Reflecting On the 2022 MET Gala Highs & Lows

By: Connor Duszynski

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual MET Gala is always a whimsical, eye-catching event. For fashion-lovers, critics, and fans of the world’s biggest celebrities, it’s a time to admire (or despise) the fashions presented on the steps of the MET. It’s also a time for rising celebrities, stylists, and fashion houses to showcase their work and reclaim their prominence within the fashion industry. As has been the case in every past MET Gala, the 2022 MET Gala was full of fashion highs and lows. Last year's Gala celebrated The MET Costume Institute's exhibit entitled In America: An Anthology of Fashion. While some opted to abide by the "Gilded Glamour" dress code by reinventing the fashions of the late 19th-century Gilded Age, interpreting the period’s inspirations, historical context, and aesthetics, there were many, many fashion misses. Unfortunately, there were far too many misses, which is upsetting given the phenomenal theme for the night.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment of the evening was Kim Kardashian’s lackluster attempt at recreating Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” ensemble. She was neither gilded nor glamorous. Ripping (pun-intended) this piece of priceless, classic Americana from the archives, Kardashian’s appearance in the dress was not only underwhelming, but offensive. Clumsily-paired with some chunky, clear Pleasers, minimal jewelry, and a sad excuse of a mismatched fur coat, Kardashian completely missed the mark. To add insult to injury, the look didn’t fit the night’s Gilded Age dress code at all. Not only did Kardashian fail to show up in a successful, original, and well-thought-out look, but she poorly replicated an iconic look from a completely different time period. It was an astounding example of both her and her not doing their research. Even more, it was an example of her blatant disregard for the icon she was attempting to emulate.

The Gala is intended to be an opportunity for stars, designers, and stylists to showcase something new, unexpected, and most importantly on-theme. While an ensemble that successfully references another can be campy and seen as a sign of reverence, exact replicas lack originality, substance, and interest. Furthermore, it’s my personal belief that priceless artifacts of this size of cultural significance should remain preserved in optimal condition, rather than being pawned-off to celebrities who want to play dress-up for an evening. 

However, while Kardashian’s appearance may have been the most offensive of the night, there were a few other celebrities that stood-out for all the right reasons. My favorite look of the evening belonged to Blake Lively, whose look was as conceptual as it was beautiful. Perhaps most importantly, it was on-theme. Serving as one of the gala’s co-hosts, Lively set the tone for how the evening should have gone. Incorporating themes and elements of Art Deco architecture, Lively appeared as an updated, stunning Lady Liberty, giving her viewers hope for the evening ahead. The attention-to-detail was second-to-none. As the silk was unfurled from its bustle as Lively made her way up the MET’s stairs, the train revealed a rich verdigris tone with copper constellations of Grand Central Station embroidered in its train. The copper elements naturally represented the Statue of Liberty’s original copper condition, before its oxidation. The verdigris tones naturally represented the Statue’s current greenish state. Lively’s look was conceptual, performative, and flawlessly executed. The use of Art Deco embellishments, patterns, geometric lines, and iconic embroidery checked all the boxes.

 Another standout was Rosalía, who appeared in Matthew Williams for Givenchy. With details like the dress’ intricate embroidery, matching bag, and halter neckline which tied perfectly into the sleeves of the dress, Matthew Williams captured the essence and unique details of the Gilded Age. Even the way in which the dress was contoured to her figure paid homage to the contouring of dresses during the period of the Gilded Age. The ruffling of the train of the dress helped compliment Rosalía’s bold shades that she accessorized her look with; these elements further elevated the look, showcasing it as fashion-forward and avant garde while still fitting the theme of the evening. Rosalía, always one to share her unique take on fashion, excels in matching the themes of the MET year after year while still presenting something that is interpreted personally.

Lastly, Emma Corrin proved that it's possible to present something referential without being an exact copy of a previous look. Donning custom Harry Lambert for Miu Miu, accessorized with various Cartier jewels, Corrin wowed in a look that referenced 1880s New York City socialite Evander Berry Wall, also known as the “King of the Dudes.” Known for his signature pointed collars, silk hats, and stockings which he often paired with oversized overcoats, Wall is a fashion reference very specific to the Gilded Age. This was an extremely smart choice. Not only was the ensemble on-theme, but it was also elevated, chic, and allowed Corrin to reinvent this reference within the context of the twenty-first century. 

As we look towards the 2023 MET, my hope is that we see more personal takes and interpretations on fashion. I want to see originality. Even more importantly, I want to see ensembles that fit the theme the MET calls for. I’m bored with the celebrities showing up year-after-year in random looks that don’t have a perspective; they’re glaring and extremely out-of-place for a venue that demands elevation. This year’s Gala returns to the steps of the MET on the 1st of May. Highlighting The MET Costume Institute’s new exhibit entitled Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, I expect to see our stars pay homage to the late, great designer, wear or repurpose some of his iconic ensembles, or reinvent his looks altogether. As long as there’s no more Marilyn dresses, we should be okay.

The Healing Power of Halotherapy with Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville

By: Connor Duszynski

“The more relaxed you can get, the better you’ll do.” - Isaac Mizrahi

I’ve had a lot on my plate lately. Some people I know might say that I’ve had too much on my plate, in fact. It’s not that life has become unmanageable by any means, but simply that, at times, life can be stressful. Whether it’s family matters on your mind, social obligations knocking at your door, work responsibilities piling up, or even just dealing with the overwhelming local DMV traffic (you know if you know), life has a way of coming at us from all angles. I have a feeling you can relate. What I’ve come to realize is that not only is it a nice treat to give yourself some much-needed R&R, but that it is essential. The best preventative measure for burnout at work and in your social circles might just be a relaxing spa day. 

While there’s a number of good options in and around Northern Virginia, there’s no local establishment I would more quickly book an appointment at than Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville. Not only is the staff kind, courteous, and attentive, the facility pristine and calming, but the Spa’s services leave you feeling reborn. Treating yourself has truly never been easier. Among the many treatments I cherish from the Woodhouse Spa’s Gainesville team, I especially love the new Halotherapy Treatment. Pulling from concepts like ergonomics, human engineering, and kinesthesiology, Halotherapy is a holistic treatment with a wide range of benefits. From increasing respiration and oxygen flow, treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis to relieving stress and tension in your body, Halotherapy is not just another momentary trend. For guests in need of medical benefits and the healing properties of Halotherapy, I would recommend booking a session at Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville’s Active Salt Room.

In case you aren’t already aware, Halotherapy is salt therapy. If you frequent any number of spas, resorts, or fitness centers, you’ve likely seen the glowing salt beds, bricks, booths, tiles, and tables. They’re hard to miss. I find that whenever I’m near a salt panel, I’m instantly drawn to it. Something about the warm light of the panels always relaxes me. According to Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville Co-Owner Colleen Quintana, this isn’t surprising. “Halotherapy inherently promotes relaxation,” she says. “It’s considered to be a natural and safe alternative treatment for a number of health complications like lung problems, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and COPD. We also have quite a few regular clients who come in for Halotherapy treatments to alleviate skin conditions and skin allergies in our Active Salt Room. It’s great for repairing skin cells and protecting your skin from signs of aging.” Had I known this information back when I was a teen, I’d have had a salt panel glued to my face for my acne. 

