AGO’s Massive Party
Warm weather makes me randy. Trying valiantly to suppress a mammoth stiffy, I head out to the AGO’s Massive Party, which gets even larger this year with the addition of a fourth floor of fun. With drinks in hand and canapés in cheeks, guests mill around an intricate photo set constructed in the main atrium. The lower level is elevated by interactive performance art vignettes that envelop, enthrall and leave some scratching their heads. In the basement, artist Luis Jacob and blogger Jamie Woo bop about a dancefloor made to resemble a high school gym, complete with basketball hoops and cheerleaders. The main party takes place high up in the shiny, glittery, disco-decorated sixth-floor space, which impresses with 10-foot-tall, three-dimensional letters. Unfortunately, the dancefloor is populated with many business-suit-clad men who confuse shifting their weight from one foot to the other with dancing. This doesn’t stop legendary model Suzi Horton and PR maven Val Dooley, however, from breaking out some real nut-busting moves. Tissue please.
One can always count on picking up at FML. It’s been a while since I’ve been, and thankfully, not much has changed. It’s still hosted by cute couple Monty T and Joey Viola. “This is the only party where we rarely see each other,” Viola says upstairs, while his man keeps track of the guys on the patio. It still has a mandate of rotating DJs, which keeps the sound fresh. Tonight, DJ Sticky Cuts does the honours with lots of hip hop and dancehall. It’s still attended by a very mixed crowd that includes lots of club industry professionals. DJ Blackcat and Jonathon J (aka an out-of-drag Sofonda) are scoping the scene. What has changed is that FML is no longer at Fuzion. Don’t worry — it’s still held in the same space, but now the restaurant is renamed The Vic Public House. “We are shedding our fine-dining reputation,” says owner Jimmy G. “We want to make the space more like an English pub.” Comfort food in a comfortable setting will always keep men coming back. That and gropes under the table.
El Convento Rico’s 20th Anniversary Party
Thankfully, I don’t have to choose between two different guys for El Convento Rico’s 20th Anniversary Party — the party takes place over two nights. While some parties have photo walls, Rico’s constructs a glamorous white-chandeliered photo lounge outside. On the opposite side, another tent houses a kitchen where guests enjoy complimentary mouthwatering fare. It is here that performers are contemplating what to do, as their shows have been put on hold. “We were supposed to perform in the amazing outdoor cube, but the generator died,” Sofonda, a former Miss Rico, says in the company of Michelle Ross, Nicolette Brown and others. The next night, the current Miss Rico, Cassandra, is gorgeous in an ensemble adorned with a mine’s worth of imitation emeralds. “Emerald is the 20th-anniversary stone,” she explains. Taking command of the indoor stage by emerging from a Gaga-esque egg, Cassie channels Mother Monster in a futuristic performance alongside Ivory, Mina and Kera Keys, who symbolize the motherhouse’s foray into the next 20 years. Hola! Holla!
My weakness? Fat . . . lips. They provide wet gossip. Even with all the behind-the-scenes, off-the-record drama that delays day two of FAT by hours, Toronto’s annual art and fashion week stitches things together, and the show, as they say, goes on. Watching the runway (which seems owned by androgynous model Myles Sexton, who appears in almost every other collection), in a massive warehouse in The Junction with towering 40-foot ceilings, is a gaggle of gays that includes Andy Jones, Jonathon Hooper and drag socialite Judy Virago. The week is stocked with great menswear, including loose looks from Pedram Karimi fashion-forward Brankopopovic, religiously inspired Von Bardonitz and form-fitting shirts by Kallvis Gents, who produces a memorable video commercial for his Human Nature line. Most impressive is designer Raji Aujla. Her menswear is notable for its tailoring but tends to be a bit too tight on the models and seems to make them walk a bit oddly — as if I’d just massively stuffed them all.