This fashionable and stylish blog is a collage of creative fresh ideas, filled with educated opinions, packed with flexible suggestions, stuffed with a lot of sense of humor and most of all, it is a place where people who enjoy fashion and style can use it as a resource, a channel to let out their passions or frustrations, a virtual mechanism to influence others with individualism and creativity. Anyone can use this blog to break the monotony of your lives—to have a good laugh or to initiate a thought. And if your life feels monotonous spice it up with a tiara or a new belt or a hat. This blog is not supposed to be the fashion police [never] because who can compete with Joan Rivers. This blog is not a serious literary document; instead, it is a fun registry about what we like to wear, our personal style and a life that’s unique, fun and imaginative. WARNING: This blog is not your average and stereotypical blog, this blog offers honesty, choices, fun ideas and a good time. Criticism is welcomed. Cynicism is encouraged!


Tales & Dreams

A lot of people, mostly friends or should I say my gay friends, have asked me to share stories of my time as a fashion model. In the past I have had a rule about that, “I rather not say anything because I don’t like to talk about people and some things are not meant to be shared.” That was then and this is now. If the story is meaty and it makes sense to retell it, I will. What do I have to lose? Nothing.

My agency Why Not in Milan had sent me to do a photo “test” with a young Italian photographer, Marco Marezza. I had arrived in Milan only 2 weeks before when this occurred, so I was still young and naïve about fashion, modeling and the new city. I had done a few shoots in the US but nothing in Europe yet. I arrived at the studio of this young, fun, charismatic, charming and talented photographer with my book in hand and nothing else. I had no expectations about the whole thing, except perform great and walk away with beautiful photos. Marco greeted me with two kisses, one on each cheek and introduced me to the crew. Before I go on, I must also mention that I was extremely nervous and anxious about the shoot—my agent had sold Marco as the new Herb Ritts and that was big deal.

When I arrived at the photo studio I was nervous and anxious. The clothes I go to wear
were beautiful, tailored, decadent and Marpesa made sure I looked great.
Oh, it was a freaking great time.
Photo: Marco Marezza

From the very beginning I was interested and fascinated by the makeup artist who I will call Marpesa. She was a tall drink of water or should I say vodka. She was sassy, snooty and she was absolutely beautiful from head to toes. This bitch was glamorous; she had a personal style that could rival Chloe Sevigny or better yet, Carrie Bradshaw. Her attitude was fresh and pleasing. I could see she had makeup on, but it was natural; her leopard print high heels were presumably Ferragamo because before Louboutin there was Ferragamo and in Italy you only wear the local best. Her hair was coiffed to the max and her outfit was simply chic. Marpesa had on a short LBD that was perfectly fitted to her slim and tall figure. I assumed her dress was off the rack until I complimented her and with a strong Sicilian accent she told me, “this dress was a present from Dolce and Gabbana,” and with that I moved on.
Note to the reader(s): before moving to Italy to pursue a modeling career I had never experienced the world of fashion full head on. In Los Angeles where I had lived before fashion does not exist and if there is any it is trashy and vulgar. Besides the obvious culture shock, I was also experiencing new things. It was exciting. Fun and it felt liberating.

I was a little shy about wearing this leather Dolce and Gabbana vest and jewelry.
My finger tips had blisters for a few days from the cigarette burning; I puffed a lot that day.
Photo: Marco Marezza

The photo shoot began. It was clothing heaven. There were clothes by Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino, Enrico Coveri and Trussardi, it was glorious. Twenty minutes into the shoot we took a break. Marco reloaded film and danced around to Culture Club; the wardrobe stylist a short flamboyant-queenie Italian showed me the next outfit and Marpesa in the back made drinks for everyone. Before the next outfit could be photographed everyone had to gulp the sweet concoction that had been carefully mixed by Marpesa. My innocence and naiveté took the best of me sometimes, which made it difficult to fully enjoy everything around me; still I drank the potion that Marpesa had given me. In her thick accent and mild voice Marpesa said, “Carlo do you want to do a line?” I waited a few seconds to respond because I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. “What are you talking about? Do a line of what?” I responded. “That,” she said pointing to the table where she had been crafting the drinks and where the most delicious Italian pastries were waiting for us to devour.

Sitting on the edge of the table were eight thin lines of cocaine. Until then I had never seen cocaine. I didn’t know it was so white and fine. Marpesa handed me a new dollar that had been tightly rolled and which was used to snore the snow. “It will make you feel fabulous and you’ll feel free,” Marpesa said as I looked down to the row of lines that were staring back at me. “No thank you,” I refused. Right there and then I knew that I had entered a new world and maybe I was going to be the outcast for rejecting a line of cocaine.

I was shocked with amazement to find out that the sweater I was wearing was $1,400.
"Is that the real price?" I asked Marpesa. "Yes honey, is couture."
I don't know what happened to the Dolce and Gabbana sweater I kept after the shoot.
Photo: Marco Marezza

The photo shoot went on for a few hours. I was a little exhausted but delighted to be there too; Marco was extremely creative, patient and superbly professional the entire time. Despite my Charlie refusal early on, Marpesa was very sweet to me, funny—even today I think about her and her large-scale sense of humor. She sat around changing her face and never did I imagined that this beautiful glamazon was not a natural she, but instead a natural he. Marpesa was a drag-queen. She was a drag-queen that wore Fendi, Armani and Prada to walk around the streets of Milan. She was beautiful and designers had come to love her. “My real name is not Marpesa and I’m not a donna.”  “I was born a boy in Siracusa, Sicilia,” she proudly admitted when at the end of the photo shoot we all decided to go to dinner and have a great time. I've never a drag-queen like Marpesa again. Since that infamous day, I can’t judge a drag-queen without first thinking about Marpesa and her divine taste for fashion, humor and her undeniable style. Marpesa, Marco and I worked again a few more times after the first photo shoot. Great times and great memories.

1 comment:

  1. So fabulous! I would love to know how many of the clothes you were allowed to keep...you should randomly sport couture around the neighborhood. You know, to walk Tucker in an original D&G outfit.