While Halotherapy has become an increasingly popular treatment, what sets the treatment at Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville apart from the rest is a number of factors. Not only is the staff professional and attentive and the Spa itself immaculate, but the Gainesville team is passionate and dedicated to bringing life-changing treatments to our local community. “We are excited to offer our guests Dry Salt Therapy in our new Active Salt Room complete with our Halogenerator. Guests will be seated in one of our Zero-Gravity Lounge Chairs where they will sit back, relax, and breathe in the air infused with tiny salt particles for a forty-five minute session,” Colleen shares. That sounds like a heavenly forty-five minutes to me. The equipment of the Active Salt Room breaks down the salt into tiny particles which circulate throughout the air. Alternatively, Passive Salt Rooms do not utilize this machine to break down the salt, but rather are designed for relaxation and meditation as opposed to medical benefits. This is an important distinction for clients and guests of the Spa to consider depending on their unique needs and desired goals for treatment.

When asked about what they find to be the most fulfilling part of their work at Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville, Colleen and fellow Co-Owner and husband Walt Kuhn shared that they most cherish the ability to help and improve their clients’ lives. Throughout their travels both domestically and abroad, Walt and Colleen always ensure they’re within close proximity to a spa. As avid spa-goers, Walt and Colleen have come to learn their likes and dislikes from their own spa experiences, and aim to bring their expertise to Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville and the guests they serve. 

The next time life’s stressors become overwhelming for you, I’d encourage you to consider making a trip to Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville. While it may seem like you’re ‘too busy’ to take some time off, that’s no excuse. Maintaining your wellbeing and health, particularly in this day and age we’re living in, has never been more important. With the help of the time-tested expertise of the Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville staff, optimized spa treatments, and healing benefits of their services, guests should expect to leave feeling renewed and empowered to tackle life’s obstacles. Unplugging, disconnecting, and being present with yourself for a moment might just be the key to changing the course of your day, your week, or even your life.

A special thanks to Walt, Colleen, and the Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville Team for having us! Photos and promotional assets courtesy of Woodhouse Spa - Gainesville.

Relishing in the Boutique Experience: Nancy Pearlstein Re-Introduces Menswear to the D.C. Scene

By: Connor Duszynski

Menswear is en vogue again. After the past few seasons having been heavily-dominated by womenswear, with notable collections from the likes of Daniel Roseberry’s Schiaparelli to Mugler, Dior, and just about every other well-established fashion house giving womenswear its time to shine, there is a shift occurring within the fashion landscape. Yet again, after the past three to four years of the fashion industry’s over-saturation of hyper-feminine silhouettes, women’s accessories, and traditionally-feminine ensembles, the shift is now favoring menswear and more androgynous looks. It’s no secret that it’s much more difficult to reinvent menswear, or at least make it more appealing and interesting to the eye, but that’s exactly what’s happening. The re-popularization of menswear is undoubtedly spearheaded by Demna Gvasalia, Thom Browne, Tom Ford, and few other fashion contemporaries who are making notable strides in men’s fashion. Exaggerated masculine silhouettes, the unforeseen return of bespoke suiting, and ever-present incorporation of repurposed materials are the contemporary trends propelling men’s fashion to the forefront of the industry’s discourse.

Taking note of this trend and the increasing market for menswear, D.C.’s acclaimed retailer and boutique owner, Nancy Pearlstein of relish boutique just re-introduced menswear to her space last week. On October 11th, Pearlstein hosted an exclusive launch of her boutique’s Menswear Collection, featuring the likes of Marni, Dries Van Noten, R13, Guidi, Sunspel, Mature Ha, Aspei, Chimala, Song For The Mute, ROA, Massimo Alba, Sacai, Undercover, LABO.ART, and Harris Wharf London. The launch signaled a return to the boutique’s roots, as Pearlstein has not featured menswear at relish for the past twenty-six years.

It was the most exciting push for menswear in D.C. this year, and perhaps within recent memory altogether. Pearlstein’s perfectly-curated collection showcased men’s basics and ready-to-wear items that would elevate any modern man’s wardrobe. A launch that was sorely-needed by the D.C. fashion scene, relish is providing a space for menswear to thrive. Decked out with bomber jackets, trendy dip-dyed shirts, stylish wool sweaters, and bold full-length coats, the relish space reestablished itself as the one-stop shop for men’s fashion in the city. 

