All posts by Liz Loren

Los Angeles Investiture for Emerald Kingdom

Empress Maria Roman, well known transgender activist and our red carpet star at the very first Czarina’s Diversity Ball, and David Quinte were crowned regent Emperor and Empress of the Imperial Court of Los Angeles May 1, 2016.

With this kind of talent and experience the LA Court should see the beginnings of “the good old days” when it was the Court Jewel of the Southland, as reigning Czarina of All California, Liz Loren, with her usual Royal Panache and under the charter for Riverside County, invested three new Monarchs into The Emerald Kingdom, the Palm Spring’s based non-profit organization focusing on LBGT Youth and their dreams and aspirations.IMG_3080

A new Arch Duchess was invested to Pinkie Meringue Shimmer, a fundraiser and popular cabaret star in Palm Springs, and her husband Kevin became IMG_3082Duke.

The enigmatic former Emperor of New York, Wendy Pinkhouse was made a Count to assist the Palm Spring’s organization to raise diversity awareness and funds!IMG_3099

Empress LaLa of San Diego, fabulous as always, was MC of the investiture and outstanding commands were performed by dear friends Empress Ashly Pendington, who did a hilarious version of Lucille Ball’s “Vita Veggie Vitamin” skit, and Empress Lonnie performed her classic come back song “Where the Boys Are” a great favorite!

We welcome our new Monarchs and look forward to grand times and noble deeds

Hara’s Annual Christmas Fundraiser 2015

DSC_4860The Gay AB FAB Liz and Lonnie once again celebrate Christmas at Hara’s Annual Christmas Fundraiser by raising funds for the less fortunate! The Dynasty Divas made the crowd laugh and feel good as Liz sent out Christmas love messages to Princess Janne of Finland, Princess Gypsy in Ohio and Beautiful New Girl-in-town Imogene in Australia!

Golden Jubilee Imperial Court Dinner

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The 2015 Golden Jubilee Imperial Court Dinner held at the classic and classy Hotel Sentinel in Portland, Oregon was elegant beyond even Washington DC standards! All Ladies, Gentlemen, Courtiers and Monarchs out did themselves in fabulous ” Worth-Style” gowns and Crown Jewels that rivaled any thing I have seen in the great palaces of Europe!

Dustin Lance Black, screen writer of the movie Milk, who now lives in London agreed! Currently writing a made for TV series about LBGT history, Dustin is featuring Empress One of San Francisco Jose Sarria, as the first true pioneer of diversity and LBGT rights, which paved the way for others such as Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard and Stuart Milk.

It was Empress One Jose, the Widow Norton we were all gathered together in our finery to honor.

The roster was packed with every living Gay Icon and advocate we have including Dennis and Judy Shepard, The Reverend Troy Perry, The Hon. Toni G. Atkins CA Speaker of the Assembly, Dustin Lance Black, Cleve Jones, Founded of the NAMES Project AIDS quilt ( both compelling speakers) Council-member of San Diego Hon. Ted Gloria, Michael Connolly the 21 year old member of the Legislative-assembly, Alberta Canada and the always eloquent and dynamic ( and dear friend and co-Global Ambassador) Stuart Milk.

The grand Ballroom of the Sentinel was as opulent as Versailles, the richly elegant pre-dinner VIP reception Hall was flowing with champagne and tasty snacks, the staff of both venues flawless in service. I have seldom seen a ICS event flow so smoothly, thanks to the efforts of the intrepid Queen Mum Heir Dragon Empress Coco LaChine and her team ( how could we forget her pageant like entrance when announced at the dinner?)

But the true star of the evening was Nicole The Great, our Queen Mother!

Looking wonderful with splendid robes and cleavage dripping with jewels, Nicole was the epitome of a true Monarch in every since of the word– and I have met a few in my world travels over the decades.

Gracious and erudite she described our long and arduous journey in history and what the ICS really stands for. Omitting no one, she honored us all in so many moving ways behind the disbursements of broaches and medals (and those that were given out this year, including the Rose Court Rose broach were of unusual high quality).

Being in the same age group as Nicole I know well the rigors of having to stand or even sit for hours on a Diaz, in front of hundreds of people, always smiling and being strong while inside wanting nothing more than a cozy bed with a fireplace ( the hotel had one in each room) and a nice hot meal! Her Majesty had to sit on a throne and keep the ball rolling while we all ate the beautifully prepared 4 course dinner.

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My husband Drue and I deeply appreciate and thank the Queen Mum for the additional titles as Czar and Czarina of The Golden State of California (despite the fact the plaque, with its typo said “of All the Americas”)

We were Crown Sponsors and we’re proud to donate to this memorable of all nights!

Jose would have loved the pomp, circumstance, opulence and pageantry so tastefully done!

(Tip: You can scroll through all photos in a photo gallery, like the one associated with this post, by either swiping over the top main photo or by clicking on the main photos upper left purple arrows. Enjoy!)

Drag Wedding

The Day After The Supreme Court Decision!

WATCH WEDDING VIDEO!

