I took some time to sit down for a little fireside chat with fellow WYV teammate and all-around entrepreneurial powerhouse, Natalie Coblentz, to discuss their epic Pride party and event, La Garçonne Gala coming-up next Thursday, June 25th, at SOMArts in SF – the only all inclusive female sophisticated charitable function for pride (fuck yes)! La Garçonne Gala was inspired by the female activists of the 1930s, when women started to step away from wearing dresses and started wearing suits. Garçonne is French for boyish, and is a masculine word, but by placing the La in front of garçonne, it plays with the gender neutrality and androgynousness of the event, look, and fun playful feel. Of course learning this makes my writer’s heart resonate with that type of feminist witticism, not to mention makes my big, fat, Queer, heart pound with excitement just thinking about the female warriorship of the night, which is intentionally diversified!
WYV: How did this supremely stellar event come into existence!?
Natalie: “I was inspired to create this event on the west coast by the gentle and loving hearts of my past fashion show I curated for dapperQ at the CalAcademy for pride two years ago…I have been drawn to the dapper and dandy fashion my entire life.”
WYV: Can you expand upon what you mean by “dapper and dandy” fashion means?
N: “Dapper and dandy are masculine-of-center attire. Dapper and dandy is more than just fashion. It’s about how you treat others in your every day mannerisms. (Think: Suit jacket, vest, pants, bowtie, crisp shirt, gentle smile, politeness and manors.)”
WYV: Ah, I see – I love that description, and as it turns out my partner is quite dapper and dandy herself! The most frustrating thing I’ve realized about this queer style is when it comes time to actually find masculine-of-center clothes to still fit a female shape – whatever it may be! I know you work with a lot of designers on exactly this topic – what are your thoughts on it?
N: “For as long as I can remember, lesbians have been unfortunately forced into this “dyke fashion” of mullets, cargo shorts, and bad hats. We pick and pull our shirts and underwear from the little boys section, our pants from here and our vests from there. The thing is – we aren’t little boys. We are grown women, and shouldn’t have limited clothing options to wear, especially to important events like our own weddings. Now that marriage equality has been on the rise, people want to look good for their special days and then some! Some very driven people have taken it upon themselves to start both off the rack suits and custom made fits. Suits that are form fitting to the female body, but with masculine flare. The fact that we as a society place gender on inanimate objects is beyond me. Fortunately, we are now moving forward to getting to wear what we want while looking damn good in it! The designers we have at La Garçonne Gala are doing this very thing.”
WYV: I love that that you are continuing on this historical movement into our generation who still needs it so much! I also really love that La Garçonne Gala is not actually about the patriarchal male-ideal masculination of womyn, but actually the celebration of all kinds of different womyn who represent a spectrum of feminine and masculine. Plus, you know I’m all about body positive fashion so I’m beyond thrilled to attend a fashion extravaganza that both celebrates all the gayness and queerness of Pride, while remembering to include ALL bodies. Besides the fashion show segment, what can attendees expect to experience that night?
N: “Expect live music, art, amazing DJ’s, and even a Photobooth to wear your voices in! Below is a brief but fairly succinct glimpse of what our evening of fun will look like:
MUSIC – We have an female cast (and one male drummer) of strong live music. The LEX is an amazing set of ladies from LA rocking the music scene as well as the fashion scene. They really rock it out with their style and we are happy be one of their stops on their tour. Raven Marcus: Cowboy Glam Rock are some local SF Babes. Their glittery style really rocks it, especially when their drummer breaks out the washboard. Lindsay Katt is a solo singer artist from Brooklyn with a whimsical style and a super large twitter following!
ART – We have fine artists from the Modern Electric Studio. They will be presenting their oil painting of very sensual portraits. We also have some abstract artists on board!!
PHOTOPROJECTS- We have local Oakland and local SF transgender identity products showing off their photos and representing our community.
DJS – We have two SF local – DJ DENISE and DJ MS JACKSON and DJ GOODBOY from LA rocking the dance floor.
PHOTOBOOTH – We have Jenny Daughtry Photography who will be taking on site photoshoots!
WYV: WOW – mind blown! It seems like the better question may have been what not to expect or to just expect the unexpected! La Garçonne Gala seems to have anything and everything creatively inspired that our LGBTQQIAAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual) community both has to offer, as well as desire to experience. Personally, I love that this is a queer womyn focused event at a time when gay men are frequently front-and-center (especially in San Francisco where gay male clubs are thriving versus the legendary lesbian club: The Lex, which had to recently close its doors. It certainly feels like now is the time for feminine power in all forms to be even more on the rise, and La Garcona Gala seems to be a spearheader for our Bay Area – I can only hope this event sparks our passion for even more. Thanks to Natalie and her amazing team of volunteers for making this happen – we hope to see as many of our readers there as possible, proudly wearing there voices in support of this beautiful vision!
IMPORTANT EVENT LINKS:
*Proceeds go to: