Drag Wedding

The Day After The Supreme Court Decision!


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.


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.

Janne at Hotel Kämp

Our Princess Royale Janne Pavlova Maria Romanov from Finland here photographed in the magnificent five star Hotel Kämp in Helsinki. After posing for the camera she attended a Private dinner party as a guest of honour.

Lonnie at Night of a Thousand Gowns

Empress Lonnie amazed in New York!

What a wonderful trip to New York’s Night of a Thousand Gowns. I was honored to be able to represent the Emerald Kingdom of Palm Springs and Riverside County, Czar Drue and Czarina Liz Loren, as well as the Imperial Court of Los Angeles/Hollywood at Night of a Thousand Gowns this month. So many celebrities and beautiful gowns and costumes, and a true night to remember. My sister, Queen Mother Nicole was present and looked radiant. Emperor Tony and Empress Twinkle were amazing host, and looked very regal and elegant as they stepped down.

Everybody who was anybody was present. I travelled to New York with Empress Wendy Pinkhouse, who stepped down there last year, and she showed me the ropes of New York, from getting from the Airport to the Hotel, to getting around town. Although it was raining when I arrived at 5:00 AM on Friday, the rain quickly subsided and it was off to the Hotel to rest for the first nights adventure, the Out of Town Show.

The town was bright and full of lights, and Time’s Square was amazing. The food, the smells and the great hospitality of the New York Court was evident in every event. The Hospitality Suite was amazing, with live piano music and singer, and food, food, food…

Including a platter about a foot tall loaded with of all things BACON. (Liz would have fainted…LOL)

What fun we had, and I want to take a moment to thank Czarina Liz Loren for sending me in her place as she travelled to Russia for business this year and was unable to attend.

I recommend this ball to anyone who has or has not attended.

New York knows how to produce a major event and make it fun, fast moving and interesting. So many great people there, and it was good to see so many old friends and make some new ones.

Life is short, and every experience like this makes it just that more amazing!

Empress XII Lonnie
Adviser to the Emerald Kingdom of Palm Springs and Riverside County
Co-President of the Board of Directors of the ICLAH
Sister for Life to Empress Nicole the Great

Maria Shriver Best Buddies Benefit

What are we going to do about Maria?

Maria Shriver is an extraordinary woman on many levels. I had first met her when Stuart Milk took me to the Hollywood Hall of Fame awards in Sacramento while she was still First Lady. I was impressed by her stage presence and elegance, while inwardly reeling from a burgeoning scandal that would embarrass even Hilary Clinton!

The second time we met was at the Montage in Beverly Hills, my company DMK International being one of the major donors. It was like a Phoenix rising from ashes! Here was a brand new Maria! A little subdued, but a project in the making! Defiantly a woman with an agenda! She was very gracious to me and invited me to a VIP ” ice creme tasting” in the penthouse bar of the Montage!

I was taken back by the Kennedy-esque beauty of her children! Everyone of them had that casual “old money” style of people who have been brought up in spotlights, especially the powerful spotlight of politics. The handsome youngest boy came over to the table where Beverly Hills journalist and girl friend Marci Weiner and I were sitting and said ” Miss can I bring you Ladies some ice Creme?” We had to laugh, this kid was soooo polite and serious! I shared the lift up to the penthouse with Maria, and she looked at me and said…

“I love your hair!” Shocked, I blurted out “it’s a wig, but I love YOURS!”

“Nooo” she exclaimed “it looks so real!” And then her sunglasses fell off her face and broke at my red platform shoes with black lacquered heels. I picked them up, handed them to her and said “oh what a shame”. “Never mind,” she replied in that young Katherine Hepburn voice, “they only cost $19.00 at the Cape!” I nearly cracked up…who else would buy $19.00 sunglasses at the Cape?”

Emerald Kingdom sent a donation to Maria Shriver Best Buddies, her challenged children charity and I received a gracious letter from her thanking me.

The following year I was invited, along with my entourage back to the Montage. This time Marci and I were escorted by the handsome Yale Scott of DMK and his fiancée Dr.Bobby of The Spa on Rodeo, both companies donating to the event.

Maria looked more sensational than ever–more outgoing, longer thick hair swinging down the back of a very edgy, trendy outfit! Her speech was both compelling and forceful, melting the hardest heart and tightest pocketbook. Her passion for the many kids whose lives have been changed because of her work was real and heartwarming.

I had kept up with Marci this time by having TWO martini’s, thus emboldened by booze I rushed up to her after the speech and embarrassed myself by barking out “Maria you are an idiot if you don’t run for office!”

Startled she gave me an odd look as her people swept her away, but I meant every word.

Here is a woman who has had the inside of politics all her life, she has headed many foundations, owns three businesses and is back in the media. She has survived marital scandal with grace and aplomb and is raising a large family of future great Americans. And she looks terrific! In my mind she could be First Lady again, but on the East coast this time..on her own