'In the two decades that have passed since we first did menswear at relish, a new generation of men have come of age with a hunger and appreciation for dressing with style and individuality,' says Nancy. 'Lately, men have been walking into the shop, begging us to carry clothes like we have for women, but I have resisted- gun shy to try again. Whether Covid got me thinking, or my love of menswear got the best of me, I finally relented.' I couldn’t be more glad that Nancy has made this move. This palpable hunger for individuality and stylish menswear had been simmering for far too long. It’s about time other boutiques in the city and the fashion world at-large follow suit and embrace the push for elevated men’s ensembles and styling. 

Upon arriving at the relish space, guests were greeted with a full-service bar at the boutique’s entry, the perfect way to kick-off any launch. Prosecco in-hand, I made my way through the loft, admiring the womenswear on the main floor before making my way downstairs to the exclusive launch, only to be greeted in the stairwell by a fabulous array of meats, cheeses, and other charcuterie essentials on an expansive grazing table. Once downstairs, I was immediately drawn to the Marni pieces on-display. The fuzzy, vibrant crimson slippers and weathered mustard yellow biker jacket were must-have items for any fashionable man. These items, along with the other curated pieces of Pearlstein’s, are perfectly seasonal; as the cool air sets-in downtown, now is the perfect time to stop by relish.

Following the displays of ready-to-wear items, I was next drawn to the Dries Van Noten and Song For The Mute pieces, which I found to be the most exciting of the launch. The vibe of the night was energetic, vibrant, and welcoming. It was all the things that a fashion launch should be. It wasn’t uncomfortable or stuffy or trying to be what it wasn’t; the authenticity of the night, the company, and the space was invigorating. I was in great company, as the city’s most fashionable descended upon relish to celebrate a shared interest and genuine desire to see menswear find its footing once again in D.C. It was a moment. However, it was no surprise to me that the evening was such a successful launch, as the team behind the event was none other than TAA PR, the city’s premiere firm known for throwing the most fabulous and sought-after events in the city. I am grateful to their team, especially to owner Aba Bonney Kwawu for graciously having me. It was an honor and a pleasure to join them for a moment of celebrating elevated fashion and style. 

It is Pearlstein’s hope that every client, fashion maven, and passerby has this same experience when shopping at relish. Through her influences of European elegance and effortless comfort, she conveys a feeling of sensibility and calm, all while providing shoppers with an elevated experience. 'Nancy put her experience and singular aesthetic sensibility to work and built relish women into a multi million-dollar business. Now she is putting that same energy, creativity and effort into relish menswear. With the philosophy of captivating the eye without overwhelming it, Nancy finds designers that are uniquely modern and relevant without sacrificing lasting quality and taste. In a 6000 square foot loft, housed in Cady’s Alley, relish has an inviting atmosphere and its knowledgeable staff is eager to introduce customers to a men’s collection that perfectly compliments its winning women’s aesthetic.' Simply put, the press release got it right. Not only was the event a quintessential relish experience, but the quality, artistry, and desirability of the new menswear perfectly compliments the brand’s well known women’s retailing, which Pearlstein has curated for the past several decades. 

Moving forward, I’m excited to see which new labels will be featured in the relish loft, alongside the current sublime collection. It is my hope that more indie brands and overlooked designers are showcased that align with relish’s overall elevated brand. Pearlstein has already done a magnificent job of this, artfully incorporating small and well-established labels in her space. I am simply thrilled to see where it goes from here, and I would urge any man on the fence of embracing his individuality to dip his toe into the waters of self-expression and experimenting with fashion. That’s what it’s all about.

A special thanks to TAA PR and the Relish Team for having us! Promotional assets courtesy of Relish.

