UNTUCKED: RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Episode 5 “Reality Stars: The Musical”

Alexis Michelle’s Entrance Lewk

Posted by RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday, March 31, 2017

Hey Friends!  RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 showcases some extremely stylish, creative and trend-relevant queens we can all definitely take notes on!  Please take a peek below to read more on the latest , juicey tid-bits from the show.  And don’t forget to catch Me at Rupaul’s DragCon 2017 –  I’ll be snapping pics for my style posts here and kiki-ing with Melissa Rich Brown at her booth #335.

A post shared by Melissa Brown (@dtmelissa) on

Did you catch all the backstage realness from last nights 5th episode?  Let me know your thoughts.  Comment, share and don’t forget to say hi if you see me at the convention!

“This morning, World Of Wonder released the fifth episode of Untucked: RuPaul’s Drag Race. After the queens pay tribute to America’s most fabulously infamous family in Kardashians: The Musical, they untuck backstage.  After receiving both applause for her winning performance in the challenge, followed by a “basic” critique for her runway look, Alexis Michelle accuses the others of sabotage, and the two bottom queens, Cynthia and Farrah, prepare to lip-sync.”

Eureka’s Entrance Lewk

Posted by RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday, March 31, 2017

“The surprising twist that RuPaul, for the first time in the Drag Race series herstory, not only chose to send fan-favorite, Eureka O’Hara, home for medical reasons (after learning she was suffering from a torn ACL), but then extending an open invitation for Eureka to return next season for Season 10 (another first for the series), made Eureka’s exit of Untucked charged with the charm she arrived with.”

If you haven’t seen Untucked you can watch it here:


Rihanna Owns Coachella Style in a Game changing Gucci Look

Rihanna continues to show us why she’s a level above the rest as she adorned a rhinestone-covered body stocking, plucked straight off Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Fall 2017 runway.

Taking the piece for an early test drive, the pop star and her stylist, Jaheel Weaver, chose to layer a graffitied Gucci tank top and denim cutoffs underneath it, along with a pair of Fenty x Puma platform sneaker boots and coordinating studded sunglasses. The high-fashion bling elevated the otherwise ordinary festival look, and helped Rihanna turn heads wherever she went—exactly the reaction she wanted. Writing on Instagram, she confessed to a deeply relatable fashion problem: “I can’t go home yet, cuz enough people ain’t seen my outfit.” With more than a million likes on that post alone, it’s safe to say that Rihanna’s epic moment is now getting the attention it deserves.

” I can’t go home yet, cuz enough people ain’t seen my outfit “

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

phresh out.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

How I Died and Created a New Life with The Internet

Today I am going to talk about something that I don’t bring up often.  My intention in writing about this is to help someone who might be struggling with failure and identity.  You are not alone and the struggles in life are what make us beautiful human beings.  Never give up because sometimes you have to try things and fail in order to find your true purpose.

28 years old with my sister Lucy at Blind Dragon, Los Angeles, CA.

My favorite thing about living in Los Angeles are the amazing dreamers I meet on a daily basis.  The creative energy is intoxicating and for some, toxic.  They say Hollywood will chew you up and spit you out and while I guess I could say I’ve seen that happen to a few souls I am and always will be in love with Los Angeles.  Despite the dark side of LA Life, I believe the amount of dreaming that keeps the positive energy in this city alive is worth any struggle and tests of failure one may experience when moving here.  The truth is, only the strong-willed and good-hearted can survive in Los Angeles while maintaining their true sense of self.  There are tons of fakers but not a lot of legitimate makers.  Once you’re here for a while you learn the value of self and the lengths people go to lose that value of self in order to attain a superficial goal.

“Man who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything.” – Mr. Miyagi

21 Years old dancing for Ballet Hawaii, Photo:  ERIMAGE

You see, since I was a kid I was told I was gonna be a star.  Sounds cheesy, I know.  And I always felt a sort of “pressure” to live up to my talents.  I felt a responsibility to others to fulfill a role that I seemed to fit so perfectly because of my abilities as a ballet dancer at such a young age. Dare I say that looking back I didn’t really care that much to be a “Star”?  While I love performing and I love the stage, fame was never really a “goal” per se but rather a consequence of performing in front of an audience.  Fame isn’t a goal, and that’s the mistake so many people make when moving to LA.  Eventually, the Internet became my stage, more on that in a bit.

