This concrete jungle is replete with wildlife—of the rich and famous variety—and we’ve got them all in our sights, from young bucks and designer lapdogs to the occasional cougar.
Drew Droege, Kevin Wilen, Michelle McCarthy and Mike Ciriaco
From the first timeshe rode a wave at age 6, pro surfer and DJ Keala Kennelly fell in love with surfing and knew it was what she wanted to spend her life doing. “I grew up in Hawaii where the waves are some of the biggest and most powerful in the world, so it was always right there in my backyard, beckoning me,” she says.
Ryan Heffington's consistent outbreakof dance routines inspired his parents to throw him into tap class when he was 6. In grammar school, he’d put paperclips on his fingertips, hike his tighty whities up and prance around on his toes to mimic Darcel, the lead dancer on Solid Gold. Naturally, after graduating high school, Ryan decided to move to L.A. and become a “video ho.”
Curtis William Foreman beams with Southern charm. Although the Louisiana native has made a name for himself in the hair, makeup and special effects world, the way he’s pushed the boundaries of wig creation will really blow your mind. In addition to being showcased on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Foreman's WigART can be seen in a recent campaign with photographer Mike Ruiz, and the former vocalist with the Gay Men’s Chorus was just named head of the hair and wigs department at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Not bad for a kid who used to create his own haunted houses in his parents’ carport.
Now the pastry chef of Tom Colicchio’s Craft, Shannon Swindlestarted cooking in Austin in 1994, he had to learn prep with the female sous chef during the day because the homophobic chef thought Shannon would make the nighttime boys uncomfortable. Thankfully, times have changed. “Tom and our company are very outspoken about equality for the LGBT community,” he says. “Craft is a very open-minded restaurant, and the L.A. chef community is, too. It’s just no issue at all for me personally.”
From a very young age, automotive designer and star of this season’s Motor City Masters Bryan Thompson saw the world differently than his friends or family. Obsessed with how everything looked, Bryan says his mother let him decorate their apartment when he was only 5 years old. The result was home décor that included a baby-blue princess rotary dial phone in the living room, flowers on the kitchen wall, clouds on the bathroom ceiling and stars and trees adorning the bedroom. “Giving me that freedom definitely ignited a spark and confidence that you can change the space you’re in,” he says. “I’m very grateful she did that.”
Point Foundation Scholar Ved Chirayath didn’t have any LGBT role models to look up to as a child when his interest in space was first piqued, so the research scientist in the earth science division at NASA decided to become one. While he always aspired to pursue a career as an astrophysicist, it was a harrowing experience in Russia that truly defined his path. In addition to working full-time at NASA and attending Stanford as a Ph.D. candidate in aeronautics and astronautics—and working as a fashion photographer for WWD and Vogue on the side—he spearheaded a campaign to include a NASA float in this year’s San Francisco Pride Parade, to be held June 29.
In addition to having the distinction of being the first all-female band to score a number one album while playing their own instruments and writing their own songs, The Go-Go’s have picked up an impressive collection of accolades over the course of their 30-plus career. In 2010, they received a star on Hollywood Boulevard, and now on June 21, the band will be inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame at the storied venue’s opening night. We talked to guitarist Jane Wiedlin about the importance of this latest honor.
As a cast member of E!’s Fashion Police, George Kotsiopoulos doles out accolades and critiques to some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Now the 45-year-old fashion consultant has released his first book, Glamorous by George: The Key To Getting Movie Star Style (Harry Abrams: 176 pages; $19.95), which offers easy and affordable tips on how to look like a movie star. We spoke to George about his picks for best-dressed celebs, how to find your own personal style and a few must-have items for the approaching summer.
It’s been a long, not-so-cold winter in SoCal, but now it’s time to drop the layered clothing look, step out into the sun and mingle. One of the best opportunities to do that is at Long Beach Pride, which is right around the corner.