A Night with Linux: An Exposé On NYC Nightlife

By: Connor Duszynski

People say that nightlife in New York City is dead. They say the nightlife here was greatest in the ‘70s and ‘80s with the phenomenon that was Studio 54, the rise of Club Kid culture in the late ‘80s, and the popularization of the city’s nightlife scene by notable patrons like Andy Warhol, Diana Vreeland, and Halston. They couldn’t be more incorrect. While the dive bars, abandoned warehouses, and Harlem lofts that once housed these sacred gatherings have almost all been torn down and replaced by luxury highrises, the city’s supercharged nightlife persists. It survived. Migrating to the boroughs of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Queens, the scene looks different but the feeling is the same. While many of the icons of past decades are no longer with us, current trendsetters and tastemakers like Rick Owens, Demna Gvasalia, and Aquaria frequent the parties of today’s New York. The scene serves as an outlet to so many. As was the case with Studio 54 and the legendary clubs of the past, contemporary nightlife brings individuals of all walks of life together. Artists, designers, creatives, public figures, social media personalities, and queer icons drink and dance together, celebrating the beauty of the night.

Carrying the spirit of the city’s nightlife into contemporary culture are the same event producers and hosts of year’s passed. Susanne Bartsch and Amanda Lepore have successfully introduced New York’s famed nightlife to the youngest generation of party-goers. For this alone (not to mention all their various other notable contributions to the city and the queer community at-large), we must thank them. They are stewards of love, acceptance, and authenticity. Seeking-out and promoting the talents of the queer artists, performers, and creatives they come across, Bartsch and Lepore have uplifted the entire community through their events. I had the honor of speaking with Linux, a contemporary and close friend of Bartsch and Lepore. A star in her own right, Linux is everywhere. Stomping down the runways of fashion shows, jet-setting the world, and throwing fabulous parties of her own, Linux is THE New York downtown ‘it-girl.’ Some of the events she produces, hosts, and co-hosts are Paul’s Dolls and On Top, appearing alongside the likes of Lepore, Bartsch, and her On Top family. We discussed the success of her parties, the importance of creating a safe and welcoming environment for all her guests, and how she expects New York’s nightlife to shift over the next few years.

CD: Hey, doll! Thanks for joining me tonight! What’s the latest? How’re you doing?

L: I’m doing well! I had a crazy night at On Top last night. It was so amazing! The whole Rick Owens team came. We had a great time taking shots and partying. It’s experiences like that that make me feel so lucky. I’m so blessed.

CD: Blessed and highly-favored indeed! Your outfit was fabulous by the way. How can you tell if a party is going to be a success? 

L: You usually know after the second party whether or not it’s going to be a hit. There’s so many things that go into making it a success, but my main thing is the vibe or the feeling of it all. The PR, the flier, the music, the staff, the venue. Everything has to be correct. In the case of Paul’s Dolls, it’s one of those parties that will last a decade unless they sell the building. The vibe is very cosmopolitan, very sexy, very trans. It’s in a very chic Soho location. Think of martinis and sexy loungewear. It’s going well. With other parties, if you were to host a party that had more of an underground rave vibe, you’d have to pick completely different music with a completely different flier. You’d need all the rave kids. Basically, the key is that all the different components need to make sense together and have to be very rhythmic with each other.

CD: Have you always been drawn to the NYC nightlife? When did you first realize that this was the industry you wanted to work in?

L: I moved to New York about six or seven years ago from Wisconsin. Before I moved here, I lived right on Lake Michigan in a quiet town. Growing up, I was obsessed with Party Monster and Susanne Bartsch. I’ve always been fascinated by New York and its nightlife. I’m so lucky I knew what I wanted to do from a young age. I always knew I wanted to be a fabulous New York ‘it-girl.’ After high school, I moved to the city and jumped right in. I started by hosting parties for all these amazing people that I had always looked up to. That turned into producing my own parties and events. From there, I was able to start writing my monthly column for Paper Magazine. I write about some of the best parties in the world. It’s so much fun. It’s literally been the perfect storm. 