17 years old, in Marin County, California

During my career, I was a professional dancer and got my first job as an apprentice at 15 years old, and then after I went to ballet school at SF ballet and trained with Margaret Swarthout (Rudolf Nureyev’s former dance partner) I got injured.  I most notably trained and danced with Ballet Hawaii, Shamil Yagudin of the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia, SF Ballet School,  The School of American Ballet The Official School of New York City Ballet, Marin Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet and Suzanne Farrell Ballet.  I was also accepted on a full scholarship but never attended Miami City Ballet School and the Jackie O School for American Ballet Theater, I’m not kidding I was legit pretty good.  This was just one piece of me as a whole artist and it took until recently for me to stand up and say “I am not just a dancer who got injured” I am an artist.  And artistic people will find a way to express themselves in any way possible regardless of limitations placed upon them. Everyone in my life set me up for “stardom” but no one set me up to lose my identity as a ballet dancer once I had to officially retire from dancing at 22 years old because I tore my plantar fascia and the chronic pain became unbearable.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the main ligament under your foot that connects your heel to your metatarsal, the tendons in your toes, Achilles, etc. For me, it was the ligament that connected me to the only identity I ever knew: Ben the ballet prodigy.  After my injury, my doctor told me I would probably need to walk with a cane for the rest of my life.  At the time, I thought I was an invincible 22 year old so the news didn’t phase me right away.  I actually continued dancing for a few years off and on until the pain got to a point where I couldn’t walk after taking a beginner ballet class at The Edge.  After class that day I got into my car and it just hit me so hard.  I cried for about 30 minutes and I couldn’t even stop long enough to calm myself to drive home.  I had my first panic attack and didn’t even realize it until later, thats how hard I was inside.  The discipline from being trained by the toughest coaches in the world allowed me to prolong coping with the loss of my identity as a dancer.  But in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal to me anymore.  I feel satisfied in knowing my ability and that is enough because I am lucky enough to have already had a career that I loved.  Not many people can say the same, so I consider myself blessed.  The truth is I would’ve grown out of dance anyway because it didn’t completely fulfill me as an artist.


19 years old in Marin County, California

I don’t need a pity party, I am extremely fortunate because God gave me multiple gifts for which I am forever grateful. The eventual grief I experiencecd was lessened by the other talents and interests I kept myself occupied with – gifts and talents the Internet help me express.  The internet is my best friend.  I say this because not only has it helped me create a brand and business that supports my life, it has also connected me with the people who mean the most to me.  And as I became a stylist, it has granted me access to a new world and a new life that helps me with my continuous goal of connecting with new people.  And hey, making someone look good is a pretty damn good way to make new friends.

MySpace image of me at 19

MySpace was a thing when I was in ballet school and I had almost 1 million friends before I got in trouble with my family for becoming an online idol to kids with eating disorders around the world and I lost my original profile due to violating terms of service blah blah blah.  The infamy happened on accident.  I was an angsty teenager and I always had a really thin physique (hence my ballet success) but this came naturally to me.  I never had to starve or hurt myself to maintain my image but kids online and in my school would make fun of me for looking anorexic so I played off of it and then one day I wrote a song about it as a rebuttal to being teased and posted in on MySpace.  A rebuttal that became a giant online “fuck you” to all the bullies I ever had to deal with.  My song “Anorexia” went viral after my fans on MySpace thought Jeffree Star (who already had more fans than me) wrote it.  Once they realized it was me, my internet fan base exploded literally overnight and there were hundreds of youtube fan videos for my song and I never even had to make a music video of my own.  I won’t go into too much detail but I’ll just say I still receive royalty checks today from that stupid song I wrote 11 years ago.  At the time I didn’t realize my myspace persona was my first version of a coping mechanism in the making.  A mechanism that no one taught me, no one prepared me to create.  It’s almost as if my subconscious knew I needed to do that to help myself in the future.  Maybe I was just lucky?  Purchase the song here and listen to how dumb I was as a teenager.  I can’t even criticize “cash me ousside” girl because I was just as stupid in my own way when I was her age.

17 years old, eating Taco Bell for the fans

I recreated a new MySpace after the initial internet drama settled and continued to create music because it was a connection to dance that was familiar to me.  Music is amazing because you can be injured and still create it.  When I can’t dance, others can.  I released more music after my “MySpace days” and learned invaluable skills about social media marketing along the way.  Some of the best social media marketers and influencers today were my friends on MySpace so that says a lot about how our generation learned what it takes to maintain an Internet presence from a “stupid website” like MySpace.