June 27, 2015 was the most special days of days and ours was a historical drag wedding because of its scale, beauty, glamour and VIP attendance, but mainly because it was held the very next day the Supreme Court handed down its historic verdict of same-sex marriage across the Nation.

If one were to have walked into this wedding by mistake, at the hilltop Estate of Czarina Liz Loren and Czar Drue, they would assume they were at a “normal” Beverly Hills type wedding celebrating the union or two socialites. The groom was Handsome Prince in white tails, the bride’s maids, flower girl (and flower dog) Matron of honour were in flowing gowns of champagne chiffon accented by pearls and subtle sequins. The bride herself was a classic vision in a Kate Middleton inspired gown of 57 yards of Italian satin appliquéd with re-embroidered lace and a Vallenchine veil 20 feet long held in place with a Robert Sorrell of New York pearl and diamond tiara.

IMG_6275The bridal party were a vision of taste and loveliness, the wedding all girls dream of—and they were all men! Formal tables surrounding the pool were draped in white and green with tie backs on covered chairs. A large circle of ivory roses mixed with pink stock and hydrangea were the base of elegant crystal candelabra on each table, shaded by champagne coloured umbrellas. The gazebo where the ceremony took place was covered with roses and ivy garlands with even more flowers banked inside as a back ground for Reverend Roi of Palm Springs resplendent in matching clerical robes!

Stuart Milk of The Harvey Milk Foundation flew in to be Best Man for Czar Drue, and Drue’s beloved Terrier Lady was second flower “girl” to Robby De La Rivera of Beverly Hills who came with Mandy Lebbos of Love PR–and who donated the fabulous corsages for the bride’s maids and groomsmen.Beverly Hills was well represented by members of the Crown Jewels and their spouses. Present were famous decorator Bernardo Pucci and his husband Orin Kennedy, the Lerher’s and the Levinsahn’s and Dr. Lew Weintraub and his wife Gloria ( Dr. Weintraub gave Liz away), columnist Marci Weiner and author Grace Robbins, widow of American novelist Harold Robbins.

Washington DC insider and marketing director for DMK International, Yale Scott and his fiancée Dr. Bobby of “The Spa” on Rodeo were in the wedding party along with the fabulous “Spa Girls” River Harlow and the young and chic “Sky”. River brought the elegant Parisian Madam Simone Lintilhac and Prima Donna Fashionista Kaarina Kivilahti flew in from Helsinki Finland for the occasion, showering Liz with Balmain from her boutique Kaarina K!

Singing star Jimmy James took time out from his tour to gift the wedding with two of his songs and family members were represented by The Drew Coleman’s, The Steve Alkire’s and Lori Freeman, the grooms sister from Texas and her colourful friend Vicky!

But the “piece de resistance” were the flowers!

Designed and executed by LeeSalee (a close friend of Liz) the mansion overflowed with elaborate bouquets worthy of a White House State Dinner! Following Liz Loren’s signature lilies, hydrangeas and roses, tall sculpted vases overflowing towered above the Russian themed buffet tables, the inside bar and the grand piano! Even the cake table was decorated with petals and a mock bridal bouquet. Chef Jay Johnson also decorated the main courses and the Russian style starters to compliment the floral display!

Liz had not seen any of these things until she literally “walked down the aisle”, having been a bundle of nerves sequestered in her quarters with her brides maids and LeeSalee all morning! She was stunned. These are all real friends that would jump in and help with the pre wedding set up done by Con Delo, a rock star friend from Australia, and Ron Russell and Jimmy Starr of the East Coast, both media personalities there to have a good time, not set tables and move furniture, “I love them all!”, a tearful Liz later said.

Karen Cobb of Long Beach kept the guests entertained with her cabaret song selections and Ron Russell, co-star of The Jimmy Starr Show, a widely syndicated radio and TV talk show, did an extemporaneous song and dance live to a song he had written for Liz and Drue, many eyes misted over with tears to this heartfelt number backed by a Mantovani sound track–Jimmy Starr shot a special video of the event to be edited for their show later on.

Mandy Lebbo and Love PR and Kyle, a talent agent, organised a commemorative video shoot for the newly weds memory files and then started the dancing following the sumptuous buffet of Beef Strogenov, Lemon Chicken in caper sauce, Seafood Alfredo, Field salad, Russian Salad ( donated by Liz’s designer FEDOR, made by his Ukrainian mother ) Poached and glazed salmon, roasted vegetables ala Jay.

The desert was a variety of small French pastries and the cake! The cake, designed by Pin UP cakes of Whittier was a French Confection triumph of white butter creme frosting sculpted with Ivory marzipan roses and soft pink freesia over three tiers of separate flavours. Served with Vueve Cliquot champagne that flowed like water the entire time! It was said that the younger attendees went through nine bottles of Russian vodka, yet no one seemed plastered!

The ceremony was classic but tailored to a same-sex marriage and one could see the emotion between the couple as they said “I do”. There was an almost otherworldly feeling about the wedding and the reception after, as the Western sun descended into the Pacific throwing that special, golden light over everyone.

Liz later said plainly,

I appeared as Liz as a statement to all my LGBT friends and supporters around the world and for the people who have supported Emerald Kingdom. There were some critics that shouted “why marriage in drag?”; my reply was “why not?”