CD: Werq. I’m a firm believer in manifesting your reality, so I love that you knew what you wanted, spoke it into existence, and made it happen for yourself. I also love that you had those inspirations to look up to. It’s so important for queer kids growing up.

L: Exactly, girl! It’s so, so important. 

CD: Switching gears a bit, you’re obviously a style icon. More specifically, you’re a queer style icon. Tell me a little bit about your style and fashion journey. Where do you pull inspiration from?

L: Thank you, that’s nice of you to say that. I wish I had a good answer. My style and aesthetic comes organically. It comes from me and the people I surround myself with. I guess from growing up in Wisconsin, I do pull inspiration from classic American camp. From watching TV growing up, I definitely have a perception of what classic American pop culture is, if that makes sense. Aside from that, I wear what I want to wear. I want to look fabulous and over-the-top. Imagine what an ‘it-girl’ would wear. That’s what I want to serve.

CD: And serve she does. From Paul’s Dolls to On Top, which you were just at last night, you’re literally everywhere. You’re described as “THE New York downtown ‘it-girl’ bringing the world together one dance floor at a time.” What does this title mean to you and why is it important for you to bring people together?

L: I love life so much. I love my life. I love who I am. But it wasn’t always that way. Growing up, I could not imagine being this confident and this excited to be alive as I am today. I never imagined that this life would actually be possible for me, growing up first as a gay guy in conservative Wisconsin, and then coming out as trans after that. But it is possible. I’ve gotten all my confidence from within me. Today, it’s important that everyone around me also feels that sense of gratitude, confidence, and happiness to be alive. That’s what I want people to feel. My love language is partying. It’s celebrating and making people feel good. When I want people to feel as good as I do, I put on a great song, get the disco ball going, and dance with you…and we get a good cocktail, obviously. With that being said, it doesn’t feel like a title I’m taking-on. It feels like I was put here on this Earth to do this for other people. I’m here to get the party started. I want everyone to feel their glamorous, ‘it-girl’ self. Everyone is VIP.

CD: Tell me more about the vibe of Paul’s Dolls and the other events you host and produce. What can party-goers expect?

L: Paul’s Dolls is a really special party to me. It’s the first recurring weekly party that I’ve produced all on my own. That’s hard to do in New York. For a producer to have a regular weekly party is top tier. That’s every producer’s dream. The fact that I can do this is a miracle and I’m so grateful. It’s a party that specifically focuses on trans girls like myself, my trans girlfriends, and the queer femmes that I surround myself with. There’s something so goddess-level and powerful that comes from queer femmes. It’s giving Moonlight energy…very that. I realized that there’s so, so many parties for gay guys and no parties for the dolls. What happened to girl’s nights?! That’s what New York was missing. I knew the city needed this. I got in-touch with Paul Sevigny, the owner of Paul’s Casablanca, and we made it happen. It’s such a fabulous space. The DJs are all trans and the hosts are all trans. It’s sexy, it’s fun, but most importantly: it’s a girl’s night out! 

CD: How has Paul’s Dolls specifically impacted the NYC nightlife scene?

L: In so many ways. It’s had such a positive impact on NYC. It’s now in peoples’ faces that trans women are important, trans women are valuable, and trans women belong here. Even just from having the flier out there in front of peoples’ faces, I’ve noticed a heightened awareness and respect for trans girls. It’s started from within our own greater LGBTQIA+ community. It’s fabulous. I love that I get to employ ten trans women every single week. I love that I can provide a space for the dolls and the dolls adjacent

CD: Sounds like my crowd! Some of our readers may not know but your contemporaries in the NYC nightlife scene include the likes of Susanne Bartsch and Amanda Lepore. What’s your relationship like with these queer icons? Is there a piece of advice either of them gave you that you’ll cherish forever?

