Toronto
4 min

Cocktail confessions

Fashion Cares redux

SHADE. Pam Anderson outshone the other celebrities at Fashion Cares. Credit: (Anna Pournikova)

Now that the substantial Fashion Cares hype and the event itself are over, reaction is, as per usual, mixed. The common denominator complaint from many attendees I’ve spoken to since Bollywood Cowboy was that the show just didn’t live up to the hype. Jann Arden’s downbeat song choices have been cited for quickly numbing the party, along with alleged lip-synching by some of Panjabi Hit Squad, which, if true, is very Ashlee Simpson and far from cool.

Having said that, such morning-after opinions are all homosexual in nature; no doubt the straights were blown away. Despite any perceived negatives it was still impossible not to notice the tremendous effort that went into the 19th version of the event, including constant messaging to remind all that Fashion Cares is about the AIDS Committee Of Toronto and fighting HIV/AIDS, something quite forgotten in previous years. Semi-surprise guests Erasure certainly made musical love to the ears of all, and it’s inarguable that at catwalk time Wayne Clark kicked it out. The designer easily outshone his three copresenters with inspired mega-watt glam creations on models who had the stage presence and energy that’s so often MIA from many fashion shows in this city. Or, as my beau whispered in my ear: “Wayne Clark knows what the fuck he’s doing.”

Also knowing what the fuck: hot host Pamela Anderson, kicking off the night with energetic and heartfelt ka-pow. In fact, just with her va-voom entrance at the preshow press conference Anderson nearly caused mass whiplash. Not just a pretty face with a killer rack who’s been boned by Tommy Lee, the petite and rather demure pin-up girl spoke eloquently about her platform as MAC Viva Glam spokesperson (that everyone should know their HIV status), drawing from her own experience around learning she had hepatitis C. Amusingly, Anderson was a magnet for nearly all media questions while the remainder of the night’s talent pool, including Arden, stood next to her, made invisible by Anderson’s star power and the shade of her breasts. When someone finally did ask Arden about what she was wearing, the short singer shared that her snappy fuchsia jacket was by Canadian David Dixon, adding she’s more fashion felony than fashionista. Which would be enough to make me sing sad songs, too.

Now this final Fashion Cares note goes to one of the gents who gave a preshow speech (I won’t name names): Maybe it was just my nine friends and I, but with your eyes rolling back into your head the way they were while you spoke, you looked really (sniff!) fucking high. If you were not, apologies, but if you were, best in the future to stay away from a podium and mic. I mean that in a caring way, of course, and in all Bollywood Cowboy was a Grade-A night.

Moving right along, if you’re not feeling the Pride vibe yet, this could help: Sing-Along Chicago comes to Cawthra Square Park on Sun, Jun 19 at 9 pm, with easy-to-read sub-titles so that everyone can – Fosse! – sing the saucy songs. Your $5 suggested donation goes to the 519 Capital Campaign and Inside Out. For more info – Fosse! – call 977-6847. I get to be Velma.

And I stand corrected: There will be no mixed bathhouse night at Spa Excess (105 Carlton St) on Thu, Jun 23 as previously reported. Apparently, at the request of Kids On TV, female fans will be allowed in to see their performance that evening but their admittance is restricted to the spa’s lounge; the rest of the space is men-only. Which is a bit of a shame: I’d planned to grab my best dyke, smoke us up, then head over to get naked together and watch the entertainment value unfold.

Luckily there’ll be entertainment value found at Hot Jock (providing you find bare asses and bulging jock straps entertaining), at 10pm this Saturday night at Central Spa (1610 Dundas St W). Popular DJ Neill Macleod is booked to do some sexed-up spinning and lord only knows what’ll go on in the hot tub. A shuttle leaves O’Grady’s every half-hour beginning at 9:30 pm, and if you’re a lad arriving on the first bus, expect a special prize. The jock-strap-only dress code will be strictly enforced, and yes, that is Mr Leather Fellowship 2005 Cam Lewis’s inspiring ass on the poster. (It is not, to quash rumours, the aforementioned special prize.)

Ran into promoter Gairy Brown looking all excited the other day. As we chatted he let it slip that the Festival Of Fire will be letting loose their pyrotechnics into the night sky just as his outdoor Pride party Heat is climaxing. With July McKnight (“Time marches on neversending”) also performing, Brown’s Heat will no doubt be a hit. Judging from the yakking I’ve been doing with party boys since the whole Prism Weekend versus Rise Weekend crap began, it appears as though both camps are set to do well. Many partiers tell me that this Pride they’re being loyal to their personal performer and DJ favourites and buying tickets accordingly.

No bold names but I’m still giggling about this one: If it was you who left a plastic box in your locker at one of the seedier bathhouses in the city (okay, the seediest), there’s a reason why Mama always told you to make sure you’ve got everything before you leave somewhere. The good news is my friend Crack Baby found your box, along with the several Viagra tablets, six vials of ketamine, 11 hits of ecstasy and six baggies of crystal meth (plus pipe) inside. The bad news is he’s keeping the K, sold the E to some Fashion Cares attendees (including me; it was great), and flushed that nasty Tina down the toilet, where, I’ve learned the hard way, it belongs.

These are my confessions until next month, therefore: Peace, love and happy Pride.