Few would argue that Cheyenne Jackson was destined for the stage. The openly gay 38-year-old actor, singer and songwriter’s first leading role on The Great White Way in All Shook Up earned him a 2005 award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. Since then, he has cemented his theater-star status with acclaimed stage performances (Finian’s Rainbow, 8, Xanadu) while also making a name for himself on the small screen (30 Rock, Glee, Behind the Candelabra) and in film (United 93, The Green). For his latest project, Music of the Mad Men Era, he’ll be singing standards from the ’50s and ’60s—with contemporary tracks thrown in for good measure—at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on April 26.
Spring is here, and with it comes a bountiful selection of fruits and veggies. There’s no better place to shop for them than at your local Certified Farmers Market, where the benefits are numerous. “A CFM makes buying in season easy,” says Michael Beckman, chef and owner of Palm Springs hot spot Workshop Kitchen + Bar (workshoppalmsprings.com). “If it’s there, it’s in season. The vendors at CFMs are all local growers, so you know nothing has been crated in from a far-off land. You’re also getting your produce much fresher than you would through a three-tier system used in a large operation.” Below, Beckman gives us a few tips to best navigate our local certified farmers market.
Alex Newell is a perfect example of how to be prepared when opportunity comes knocking. A contestant on The Glee Project—in which 12 hopefuls vied for a seven-episode arc on Glee—Newell came in as a runner-up. But that didn’t stop him. The producers were so taken with Alex that they brought him on Glee for two episodes, which turned into two more, which turned into a recurring permanent role on the show. Alex plays Wade “Unique” Adams, a transgender teenager—a first for American television. We spoke to the fashion trendsetter about his love of shopping, the creation of his personal style and his love of André Leon Talley.
Marco Morante’s roster of clients is pretty impressive. The L.A.-based designer, working under the name Marco Marco, has outfitted everyone from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to The Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez and Nicki Minaj, for videos, tours and appearances, and he made headlines last year when he held a runway show featuring drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. After 14 years in the business, Morante is now used to dealing with high-profile celebs, but his first experience with an A-lister left him a little shaken—to the point where he was thrown off by a fist bump. When we visited Morante at his studio on Las Palmas, in the heart of Hollywood, he greeted us wearing a simple gray T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves and black jeans—a stark contrast to the bright and whimsical patterns adorning the mannequins throughout his space. “I’m not much of a dresser. I like T-shirts and button-downs and jeans,” he said. The studio spans three storefronts—a progression made over time—and is highlighted by Morante’s paintings, spools of thread, rows of sewing machines and a collection of client photos rivaling names on the Walk of Fame, just steps away.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. That common saying became a reality that evolved into a clothing line for Kyle Kupres and James Cerne one lazy summer afternoon in Los Angeles. After being invited to a pool party, the duo realized they didn’t have a thing to wear—so they decided to make something. On a whim, Kupres and Cerne created a set of bathing suits out of some spare fabric found around the apartment. Satisfied with the finished product, they were able to venture to the pool and enjoy the party. What they weren’t prepared for was the onslaught of compliments and phone numbers they received in regard to their flashy speedos. Jumping on the opportunity that had fallen into their laps, the duo teamed with Aaron Stella to create Slamenskraam. Fast-forward six months and the company is now fielding inquiries from international retailers, featured on blogs around the world and working with clients like Miley Cyrus. Slamenskraam’s first full collection of men’s and women’s sportswear will be officially unveiled this spring. slamenskraam.com