The very basis of our Foundation and fund raising is that every human being on the planet has the right to be and appear as they are or how they perceive themselves to be–I am many things and Liz Loren is one of them! My husband, bless him, supports all of me and all the many cloaks I wear because he knows my true heart, and I know his.

WATCH WEDDING VIDEO!

Drag Cookie Cutter Face

Drag Cookie Cutter Face

I love all my young fans around the world, I try my best to be an example to them, even at my advanced age, to be as glamorous and “real” as possible. This is what impersonation and transgender is all about!

We all do what we think is cool in our youth! I look back on my early Sophia Loren tribute attempts. In this video, my very first time, I spent so much time sucking my cheeks in to try for that famous “La Loren” bone structure that I could barely talk! The blush was badly placed, eye make-up not structured for La Loren (I leaned over the years it takes tapes and an entirely different eye liner slant) and the lighting was unfortunate. I have since then learned to “step into the light” the right way and never let a photograph or video be taken without checking out the light!

Screenshot from EarlyLizLorenI laugh now, how amateur, how gauche!! But I was going for real, not a stamp that could be found on hundreds of others!

There is a fine line between “on-stage” make up–that has to be bold to survive the lights–and make up for an “up close and personal” daytime event!

This cooky-cutter-craze has been on my mind for a long time. I see more and more young queens taking advantage of drag being mainstream, thanks to RuPaul and others, and make-up techniques running rampant! Some are highly skilled and quite beautiful, some are clown-like and some even demonic, as if they were auditioning to appear at the RAW club in Malmo, Sweden! (a very edgy show). There are a few long time drag divas, professionals, who take the outré’ to the limit ON PURPOSE for this is their persona. Felicia Halston, Empress of Reno Nevada is one, and Chloe Knox of Arkansas is another. But even in these extreme cases they have their own created face! Hundreds, maybe thousands of others do not. This is what I take issue with!

It appears as though many of these young people watched the Miss Fame make-up tutorial over and over again and transferred this face onto their own with racing stripes, no blending, airbrush eyebrows and life raft lips! How this can be construed as “real” outside of being on-stage in a large club with a follow spot is beyond comprehension and a ride through Who Framed Roger Rabbit cartoon characterizations.

I will say in all fairness Miss Fame is a damn good make-up artist with a well done video. But that is HER face (although for me, far too many products and steps) and as I recall,

she mentioned “blend, blend, blend” many times!

The current trend is to carefully outline everything with definite low light and high lights and just leave it and slap on a wig with no thought as to face framing style or balance for an elegant profile. Then grab a cell phone and vamp, pooch lips and roll the eyes with 5 pair of upper and lower eyelashes, without bothering trimming them on the inside near the nose so there is a natural graduation.

Some queens have “drag mothers” or a person who does their face and wig etc. the first time and tries to tutor their protégé. Unfortunately the newbie emulate their drag mom much of the time, becoming somewhat of a carbon copy in the process. I myself have been guilty of this. One time I had a Princess Royale in my Court, gowned and jeweled her and did her first make-up! After that, outside of a few tips now and then, she was in her own!

But I never stressed “find you’re own face” and at a San Diego Coronation,

Our Queen Mother, Nicole the Great took one look at the little Princess and wryly remarked, “it’s a Liz clone!”

From that moment on I urged many fledgling Royalty to find their own look, practice and practice it, and blend!

I worked hard for this, which is why I created the DMK a Foundations of Skin, a medical silicone base, no oils, that covers everything in one sheer coat and looks like your own skin in broad daylight! I was tired of 2-3 layers of foundation having to be constantly powdered down to cut the shine (regular oil based foundation, regardless of brand, is cooked at the lab at 85F, several degrees lower than your own temperature–which is why you are powdering all the time in the loo).

Perhaps I will do a make-up tutorial, reveal some Liz secrets (gasp) and then everyone can find their own wonderful and special look that stuns the audience and makes a certain type of man smile with eyes full of interest and open a door for you!

Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Palm Springs

I am so very honored to be the first global ambassador for The Harvey Milk Foundation!

As I gazed out over the packed ballroom at the Palm Springs Hilton I said,

Harvey would have been so proud of this!

Every aspect of the LGBT community was represented at the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Palm Springs.

This morning crowd included seniors, teens. parents of teens and everyone in between. Most compelling was Yucca Valley High School transgender teen Aiden Stockman. This youth has a real talent for public speaking and his struggle and final triumph over being who and what he is will inspire transgender kids everywhere and evoke more understanding from parents as well.

Joining me at the Emerald Kingdom table was my dear sister Empress Lonnie, the ever elegant Stefan Hemming and a diverse group of new people we welcomed to the table for this sold out event!

There are a growing number of Harvey Milk Breakfasts all over the Nation, but the Palm Springs late Spring event has a small town camaraderie along with a glamorous resort ambience one does not find anywhere else! A big congrats to The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Coalition lead partnering with Palm Springs Pride, Equality California, Deserts AIDS Project and Gray Public Relations.