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 seriously—just 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, woo—now 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 Mackie—whose lawyer/doctor parents encouraged him to go into fashion/clubbing—is 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.” Fine—just 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 palaces—churches and casinos—manage 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!”)
In younger-offspring scandal news, I’m still amused by the OLSEN TWINS‘ parents’ outrage over tabloid claims that MARY-KATE is a coke addict, not an anorexic. “How dare you say our little darling is a drug user!” the folks seem to be saying. “She’s simply besotted with low self-esteem and social-isolation issues and is basically trying to slow-kill herself through starvation, OK?” Or maybe they’re just mad that coke isn’t a fun drug.
Sadly, Eric Douglas is gone, drugs having anesthetized him to a life in the shadows (including sexually; the poor queen was hiding in so many ways). I’ll miss his eternal, bruised optimism.
Moving on to my suicide: I recently asked Corsair blogsman RON MWANGAGUHUNGA to get A.J. BENZA to elaborate on a Corsair item that the gossip mook was hosting a reality show. “I’d do anything for Musto,” A.J. responded to Ron, swearing he’d forward the info shortly. Instead, he adorably gave it to Page Six! And he used to be the fun kind of corrupt. Now where’s that redemption window?
Those rare headbangers with feelings, the METALLICA guys talk about them at length in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, their Freudian, feature-length Behind the Music. At the premiere, we knew we were in for a sensitive journey when the co-director said, “We grew tremendously as people” while making the movie, and lead singer JAMES HETFIELD thanked “my higher power for putting this challenge in front of me. That was a real gift.” “I want to thank ourselves!” interjected drummer LARS ULRICH, more earthily. “We had the balls to see this through and none of us pussied out!”
My higher power gifted me with an invite to PM magazine’s party at Ruby Falls, where cute JOHNNY KNOXVILLE DJ’d and told me about his upcoming pussied-out JOHN WATERS romp, A Dirty Shame. “It’s so naughty. I don’t know what I’m gonna tell Mom,” he said. “Oh well, she sat through Jackass.” Is Johnny’s messianic-perv part really such a stretch? “Yes,” he swore. “Everyone knows my biggest vice is singing too loud in church!” For me, it’s screaming too loud in casinos.
Web Exclusive, 7.16.04
In the boldest bid for a paycheck since two-time Oscar-winning Bette Davis took out a trade ad announcing her employment availability, Entertainment Weekly‘s recently dismissed “Hot Sheet” author Jim Mullen has sent out a semi-sardonic mass email pleading for cushy, lucrative work. In the cutely ballsy message, Mullen begs:
“Jim Mullen, late of Entertainment Weekly and author of the worst seller It Takes a Village Idiot is in desperate need of a highly paid, no-show job. Won’t you please help? He is heavily in debt from gambling on bass fishing contests and the expense of being on a low carb diet for the past two years. God, have you seen the price of cheese? It’s through the roof.
“Jim likes long walks on the beach, expense-paid travel to Cannes and Park City, shopping bags full of free PR swag, ‘interviewing’ supermodels, and being taken to lunch at expensive, trendy restaurants. You want creativity? You want humor? You want to push the envelope? Then call Joel Stein. But if you want this kind of crap, I’m at… [phone number withheld].
“P.S. If a guy named Nick ‘The Shark’ Rotowski asks about me, tell him I died.”
Sadly, Nick just sent me an email too—looking for a job.
Web Exclusive, 7.19.04
The next kooky docu-show to hit cable will be Bravo’s BackSpin, a celeb biography program that vaguely sounds like the E! True Hollywood Story meets Harold Pinter. BackSpin will cover entertainers’ lives and careers, analyzing influences and obstacles along the way, but in reverse chronological order! Good very it’s hope I.
Moving chronologically forward, the massively exposed Paris Hilton is complicating her simple life once again by posing, I hear, for the cover of Rolling Stone. Heatherette is dressing her for the shoot, David LaChapelle is photographing her, and the whole world is preparing for her inevitable BackSpin.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2004