Founded in 2006 by brothers Jonny and Christopher Cota, Skingraft is credited as being a pioneer of the new American avant-garde. The L.A.-based company’s roots stem from performance art–inspired fashion, where music and lifestyle-driven subcultures strongly inspire cuts, colorways and fabrication. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Jonny joined an underground performance art troupe, where his experiences as a performer and costume designer with a limited budget taught him how to source, deconstruct and re-tailor vintage items. From humble beginnings, Skingraft has since carved out a highly influential niche among the world’s most prominent pop icons. The brand’s signature—dark, body-conscious designs—have been worn by a wide range of international tastemakers, from Beyonc, Justin Bieber and A$AP Rocky to Missy Elliott, Juliette Lewis, Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson. Skingraft has also been featured in countless television series and films, includingTrue BloodandThe Hunger Games. The fashion line prides itself in always being identified by its unique layered aesthetic, intricate detailing and standout silhouettes.skingraftdesigns.com
This wardrobe, jewelry and interior designer made heads turn last year with the world’s first 3D-printed gown, worn by burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese. He then followed that unveiling with a refusal to speak at a prestigious tech conference because of mounting anti-gay controversy in its host city of Moscow, Russia. His fearless, strong and defiant characteristics shine through in elegant yet edgy clothing and accessories. He has designed for such names as Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Fergie, Janet Jackson and many more. He constructed a floor-length gown made of more than 3,500 razor blades for Blondie’s Debbie Harry that was later on display in the Rock Style exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute in New York. Schmidt’s creations have appeared in countless books, music videos, major motion pictures and on world tours and album covers. michaelschmidtstudios.com
ROCK 'N' ROLL MACHINE: Michael Schmidt
At one time, if you didn’t own a car in Los Angeles you were sworn to a stationary life. Sure, you could hop on a bus or the Metro, navigate the roads via bicycle or stand out on the curb and try to hail a cab (good luck with that!), but this city is vast, and sometimes a car is your only rational option. Luckily, the introduction of ridesharing and cab alternatives has opened up far-reaching destinations to all denizens—not to mention a great way to secure safe passage when you don’t have an available designated driver. But what is it? You could say it’s a refreshing way to approach the concept of carpooling. New transportation companies are popping up in L.A. every day, and here’s a rundown.
Christopher Koelsch, L.A. Opera’s president and CEO, grew up in Boston during a period of operatic drought. Through the waning days of college and into graduate school, he was thrown headlong into the sweeping pleasures and perils of opera. And once Christopher got a taste of the depth and breadth of human expression possible on the operatic stage, he was hooked forever. He now considers himself an evangelist of the power of music and theatre to enlighten and change us, and a zealot on a crucial mission for the performing arts in people’s daily lives. What makes the L.A. Opera truly unique?As the youngest large-scale opera company in the nation, we have a degree of elasticity that comes with youth. That quality is balanced by the wisdom, maturity and [the] experience of our artistic leadership. Together, the company strikes an ideal balance between stewardship of a tradition and a reinvention of that tradition. Perhaps most importantly, an audience that trusts exploration and experimentation. We’re interested in breaking down stereotypes about the art form; next year, in addition to the traditional fare of La Traviata, we’ll commence a multi-year series of contemporary chamber operas in partnership with REDCAT, with music that has more in common with Radiohead than with Mozart. I believe we’re leading the charge for opera companies to produce work that is truly idiomatic to their communities, while also upholding international standards of music and theatre.
At one time, if you didn’t own a car in Los Angeles you were sworn to a stationary life. Sure, you could hop on a bus or the Metro, navigate the roads via bicycle or stand out on the curb and try to hail a cab (good luck with that!), but this city is vast, and sometimes a car is your only rational option. Luckily, the introduction of ridesharing and cab alternatives has opened up far-reaching destinations to all denizens—not to mention a great way to secure safe passage when you
There aren’t too many actresses who are as effortlessly funny as Megan Mullally. She made her mark as Karen Walker, the shrill-voiced hellion on Will & Grace, and won two Emmys in the process. In addition to her recurring role on Parks and Recreation, Megan is also tapping into her Broadway background, appearing in the Broad Stage’s series "Broadway @ the Broad" for two shows on Feb. 22 accompanied by her friend, pianist Seth Rudetsky. The night will include a combination of hilarious anecdotal conversation and song, with a special appearance by Mullally’s husband, Nick Offerman.