L: Susanne is like my mother. She’s my mother and one of my absolute best friends. I have learned so much from her, and gotten great advice from her over the years. She literally opened her arms to me when I came to NYC. She’s not only given me work, but she’s helped me grow intrapersonally. My relationship with her is so special and important to me. The best advice she’s given to me is to stay out of the drama! In any industry, but especially in nightlife, there’s big egos and politics at-play. It’s better to focus on your own parties and on ways to improve the scene, rather than dwelling on what’s wrong with the scene. Susanne has taught me to focus on solutions rather than problems. Change the world with love.

CD: We stan Susanne. You mentioned to me earlier, like many queer kids, that you felt left-out at times and misunderstood in the past. What does it mean for you personally to provide an inclusive and welcoming space for all queer individuals? 

L: It’s important for me to make sure everyone at my parties is safe from harm. I make sure my girls are good. I want everyone to feel safe, welcomed, and to feel like they’re important. If I ever see someone who doesn’t have a way to get home, I add a stop on my car on the way home. There has been a time or two in the past when I wasn’t as aware of my own surroundings as I should have been when I’ve gone out. Shit went down. I don’t want anyone to have a night like that at my parties. I constantly scan my parties to make sure everyone is safe from harm. I also stress respect at my events. There’s enough hatred from the outside that there’s no place for that within our own community. We don’t need people bringing us down from the inside.

CD: I entirely agree, that’s tea. We are stronger and better together. Mutual respect, compassion, and understanding starts within our own community and within our own spaces. Thank you for sharing that. Now, how do you see the NYC nightlife scene changing in the coming years, particularly at your events? Have you noticed any significant change since you moved here?

L: I’ve only ever been around during the era of social media, so I can’t really speak on how social media has impacted nightlife. However, I do know that because of social media, there’s an increased awareness for my events and parties. Social media is like the Batman signal to the hurt kids out there who want to come to New York and dance. They’ll have a home here. I’ve noticed there’s a lot more people coming as a result of seeing the events through social media. That’s amazing. The number one thing you need at a successful party is people, so I love that there’s more and more people coming to experience the scene. I’ve also noticed that there’s more respect for marginalized members of our community and marginalized people within our scene, which I touched upon earlier. There’s a recognition that we need to be more loving and compassionate to others, especially those who are more marginalized within the scene. It makes me very happy to see the love and respect towards one another. There’s an understanding within our community that others are going through things just as (if not more) difficult than you are, and we need to be respectful and loving.

CD: It’s all love. Compassion, empathy, and understanding are critical for uplifting our community. I love to hear how much goodwill and kindness you’re spreading. Iconic, truly. With that being said, what can our readers expect from you next? Any projects, parties, or collaborations we should keep a lookout for?

L: Right now I’m really focusing on my column at the moment. I really love writing and am excited to grow that aspect of my work. Of course I’ll be busy this summer with Paul’s Dolls and some amazing one-offs; I’m sure there will be plenty of warehouse raves that I’ll be at. It’ll definitely be a moment. Keep on reading my column and dancing with me!

CD: It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you, Linux. I can’t wait to make it back up to NYC this summer to see you. Before I go, is there a piece of advice you’d leave with young queer kids or people coming up in your industry that you wish you had known sooner? 

L: The number one thing about this industry that people should know is that people come to the NYC parties and nightlife events to be healed. It’s a form of therapy. The people producing these parties are the therapists. It’s important to go into this not just wanting to be the most fabulous person in the room, but to make other people feel that way. These parties help and heal people. I want to touch people. So I would tell anyone coming up in this industry to do it for other people, not just yourself. Be a servant to others, help others, listen to others. Honestly, regardless of the industry you go into, do it with the mindset of helping others. Everyone will be better off because of it. 

CD: Thank you, doll! Is there anything I may have missed that you want to share with our readers?

L: No, I think that’s everything. We slayed it. Cheers, girl!

A special thanks to Linux for speaking with me. Editorial photography by Jana Schuessler for The House Magazine.