!). In the flesh, the unstoppable LIZA MINNELLI played Harrah's, where as she marionetted through the very sibilant "My Ship" ("My ship has shails that are made of shilk"), she seemed like Liza doing a drag queen doing Judy doing Lorna doing Liza. But she settled in and, between sips of Gatorade, delivered a powerhouse performance, singing the bejesus out of "Cabaret" and "The World Goes Round" as if delivering them for the first time. What a genius! The audience was in tears, and we especially appreciated her digs at DAVID GEST, like "My parents taught me to be a lady and not say anything bad about some stupid son of a bitch." (She also dramatically ripped off her lashes midsong, then recouped them from an audience member, cracking, "After being married to David Gest, I can't afford new ones!")