20 years old, my first shoot in LA, Photography: Bryce Logan


Dressing my best friend and client @bodybynixx for a music video BTS on ArsenicTV which boasts more viewers than many major network television channels including MTV.

Fast forward to my fashion life today.  Everything boils down to an image and what that image can make someone feel.  One common thread that has been my strength throughout my life is my ability to express ideas via imagery.  This is why fashion has always been a secret piece of my success before I even realized it.  From the images I created through my dancing to the modeling I dabbled in, to the photos posted on a MySpace profile.   All of these pushed me on my way to the Instagram posts that pay my bills today – style, fashion and unique imagery are just pieces of my new “life” and identity that I was able to create for myself.  This is why unique people with unique identities interest me most.  Because when we meet it’s kind of like we already understand each other without even sharing our stories.  What I received from dance was the impact my art had on the people around me.  This hasn’t changed just because I am doing something different.  I haven’t placed all my bets on “one art”.  Why limit myself when I can live as many lives as I want to create?  I pity those who limit themselves.

🦄who’s with me?

A post shared by #1 Most Unique Alt Style Guy (@fakebestfriend) on

Looking back on my life thus far I really can’t complain because I am so happy with where I am today.  If I never stopped dancing, I would’ve never moved to LA to be in a relationship with my boyfriend of 7 years.  I didn’t move to LA to be someone famous, I literally moved here for a relationship.  Because what is important to me most of all, are people.  Connecting.  That’s why it’s so ironic that I have all these interests because most fame-hungry people are struggling to be seen and they milk their one interest until its tired, old and outdated and I’m just evolving and hustling so I can disappear.  Without the internet, I would’ve never received the first message from my current boyfriend.  Without dance, I wouldn’t have been in LA auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance which is when I changed the setting on my gay.com dating profile to Los Angeles and helped my man find me in the first place.  I almost never came to LA to audition because of my injury, but I pushed myself to try – and try again because dance meant so much to me I was willing to hurt myself over and over to never give up.  Life changes you and teaches you to evolve from closed mindsets and labels placed on you by other people.  And more people need to understand that it’s okay to change your life, it’s ok to try new things as scary as it may seem.

21 years old with my former best friend Tamiko Hobin

24 years old, Secret Lakebed, California

I think it’s impossible to know what the right life path will be.  Unfortunately, we can’t just call an Uber or use a Waze map to get the fastest route to success and happiness but the important lesson I’ve learned is to follow your gut, hone your abilities and keep an open and disciplined mind.  Because sometimes all you need to do to heal a wound is fake it until you make it.   They say dancers die two deaths, the first when they stop dancing and the second when they stop living. With my multitude of interests, I know that in my life I will die a few more times and that’s ok because at least this time, I’ll be ready.  I’ll always be 3 lives ahead.   xoxo

Making Trends From Fashion Week Wearable For You – Feat. Vera Wang RTW Fall 17

Orange you glad I loved you? 🦁🦊☄️🌶 @disnapback.official deadstock sample

A post shared by Fashion Stylist Ben Friend (@fakebestfriend) on

I’ll be the first to admit that the elusive world of fashion can seem absolutely intimidating and this is coming from someone who “fits in” with “that world”.  I’m just keepin’ it real, sometimes I see runway shows or editorials and I find myself saying, “hmm something inside me loves this but…. what in the hell is that?  How can this be worn?”.

Wanna know the best thing about Fashion?  Interpretation.  See, the stigma of “sticking to a mold” is really just applied to our psyches by our own insecurities about what fashion – or style – is.  I think the most productive way to look at fashion is: Fashion is an artist/designers interpretation of their own world via clothing.  The designers are sharing a piece of themselves with you – and interpreting their art in a way that makes it applicable to your wardrobe is not only necessary for the industries cycle of life, it’s absolutely okay!  Make it your own, there are no rules.  Do not be intimidated by the boujee vocabulary or the awe of the celebrity behing the garment.  Clothes are harmless objects that can create wonderful stories and feelings.

With that being said I’d like to share with you my favorite pieces from Vera’s new collection paired with thought processes that can help you apply “trends” to into a real persons wardrobe.

“..the stigma of “sticking to a mold” is really just applied to our psyches by our own insecurities about what fashion – or style – is.”


Military is in, this is annoyingly obvious just walk into a forever 21 or look at a festival video ad online and military jackets saturate the mass market.  There is a place for a military-inspired piece in everyone’s wardrobe but what Vera has done with her latest collection – to me- elevates the military trend to a more sophisticated level.  Less camp and more indulgent.

Nicole Phelps of Vogue Runway comments that

“Instead of Napoleon I’s N’s, Wang embroidered V’s. The emperor and his wife Josephine were muses for a collection that combined masculine and feminine elements and served up its pomp and circumstance via heraldic gold embellishments.”

So Vera went french.  I dig it and, it’s quite fitting being that she received the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian honor, coincidences are fun 😉  Take a peep below of my favorite looks from the collection and we will go into applying trends on an every day basis:

Applying a trend:

But how does the everyday person apply this elegant idea into a wearable wardrobe?  I mean, we all don’t walk around in castles like this model with the expression of looking for….I dunno, a biscuit?

The way we apply this look is actually quite simple:  Interpretation.  What I pull from these looks is a blatant nod to military and more specifically the french revoution.  Obviously.  But we can pull main elements from these looks and incorporate them into our own looks in the coming months.  You want to pull main features from a collection and apply them to a look.  Here are features to pay attention to for Vera:

Gold Striping:

In 1777, the French ancien régime army had used Galons d’ancienneté, or “Seniority Braid” (cloth braid chevrons nicknamed brisures > “breaks”) worn on the upper sleeves awarded for each seven years of enlistment. Soldiers who wore such emblems were called briscards (“breakers”). The practice was continued in Napoleon Bonaparte‘s army in which they were awarded for 10, 15, and 20 years of service. The French Army later moved them to the lower sleeves and the rank stripes to the upper sleeves. Service chevrons were worn on the lower left sleeve and Wound Stripes were worn on the lower right sleeve (influencing the American Wound Chevron device)

How to apply it to your looks:

You don’t have to limit your Interpretation because of money.  If you canot go out and purchase a cute jacket or accessory, you can apply the gold stripe to your nails and rock a dope, inexpensive manicure and spruce up your 2017 looks.  Take a peek at the manicure below:


Clothing wise, I would focus on outwear.  

Outwear is quick trick to instantly taking a look from dead to cute with the pop of two sleeves.




If you can’t afford a Vera Wang jacket:

You can find vintage military jackets in thrift stores if you do a little digging and I know the trend will hit fast fashion in a couple of weeks so you can always check the cheap spots then.  I will not get specific about where I find things to wear as an alternative to the big designers, as that information is exclusively protected for my clients only.  But with a some work, I believe you can figure it out yourself 😉  If not, hire me.

Good style takes money, or work but preferably both.  But, when you lack the funds, you can make up for it with hard work and saavy thrift-store investigation skills.  Fashion CSI if you will.

Overall the look should be careless and a little oversized isn’t bad. Depending on your build, an oversized piece of outwear can act as an illusion to accentuate a “smaller” frame which is perfect if you’re looking to mask problem areas with your body.  If you’re heavier set I wouldn’t suggest wearing oversized items on top because then you just look like a blob.  No bueno.  Tailoring is ideal for everyone but absolutely a key for heavier-set builds.


Unfortunately, wearing JUST the sleeves isn’t a viable option for most of us.  While editorial-wise it’s killer, I want you to focus on the gold detailing in these sleeves above.  This detailing is what you can keep an eye out for when looking to apply this trend to your looks.

Mixing multiple “luxe” textures into one look:

Another specific note about Vera’s collection is the connection of various fabrics and layers that would otherwise seem odd together.  For example: woolen sleeves and fox furs worn with metallic gold gowns on paper, may not “mix”.  But you can easily play with this mixing of various textures idea by popping a mesh top under a military jacket like these:

Hot-New-2017-Spring-Summer-Womens-font-b-Long-b-font-font-b-Sleeve-b-font.jpg Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 7.58.27 PM.png

You can also do a metallic gold top under the jacket or, just do a jacket as the main focus but have gold accessories like various bracelets and bangles, bar necklaces or a gold clutch or purse to complete the look.

Gold Accessories:

2621274a580b7b110e4c2b12241030f3.jpg stacked-bracelets-7.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.20.07 PM.png

Dudes can play too:

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.00.10 PM.png





Make a designer collection your own.  Pull from the designers story the elements that speak to you and apply them in a way that works for you.  Investing in an expensive designer is fun but not necessary if you’re on a budget.  With a little work and creativity we can all indulge in a fashion fantasy.